Being a top originator is not a 9 to 5 job. That’s the first thing Jennifer Tsang wants you to know about being a mortgage professional. Tsang has been in the business for just over five years and in 2019, she closed more than 800 loans totaling over $281 million in volume. Achieving this level of success meant a lot of early mornings and late nights, and a disciplined routine every single day.
“It’s very important for me to start my day right. I get up early, have a coffee and get to the office at least half an hour early to go through high priority emails before the day begins,” said Tsang, senior loan consultant at Better.com. “I also make myself available to borrowers at any time during the day and night, and also on weekends.”
Pre-sale and post-sale communication are just as important to Tsang as closing the loan. It’s about more than just locking in the rate and passing it along to the processers; she keeps track of the deal through every step and ensures the borrower feels comfortable reaching out at any time. There’s also a lot of nurturing that’s involved with borrowers going through the process. Tsang always tries to approach each client with patience and empathy.
“I really take the time to explain every detail of the mortgage or refinance process. The loan estimate is an important document that traditional lenders sometimes skip past quickly, but it contains a lot of important information on cost to the borrower. Because we don’t work on commission at Better, we can take the time to make each client comfortable every step of the way,” she said.
There’s no secret sauce, she explained; it’s just due diligence and looking out for the borrower’s best interest.
“You don’t always win every borrower, but as long as you do your best, they will always think of you positively, and perhaps come back to you next time.”
Tsang started her career in mortgage at Bank of America, but the traditional process left a lot to be desired. She knew there had to be a better way. With a plan already in motion to move to the Bay Area, and Better.com expanding in Oakland, it really seemed like a bit of fate played a role in her move to the online mortgage company. The technology and culture really drew Tsang to Better.com
“Working at a startup, you really make a difference to the company as a whole. I wanted to bring my traditional lending experience to a modern fintech company, and I truly felt like I had an opportunity to make an impact.”
It wasn’t easy getting used to a new way of doing things on top of moving to a new city, away from friends and family, but Tsang faced the challenge head on. The volume of leads coming in was often more than double what she would get at Bank of America, but her dedication and time management really paid off. In her first full year at Better, she landed the title of the #2 female originator in the country.
This year, she is tackling a new challenge: training her own refinance team. Tsang says she now spends half her time training a team of new loan originators, and the other half working on her own pipeline.
“When I’m training, I am totally focused on that. When I’m done, I check my emails and don’t leave work until that inbox is down to zero; then I sign off and start everything over again the next day.”