Just One Year In
Our team loan partner, Erica, just received her "1 year anniversary" certificate - one year in the mortgage business, one year on our team, one year of the craziest market we've ever seen. For those who have worked with our team, you know 2020 was a struggle - my processor was promoted to head of processing of our company, and with the volume influx that followed, we burned through multiple processors who just could not keep up, barely managing to keep our heads above water through the pandemic and resulting record volume that came with it.
Amidst the craziness, I brought in a new loan officer and a loan partner (think TC for mortgage) with no industry experience. It was a tedious year to say the least. But we did well, closing an awful lot of loans, and managing to provide at least "good" service, whereas our goal is to provide exceptional service to our customers and partners. The one area that suffered was our partnerships - I had 0 time for calls, or the normal "above & beyond" things our team has always done.
2020 seemed to go on forever, and when our loan partner Erica started along with our other team loan officer, Katerina, it seems like it's been 5 years. Keeping it in perspective is pretty amazing - in just a year we had an LO with no experience join, and a college student join the team, and both are now thriving. Not only have they both exceeded their own income and productivity goals, they have become largely self-sufficient, allowing me to get back to business development/customer service/other areas that require my focus, and best of all, Katerina & Erica are delivering service levels that they've been trained to meet. I've also been sure to give them plenty of "problem" files to learn on - difficult borrowers, difficult income situations, and some very tight loans that qualified by a thread - on our team, I take the management approach of learning fast by being thrown into the fire. Of course, that requires me to be there with a liferaft when need be, but it's created 2 excellent loan officers I'd trust with my own loan.
Early in 2021, we also found our permanent solution to processing. Corliss joined our team and processes remotely, doing a great job in keeping our loan process to just a couple weeks long (VS the couple months it became with subpar processing in 2020), and really streamlining our team efforts and ensuring customer satisfaction.
This week was the first week both Katerina & Erica closed their own loans on the same day, and I felt like a proud papa when reviews came in within an hour of each other from their customers.
For Erica, who had an incredibly tough deal with a lot of moving parts, her customer had this to say:
Erica Reno was involved in the entire process. She was always available to answer my questions. She also checked in on me every once in a while to let me know how things were going. Had a great experience due to her.
Katerina had a very tough deal herself that required an immense amount of attention, and received the following feedback:
Katerina took the time to explain everything we needed for our loan to get done. She always responded quickly to any questions we had. She was also very patient.
2 five star reviews within just a few minutes of each other for LOs that have been in the industry just a year - these ladies have taken a dive into the deep end, have been through the fire, and it's forged them both into phenomenal professionals that are now driving our business and allowing us to handle more volume than we ever could before. Purchase loans are getting done in 2 weeks (when appraisers cooperate ; ) ) and we're back to providing pre-pandemic service and attention levels to our business partners.
What feels like forever has really just been a year, and in that year, we've made some huge strides. In the coming year, I'd like to see another team member or 2 added, but I'm in no hurry - I have no interest in growth for growth's sake.
If you're one of the many professionals we're fortunate enough to call a partner - THANK YOU - for helping our business, for your patience in 2020, and for your faith in not just myself, but in our team. In terms of years in the business, our team may have some babies on it, but in terms of professionalism, skill, and effort, I firmly believe we're the best lending team in the country, and I'm looking forward to continuing to improve from here.
Want to see what makes us different? Our team covers AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI (Katerina), ID (Erica), MD, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA (Katerina), and WV. We'd love to show you how we go above & beyond for our customers and our partners!