We work in an interesting industry. We’re sales people, entrepreneurs, compliance officials, marketing mavens, hand-holders, business leaders, and financial advisors – all rolled into one. As mortgage originators, we’re on the front lines of home ownership – a critical component to our country’s economy. And as the consumer’s guide to smart financial choices, we’re always looking for ways to make sure our clients are well served, and that they receive the best products, and the best advice, possible as they find their way through the bramble of home financing.
Because it really can be a bramble – a hedge filled with small dangers, difficult rules and frustrating timelines. It’s that way for consumers, and it’ s that way for us as originators. But when we succeed in guiding clients through this thicket, there’s no better feeling. It’s why we keep at this job, after all.
I’ve watched so many different problems come up and get solved, and other questions and issue linger still for our profession. I spent 10 years heavily involved in NAMB, including half that time as either president or CEO of that group. And for a long time, I sent you a little personal message every Monday, letting you know about the latest things facing our industry, but also, I hope, putting a personal face on those articles. Now I’ve taken on a new and expanded role, as National Mortgage Chair at Agility Resources Group, the largest producer of mortgage events for originators in the nation.
In this role, I’m working on a number of initiatives to help bring our originators together. Some of it involves face-to-face meetings around the country, where we can bring you top education and ways to increase your sales. Some of it will be centered on helping to form communities of originators, to be there to help each other. And some of it will be like this – reaching out to you in a weekly email, talking to you as one originator to another (Yes! I’m still an active originator. So what I write about I also live).
I have appreciated all your support over these last years and I hope you continue to support me in what I am now doing.
There For Each Other
We all need support systems – whether it’s our family there to help lift us up when we’re down, or colleagues working in the mortgage field who can share our joys and frustrations. And that’s what this “Originator Connect” idea is all about. First, let me say that anything that you can do to make yourself better, each day, is the most important thing that you can do in your daily life. A wise man once told me that when you feel that you can no longer learn anything, you have begun to fail. So learn something every day!
One of those things is to make sure that you are keeping up with all the changes in programs from your lenders; what is required to make your job easier, but also to help you with your customers. That way you continue to be well-versed in your products, programs, and changes in the market. If you don’t know, say, about VA loans and you are talking to a veteran, and you only know conventional loans, you are doing him an injustice if he qualifies for the VA loan. You can learn all of this by attending training from your lenders, your MI companies and your mortgage associations.
Many of you all realize that I am an advocate for everyone being involved in an association. Whether you are a mortgage broker, mortgage banker, or work for a bank; whether you are licensed or registered with the NMLS, you need your association. It may be a national group, it may be a state or local one. They help you get the information you need, help you as a sounding board when you’ve got questions, and help you build your business.
State Associations Critical
Your state association helps keep you informed as to what is going on in your local area. Yes, you can join the national associations, but for this article, I am telling you it all starts with the local state associations. These groups are run by your friends and your counterparts. They want to help you and they want you to be part of what they do. The have local education, local Government Affairs and local get-togethers. Some even have local conferences that have speakers, exhibitors and great information to keep you informed of what is going on in legislation, the CFPB and other areas that could be crucial to you knowing the rules and laws of doing business.
So what is holding you back? The cost to belong is a fraction of the cost you spend on coffee every month. You can Google your association, or better yet, ask you friends in the business if they are members and they can steer you to the right people to join. And if they aren’t, you can continue to ask other friends, then all of you can join together. It is all about making yourself the best originator that you can be for your customer.
We need to come together in unity to protect the mortgage industry, but also to protect our place in it, and to help us grow in our businesses. You can start with your local groups. But watch this space as we go along. Because we’re going to give you a few more options to allow originators to connect. After all, that’s what successful originators do.
The Little Story: Judge Judy Makes For Great Mortgages
Each week, look for this small ending – it’s not the Big Story we start with, but a Little Story that celebrates the people who make this a great profession, and the ideas that give us all a little spark.
Many of you might know Mike Anderson from Mandeville, LA. He’s a former NAMB Government Affairs chief and board member, and he’s been in the mortgage business for more than 30 years. Well, Mike was looking to make a change when he interviewed for a job with America’s Mortgage Resource, doing reverse mortgages.
He was intrigued with what they were doing, but a little confused as to how he could do a volume of business in a limited market. That’s when he found out that the key was to advertise every day in the 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. hour on television during the Judge Judy show. The statistics show that the average person watching Judge Judy during this hour of the day is 64-years-old, or older. Mike was excited to tell me that they get a lot of inquiries from this hour of advertising. That was just the answer that Mike was looking for. He made the change and has been doing very well since then.
It just goes to show you, in our world of mortgages, you can always build a case that can work for your business!
Don Frommeyer is the National Mortgage Chair for Agility Resources Group, and a long-time past president and CEO of NAMB. He can be reached at email@example.com