Top originator: Honesty, integrity and consistency secret to success

by Ryan Smith17 Jan 2014
Shimmy Braun, Guaranteed Rate’s top producer for four years in a row, is also perennially among the top producers in Illinois and the nation. In 2012, Braun did more than $310 million in total volume and had a closing ratio of 95%. But Braun, who’s been an originator for 13 years, fell into the mortgage business after starting out on a very different path.

“My dad was a commercial mortgage lender, and I went in (to the business) I’d studied at rabbinical college, so I didn’t have any formal business training,” he says. “I joined his company in the residential area, and it fit, so that’s what I kept on doing.”

Braun says there’s no real secret to his success – just old-fashioned hard work.

“People always ask me what the secret is. I don’t have anything magical,” he said. “I’ve just always worked with honesty, integrity and consistency. I focus much more on volume than individual profit. I didn’t look to make a whole bunch on each loan. And also, I always, always asked for business. My basic sales approach has always been a warm, low-pressure approach. After being consistent with that and working hard and asking for business, I’ve seen it grow.”

And Braun expects business to continue to grow despite today’s climate of fluctuating rates.

“Seven, eight years ago, rates were at 6%,” he said.” I think as the market adjusts, it’ll shift to purchases. Every time there’s a bump up in rates, it takes people a while to become comfortable with it, but they will. I don’t see purchases slowing down. I would think that that’s going to continue to grow.

Shimmy Braun is one of MPA’s Hot 100 – the movers and shakers who are making waves in the mortgage industry. To find out who else made the list, check out the current issue of MPA Magazine.


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