It's Sunday night, and that time I wait for all week while collecting many great blog posts to share with those friends who missed them the first time around.
I hope you enjoy these and take the time to stop by (click on the title above) and leave a note for the original blogger.
Have a most excellent week!
Mortgage Bankers should be Community Leaders
Mortgage bankers (and Realtors) are in a unique position, with an opportunity that few other fields offer - that is, we can make a very good living, and directly increase our income by helping our local communities thrive. Through hard work, education, and dedication, we can become figureheads in our communities by promoting home ownership, and improving the financial future of the people we provide financing for.
Being a leader in your community must be done because you want to be personally invested, and because you have a sincere interest in helping, however the results will almost always lead to additional business opportunities along the way through networking & the many people you will meet. Here are a few great ways to help your local community as a mortgage banker.
Join a service organization
Back in Delaware, I was a member of my local Rotary club (Newark morning club, give them a 'like' on facebook!), and I hope to again join a club in the near future here in California. Rotarians directly contribute both financially and with their time to the local, regional, national, and international community, and each club consists largely of local business leaders.
There are many organizations that are geared toward doing good in the community - though I don't have anything against organizations that meet strictly for referrals (BNI, etc), I prefer to join groups that interest me and are geared toward service, and letting business relationships grow organically through doing good things locally.
Know your loan programs! Are you familiar with the 'My Community Mortgage'? 'Good Neighbor Next Door'? USDA loans? There are numerous loan programs specifically geared toward helping low to moderate income individuals & families purchase homes. Look at the number of renters in your area VS the number of people that own homes - is there anything you can do to improve the rate of home ownership? It is in both our personal interest and the good of a community to promote home ownership, and we can't do that if we don't know all of the tools at our disposal.
Along with loan programs, it's important to know of any special programs in the areas we do business. While lending doesn't have to be local, if we're going to do business somewhere, we better know what's available locally. I'm always shocked when I see county programs with unused funds simply because no one knows about the programs. Many of these programs are HUD approved, and many of them would result in 100% financing or little to no closing costs for buyers - people would save THOUSANDS, if only their loan officer knew what was available. A simple call to the local housing authority is all that it takes - I've never talked to one that hasn't been extremely helpful, and more often than not (at least in PA, DE, and NJ), counties had funds available to help people buy homes.
Scream it from the roof tops
Ok - you're familiar with your community, you know your loan programs, and you know what's available to help people buy homes that need help or are short on funds, now what? Let everyone know!
First time home buyer seminars are a great way to not only find new buyers and fill your pipeline, but to educate local people about the benefits of home ownership, and the way that owning a home can help lead to a better future. Seminars don't have to be fancy, and don't have to be expensive, so long as the information is good, and you do a good job marketing it. Seminars/info sessions are also a fantastic opportunity to network with local Real Estate agents, CPAs & financial planners, insurance professionals, and many others, as each person can bring unique professional information to the seminar.
Communities truly benefit from high rates of home ownership, and we have the opportunity (I'd argue, the obligation) to improve our communities by educating people on what is available to them. In most places, there are funds available to be used toward down payments/closing costs, and with interest rates as low as they've been, owning a home is often cheaper than renting. It is said that for people to do business with you they need 3 things - to know you, to like you, and to trust you. By simply being a leader in your local community, business will come.
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