Leadership qualities are critical for success as a mortgage originator. But, to be a leader, you do not have to be a boss or always top the sales charts.
You demonstrate true leadership by how you serve your customers. If you can find a good loan for every viable prospect, then you have what it takes to be a leader. Leadership is especially crucial for placing non-QM loans.
My colleague, Matt Henson, gave me this idea in his article on page 50 in the May issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine
, “Leadership vs. Management
." He talks about how those responsible for the performance of others should guide and inspire rather than boss people around. But, what about loan officers who focus mainly on getting results for borrowers? What do we need to know about leadership?
Great leadership is less about telling people what to do than devising solutions for their concerns. Here’s how a single loan officer can master the skills of leadership every day.
►Resourcefulness: Do you solve your customers’ problems or do you move on when a potential customer does not qualify for a standard loan? You need to know more to get a non-QM loan for a family with a self-employed head of household. A resourceful originator will find that perfect loan. That is leadership.
►Enthusiasm: True leaders are enthusiastic because they believe in their customers and products. Do you service non-QM customers and pursue non-agency loans as enthusiastically as other types of business? Enthusiasm demonstrates that you are knowledgeable and prepared, the traits of a leader.
►Influence: Do people know who you are? Leaders build their reputation by getting things done that others cannot or will not do. That is how the strongest referral pipelines are built. Today, the best way to gain influence–to prove that you are a notch above–is by seeking and closing non-QM loans. If you can get results for high-quality borrowers who have been ignored by other lenders, word will spread and your business (agency and non-agency) will be bolstered by the strength of your reputation.
Leaders do not wait to see what kind of customers walk in the door. Leaders are originators who identify growth opportunities, no matter what their colleagues or competitors do. Today, the best way to grow and take on the mantle of leadership is by helping the millions of creditworthy borrowers who don’t fit into the tight underwriting standards of agency loans.
Tom Hutchens is senior vice president of sales and marketing at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, an Atlanta-based wholesale/correspondent lender licensed in more than 35 states and operating in the non-QM space for over three years. Tom has been in the real estate lending business for nearly 20 years. He may be reached by phone at (855) 539-4910 or e-mail Info@AngelOakMS.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.