As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2005.
It can be a challenge for those starting out in the mortgage industry to find a concise, candid description of the steps in the loan process. New brokers can find a million pages on the Internet and a plethora of articles in print media but would have to struggle with sifting through the wide array of information.
The mortgage-lending profession is rewarding, fast-paced and exciting. If newcomers concentrate on the steps of a loan process, they are sure to be successful. The entire loan process can be divided into eight simple steps:
Finding a lender, rate and program
Let’s take a close look at the eight.
This first step is perhaps the most important one. Without a good lead, you have no loan.
There are several ways to obtain leads. You can buy them off the Inter-net, solicit them via telephone or get them courtesy of friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleagues — whatever works. Do not expect leads to come to you, however. You have to generate them yourself.
With experience, you will learn to categorize leads as “good,” “difficult” or “challenging.” The good leads usually close fast with the least fuss. Difficult leads are somewhat strenuous in terms of paperwork and finding the right lender, rate or program. They also often take longer to close. The challenging leads are most-demanding and time-consuming with persistent problems until closing, if not beyond. You have to develop your own style to ensure their workability.
Essentially, the entire process of finding leads boils down to building a good rapport with clients and inspiring their trust and confidence. Your knowledge of the product (real estate) and quick perception of the borrower’s key concerns will make or break the deal. If you do not understand the product, it is fair to assume you will find it hard to finance.
It also is important to come across to the borrower as honest, straightforward and reliable from the start. A certain amount of maturity and patient understanding of the core issues that motivate clients toward refinancing will be dealmakers.
Referrals come as a natural adjunct. Don’t hurry to solicit referrals at the outset, or you might make clients feel like a step on a staircase. Your clients could require your services in the near future, but they will certainly refer you and promote your interest if you leave them satisfied at the closing. Nurture your good leads with care and understanding for long-
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