Top Originator: Rey Reyes is doubling down

by Kasi Johnston02 Sep 2020

In his first six months as a loan originator, Rey Reyes says he didn’t close a single loan, scraping by to make ends meet. Every process was manual, people in the industry weren’t as friendly or collaborative, and there was no social media advertising to help build trust within your community. It’s these early struggles that push Reyes to appreciate every success, work diligently with each client, and return every single phone call.

“Those struggles really paved the way for me to become the loan originator I am now. I carry myself differently, do everything it takes to help my clients get what they need, and don’t take the good times for granted,” said Reyes, director of sales at Sharp Loan. “If I had it easier when I started, I don’t know my level appreciation would be the same.”

In 2019, Reyes closed over $196 million, up from just over $99 million the year before. This year, he says he’s on track to double up again. In a thriving California market, he says there’s more business coming through every day, but on the flipside, it’s a lot more work.

“Borrowers are changing, guidelines are changing, lenders have overlays and self-employed borrowers have to provide additional documentation,” he said. “Many people’s incomes were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which creates setbacks and complications with applications.”

Before the pandemic, Reyes says there were some applications that were very straightforward, but now, each one requires special attention. Reyes recently hired more staff to help scale the business to accommodate incoming volume and spends extra time on the front end to ensure once loans are submitted to a lender, they are going to close.

The number one focus for Reyes and his team is the deliver top notch service so no client feels neglected or ignored; spending time to answer first-time homebuyers’ questions, and thoroughly explaining the process. They are also incorporating new technology, building systems toward an entirely paperless process, while also working on building and maintaining personal relationships with borrowers, as well as their families and friends. Reyes is also using technology to build new communication channels and educate borrowers by creating online videos that explain frequently asked questions, so borrowers can access information on their own time and submit any follow up questions.

“I’m always thinking of ways I can improve my services; how I can improve the company, but also improve myself. In this business, you learn as you go, and our goal is to be the top brokerage in California,” he said. 

The key to achieving that goal, according to Reyes, is to continue building his business so it’s market-proof. The ups and downs of the market don’t matter if you continue to deliver on service and prospect even when times are good.

Throughout his fifteen years in the industry and five years originating, Reyes says the biggest lesson he’s learned is to not let other people’s emotions affect your own.

“Being a loan officer isn’t labor intensive, but it is a very emotional job,” he said. “We deal with a lot of emotions from realtors, borrowers, lenders, and our team members and we speak to so many people daily that you can’t get stressed, angry or frustrated about something out of your control.”

He says the more business you get, the more people you will interact with, and you can’t let certain aspects of the business affect your mood.

His advice to new originators: talk to everyone you know and offer your service, always act in the clients best interest even when it goes against your own, and prospect every day, even if you already have 10 or 20 deals in the pipeline.

“Don’t think about the money. It’s about providing good experiences for others, and that will help you in building your own future wealth.”

In his first six months as a loan originator, Rey Reyes says he didn’t close a single loan, scraping by to make ends meet. Every process was manual, people in the industry weren’t as friendly or collaborative, and there was no social media advertising to help build trust within your community. It’s these early struggles that push Reyes to appreciate every success, work diligently with each client, and return every single phone call.

“Those struggles really paved the way for me to become the loan originator I am now. I carry myself differently, do everything it takes to help my clients get what they need, and don’t take the good times for granted,” said Reyes, director of sales at Sharp Loan. “If I had it easier when I started, I don’t know my level appreciation would be the same.”

In 2019, Reyes closed over $196 million, up from just over $99 million the year before. This year, he says he’s on track to double up again. In a thriving California market, he says there’s more business coming through every day, but on the flipside, it’s a lot more work.

“Borrowers are changing, guidelines are changing, lenders have overlays and self-employed borrowers have to provide additional documentation,” he said. “Many people’s incomes were affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which creates setbacks and complications with applications.”

Before the pandemic, Reyes says there were some applications that were very straightforward, but now, each one requires special attention. Reyes recently hired more staff to help scale the business to accommodate incoming volume and spends extra time on the front end to ensure once loans are submitted to a lender, they are going to close.

The number one focus for Reyes and his team is the deliver top notch service so no client feels neglected or ignored; spending time to answer first-time homebuyers’ questions, and thoroughly explaining the process. They are also incorporating new technology, building systems toward an entirely paperless process, while also working on building and maintaining personal relationships with borrowers, as well as their families and friends. Reyes is also using technology to build new communication channels and educate borrowers by creating online videos that explain frequently asked questions, so borrowers can access information on their own time and submit any follow up questions.

“I’m always thinking of ways I can improve my services; how I can improve the company, but also improve myself. In this business, you learn as you go, and our goal is to be the top brokerage in California,” he said. 

The key to achieving that goal, according to Reyes, is to continue building his business so it’s market-proof. The ups and downs of the market don’t matter if you continue to deliver on service and prospect even when times are good.

Throughout his fifteen years in the industry and five years originating, Reyes says the biggest lesson he’s learned is to not let other people’s emotions affect your own.

“Being a loan officer isn’t labor intensive, but it is a very emotional job,” he said. “We deal with a lot of emotions from realtors, borrowers, lenders, and our team members and we speak to so many people daily that you can’t get stressed, angry or frustrated about something out of your control.”

He says the more business you get, the more people you will interact with, and you can’t let certain aspects of the business affect your mood.

His advice to new originators: talk to everyone you know and offer your service, always act in the clients best interest even when it goes against your own, and prospect every day, even if you already have 10 or 20 deals in the pipeline.

“Don’t think about the money. It’s about providing good experiences for others, and that will help you in building your own future wealth.”