Q: What are some of the unique challenges of the California market? How do you overcome them?
A: The increase in property values since the Great Recession recovery and through COVID has created negative externalities for families trying to buy homes. We stay current on federal, state, and local programs designed to help: first-time homebuyers, certain household income levels, and certain census tracks to buy a home. Knowing what programs are out here and guiding our clients to the programs that may benefit them is how we meet the unique challenges of the California real estate market.
Another challenge unique to California is the short time frame of our purchase contracts. In other parts of the country, 30-45 days to close a transaction is common. In California, especially the Bay Area, most contracts are prepared with a closing time frame [of] less than 30 days, often as short as 21 days. We have partnered with various funding sources that ensure quick and smooth closings, fully underwriting borrowers prior to identifying a property, and making sure we are available to work late nights, weekends, and holidays.
We are a creative bunch and work together, as a company, to find solutions for our mutual clients. We treat the Mortgage business as a team sport, relying on the strengths of all team members to create the best experience for our clients.
Q: Would you recommend others working with family members to start businesses?
A: Yes! Absolutely! We love sharing what we know with the next generation and seeing them use that knowledge to craft [a] practice and thrive! Mutual respect and trust are paramount to working with family. We cover for each other and are understanding when personal situations come up. We each can focus on our strengths and trust the rest of the team will carry their fair share.
Q: Is there something about the mortgage business that makes it a better environment for working with family members?
A: Our clients frequently refer their grown children to ProMortgage when they want to buy a home. In the same way, loan agents can pass on their book of business to the next generation. There is a level of consistency that gives our clients comfort when they have been ProMortgage customers, and we know them from generation to generation.