This month, I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Andrews (NMLS#: 102708), owner of Next Home Loans LLC
(NMLS#: 1854986) in Charlotte, N.C.
Established in 2019, Next Home Loans (nexthomeloans.net) is an independent mortgage firm that offers services to consumers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
“I have always had a passion to educate the consumer on their mortgage options while taking an in depth look at their overall financial goals,” said Andrews. “I’ve spent countless hours educating the consumer on a variety of topics and I am always surprised with how much confusion and fear still exists towards our industry. As a homeowner is considering purchasing a home or refinancing they are bombarded with a sea of terms, misinformation, and countless mortgage products that they may or may not qualify for. Next Home Loans is going to make a difference through education. We are here to throw them a life vest in a sea of misinformation and do all we can to change the perception of mortgage lending.”
Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
Jason Andrews: I am originally from a small town in Illinois called New Berlin. Fun fact … my high school mascot was “The Pretzels” and as unique as that might sound, is one of two schools in Illinois with the same mascot. I moved to Atlanta in 2004 and then to Charlotte in 2006. I started my mortgage career shortly after moving to Charlotte. I am single, have no pets and no plants. I can’t use “time” as an excuse to not get things done.
I understand you are a broker now after previously working as a banker. What motivated you to make this change?
Jason Andrews: MONEY! Nah … just kidding. Financial freedom was one reason, but ultimately, it was the idea of being my own boss that appealed to me. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit with endless ideas of how to make things better while working at different mortgage companies that always fell on deaf ears. Now I get to make changes and implement tech, procedures and best practices as I see fit.
What would you say so far are the biggest differences you’ve experienced coming from the retail side?
Jason Andrews: I was surprised with how much more quickly I could actually close a loan for my clients and real estate agent partners. The ability to do this has opened up many doors for us and has given us the ability to grow in a market saturated by mortgage companies that pay-to-play. In addition, we are also able to close more loans with more favorable terms for our clients because our rates/pricing are so much better than typical retail lenders. The differences don’t stop here, but the list would be too long if I continued.
How would you compare pricing when compared to the mortgage banker world?
Jason Andrews: I use this analogy quite a bit …
A consumer walks upon two car dealerships selling the same vehicle. Dealer A, the one with all the commercials, gigantic staff and highly paid CEO, says they’ll sell you the car for $30,000 and free tire changes for life! The consumer thinks this is great, but just for comparison sake, they walk to Dealer B. Dealer B says they can sell the same exact car for $25,000 and reminds them that the manufacturer of the vehicle offers free tire changes for life. The consumer is inquires with Dealer B how they can offer the car so much cheaper. Dealer B Responds, “Someone has to pay for the CEO, staff and advertising.”
What are you seeing in your local market on trends, inventory, and consumer/real estate agent mortgage education?
Jason Andrews: The barrier to entry is tough in my home area of Charlotte, N.C., as gentrification is really taking over the city and with new surrounding neighborhoods sometimes starting at and over county limits for FHA. Low income housing is fairly non-existent, apartment buildings are popping up everywhere as city growth keeps up demand, housing prices continue to increase as inventory remains in high demand, especially in the $250,000 range.
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?
Jason Andrews: In 13 years as a loan originator, I have NEVER had the amount of control over a loan file that I do now. I have NEVER closed loans as quickly as I have since I became a mortgage broker. This myth should die as quick and painful death because it is just blatantly FALSE and just one more failed attempt by the banking and retail channels to discredit us.
What would you say are your best forms of marketing today to generate new business?
Jason Andrews: Consumer first! I love my real estate agent partners, but I do not count on them or rely on them for my current or future business models. I want to make the bread, not wait at the bread line. Relying on real estate agents for your business is very much like relying on someone else for your meal. Instead, find the consumer and educate them, pre-approve them, introduce them to the agent you think they would work the best with. You create value to the consumer and your referral partner and you no longer rely on others to prop up your business. Marketing to the consumer can take all sorts of forms, from creating online educational content, to just interacting with people on the street. There is no shortage of people who are looking for a connection to a service they desperately need.
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 [email protected] or visit VantageMortgageGroup.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.