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Top Originators 2010: Fewest Years in Business


Keith Hapenney, Poli Mortgage Group
#1: 2010 Fewest Years in Business
Volume Rank: #151
Years in Business: 2


As it was for many mortgage originators, 2009 was a turning point for Keith Hapenney.

The commercial loan pipeline he had built since 2002 dried up. So in February '09, he said goodbye to his salary and turned to a strictly commission-based home-loan business.

The move paid off, as interest rates dove to less than 5 percent, Hapenney says. And 2010 wasn’t a sophomore slump: His loan volume grew 21.4 percent. He also learned three valuable lessons, he says:

1. “Never promise anything that I can’t deliver. Otherwise, nobody will have that trust that they need to have in me.”

2. “I can’t hang onto the deals that I can’t get done. I have to move on to the next ones.”

3. “Personality and hard work took me a long way. [I should] never let that go.”

Other factors played into Hapenney’s personal and business development, he says, such as building a referral base. And simply learning that it’s OK to say no.

Confidence helps, too.

“Someone once told me [to] fake it until you make it, and that stuck with me in 2009,” he says. “I know it sounds funny, but people want to do business with other successful people.

“I don’t have to fake [it] anymore.”

— Tony Stasiek


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