Dennis Black is the CEO of Dennis Black and Associates, a training organization devoted exclusively to the development of sales and management
professionals within the lending industry. Dennis Black and Associates has trained more than
120,000 mortgage professionals throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Black
speaks at conferences sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association and NAMB — The Association of Mortgage Professionals that focus on selling strategies, and he is a frequent speaker
at state conferences. Visit dennisblack.com. Reach Black at email@example.com.
Scotsman Guide Residential Edition | ScotsmanGuide.com | August 2018 130
Sales cannot be left on autopilot during this cur-
rent rising rate market. It is more imperative in
these mortgage conditions that an originator
really feels confident when getting out to call on
real estate agents or builders, and in knowing
how to handle the inevitable question from the
borrower, “What is your rate?”
The nature of sales people in a rising-rate envi-
ronment is to want to “match the rate” they hear
a borrower has received from another lender.
Instead, they need to really understand the dynamics behind the borrower’s true reason for the
Every borrower contacts a mortgage company
with a reason for the inquiry — whether it be a
cash-out refinance or a purchase. Once you understand the borrower’s motivation and the key factors they will evaluate in addition to the rate, you
have a chance to propose the right product that
will meet their individual needs.
In the mortgage industry in the second half of
2018, the adjustable rate mortgage product will
be a major factor in being payment — not rate —
competitive. Originators should ask the most crit-
ical questions before ever suggesting a loan
product to a borrower: “How long do you plan on
staying in your property?” and “Is cash flow every
month or paying off your mortgage in a shorter
time frame a key factor in making your decision?”
Once you know the answers to those questions,
then, and only then, will you be able to recom-
mend a product and discuss the corresponding
house payment and interest rate associated with it.
The rate should be the last part of the discussion.
Training of your sales group is more important
now than ever before because they have to learn
how to stand out with the real estate agent and
borrower to thrive, versus just survive, in today’s
market. Being average will not cut it and being
better will be based on the training they receive.
Whether it be from a manager,
a training-department staff member
or an outside company, now is the time to invest
in sales training to get through the choppy waters
expected over the next year in this industry.
The most overlooked group in the mortgage
business often are the people who interact with
clients and referral agents at critical junctures in
the loan-approval process — the operations staff.
The ability for most operations people to communicate is primarily internal, to move a loan
through the system. Yet, at times, their interaction
with the real estate agent, builder or borrower can
make or break a relationship.
By training your operations staff on problem-solving communication techniques and putting
them through communication skills training, you
make sure the final bridge is crossed and your staff
is ready to provide a quality customer service
experience. The key to effective customer service
communication is problem resolution.
Operations staff often get questions about a
loan’s status or potential hitches in the approval
process from the
client, a loan officer or
managers. The easy answer is to just
say, “No, that won’t work.” It takes self-control to
think the problem through and consider possible
solutions that can lead to an alternative response
like, “Yes, here is what we need to do to make
this work.” That’s where the training needs to be
n n n
Training and developing your mortgage company’s personnel is an ongoing process and a culture.
It is never an event. Take the time to chart your
course through these challenging waters, and you
will reach a point where you find you can navigate
the rising-rate market while also setting your company up to be a desirable work environment for
now and into the future.
Make a commitment to training your staff and
good things will happen, not just now, but going
forward in this business. n
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