Rates have caused an influx of business. Now what do we do with it? Ever-changing guidelines are challenging the most experienced loan officers. Every time I see an e-mail from a loan officer, I wonder, have they read the new guidelines? Just taking applications and generating business is not your entire job. Today, more than ever, being up-to-date on the laws, the guidelines and each lender’s requirements will keep you ahead of the competition. Your loans will close quicker and smoother. Don’t rely on your manager, owner or processor to do your job. If you a licensed loan officer it is your responsibility to know all the facets or your profession. If you don’t have time (which is doubtful) or don’t think you need to keep abreast—please get out. Mistakes and problems arise when you don’t keep up.
As you know, what were loans and loan processing a last year are not acceptable practices or programs now. You have to prepare your borrowers and real estate agents for the turn times and changes that underwriting is experiencing. Thirty-day contracts are becoming a dinosaur in some parts of the country. Some lenders are 30 days in underwriting, while others will put your borrowers’ file at the back of the list once they receive conditions, and take another 20 to 30 days to clear, and if more conditions, another 20 to 30 days. Frankly, this is bad management and poor work flow on some operation centers. I try to avoid sending to lenders who are going to create more problems for my borrowers. Educating yourself and communicating the changes to all parties involved in a transaction are extremely important. Don’t put off getting conditions met. Get all of them and send at one time, and by all means, follow up with the lenders to be sure they have received them.
Customer service is very important. Service has always made the mortgage broker stand out. I get told over and over again, “You call me back” and “You are available.” I get transactions because of those two things. I have seen real estate agents tell their clients to call me because I don’t screen my calls and I answer the phone after 5:00 p.m. Trust me, I am busy, but I am going to be available for business. Simply answer your phone, keep people updated and learn the new guidelines. Your business will pick up and you will be busy.
Kate Crawford, CRMS is with Carolina Home Mortgage in Burlington, N.C. She may be reached by phone at (336) 226-9191.