Top Originator: Laura Witte and her future-proofed plan of attack

by Kasi Johnston12 Aug 2020

As a mortgage veteran for over 20 years, Laura Witte knows there are no guarantees; that’s why she’s spent a good portion of her recent years building a multi-channeled pipeline with different timelines.

“I never throw a lead away,” said Witte. “In order to stay alive in this business, you have to understand that everyone deserves a loan and a home.”

Witte gets a lot of calls from people who aren’t ready to qualify, but instead of sending them away, she works with them to create a plan of what needs to be done to get qualified. Sometimes it takes 6 months, other times it takes five years, but either way, they call her back when they are ready.

For anyone in sales, working to refill your pipeline at the start of a new 30-day cycle is hard, but creating a machine with different sources and different timelines, it acts as a constant lead generator for her and her team.

Witte decided to get into the industry after her experience applying for her first mortgage left her wanting more. She began working with a broker, fell in love with the job and at the same time, realized there were so many others like her that were being poorly treated throughout the mortgage process. She decided then she wanted to be a voice of reason in the industry as well as be fair when it came to pricing, leading her to eventually open the doors to Truth and Lending Mortgage at Northpointe Bank.

Her goal has always been to be the voice of honesty and ensure borrowers know what’s happening with their loan all the way through. Her client-driven attitude has since led to extreme success. Over the years, she’s received a number of accolades including #1 ranking loan officer in Georgia, Truth and Lending Mortgage has been named a top 20 loan company in Georgia multiple times, and Witte ranked among the top 200 originators nationally from 2009 to 2013. In 2019, she closed more than $91 million, up from $67 million the year before. This year, her plan is to close over $100 million.

“I always aim to have a better year than my last. I don’t really pay attention to what other people do, but I am very competitive with myself,” she said.

A lot of the future growth Witte is planning will revolve around increased automation and finding new efficiencies but keeping the foundation of her business the same.

“My business was built on being the person that helped save deals when they were about to fall apart, and that’s what I’m known for up to this day,” she said. “With the support we get from Northpointe Banks, my team works really well to break down complicated files to present to the underwriter in a logical, sensible manner.”

As for marketing, the most successful thing Witte has done for her business is simply being active in her community through sponsoring festivals, becoming a part of the PTA, and just keeping a pulse on what’s happening locally. Participating in local events and giveaways is a common occurrence for Truth and Lending Mortgage. When the pandemic first hit, they did a huge coronavirus safety drive throughout the nearby neighborhoods, distributing hand sanitizers and masks to community members, local restaurants, first responders and frontline workers. They also purchased gift certificates from local restaurants, to support them during the pandemic, and used them as prizes in some recent giveaways.

Witte also feels it’s important to be an active member of industry associations, aligning herself with the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women.

“As a top producer, you can’t rest,” she said. “Remember where you came from, work to build a better industry, and maintain your relationships.”