Top mortgage originators share their secrets for success

Leading performers share formulas, from social media tips to forging key relationships

Top mortgage originators share their secrets for success

In a tough mortgage market, it’s good to hear winning formulas among the nation’s top loan originators. At a recent conference, some of the very best shared their secrets for success.

For Jason Kindler (pictured left), president of Florida-based First Coast Mortgage Funding, his winning formula started on the builder side. “I’ve been in the business since 2001,” he said during a panel discussion. “I started off on the broker side of the business, and in 2010 the broker shop I was running in Atlanta was sold by a bank, like many companies went through at the time, and I was in retail up until the point where I was recruited to go run a builder mortgage company.”

This is the time things started to go big, he suggested. “My twist in this is that a lot of brokers, as soon as they hear builder, and you get a client prequalified and they’re going to a builder, the sentiment is ‘aw, man,’ right?”

At that crossroads, he and his business partner opted to go to the broker channel, he said. “Thank God we went to the broker side,” he said. “But as far as the builder business goes, I’ve closed over 100 builder loans every year for the last x number of years.”

Tips on becoming a client’s preferred choice

Kindler detailed how he goes about asking a client to choose him: “If you call the division manager and say ‘hey, I’m Jason and I want an appointment,’ you will fail miserably. That is not how to do it. But what you want to do – it’s the success I’ve had – is being the second look. I want to save the day when the preferred builder drops the ball.”

So where does one go? “I would start with the site agents,” he said. “So how do you get in front of the site agent? Especially on the broker side, we have the Northeast Florida Builders Association. Most of your cities probably have a builders association that’s local. All the people are there. Site agents go, usually some of the management goes. It’s not 2021, so imagine you’re a site agent and you have a client that owns their own mortgage company and 30 days before closing credit drops or something like that happens.”

The ensuring scenario: “This client has been building a house for eight months, and now the site agent is like ‘there goes my paycheck; now I have to resell this house.’ The way to get in is basically you have to build a relationship with the site agent. The site agent is your way to get in. That’s the angle I would go for.”

Key to this strategy is to get cozy with one’s preferred realtor, he noted. “The other thing is our goal was usually the realtor,” he said. “Everybody’s after the same realtor.. The site agent wants the realtor in the office. If you have a good relationship with the realtor, why not ask ‘hey can you introduce me to the site agent?’”

A relentless nature as a superpower

Nancy Bayat (pictured center), vice president of Amerify, emphasized the importance of being insistent. She called it a relentless approach she considers to be her superpower.

“I think my superpower is follow-up until they’re like ‘you’re harassing me’,” she said jokingly. “And then I’ll send them a Starbucks gift card and they’ll call me and it starts up again. I don’t quit. I don’t know how to quit until they’re mine.”

Social messaging with a purpose

For Major Singleton (pictured right), a mortgage broker with Edge Home Finance, a chunk of his success can be attributed to social media. But his twist on it is that he thinks less about the viral nature that can result from such messaging than he does about the impact such marketing can have on potential consumers. After a 23-year career in the military, he is especially cognizant of those with whom he served that may encounter his social media offerings.

“It’s structured in such a way that I connect with the person who is a service member or a veteran and tell a story they want to know,” Singleton said. “When I do my social media, I really don’t care about going viral.”

That mentality came into play while he served in the military and there was an issue with the potable water on base. “At the end of my [military] career, one of the big problems we had was there was a big blow-up on base housing where they had fuel in the water in base houses,” he said. “So I started telling people ‘why not live off base and educate people about that’.”

Post-military, he continues to focus on such impactful messaging via his Major Money Matters social media platform, he said. “When I do my social media, I really think about that – marketing to the consumer,” he said. “My marketing to realtors is totally different, but when I market to the consumer, every video – everything I put out – is marketing in such a way that it comes with a story for somebody I served, not just blasting stuff out there.”

The brokers shared their insights during a recent conference staged by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME).

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