In 2019, Roberto Espinoza had a goal to be the top producing originator at his company, Better.com. It didn’t take him long to realize that achieving this goal would also place him among the top originators across the entire country. It was a lofty goal for someone relatively new to the business, especially when competing with originators who have decades of experience in the industry. With dedication to the craft and support from the technology-forward system and processes at Better, Espinoza was able to close almost 1000 loans totaling $335 million in volume in his first year at the company.
“It wasn’t easy; it was a lot of long days and nights and making myself available all the time,” said Espinoza.
His success is a result of many things. Aside from the low interest environment, which boosted all originators last year, Better’s digital mortgage experience provided the perfect support for Espinoza to handle a large quantity of deals at once. The process is quick, adaptable and he is able to showcase offers to potential borrowers in a much simpler fashion and without a lot of the complexities in a traditional mortgage process.
“Mortgage is an old-school industry; banks have been doing things the same way for years, and I was looking for a disruptor. Better’s online platform is the most advanced in the industry and for me, it was a match made in heaven,” he said.
An emphasis on transparency helped Espinoza compete with industry veterans. Having information readily online and approachable is something that’s been well received by his clients, compared to traditional mortgage originators who can sometimes invest years into building trust with clients and referral partners. While technology has been a huge asset to Espinoza, Better being an online lender has also posed some challenges.
“People can be skeptical about online lenders,” he said. “There is already a stigma around loan officers that we shouldn’t be trusted, so it can be even more difficult online. Better is very successful, but we aren’t a household name like Quicken or Wells Fargo.”
Being available, responsive and constantly growing his expertise has helped him overcome this challenge. Whether it’s a quick text, an email or a full phone conversation, clients can guarantee they can get in touch with Espinoza whenever a concern arises. He also completely immersed himself into the process and is continuously learning as much in-depth information a possible, especially around refinancing. That way, he can answer any questions that come his way quickly, accurately and without hesitation.
“The only major disadvantage to being new to the industry is a lack of knowledge, but if you dedicate yourself to learning the ins and outs of a mortgage transaction and understand what you can offer, it levels the playing field,” said Espinoza.
One hundred percent of Espinoza’s transactions last year were refinances, allowing him to dedicate and focus his expertise. His favourite transaction is a cash-out refinance.
“It feels good to help people pay off debts, help people save money or do home projects and accomplish a lot of goals. I’ve helped people find between a couple hundred to a thousand dollars a month by consolidating debt.”
Now, Espinoza runs his own team of 10 in Better’s refinance division, so he’s switching gears to honing his skills and passing along his techniques to help boost others, which presents some new challenges, but nothing he doesn’t feel prepared for. His number one piece of advice:
“Being consistent is key in any sales role, but specifically with mortgages. People have great months and let others get away from them because they burn out. Take on a manageable amount of work and stay consistent and it will add up.”