Mistakes from top originators III

by Kimberly Greene15 May 2019

Trying to avoid making mistakes in business is entirely the wrong approach. Whether they’re large or small, everyone’s going to mistakes. Here, some of the top producers in the country reveal what they’ve learned after making mistakes—and what they did differently going forward.

On business practices
“Probably the number one setback that I’ve experienced is not executing ideas that I’ve had. A lot of the things that, as an originator, you know what you need to do but for one reason or another, you let those setbacks discourage you from moving forward. . . . Along my career I’ve failed to execute so many times that it was frustrating when I eventually go to do a certain task three years later, and I had the idea three years prior to that. Or you’re seeing somebody else succeed on something that you knew you should’ve been doing all along.” —Shelby Elias, founder, United Wholesale Lending

“The lack of follow up. Earlier in my career, I remember examples where I went out to meet an owner of a real estate company and it was a great meeting and didn’t do the follow up because I got buried in business. So now, my focus in the grind every day is prospecting.” —Joe Parisi, VP of Mortgage Lending, Guaranteed Rate

On working with clients
“I never say no to anything, and that’s something I learned when I first started, you never say no to any loan because you never know what that could bring for you.” — Edwin Davidian, senior mortgage advisor, HouseAmerica Financial

“The biggest mistake I made in the first half of my career was trying to make the process too easy for my clients; trying to set it up out of the gate and say, ‘This is going to be really easy! It’s not going to be a problem!’ because I didn’t want to scare away the client. I wanted to make sure I was maintaining their business and that it was competitive, and then I would be scrambling behind the scenes to make sure that if anything came up, the client didn’t feel that pain point and it was really me bearing the brunt of it. And that’s a mistake.” —Sam Sharpe, EVP, national sales, Guaranteed Rate

On building a team
“I started to see more and more mistakes because I was moving too quickly and not really having the time to focus and ask the questions. That’s that AHA moment: ‘Goodness, this would not have happened had you had more support.’ It’s been time; make the move. You can’t let it continue on down that path.” —Ashley McKenzie Sharpe, senior mortgage planner, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

“The number one thing that sticks out for me is being so focused on one product, and for me it was that jumbo product. In our business all the successful originators tend to be product gurus and they do lending from A-Z and they’re not just a one-trick pony. I think trying to be Mr. Jumbo Mortgage Originator was probably the one thing in hindsight that I probably shouldn’t have placed too much emphasis and focus on.” —Ricardo Brasil, sales manager/senior loan officer, Guaranteed Rate

“I always say, a bad hire is worse than no hire. So I’ve been through a point where I would hire someone and they would actually impact my business so badly that I had to take a step back and start really focusing my time on making sure that I take the steps to hire the right people that are going to be an extension of who I am and what my beliefs are and my work ethic and my passion for this type of work.” —Cathy Haddad, sales manager/senior mortgage banker, Atlantic Home Loans

“I’ve been fortunate for the most part have really good people and even really outstanding people that have gone on to do their own career in the business, but I think there’s times where, even people on my team today that I’m like, they’re are awesome in so many ways, but there’s some challenges and you’re going, ‘I want to change it but if I could do it all over again and start fresh, there are probably some things that I’d do differently right from the start. I think it’s really having a clear vision of who you want on your team, what they’re going to do, have it very well laid out with the expectations, and then hire that person and if you have to go through interviewing 100 people to get that person, it’s worth it.” —Brandon Knapp, branch manager, RPM

On resilience
“I’ve stood up in front of people and completely embarrassed myself. You tend to retreat in those moments, and I vividly remember the first time I did it, I retreated for a long time because it was like, I put myself out there . . . and it was a bomb. It was awful. I retreated and I didn’t try that again for another year. I wish somebody would tell me that it’s really just like a bicycle; if you don’t get right back up again, it’s so much harder the second time.”—Nicole Rueth, producing branch manager, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation