I think it is important to remind everyone every now and again that the mortgage business, at the end of the day, is a sales business. And loan officers are salespeople. We are trained as salespeople. We are incentivized as salespeople. Within the corporate hierarchy we are known solely as salespeople. But the consumer seems to forget that they are dealing with salespeople. I am not saying that all salespeople are sleazey. I just want people to remember our role is to sell you.
I like to think I am different, and that I am a great educator that happens to be in mortgage sales. Hopefully by looking around my website you will believe that I am interested in educating and helping people, and all the while I certainly would like to sell a lot of loans and get paid well. But I honestly think that most mortgage people fall more into the sales category and less in the educator category. Take a look at any mortgage website and decide for yourself.
Another way to determine if someone is trying to sell you versus trying to educate and help you, is whether or not they try and hard sell you, or if they soft sell you. I honestly believe I do such a good job of educating, that if I have really earned a client’s business I won’t even need to ask for it. But if someone tries to hard sell and have you commit quickly, that might be the sign of a salesperson who is only interested more in their own wallet, and less in making sure you are well educated and properly taken care of.
And one other example I can think of is by describing a “top producers” conference I went to recently. It was indeed populated with some of the biggest producing loan officers in the country. There were certainly people there whose loan production dwarfed my own. I was excited to learn about some things that would help me help my clients, as well as earn me more business. Instead of learning about a new database, or the latest loan processing software, or cloud document storage tools, or e-signing legalities; all I heard was a bunch of lame techniques related to how to get more clients to call me, more clients to buy from me, and more clients to close more quickly. It was all SALES TECHNIQUE, and nothing related to content, tools or data that could help the consumer.
I recently helped a client realize that the way they were structuring a 1031 tax free exchange was not proper, and it was going to cause them to take a $53,000 tax hit that could be avoided! I called a 1031 exchange specialist, a tax attorney, and my own accountant; all to get the client the correct and proper advice. We made the necessary changes and now she will be subject to no taxes, instead of the $53,000 tax exposure she had before. What would that advice be worth to you if you were in need of it?
Wouldn’t people rather be dealt with honesty, transparency, with high tech, with the best knowledge and with competitive terms? The consumer needs to remember my sales conference story, and that the majority of loan officers out there are looking for ways to sell them, not educate them. Maybe I am wrong, but I tend to give my business to people that genuinely want to help and educate me, not hard sell me.