Jay Rapson here. I’m coming up on six months as a Mortgage Loan Originator with Aaron Lending and thought it might be a good time to offer a few observations of my first six months.
One of the questions I get most often is “how do you like it?”
Well, I like it. Overall the change has been positive. The work is engaging, I enjoy learning and working with people has been rewarding.
But it’s also been a little slow. When I worked in Product Development I had a staff, a budget, and defined deliverables. There was always work to be done and much of my role was to figure out how to do that work efficiently and effectively. There wasn’t a lot of concern about where the work would come from or whether it would dry up, there was always something that had to be done.
As a Mortgage Loan Originator business isn’t just walking through the door every day. You have to go out and get business. You have to meet people, network, get out there and find the need then work to provide the solution.
This has been the biggest change for me. Having to find business, having to identify people who have a need and to engage with them to find a loan that works for them. This type of sales activity is new to me. But while it has been challenging it’s also been engaging and rewarding.
One way to meet new people and make connections is to attend networking events and “meet-up’s”. In my experience, these types of events have been hit or miss. They do offer a great opportunity to meet people but some of them are so structured or rigid as to be of little value.
Many of these networking groups have similar structures, there is one “representative” for each profession. For example, there’s one Real Estate agent, one Title person, one Lender, etc… Often the groups require referrals to be passed to members of the group. In fact, these groups often track how many meetings, touch bases, and referrals are passed along to members and who is doing the referring. In this manner there is a lot of accountability and individuals in these groups can have a lot of success. But if you aren’t having a lot of success with your referral partners in the group it can be disastrous.
I’ve attended a number of these types of networking events only to be told “we already have a lender. You can stay for the meeting but you can’t talk or pass out business cards”.
That is always awkward.
As an observer these networking events are interesting. There is generally an introduction, the 30-60 second “commercial”, followed by a presentation or sharing session then open networking among members.
It’s not unusual for the Loan Officer in the group to stand up and recite statements like “what I’m looking for is (insert groups like 1st time home buyers or Veterans, etc… here)” or “we’ve got an amazing new program for (insert groups like 1st time home buyers or Veterans, etc… here)”.
It’s interesting to me that a Loan Officer would be looking for a specific type of buyer for a specific type of loan program. As a lender, we can handle all types of buyers and we have access to all the same programs and products. For me, Mortgage Loan Origination is more about the individuals and their needs than the lenders’ specific products, programs or services.
As a Mortgage Loan Originator, I find myself spending a little more time driving around town to different appointments. I’m having coffee or lunch with Real Estate Agents, people in my network and potential borrowers.
While driving around I tend to listen to a lot of sports radio. I’m not a huge sports fan but listening to sports radio allows me to stay up to date with what’s going on in the local sports scene. That, in turn, allows me to participate in conversations and engage with people about sports. Conversations I might otherwise have been left out of.
One thing I’ve noticed is the abundance of Mortgage Loan commercials playing on sports radio. The same commercials from the same lenders play several times an hour several times a day.
In one of my favorite Mortgage Loan commercials, the announcer makes a number of dubious claims including:
“Interest rates have gone up recently and will continue to rise”
First, this same commercial has been running for several months so I don’t know what they mean by “recently”. Secondly, mortgage rates have been relatively stable during that period and I am unaware of anyone who can accurately predict the market well enough to say it will “continue to rise”. This statement is clearly designed to create a sense of urgency.
The announcer in the commercial then claims there are “no closing costs, nothing rolled into your loan, we’ll pay for your appraisal, title, underwriting, and settlement fee. You won’t spend a dime.”
You won’t spend a dime? They’ll pay for everything?
How are they making money then?
You should ask them that question. What are they running a not for profit?
They’re making money somewhere and if it’s not clear to you how or where it’s probably because they don’t want you to know how much you’re paying. If you’re going with an organization like this one make sure to review the Loan Estimate carefully and compare both the fees and the rate (interest rate & APR) with a different lender. You’re better off getting several quotes and comparing them.
As I said previously we have access to all the same programs and products. But we’re not trying to build a false sense of urgency or trying to make it seem like the loan is free. We’ll walk through all the options to find the one that is right for you.
The announcer wraps it up by stating “The only way to lose money is not to call”.
I doubt that very much.
Radio and television commercials like these leave me wondering about their return on investment.
Why so much advertising on radio?
How much do these commercials cost?
Do these radio spots actually work?
These commercials must work otherwise they wouldn’t run them right?
Think about that before you make the call. Here’s an organization claiming you won’t pay a dime but they are somehow making enough money to justify a tremendous advertising assault. Do you want to help underwrite their advertising campaign?
For more information contact Aaron Walker or Jay Rapson at Aaron Lending, LLC.