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Passion Changes Everything
The Hispanic market is explosive. Growth continues at a record pace year over year. For those of us in the mortgage industry, looking at trends, homeownership rates, and purchasing power is part of the forecasting one must do to stay relevant and on top of business needs.
Why does this matter? If you want to survive and remain relevant, look at the numbers. The numbers speak for themselves.
Hispanics make up the second-largest population in the United States at 18.5%, or more than 60.6 million people, according to the Census Bureau in 2019. Hispanics are the second-largest racial group, behind white non-Hispanics. More importantly, the Urban Institute recently published an article citing that, from 2020 to 2040, “of the 6.9 million new homeowner households, 70 percent will be Hispanic, 38 percent will be Asian or another race or ethnicity, and 17 percent will be Black. White households will experience a 24 percent decline.” (Goodman and Zhu, n.d., 39)
Why does Hispanic homeownership matter? Because homeownership is the single most powerful strategy for closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, according to the “2020 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report” produced by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). For most Hispanics, owning a home is the American Dream. As mortgage professionals, we must look to provide excellence to our growing landscape.
The purchasing power of Hispanics in the U.S. is expected to be $1.9 trillion by 2023. In general, Hispanics are highly social and share their likes and dislikes with their friends, family, and community. The recommendations of family, friends, and their virtual or social networks play a significant role when deciding whom to use for services. This is important because word-of-mouth recommendations are vital to increasing your production within the Hispanic community.
One superstar in the mortgage industry is Lizy Hoeffer. She is the number one female and Hispanic loan officer, per Scotsman Guide 2018, 2019, and NAHREP Top 250 Latino Mortgage Loan Originators 2018-2020. She understands the value of determination and educating her clients on becoming homeowners. Hoeffer closed over 1,200 loans in 2020; 100 per month was an average. Those are enormous numbers when the average loan officer closes from 25 to 50 loans per year.
Hoeffer’s mantra is "passion changes everything." She describes this as her superpower, explaining why working with her clients fuels her passion. "Because the thing is that passion is so important to get you to do the things that you're supposed to do. It gets you over those humps of, ‘this is really hard,’ or, you know, ‘I don't think I can right do it right.’"
She was born and raised in Nogales, Ariz. She has family ties in Mexico, and Spanish is her first language. Hoeffer was a receptionist at a mortgage company when she started her career in mortgage lending. She recalls the loan officers in her office calling on leads, and she would listen to them and learn. One day, a loan officer brought her a stack of leads and asked her to shred them. Hoeffer asked, "What if I don't shred them, but call them? You don't have to pay me for calling them, but if I book an appointment, you pay me $50 for the appointment." Her employer did not know that Hoeffer was a natural-born salesperson because her father was a salesman who taught her everything. She had been selling since she was a kid. She doubled her income shortly afterwards.
While in college, she was cold calling, and worked her way up to processing, and then to a loan officer in 2008. She now works for CrossCountry Mortgage, an independent mortgage banking company, and has over 18 years in the mortgage industry.
Picking The Right Market
A sizable part of her success is working with Hispanic borrowers. She wants to eliminate the homeownership gaps. She prides herself on giving back to the community and assisting Hispanics in building generational wealth by using her services, educational classes, and the tools she provides to all her clients.
“One thing that I love about helping Hispanic borrowers is that I think there's something beautiful about immigrant culture,” she said. “Everything the first generation does is to make sure that the second generation is successful. Everything the second generation does is to help the first generation and help the third generation. … One of the things that I think is so beautiful, is this focus on getting the second generation to be a homeowner.”
Speaking Spanish also has been a tangible skill that has helped her grow her business and assist more clients and families. Speaking to her clients in Spanish removes barriers and strengthens relationships.
Hoeffer does run a successful business. She is numbers driven and ensures she is on target month over month to meet her goals. "I look at actions, leads, contacts, and conversions. And for me, it's very metric-driven, as well as it is relationship-driven. But in order to keep up production, you just have to keep your eye on the ball." She uses various tools and programs to keep her productivity at a maximum.
Hoeffer always looks for ways to bring value to her clients, her centers of influence, and her community. She takes care of her clients and always does the right thing. She provides money tips, budgeting apps, and is constantly working innovatively.
Working in the Hispanic market is important to her. “If you're not going to go back and help your people, who is going to help your people?” she asked. “I think that it takes people who are courageous enough to voice that things are different and the importance of saying, ‘you know what, we've got to do the right thing, and we have to be the example. We have to set a precedent and educate.’ And I don't find enough people that understand the mission, because it's our job to educate Hispanic people on the importance of homeownership and what it does to wealth, what it does to education, what it does to safety, what it does to generational wealth.” Moreover, Hoeffer stresses it is vital to know your “why.” Why are you a loan officer? Why are you in the business? If you do not know your why, you will not know where you are going.
Hoeffer is about her family, building generational wealth, and leaving a legacy behind. She wants to make a difference in her Hispanic community and with all her clients.
“We continue to find success because we are committed to the premise that passion changes everything,” she said.
Passion changes everything. If you want to grow your business, in 2021 and beyond, you will need to expand your business book to incorporate Hispanic purchasing power. The numbers speak for themselves.