Originator shares how he turned his business around and built a career he's proud of
While others with dollar-sign eyes may see it as an opportunity, Rick Dail (pictured) despises it when clients allow themselves to be treated like commodities. Dail, a mortgage advisor at Angel Oak Home Loans, knows they are much more than a closed deal.
“The mortgage itself is the commodity, not the client or the relationship,” he said. “However, when they make decisions without understanding the full picture, they are treating themselves as a commodity. That being said – every client needs to make decisions based on what they value, not me.”
Dail enjoyed a successful career as an international business salesman, but after years of travel and establishing solid relationships in many different parts of the world, he began to crave opportunities outside of his community bubble.
“I began to wonder what it would be like if I were establishing these kinds of relationships in my local community. How much more invested and engaged could I be? Then the ‘07/’08 crash hit, and that industry tanked, so I was forced to make a change,” Dail shared. “I did not seek out the mortgage industry – I basically started trying to identify what I wanted to do or achieve, which led to networking, critically thinking through options, and ultimately choosing mortgage.”
His journey to becoming a mortgage professional started when he joined Primary Residential Mortgage in 2010. After three years, Dail made the switch to On Q Financial, serving as a mortgage consultant, before returning to Primary Residential in 2015 as a senior loan officer. By the time he joined Angel Oak, Dail had built a strong bond with his clients and the people he worked with – other loan officers and referral partners.
Sustaining referral relationships for Dail is super simple: you strengthen it like any relationship you want to maintain. “Building up others has definitely been the highlight of my career – making connections and creating lasting relationships.” However, Dail admits that it hasn’t always been this way.
Dail described his first two years in the business as a “reading-all-the-how-to-manuals” stage where they teach you to boil it down to either the dollars, or calls, or leads. That didn’t sit well with Dail. It felt too empty. But when he started focusing on people, things turned around, and mortgage became a career he could be proud of.
As for marketing, Dail feels that it is the easy part of his job and is already integrated into his lifestyle. Sure there are specific marketing strategies and dynamics, he said, but, if you offer value to those in your sphere, marketing takes care of itself at the end of the day.
Dail never takes his clients for granted. He values them, and he wants them to know their worth too. For his fellow originators who haven’t learned this crucial lesson yet or are still starting in the business, Dail has one question: how do you define success?
“As I have gotten to know many different LOs I can safely say none of them has the exact same formula. You need to figure out what you enjoy most about the industry and focus on that aspect. Focus on different measurables,” he said.