If you’re here and you’re a mortgage broker, you might find this talk interesting.
I wanted to go over some of the personal lessons I’ve had over the years in this industry, which will hopefully help you do more deals.
These are just a few things that I’ve put together. I’m just going to start ticking them off.
Be A True Professional
To become a true professional in this industry, I would encourage you to learn this business inside and out.
Don’t just throw junk against the wall. Take the time to learn your investor’s products. Take the time to learn about the borrower, the borrower’s needs, goals, desires, and so on.
Don’t just throw an application together and toss it out there…send it to a broker like nothing.
This is not the way to go.
I can guarantee that you’ll close a lot more deals if you invest the time to learn what you need to upfront.
You may have heard the story about President Lincoln, what he said when someone asked him, “If you had 45 minutes to chop a tree down, what would you do?”
His response was, “Sharpen the ax for 30 minutes.”
That’s really what you need to do as a broker.
Get everything prepared. Learn the subject. The guidelines.
Get to know your investors. Ask them questions. Try to be precise with everything you do.
It’ll help you. It’ll help the borrower. And it’ll help your lender too.
Get a reputation as someone who’s on the ball and not a goofball. You’re dealing with a very important aspect of people’s lives. They’re coming to you to borrow great sums of money.
So, you have to act a certain way. How you act really carries you forward or backward.
I started as a broker. And when I started, believe me, there were no fax machines. There was no email. There was no computer. There was nothing like we have today.
I remember the first deal I submitted. I screwed up at first to be candid with you.
It’s a lot easier today. The playing field is a lot more level. The internet can teach you a ton. When I started, you had to research everything in a book or learn by talking to someone who knew what they were doing.
I didn’t even know the peoples’ names on my first deal. I sure owed them an apology for that. But ultimately, within the first couple of weeks, things started moving.
Again, there was nothing in those days. Only Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and VA. That was it. They had literally loose-leaf binders, which were huge. I got the binder for what was called the Fannie and Freddy FHA and VA.
And I read the binder page to page. I positioned myself so that I knew as much about the deal and as much about the underwriting guidelines as the underwriters did.
So, when I had a deal that didn’t meet the guidelines (which was most of them), I presented it in such a way that the underwriters really had to approve it. But it was easy for them to approve it anyway because I gave all the right arguments. And again, this was way before computers, and I did this in a compelling, organized fashion.
I knew the guidelines inside and out. And that really had helped me be a successful loan officer when I first started out.
Always Return Calls And Emails
I constantly hear from borrowers (and this is something we experience too) that people just don’t return on calls or emails anymore. They go silent.
Always return calls and emails. Even if you have nothing to say, be extra communicative.
If you send a deal, and we send someone a term sheet—if they’re not going to go with it—send an email or call.
I’ve found that communication like this really helps and that it pays dividends all the time. Essentially, be the best you can be.
Treat your work like the profession it is and be professional about it.
Don’t Look To Make A Fortune On Every Deal
Realize that every deal is not a home run. Don’t look to make a fortune on every deal.
Don’t go chasing that pot of gold on every single client because what happens is you’re going to end up with next to nothing. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
Submit A Complete Deal
A couple of other things.
When you submit a deal, try to submit a complete deal. Don’t submit just an application that’s half-filled out, or don’t submit a credit report without an application. Try to find out what the lender is looking for.
Don’t over-submit. You know, we get people, to be honest with you, they’ll send us surveys and titles and environmentals from 20 years ago along with 24 months worth of bank statements, but they won’t send an application.
Try to hone in on what your underwriter wants. Try to put yourself in their shoes and say, “What does the person approving this loan think? What do they need to approve this, and how do I not oversell or undersell this?”
Spend the time to prepare and submit a good package. And if you don’t know an answer, don’t just make it up. Tell the lender or tell the underwriter. Admit you don’t know and that you’ll find out. There are a lot of things we don’t know. Everyone understands that.
But to be candid with you, sometimes brokers lose some credibility when they just make stuff up. So again, take the time to submit a good application, find out what the lender’s needs are, and always be upfront and honest.
Take The Time To Learn
Every lender needs something different. Every product is different. Don’t submit just tons of stuff and think it’ll work. Submit only what they need.
The chances of you getting the deal closed and making money are going to be so much higher if you do it this way.
Treat each deal like a professional, and you’re going to make a lot more money, and you’re going to be successful. And you’re going to stay around for the long-term on the same line.
Not only do you want to learn the lender’s goals, but you want to learn the borrower’s goals. Every borrower has a different goal. Learn their story. Spend 5 or 10 minutes on the phone with them. Don’t just submit a deal.
I speak to brokers all day long. And a lot of them say, “Oh, I just got the deal in. I’ll send it to you.” But when we ask them questions, they don’t have a clue about anything. And half the stuff they submit is just not accurate. So again, take your time.
It’s all about an investment of your time. We’re not paid, and you’re not paid, just to throw stuff against the wall. We’re only paid to close loans, so we need to be successful.
What I’m telling you is be responsible, be on the ball, and you’ll be fine.
If you’re ever in doubt, most lenders, including us at Gelt Financial, love to speak to brokers. Call up the underwriter, call up your rep, and learn from them.
I personally think it’s a good idea to have great relationships with your reps at your different wholesale lenders. Whoever they are, learn from them, get to know them, ask them probing questions.
I would speak to them once a month or so about what’s changing. What’s the sweet spot? How can you two work together?
Be more of a partner with all the parties, with your borrower, with the realtors, with your underwriters, and your lenders. Think of yourself more as a partner than just someone who’s going to throw deals at them. That’s really important.
As I mentioned earlier, be upfront and honest. Get a reputation for being honest. This is critical. The harder you work at this, the more of a reputation you’re going to get. Communicate honestly and openly with whoever you’re dealing with.
Don’t be in a rush and just make stuff up. Don’t just throw things out there because that will come off badly. You’re going to do yourself a disservice if you do this.
The Goal Is To Help You Be Successful
This is my tip for you today. Well, it was more than one tip. It was a bunch of tips. I hope they have helped you.
My goal here is to help you. I really mean it. Because if I help you be successful, we at Gelt are going to be successful.
About Gelt Financial
Gelt Financial is a non-bank commercial and real estate investment lender. We operate on a national platform.
Feel free to reach out to us anytime at 561-221-0900, or visit our Home Page.