Mistakes from top originators VI

by Kasi Johnston16 Jun 2020

Success usually doesn’t come without instances of failure. Top originators from across the country speak to MPA about their successes, challenges and what sets them apart from the competition. Each one has had a difficult moment that still stands out to them in present day, but without these moments, they may not have reached the same level of success.

Tammy Saul, Federal Hill Mortgage Company

My biggest regret is not getting an assistant from day one. Even if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford not to have one. If you have an assistant, then you have the room to go out there and develop real relationships. My advice is to make friends with real estate agents on both sides of every transaction, even if they are pestering you, even if they are annoying you with questions, even if they are difficult; make friends with them.

Joseph Massey, Castle & Cooke Mortgage

One of the ways that I often see new loan officers fail, is when they come into a new environment and just want to do things their own way. We all have different opinions and while differences are celebrated, new officers should be open to learning from successful people and heed advice from their management and more experienced colleagues. Once you’ve got that down, you can put your own spin on it. But starting out, just observe and imitate.

Brian Cooke, SunnyHill Financial

The biggest mistake I made in my career was spending too long at one employer. It’s easy to get comfortable. You hear it all the time: step outside your comfort zone. It’s true. Otherwise, you look back and realize you’ve been drifting for so long. Keep striving for better, more efficient, and if you find people who are willing to take a leap of faith with you, that helps too.

Matt Oliver, Lund Mortgage

Something to be wary of as an originator is letting your ego get in your way. Our clients are leaning on us to be advisors. Once I got into an argument over the phone with a client who said we promised to pay him back for his appraisal. This wasn’t a perk we were offering at that time, so I stood my ground and we both ended the conversation fuming. Reputation is everything and being stubborn is not worth risking your reputation. I should have been more understanding, and perhaps made an exception for him. If I had approached the situation differently, it may have led to 10 more clients from him. –

Lauren Maxwell, Cross Country Mortgage

Being afraid to tell the truth is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. I remember being to scared to be honest because I didn’t want feelings to be hurt. So, I ended up pushing myself to try and do something I knew wouldn’t work. In my early days, I would get caught in that pickle, and I had to learn that it’s much better to let people know what you need up front and the truth about any potential roadblocks you may run into. That way, there’s  no shock factor if it comes up.

Chris Kostoff, Mortgage Direct Corporation

I think some brokers make the mistake of wasting a lot of time on deals that are never doing to happen. Throughout my career, I’ve gotten a bit smarter when it comes to detecting what deals aren’t going to pan out and move on quickly. The borrowers that I know are dedicated to our team are the ones we devote all our time and energy too and provide great service.

Roberto Espinoza, Better.com

I’ve seen loan officers take their foot off the gas after a great month, then next thing you know, the following month is halfway done and you’re behind. Set yourself back at the start of every month, and consistently strive to hit your goals. If you reach that goal, it’s easy to get complacent or relaxed, but consistency is what builds a successful career, especially in mortgages.