How wife and mentor set this top originator up for success

"Today, I originate both forward and reverse, thanks to his coaching"

How wife and mentor set this top originator up for success

Michael Gonzales (pictured) has always enjoyed finances and numbers. But he also has a knack for being a people person. In 2003, it all came together when he decided to join a friend working for a mortgage broker. Without a job offer, he quit his job and applied.

“There were two openings (they only had two open offices) and only three applicants, so I liked my chances,” Gonzales, who is a 2016 MPA Young Guns awardee, recalled. “After my interview and following up, I learned they picked the two other applicants. I was devastated, so I called and asked if I could work in the hallway and told them I would bring in my own computer (which I didn’t have). Since the job was 100% commission, I figured they had nothing to lose. They accepted my offer. My mom actually bought me the computer as a graduation gift. I ended up becoming one of their top producers and broke the rookie production record.”

From there, Gonzales held roles at MTG Family Mortgage, where he led operations as a branch manager for nearly 12 years. Today, Gonzales is a traditional and reverse mortgage loan officer at Open Mortgage. One of his role models in the industry, Larry McAnarney, taught him the ins and outs of reverse mortgage lending, Gonzales told MPA.

“He encouraged me to start my branch in 2004 and helped me get it up and running. For years, I would talk to him on a daily basis, and he was my go-to with questions and concerns,” he said. “I originate both forward and reverse, thanks to his coaching.”

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Another piece of advice Gonzales received from his mentor that stuck with him and significantly impacted his career trajectory was focusing on the things that he can control. “In this business, we have so many things that change (rates, guidelines, issues with the property, etc.). I used to worry about those things, but it was wasted energy.”

For the things that he can control, Gonzales has learned to be proactive in customer service and delegate the right tasks to the right people. His wife, who joined their team four years ago, heads their marketing and employee retention, which he claims is now way better than when he used to do it himself.

“Our team is constantly working on email campaigns, social media, and networking every day,” he said. “I’m fortunate that I have Tammy (my wife) to make sure this is done. When I used to do the marketing, I would get busy with loans and stop marketing, then we would run low on business, and I would have to concentrate on marketing again. This was a rollercoaster way to do business. As soon as I figured out the importance of being consistent and always investing in marketing, production not only grew, but we have eliminated most of the rollercoaster issues.”

The marketing pivot worked out incredibly well for Gonzales and his team. He shared that they recently moved into a newly remodeled office that he and his wife own. He’s also optimistic about topping their 2020 branch volume this year and looking forward to the challenge of doing more loans in 2022.

“That really excites me as it will be a challenge as refinances slow, but I don’t like to lose to my prior year, so we have been doing a lot of planning for 2022,” he said. “I’m also excited for our team and feel like we are at our best right now. Everyone is an expert in their respective area. We work well together and are highly motivated and engaged.

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“I’ve been saying this for years, but the three best days in a person’s life are the day they buy their first home, the day they get married, and the day they have a child, and I get to be a part of one of these days. People pick us and trust us with that day, so I take that very seriously. This energizes me every day to do my very best to ensure it’s a great day,” Gonzales concluded.