Mortgage professionals should adopt more of a consultative, advisory
role in providing borrowers with calculated, specific answers to questions,
such as the following: How much can they afford? What type of payment
plan should they adopt? Should they pay down their loan early? Truthful and
honest answers to questions such as these help borrowers make more
informed decisions and achieve their long-term financial goals more efficiently. The key is to be transparent in the approach and focus on what’s
best for the borrower’s individual situation.
With such an approach, not only do borrowers make better financial
decisions that will facilitate their long-term financial success, but the originator also becomes a trusted partner whose value extends beyond closing.
This is simply good business practice as borrowers will tend to utilize that
professional as a resource throughout their lifetime and become an advocate for the originator, referring friends, family and colleagues.
Keep your word
It’s a simple truth that the mortgage industry still suffers from a poor image
even a full decade after the Great Recession. Borrowers today, unfortunately,
view the mortgage process with a sense of unease and distrust, and not without some cause. Originators back then were not held to the same stanards
as they are today, and certain bad actors’ unscrupulous sales tactics put
proper originators in a bad light.
Originators truly are only as good as their word and the service or guidance they provide their borrowers. While the industry may still be working
to overcome a negative stereotype, borrowers are more poised than ever
to seek out originators who value truth, honesty and commitment more
than anything else.
Not only should originators be honest in their relationships, they must
also ensure they are keeping their word and following through with action.
When originators tell borrowers they are going to help them select a loan
that’s in their best interests, they should do so and, if they say that they are
going to get a job done by a specific time, there should be no stopping them
from meeting that deadline.
After all, borrowers will gladly take their business elsewhere if they are
unhappy with the service they are getting from mortgage professionals, and
such originators and lenders will never see repeat opportunities — much
less referrals. Part of speaking honestly with borrowers also means having
tough conversations that no one wants to have. When a home is out of a borrower’s price range or simply not a proper long-term fit, originators should
be forthcoming and honest about such issues.
In the end, it’s the lifetime value of the client that matters. They will
remember such counsel in the future when the time is right for them to
make another purchase.
Build a strong team
All of this begins with internal buy-in from staff and a commitment to build
their business with a focus on relationships, not transactions. This starts with
establishing one’s corporate culture and the foundation upon which it lies.
A powerful starting point in developing a company’s culture, for example,
simply, “trustworthiness,” “humility” and “empathy.”
Establishing the right corporate culture is just the start, though. It’s also
necessary to ensure the right people are in the right positions. Where many
businesses falter is in trying to recruit talented employees who may not be a
proper cultural fit, rather than selecting them based on their ability to seam-
lessly integrate into a business. It can make all the difference when compa-
nies are hiring employees who are smart, hungry and humble, and who also
fit in within their overall company culture.
After assembling a proper, dedicated team of mortgage professionals,
it’s time to coach employees through both their mistakes and successes.
Much like how working with borrowers requires the heart of a teacher, so
too does a manager need such traits when engaging employees. Successes
should be celebrated with employees, even small ones, and can be broadcast
across an organization to demonstrate the great outcomes that hard work
and dedication provide.
Likewise, when mistakes are made, they should be corrected, not in a
heavy-handed manner, but rather with a focus on guiding employees to the
right decision. It does little good to berate an employee for a misstep, when
what they truly require is proper education to know what to do if such a situation arises again. If an originator miscalculates the numbers, and it’s clear
the company will have to eat the cost on a mortgage, for example, avoid
criticizing the employee needlessly, but instead help them learn from such
an experience so the same mistake does not occur twice.
n n n
With truth and honesty as core foundations of an originator’s business,
employees will understand they are working for a company headed in the
right direction, both financially and morally. This understanding helps them
derive true fulfillment from their jobs by looking at each borrower as both a
person and a neighbor in their community, whether that’s on a national level
or right next door.
Engaging borrowers with the heart of a teacher and establishing truthful,
consultative relationships with any individual who walks through your company’s doors, or visits its website, functions as a long-term business driver
that impacts not only your future career, but also contributes to the overall
health of the mortgage industry as well. n
Mike Hardwick is founder and president of Churchill Mortgage,
a mortgage industry leader providing conventional, FHA, VA and
USDA residential mortgages across 45 states. Hardwick’s auto-
biography, “Keep Chopping Wood: A Pastor’s Son Who Had it All,
Lost it All, and Then Regained True Wealth,” offers advice on how to achieve both
business and personal success while leading a more meaningful life in the service
of others. Visit churchillmortgage.com. Follow Hardwick on Twitter @ChurchillMtg
and Facebook at facebook.com/churchillmortgage. Reach Hardwick at
138 Scotsman Guide Residential Edition | ScotsmanGuide.com | September 2018
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