His mother started the business in 1998, and he left a career with Intel in 2003 to join the business, buying her out in 2010.
I joined the business because I saw a chance to do something on a little grander scale. I had always wanted to be self-employed,” he said.
He was ready for a change and he liked the risk/reward equation. “I knew I could make a lot more money, or I could make a lot less money, but in any case I knew that how much I earned would be tied to my own work ethic. I knew I would be paid exactly what I was worth,” he said.
When he moved from the Arizona office to the California office in 2008, he said he made a point of networking. “I sought out people and organizations that could help me. The first thing I did when I moved to California was to join CAMP (California Association of Mortgage Professionals). Try breaking into the mortgage business in 2008, when the only people in the business were the best—everyone else had left by then.
“I networked , I met people, I took classes. I joined every real estate-related group I could. I grew my network and my support system. You have to. This is a tough business.”
Lombardi said the technical parts of the business are easy enough. “You can figure those things out. It’s the mental part that is tough, figuring out how to keep your batteries charged, just like in any sales business.”
Lombardi said he is a big fan of Brian Buffini. “It is an easy to follow system that will help you build relationships. I love that. There are many ways to approach this business, but for me it is a relationship business for sure—past clients, Realtors, other professionals.
“When you do business with lots of Realtors, when you have those relationships, then your business will be oriented toward purchases, which keeps you away from the highest highs and the lowest lows. When the rates go up a half point in 3 days, if your business is mostly refis, it can all go away just like that; it can kill your whole pipeline.
“I’ve seen companies that were 75% refis. When you are weighted that heavily, you can crash really fast,” he said.
Next week: Anthony Lombardo says the market is strong and a crash is unlikely.
If you want to succeed in the mortgage business, get involved in industry associations, meet people, take classes, said Anthony Lombardo, owner of Hi-Tech Mortgage, which has offices in California and Arizona.