Most of us would agree that we prefer doing business with people we know and with who we have established a relationship. And, the strength of the relationship is built upon trust and mutual respect. It also usually involves some degree of commitment. We also know that in the course of time "a little rain must fall". Some relationships will weather any storm, others fall apart at the gathering is the first storm clouds.
For many years I tried valiantly to protect my clients and agents from any hiccup or obstacles throughout the entire financing process. In a very real sense, I have always taken the stance that I am personally accountable for every aspect of the lending process. So, if the appraiser didn't show up, or the title company didn't send the prelim, or the credit bureau didn't send the credit supplement, or the listing agent won't return my call, or the clients didn't tell me about the $600 child support payment.......whatever the "thing" that throws a monkey wrench into a file was.........I took on the accountability and responsibility.
And, in the first two years in the mortgage business I cracked three teeth! People were always commenting on how calm I was...what they didn't see was the clenched jaws! Eventually, I learned that, control freak that I was, there is no realistic possibility to guaranteeing a friction free process in something as complicated as mortgage financing. I can, and do, attempt to look at every situation with a cynics view of "what could possibly go wrong" and do everything possible to navigate around shark infested waters.
But at the end of day, there are other people and procedures (can we say HVCC?) that are out of my control. I frequently tell clients and agents alike: "I won't guarantee we won't get in the soup, but I can guarantee I know how to get out of the soup". And, after over twenty years, I can still say I have managed to successfully close and fund EVERY purchase transaction I have ever originated (unless, of course, the deal fell apart by things outside of the realm of financing). And, I always remind myself that at least 52 people touch every mortgage file...and everyone of them have their opportunity to have a "bad hair day" and cause havoc.
What I look for in all relationships, business and personal, is respect. And, I based my performance on my respect for ALL parties involved in the entire finance process. Respect that the clients have trusted me with their largest purchase, respect that every agent literally handed me their commission check on every file and respect of the processing and underwriting staff by submitting quality files.
Years ago I had a processor named Theresa. Lovely young woman (so was I at the time....young, that is). She was not the most focused and organized of people.......which are BAD traits for a processor...but, I was just the loan officer and the broker was her employer. So, we worked together on my files. One of my recent clients referred a friend to me for a refinance of an FHA loan. It should be note the client was in a position to refer me LOTS of business.
So, we gathered the paperwork, submitted the file, ordered the appraisal, cleared all the conditions, and, then.........Theresa did nothing. No docs were ordered. And, at that time, lenders required 48 hours for docs. For the clarification of people outside of finance, an FHA loan must be paid in full by the last day of the month or the borrower has to pay a full month of interest with the payoff. Close on the first and pay thirty days of interest! In this case, the tab was about $1600.00.
Now, I was in a horrible situation. I was a single mother and had only been in the business about a year and a half. And, I needed the money from each and every loan I originated. But, I also wanted to continue to get referrals and I knew the borrower would be none too happy with paying an additional $1600 on this loan payoff.
In the meantime, Theresa is in a panic. Lots of tears and apologies. Broker is threatening to fire her (seems this had happened before). The whole office is abuzz with news that Deborah was not happy (Nope, I wasn't).
I took a deep breath and told Theresa to order the docs and we would go forward and close the loan....taking the $1600 out of my commission. Then I left the office, cried a bit, said some not to nice words, walked and stewed some more...then I calmed down. I knew Theresa did not mean to make this mistake and I certainly did not want her to lose her job on my account. I knew at that moment what I had to do.
I went to my favorite florist and ordered a dozen yellow roses (symbol of friendship) and wrote on the card:
"One loan does not a relationship make. There will be others." Love, Deborah
Yes, I succeeded in convincing the broker not to fire her. And, Theresa remained my processor for over two years. In fact, I left the brokerage to follow her to another brokerage. After this little hiccup she was completely dedicated to taking care of me and my clients. In fact, I have never worked with a processor since who was as committed as Theresa was to me. (By the way, I left retail to go into wholesale...only reason we didn't work together much longer).
I cherish the relationships I have built through the years and look forward to developing more quality relationships in the future.
"contact me when you need knowledge, experience and ethics in the financing process."
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