I don’t have to tell you that the mortgage world can be confusing. With all of the new rules and laws emerging seemingly daily, there is a lot to keep up with. Now with a new administration in office, count on a slew of additional new rules and regulations to learn. While Realtors are not expected to be aware of every single facet of the mortgage industry, it is a skill that will give you the upper hand in the market. By no means do I want you to go steal clients from your favorite loan officer and do his/her job, I’m just saying the more you know, the more of a trusted advisor you will become. That is why our Mortgage issue is one of the most important issues of the year. In our cover story, we spoke with experts in the field to help you make sense of it all, so that you always know what you’re talking about when a client asks about mortgages. Some agents may think that knowing about loans and mortgages isn’t important because that job belongs to someone else. I actually spoke to one Realtor who insisted that loan knowledge was none of her business and thus she couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps she will change her tune once a client asks her about qualifying for an FHA loan. I want all of you agents out there to make a deal with yourself to learn about a new loan that you’ve never encountered before; one that can help a client you haven’t yet met. Don’t have a New Year’s resolution yet? Now you’ve got one. While we are on the topic of industry mortgage experts, I cannot stress how important it is to create strong bonds and relationships with the mortgage companies where your clients do business. Real estate is an industry that requires a number of individuals to get a deal done, so make sure never to burn bridges along the way. Additionally, if you create a strong bond with one expert, then you will be a shoe-in next time he/she has a client looking for a Realtor. At a time when many of us can use all the help we can get, take the opportunity to learn more. Ask questions of those around you, including your mortgage broker, and be sure to have knowledge pertaining to every part of the industry. This is another way to find success in 2009, because if you haven’t made yourself a pro in one area, then you could lose a client to someone who has.