Meet Dave. Dave is an old school mortgage broker I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. When I say “old school,” I mean that he’s been around so long his state license number is a negative number. Dave is a hard-working small business owner and has been through every kind of change you could imagine in the mortgage industry. Needless to say, he’s witty and stubborn (in a good way) and isn’t shy to tell you what he thinks.
What I like about Dave is the character and passion he exudes in our industry which has certainly earned my respect and the respect from many others. His intensity is motivated by doing what’s right for his clients even if they don’t know it. This could mean offending a real estate agent when needed or making an underwriter wish they stayed home sick (if the situation calls for it). Either way, at times we can all have thicker skin to navigate through the mortgage process and be direct when necessary. There is nothing wrong with being passionate and intense if it’s supported with experience and strong morals.
Here are a few things we can all learn from Dave:
Be stubborn and be grounded
You owe it to your career and to your clients to have a plan backed with consistency when executing that plan. Too many in our industry are attracted to the flavor of the day, or short-term incentives rather than long-term rewards. Don’t be influenced by the hypes and shifting around from company to company. Be focused and grounded with a strategy and vision. Do your homework and pay attention.
Don’t be afraid to say what you think
If there is a problem, deal with it. If there is a person who attempts something unethical or even illegal, deal with them. We should all have responsibilities and all have accountability. We are dealing with a very important financial transaction and the details matter. All of us can effectively work together with different personalities, but we must never forget our clients come first.
Keep overhead low
Control your personal and business finances to avoid being negatively impacted during slower times or making poor career decisions. Those in financial stress are more easily influenced by sales people and recruiters selling nonsense during regulatory volatility. Don’t try to impress potential clients that in all reality will not be impressed by a fancy office and Rolex watch. People are impressed by actions, not appearances. As Dave always says, save your money!
So why does Dave make more money and have more options than most mortgage originators? Because Dave has stayed on course and has never sold out. He’s focused and he’s aggressive. He’s only influenced by the inside, not the outside. So when you’re putting together your game plan for 2014, ask “What Would Dave Do?”
Here are a few witty Dave-isms you’d hear if walking by his office:
►I refuse to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed individual.
►Why did the underwriter cross the road? To check owner occupancy.
►Don’t just do something, stand there.
►What’s the difference between a terrorist and an underwriter? You can negotiate with a terrorist.
►I re-underwrote the file and decided you don’t need that.
►We have looked everywhere for your approval, perhaps it is still in your imagination.
►Are these conditions multiple choice or do I have to get them all?
►What’s the difference between and dead dog and a dead real estate agent in the road? The dog had skid marks in front of it.
►I am madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory.
Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431, e-mail [email protected]
or visit www.vantagemortgagegroup.com.