Gratitude for Our Clients (and those who aren't!)
This time of year is always an excellent, and much needed, reminder of all we have to be thankful for. As part of this month's ActiveRain Contest, Jeff Dowler, CRS invites us to share some of the things we're thankful for, one of the invites being to discuss how our clientele makes us give thanks.
2020 has been a record breaking year in a lot of ways. I've transitioned (mostly) away from doing loans and into a role of training others to do business MY way so that we can grow into new markets and grow our business through extremely high service levels, communication, and delivering on our promises, but that has proven to be challenging with the influx of volume AND training people new to the mortgage industry.
1. Our Customer Reviews
I am incredibly, incredibly grateful for anyone that chooses us as their lender. There are literally tens of thousands of mortgage options in the US. The fact that so many people, near and far, choose us is SO very appreciated. We do think we put together something worthy of that choice, but the fact that people place their trust with us is remarkable, and when they take the time to leave reviews and share our name with others (and the internet), it's an amazing feeling. See what some of our customers have had to say here!
2. Those who share our name
With the volume we've experienced in 2020 and my personal transition away from being a loan officer and into a full time management position (this started in 2018 and we're still not there quite yet), marketing has taken a back seat as nearly all my time has been spent training 2 team members brand new to the industry. We don't WANT loans if we can't DELIVER, so my time this year has been devoted to making sure my loan team has my support in understanding guidelines, structuring loans, and moving loans through the process. I've marketed, networked, and worked to expand through effort NOT.AT.ALL. For 2 years now. But thankfully, our clients have shared our name. In fact, I can tie over 10 transactions this year to just 2 customers. And a dozen more to a single real estate agent. With that kind of support, we thrive and continue to grow while focusing on what's most important - the loans we're working on for families right now.
3. Those who haven't worked with us
On slightly different 'gratitude' plane, I've reached the point in my career where I don't have to work with people I don't want to work with. I'm not a match for everyone. People with attitudes, chips on their shoulders, and those with a "give me everything and give it to me for free!" mentality are not a good fit for our team. We believe in helping those who help themselves. We've had people that have not been happy with this approach. We've had others that express they're simply looking for the cheapest option. To those groups, we've waved goodbye, wished them well, and spent our time developing relationships with people that appreciate value, professionalism, and know that having the RIGHT mortgage will save you THOUSANDS of dollars over having the cheapest at the moment. Because of the customers that DON'T want to work within our model, it gives us the time to find those who do, and that saves us a ton of time and makes each working day better.
4. The clients who become our friends
Over the nearly 15 years I've been in the mortgage industry, I've been fortunate enough to see our customer's children grow, their retirement dreams become reality, their young investment goals come to fruition, and we've been a part of it. We've had customers to our homes and we've been to theirs. We exchange gifts, support on social media, and the relationship has gone beyond business. Some of our best friends are our best clients and referral partners. And that is invaluable, especially on the difficult days.
5. The clients that remind us why we do what we do
Mortgages aren't sexy. Debt isn't good. There's no such thing as "good debt", only less bad debt, despite what industry pros may say. BUT, what our debt DOES for people is huge. We've seen young investors see their goals realized by achieving financial freedom at a young age through investment properties. We've seen customers become mortgage free. We've had repeat customers that we've guided to owning their FIRST home, switching to a better loan, utilizing home equity to pay off thousands in credit card debt, and improve their families lives using the strategies we outline for them. We get to see them achieve their goals, grow as people and professionals, and we get to go along for the ride. There's not many careers that allow for that.
We are immensely proud of our business and thankful for our customers - this time of year, and every year, but especially in 2020. They've given us the ability to work and earn a living while many others have not been as fortunate. And we've been able to help some of them through difficult times, helping self-employed borrowers get back on their feet and helping others reduce payments and lighten the load through what has been for many, one of the most difficult years in recent memory.
We all have silver linings and reasons to be grateful, and thankfully, here in the rain, we have cause to give thanks and show the gratitude that we're full of.