Rules to Live By: Five Essential Lessons from 70 Years in the Mortgage Business
It’s the details that matter, right? In the complex, competitive and fast-changing world of the mortgage industry, paying attention to those details can make the difference between success and failure.
But while attention to detail is essential, the all-too-rare ability to see the big picture is invaluable. Perspective. Context. Constants. Instead of focusing on what is always changing, take some time to remind yourself about what isn’t. What follows are five foundational values, ideals and core principles that 70+ years of experience have ingrained into the fabric of how Ross Mortgage does business:
Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
The cliché is that real estate is about “location, location, location,” but the mortgage business is about “relationships, relationships, relationships.” While new conveniences and technologies make the process of looking for and buying a new home easier than ever, the personal touch is still essential. Homebuyers want a knowledgeable advisor—but they also want someone they know has their best interests at heart.
Home is Where the Heart is
A home purchase is a significant and sometimes complex financial transaction. It’s the biggest purchase most people will ever make, and it can be an intimidating and extraordinarily emotional process. First-time homebuyers are particularly prone to the mix of emotion, excitement and nervousness that comes with achieving the iconic American dream—while simultaneously taking on a substantial debt. It’s worth remembering that those feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty means that homebuyers are inclined to gravitate to professionals who they can trust, and who they are confident can look out for them. Mortgage professionals who recognize and remember that are better equipped to thrive in a business where referrals mean so much.
Fair and Equitable Treatment
The desire for a square deal certainly isn’t limited to the mortgage business but being treated fairly is so vitally important when the stakes are so high that no mortgage professional can afford to ignore it. From the financial details to the way you communicate with clients and professional partners, integrity and fair and honest treatment is an absolute necessity. If you can reassure your clients that they are getting fair value for their dollar, and a deal that meets their needs.
Keeping it Realtor
The same principles outlined above apply to realtors as well as mortgage professionals.
Realtors who understand and apply those ideas can elevate themselves from professional advisors to trusted counselors. In the process, homebuyers come to view them not as dispassionate third parties, but true partners who can provide personal support and guidance during a complex and often challenging time. Mortgage professionals would do well to seek out and work with realtors with a proven ability to act in that partner role.
The Exception to the Rule
The fifth and final constant is change. Because even the big picture shifts a little bit over time. One subtle way that things have changed over the decades is the way that many folks view their home. Homeowners today increasingly see their home not just as a place, but as an important financial asset. It’s a resource they can use to accumulate wealth or facilitate transactions that would otherwise have been impossible. Real estate is correctly seen by increasingly savvy and sophisticated homeowners as more than just a sound investment, but a powerful land flexible investment instrument. From leveraging equity to refinancing or lowering rates, growing numbers of today’s buyers aren’t just homeowners, but true investors. Mortgage professionals would be wise to recognize that trend and ensure that it’s reflected in everything from the way they talk to clients, to the products and services they offer those clients.