How does one billion-dollar originator do it?

by Power Originator30 Jan 2018

Branch manager and loan originator in Lake Mary, Florida, Matt Andre is a top-producing loan officer with FBC Mortgage. With over a decade of experience under his belt, Andre achieved $1 billion in career loan volume last year, and below he shares with us the tactics that have got him to where he is today.

Power Originator: How did you get started in the mortgage business?
Matt Andre: I got in the business in June 2004. While studying finance at Florida State University, I came across an ad for a mortgage broker position in Winter Park, FL. I interviewed with the branch manager, he encouraged me to get my license while still in school, which I did, and I started the Monday morning after my last final exam on a Friday afternoon.

PO: What marketing strategies have you found success with?
MA: I send a monthly recipe card out to all of my past customers. It’s a great way to stay in front of them on a regular basis and I know that a lot of them put it right on their refrigerators upon receipt, so they see my face several times a day. If I ever turn it off for a month, my phone blows up with folks hoping they were not accidentally removed from my database (which tells me it works). As far as new client acquisition goes, I’ve put a lot of time lately into homebuyer seminars and “lunch & learn” seminars for new homebuilder sales reps and real estate agents. Our business has changed quite a bit over the past couple years and making sure our customers and referral partners (our true “clients” in my eyes) are up-to-date on these changes is key.

PO: How do you use technology to help you focus on selling?
MA: Our company has developed an incredible resource for customers called Simple Loan. Simple Loan allows new applicants to fill out an application from any smart device, import their pay stubs, W2s, and bank statements and, after pulling the borrower’s credit, the application is sent for pre-approval through one of our underwriting engines. A pre-approval letter can be generated in about eight minutes. After receiving their pre-approval letter, it can be forwarded to the borrower’s real estate agent or new homebuilder sales rep. We have setup kiosks in many model homes for our builder-partners where applicants can get pre-approved, then sign a purchase contract on site.

PO: What has been the key to your success in recent years?
MA: I’ve built an incredible team over the past several years. Having multiple team members to assist me results in 7-day availability, extremely fast answers & approvals, and excellent, steady communication throughout the process to both the customer and our referral partner. Another key to my success is simply experience. In 2017, I reached one billion dollars in career loan volume. Having my hands on that many different loans means that I’ve seen nearly every scenario there is. My referral partners know that we know how to structure loans better than anyone else out there and, if we say it can’t be done, it can’t be done anywhere.

PO: What advice would you give mortgage brokers today to grow their business?
MA: Communicate, communicate, communicate! I heard one of my mentors the other day tell someone: “We’re not in the mortgage business; we’re in the communication business.” Realtors and builders just want to be kept in the loop. It’s really very simple. Be available, get back to them quickly, and constantly keep them updated throughout the process. There are so many people in our business that do a poor job at this, that it’s expected. If you do it right, you’ll pleasantly surprise people out there and they’ll continue to send you business.