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BrokerNATION: September 2019

Andy W. Harris
Oct 23, 2019
This month, I had a chance to chat with Ryan (NMLS#: 1607795) & Jessica Ehler (NMLS#: 1806543), the husband and wife duo from Price Mortgage (NMLS#: 1429043)

This month, I had a chance to chat with Ryan (NMLS#: 1607795) & Jessica Ehler (NMLS#: 1806543), the husband and wife duo from Price Mortgage (NMLS#: 1429043) in Gilbert, Ariz. Ryan graduated from Arizona State University in 2006 with a BS in criminal justice and a minor in sociology. During his time at Arizona State University, he was an All-American scholar/athlete, competing in the decathlon for their track team. In 2010, he graduated from the University of Phoenix with an MBA. Jessica graduated from Arizona State University in 2010 with a BS in exercise science and a minor in psychology.
 

Tell us a little about yourselves.
Ryan:
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and owned a business before I entered the mortgage industry. I have been applying those skills to the mortgage profession and our career is taking off. The biggest thing that separates us is the ability to record entertaining and educational videos that people actually watch.
Jessica: Knowing how well we filled each other’s gaps in our previous business, it made sense for me to come on as an assistant to help keep Ryan organized when he got busy. Once I started learning about the mortgage world, I knew I needed to have a greater role and became licensed so I wouldn’t have limitations. Big surprise … I pretty much took over the loan aspect which allows Ryan to focus more on marketing and real estate agent relationships.
 
I understand you are a mortgage broker now after previously working as a mortgage banker. What motivated you to make this change?
Ryan:
The main reason I made the change was to have complete faith that I was providing my clients with the best pricing and service. It’s easier to sleep at night when you know you can’t be beat. Being able to grow our own brand and work the way that is best for me was a close second.
Jessica: It was getting to the point that we couldn’t compete and it’s not fair to ask a borrower to take a higher rate because of their loyalty to us. I also feel like the corporate nine to five expectations were stifling Ryan’s creativity. It was like they were putting up with his “crazy” videos instead of supporting him and now those videos are what is setting us apart and growing our business.
 
What would you say so far are the biggest differences you’ve experienced coming from the retail side?
Ryan:
No fees, lower rates, no overlays, better processes, more options and better pay.
Jessica: Freedom! In every way. Instead of selling the specific products of one bank, we get to essentially have all of our lenders compete to find the best product and rate for our borrowers’ specific situation.
 
How would you compare pricing when compared to the mortgage banker world?
Ryan:
The pricing is by far better. I have not lost a deal to pricing yet.
Jessica: There is no comparison. The banks charge obscene underwriting and application fees and still can’t touch our rates.
 
What are you seeing in your local market in terms of trends, inventory and consumer/real estate agent mortgage education?
Ryan:
With the increase in prices and reduction in inventory, we do have a lot of people sitting on the fence. Some get qualified and never see it through because they wanted something at a price range that does not exist anymore. Like always, there is a large group of renters who just don’t understand the homebuying process, but we have a plan to educate our community through short video courses.
 
I know the myth of losing control as a mortgage broker is finally being exposed to the market and quite the opposite. What are your experiences on controlling the process?
Jessica:
If you have a cohesive team supporting you, the process is very easy to control. Our roles are clearly defined and when everyone does what they are supposed to, we are unstoppable. Sure, you run into lenders who seem to make the process impossible sometimes, but that’s the best part of being a broker … not only can you ask the opinion of other brokers before registering a loan somewhere, but if you have an unpleasant experience, you don’t have to work with that lender again.
 
What would you say are your best forms of marketing today to generate new business?
Ryan:
Social media … hands down–but, it must lead to in-person contact for referral partners and phone conversations for consumers.
Jessica: I agree, social media is key. Our videos have played a major part in generating business, but don’t underestimate the organic traffic you get from your sphere (friends). A nice, quality picture, heartfelt gratitude and a little bit of personality go a long way FOR FREE!

Are you an independent mortgage broker? Do you have something you’d like to share? Reach out to me at AHarris@VantageMortgageGroup.com for future article considerations.
Andy W. Harris, President of Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. in Lake Oswego, Ore.Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and past president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431, e-mail AHarris@VantageMortgageGroup.com or visit VantageMortgageGroup.com.

This article originally ran in the September 2019 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
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