That warm and fuzzy feeling of support

by Donald Horne05 Jun 2015

Sandi Branson has been serving the Asheboro, N.C. area for 17 years as a senior loan officer and branch liaison for Integrity Mortgage Group – and for many, a reassuring voice of support for countless branches and loan officers. “When we have a new branch come on board, what I like to do is make sure they have that warm and fuzzy feeling,” says Branson. “They are welcome here, and we are ready to provide support. Real genuine hands-on support. You won’t find a support voicemail box or ticket system at IMG.”

That warm and fuzzy feeling includes software and system training, working with underwriters, closing and the funding department.

Now in her 17th year in the Asheboro, N.C. area, Branson wears many hats, as loan officer, branch liaison, support, administrative assistant, “and there are a few other hats I could give you, but that will work for the moment”.

For Branson, when she is hiring support staff, “problem solver” has to be on the resume.

“I’m looking for a person who is well-rounded in the mortgage industry and gives it their all,” she says. “When a branch calls for information or support, our staff has the confidence and experience to handle it. Our new hires must possess a strong foundation and can do attitude.”

Utilizing the support that’s available is just as crucial as the experience that our staff brings, says Branson, and there should never be any reluctance for a branch or loan officer to pick up the phone and ask for advice during the process.

“At any point if there is a concern regarding a loan or process, whether it’s RESPA, compliance, or disclosures – any time they need advice or direction we’re available, because many of these loans are time sensitive,” she says. Like any company, computer support and training are usually at the top of the list.

“There are thousands of things in software that require training and support,” Branson says. “With new technology always being produced, and software constantly being updated and upgraded, a support team that stays on top of it is vital to success.”

Although the technology does pose challenges when it goes wrong, it can usually be traced back to a familiar source – a lack of training.

“That is what makes the newcomers training so important, says Branson, we want the transition to go as smoothly as possible.”

And it is an approach that is greatly appreciated by the network.

“I get a lot of emails from the branches telling me what great support they have received,” Branson says. “They talk about how welcomed they feel. When a branch sends an email saying, “You all were johnny-on-the-spot and helped us to work right through it! We can now move forward. Thank you!” it makes me smile.