#1: 2010 Top First-Time Homebuyers Ratio
> Closed-Loans Rank: #110
> VA-Volume Rank: #3
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Serving first-time homebuyers is hands-on work, according to Jimmy Alexander. And he should know — 90 percent of his business comes from people unfamiliar with buying homes.
First-time buyers have a multitude of questions, and they typically want to meet in person.
“I’d say 98 percent of our business is face-to-face. People want to be able to walk in and talk to you,” Alexander says. “We have to do more hand-holding and a little bit more counseling.”
And he has to do it fast: Located in Killeen, Texas, Alexander’s clients frequently are military men and women from nearby Fort Hood.
“Time is a real big issue with military families,” he says. Between deployments overseas and relocations from other bases, families typically can’t afford to stay in hotels waiting for their loan to close. For Alexander, that often means working weekends to get things done.
“They’re putting their trust in you,” he says. “You have to be prepared to move fast.”
Working with military families also means a large volume of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans. More than 80 percent of Alexander’s total volume last year was in VA loans.
The nature of the military cycle means a lot of turnover in the housing market and a wide range in pricing, Alexander says, adding that soldiers often will buy houses after saving money up from a tour.— Jennifer E. Garrett