The beauty of this business!Brian PeartGetting into the mortgage business I had an opportunity to step back in time last weekend, and I hope what I learned can maybe motivate or inspire you. I have not written very many loans over the last few years, because as an owner with multiple offices, more than 250 commercial mortgage branches and a flourishing publishing business, I really have delegated my entire pipeline down. Whenever I did do a loan over the last few years, it was usually a high-profile one. This is a far cry from the completely broke kid who entered this mortgage business back in 1992. But this weekend, I worked with a young, first-time home-buying couple, and it was a beautiful thing! My wife's cousins, a good young couple, needed help to get a home. They so desperately wanted to get out of where they were. Living with the wife's parents, who think the husband is a ne'er-do-well, was hard on their marriage. A young couple, 28 and 24, with two kids, they had made mistakes early on, abused credit and had a large number of collections that they had been paying off for almost a year. They were down to one final collection, and, in three months, they would have all their collections paid and three open accounts, all more than 12 months with perfect histories. They were referred directly to me (though most of my family works for me), and because it was an opportunity to form a relationship with my wife's younger cousins, most of whom I think are scared of me because I make a lot of money, I did not delegate this off. So we invited them to dinner, and afterward, my wife took the kids upstairs, and I began. I talked to them about budgets. (They are Christians, so I shared what the Bible had to say about finances.) He has a good, steady job as an air conditioning repairman, and she works for a ministry for free. These are good kids (they even tithe, which few Christians I counsel actually do). Unfortunately, their 545 credit score would make it impossible for them to qualify for a loan befitting their situation at this point, but that score will come up dramatically as the different accounts paid off show up on their credit reports. I will not bore you with the credit counseling I gave, but the response is what was beautiful. I shared with them how by September (it was April when we met), if they followed my plan, they would have a home of their own! They were so excited! I shared with them how a 30-year mortgage would only allow them to buy a home in the $110,000 price range, which is the lowest range in our area. They were pumped up! They left encouraged and ready to make the dream a reality. In total agreement with me on being conservative, they decided they would buy a home based on a set budget, rather than stretch for the maximum they could afford. I even laid out a schedule for them to begin a savings account and eventually move up to the 12 acres of land they dream about occupying one day. OK, Brian, what was so refreshing about this? It was beautiful to write a loan that represented the very best of what this industry can be like when we stop chasing the almighty dollar and the quick buck. They wanted to close in July, but I knew that was not possible. I could have stuck them in some quick-fix situation, but they would not have been ready. Here is a couple that will instead close in September, when they are ready. When I told them what they could afford on a simple loan and how that needed to be within a budget, they listened. These two will not only own the home, but they will also be able to afford it, and they will appreciate it. When I told them they needed to look in the lowest range of homes and explained how most people start there, including me, and that done right, you can own a large tract of land like I do one day, their eyes lit up. And, as I hear daily from loan officers about how everyone shops rate and the market is so tough, neither rates nor my fees were mentioned. Here was total trust and control—an honest, ethical loan officer helping a deserving young couple on the proper pace. I built my business on first-time homebuyers in West Palm Beach, Fla., and now the prices in that area put homes out of reach for all but the move-up buyers. But everything will correct itself—all pendulums swing back. And, there are plenty of good people like Kevin and Shaneal who will listen to you, feel your heart and do what you say. You can get them on the road to financial freedom and make a difference in their lives. When I first got into the mortgage business, it was all about the money. After I went to my first closing and the couple was weeping tears of joy, my motivations changed. I love helping people get into homes, and not homes they can't afford or loans with confusing payment structures. What we do matters in this world. I hope you, too, can experience that soon and reconnect to all that is good and right in this business. I wish you the very best this year! Brian L. Peart is president of Nexus Financial Group Inc. and publisher of the Top Producer training course. He may be reached at [email protected].