Mistakes provide more than learning experiences and opportunities to reflect on things gone wrong. When used correctly, they’re also a great inspiration for originators and their teams to continually make improvements on both a personal and process level. Rather than being ashamed of mistakes, these top originators credit the mistakes for making them better, and used them as stepping stones on their way up the ladder.
“You can’t work with everybody, whether it be a partner or whether it be a client, and that was always the hardest for me. If somebody decided to take their business elsewhere, or a client decided to go with another lender, I would always beat myself up over it, just because that’s who I was. I was like, why? What could I have done differently? . . . I’ve come back to realize that you know what? I can’t work with everybody. Not everybody is a match to my personality or the way I do business and so I’ve just got to find the people that match or mirror me in their attitude and how they want to do their business and just do the best I can for them. And that was the hardest thing for me to really let go, and that’s hard because that puts a lot of anxiety and pressure on yourself early on.” —Brian Reeg, mortgage loan originator, HomeBridge Financial
“You can’t take your referral sources for granted. You’ve got to always be in touch with your referral source. You make the assumption that if you do a great job, they’re just always going to use you; that’s not the case at all. They’ll wander off if you’re not constantly, frequently making contact with [them]. . . . more than anything, I would say that just assuming that doing a great job is enough. It’s not enough. It’s very frustrating, it’s disappointing, you’re wondering why, when you did a great job, they aren’t sending more business, or the next deal. There could be varying reasons for that. Same thing with clients; you just assume doing a great job is good enough and it’s not.” —Shane Siniard, senior loan officer, SWBC Mortgage
“I always said I wanted to do a certain amount of business but I never really broke into the numbers to back into it and reverse engineer to [figure out], how do I get to those numbers? What is it going to take from me? How many realtors do I need to speak to? How many closings do I need to have? How many units?— all of these things you have to really focus your time and put it down on paper.” —Cathy Haddad, senior mortgage banker, Atlantic Home Loans
“I probably would’ve done a better job at networking . . . one of the guys I played baseball with in high school, his mom is on a transaction and I recognized the last name. She said to me, ‘why didn’t you reach out sooner?’ She’s been doing this 30 years and I’ve been doing it 20, so it’s something that I should’ve done better, really, getting with everyone you already know. You don’t need to keep meeting new people all the time . . . Go through everyone you already know and make sure they know what you do. There’s people that still don’t know what I do. Literally. I don’t do a bunch of social media and all that stuff, and that’s not for everybody, so make sure they know what you do and leverage your contacts in a good way,” —Michael Murgatory, branch manager, Guaranteed Rate
“I got lost in the hive of automation and thinking that by actually buying these automation tools, it was going to help me. Most of them didn’t really have an actual impact, so I think that was an adjustment process for me. With all these new gadgets and apps and processes, it’s easy to get lost in it.” —Andrew Quezada, co-founder, Prime Equity Mortgage
“My intentions were in the right place, but early on in my career, I would try really hard to facilitate things that were not in my control. Sometimes things as simple as, the target closing date on the contract was July 31st; our loan’s clear to close and telling the client we’re ready to close and everything’s good, but meanwhile the attorneys had to get on the same page, or maybe the seller ended up being out of town that day. So really just learning that and making sure we’re controlling what we’re doing, and when you talk about the other facets of an actual transaction, not overdoing it or micromanaging it . . . letting the client know in that example: ‘maybe your loan is clear to close, but there are a lot of other factors, so I would recommend speaking with your attorney and the title company as to when they’re going to schedule that.’ So that was a big part of it, making sure that weren’t trying to do too much.” —Michael Lipari, senior vice president, Bond Street Mortgage
“Coming from a processing background where you have to be in the file, and you're in the file, and you're the one getting it to closing, it was harder for me, I think, than most. While I think it was the best way to learn the business, it was harder for me to step away from that piece of it, so just getting more comfortable with that [sooner]. And you know, really doing the money-making activities. What makes the money is to go out and find more relationships, so the more I can be doing that and the sooner you can go do that and get out of your file and trust that your team is going to handle it so that you only have to come in at the high level at the times where the high level decisions are needed.” —Rob Wishnick, vice president of mortgage lending, Guaranteed Rate