Seasoned executive unlocks her secrets to success
Navigating the mortgage industry can be a bumpy road, but for Julia Jackson Taylor (pictured), it was a natural transition filled with perseverance and success.
In this in-depth Q&A, we delve into the challenges and opportunities in the mortgage industry, as well as the traits and behaviors that can derail careers. From navigating cyclical business challenges to handling upset customers. The Mattamy Home Funding top originator shares the threats she’s faced and how she’s overcome them with honesty, patience, and a commitment to continuous learning. Plus, she offers valuable advice to mortgage professionals looking to boost production.
Mortgage Professional America: Can you tell us about your mortgage journey? How did you come into the industry?
Julia Jackson Taylor: My mortgage journey was a natural transition! I started with Bank of America as a short sale negotiator and was quickly promoted to a number of positions in that department. A former classmate of mine worked on the same campus, and we bumped into each other at lunch. He told me about his position, and he believed that I’d be a great fit as the department was hiring. The rest is history.
MPA: What are the threats to your business, your success, and how are you handling them? Have you ever been so discouraged you wanted to quit?
JJT: The only threat to my business is me. Knowing that this business is cyclical is half the battle. The other half is knowing how to manage, shift, and change. But, even knowing these things, I have been discouraged and on the brink of quitting. The discouragement didn’t come from the job itself. It came in the form of really upset buyers/customers. I can’t speak for everyone, but there have been some experiences that were worth not doing this anymore. Thank God for my husband and family, though. Without their encouragement, I don’t know where I’d be.
MPA: What’s the most dangerous behavior/trait you have seen derail originators’ careers?
JJT: The only two things that come to mind are dishonesty and not having patience. Being dishonest to ‘win’ business or to just provide a response can always be dangerous. Continuing education reminds us of how illegal it is and that it can be quite expensive; to the LO and company. Impatience can also be dangerous! Not physically, but certainly figuratively. Not making time to properly explain the process to your customers, be it the buyer or builder partners, can be problematic. If you intend to have a smooth process, then patience is and always will be key. Taking that time to ensure clarity takes a lot of weight off of everyone’s shoulders.
MPA: How do you encourage mortgage professionals not to give up?
JJT: Honestly, I don’t. This position isn’t for everyone, and, in some cases, you can tell when you speak with that person. However, when I speak with someone who truly wants to make this position work for them, I go back to bullet point number three. Being honest and patient keeps me from not giving up aside from my family. The job can be hard, but those two values keep me on my game.
MPA: How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?
JJT: My confidence comes from knowledge. It’s nothing like being able to talk about mortgage with ease. Although I don’t have ALL the answers, knowing a lot of information and answering questions confidently helps. It also shows your buyer that you are the expert, and it helps them to trust you. And, when I’m unsure of something, I love to tell people, “I’m not sure about that,” because I’m honest, they can appreciate me not having all the answers, and it allows me to learn more. Although the response is simple, simple has gotten me this far.
MPA: How do you stay grounded and take care of yourself?
JJT: I work out and take days off when my mind/body tells me to. I rarely have vacation time left at the end of the year because I make time for myself. Taking time off doesn’t always mean a vacation, either. Sometimes, it may be binging a show. Sometimes, rest; whatever rest FEELS like for me at that time. We will not get another body, so I do take pride in making sure mine is a well-oiled machine.
MPA: What advice would you have for any originator who is either starting in the business or has been in the industry for a long time and is having difficulty boosting their production?
JJT: Have patience! This is the truest virtue for me if you haven’t noticed by now. When I first transitioned into sales, I was told that it could take about six months before you start closing loans in your pipeline. Hearing that was basically hearing, “are you patient enough to reap the benefits that you will sow?” And I was patient enough. I knew that I was willing to put in the work, willing to work through the process and willing to keep doing it over and over again. And, while 100% of the business doesn’t end up on your paycheck, you have to understand that the goal can’t be to win them all. The goal should be to finish strong.
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