Monday, July 28, 2014

MLOs always filter the noise to a clear path - MLOs want a strong foundation that can weather recessions and grow their referrals

Recently I was meeting with a Mortgage Loan Originator, MLO, candidate from a local competitor and he was impressed with what he saw at our Club Drive Operations Center and the Senior Officers he met.  He looked at me and said "a guy at a competitors barbecue said you were a #$@%*^#".  I simply asked, did he ever meet me.  He said "no".  I told him this is exactly why every MLO should form their own opinion of career alternatives and form it from first hand knowledge.  He signed with Southeast Mortgage the next day along with his very talented Sales Assistant.

Grapevine and malicious statements, slander, not formed from first hand knowledge but fabricated in dark corners and or prefaced by "don't tell anyone I said this" should be put in perspective by MLOs.  In the industry, we all know the negative recruiters and characters that use defamation (usually verbal "slander" and not "libel" written form) due to the legal consequences that could result.  They do this to make themselves or their company appear better or they harbor personal resentment due to some perceived wrong.  People using slander are masking their respect for the company referenced.  When a person uses this tactic be assured the company in focus is strong and tangible weakness is not present.  MLOs should get more interested and interview the targeted company when this occurs.  People only slander companies that matter and present a formidable strength that is capturing market share.  MLO's opportunity to grow their client base, referral sources, and weather the next recession may be based in the noise.  Growing careers and supporting families is the priority.

If you talk to anyone who knows or has worked with me at the banks or at Southeast Mortgage of Georgia, Inc., SEM, they will tell you “Cal is not a politician.  He knows what he is doing, always does what he says, and always gets it done.  Most importantly he always keeps his word and you can trust him”.  The essence of a company generally incorporates its developer’s core beliefs.  The long tenure of my team is a testament to the trust and respect we have in each other.  The TEAM is SEM.

Back in 1993 when SEM began, you never heard about a 8-day close, “the street’s needs”, “MLO friendly”, great support for Realtors and MLOs, etc.  However, all were the basis for the formation and development of SEM processes before they were cool.  We understood in 1993 what clients and Realtors would demand and the facade around products would not last which ultimately was dismantled in 2009 along with many companies selling them.  Due to the financial crisis with its epicenter in the Mortgage industry, 80% of mortgage companies in Georgia closed their doors.  What we have today are companies formed less than 6 years ago and some less than that.  Most have operations in other states supporting a multi-state foot print. 
The 8-day close used to be a 7-day close at SEM prior to the law change in 2009.  Closing fast reduces rate fluctuation risk and reduces client uncertainty and stress. 

The Street’s Needs – Realtors and MLOs want to close more business.  SEM created the first vertically integrated Georgia Mortgage Client Relationship Management, CRM, TEAM which provides added value and visual marketing support to both Realtors and MLOs at no cost to them.  As a result, our CRM TEAM is like having your own marketing team for free and ensures your image stays in front of past clients and Realtors.  Networking Socials at our Max Centers at no cost ensures you connect on a personal level.  Closing fast and approving more deals is a given.

SEM ProcessingOur process was developed based on efficiency and MLO need.  Although it is different than most companies who use the same processes, SEM’s process has a 98% pull through and frees up 30% of MLOs time while increasing their earnings by 26%.  This time savings can be applied to your family, hobbies, or generating more business.

Although there are many hard working good people in our industry, when you look around you will find the core beliefs of many stated on websites were part of SEM's DNA since 1993.  SEM created the most productive origination process in the industry by building an operations and origination process designed to close more faster which organically grows Realtor and Client relationships.  This earns our MLOs 26% more than their competition with the same effort.

From 2010 –2013, MLOs flocked to the internal bank refinance opportunity. 
Unfortunately, a 100% refinance strategy never lasts and just like the signs say at the marina “please do not feed the birds”, MLOs that are fed leads forget how to hunt in a normalized market.  In a typical 7 year economic cycle from recession to recovery top, only 2 years on average is related to rate dislocation and the other 71% or 5 years is Realtor or Life Cycle Client dependent. 

Which strategy has the better odds for an MLO?  Yes, Realtor and Repeat Client focus is 3 times as effective as refinance only.  An interesting data point, the current recession started in 2009, it is 2014 or 5 years down the road.  Also note the DOW is at 17,100 which is near an all-time high.  Can you sense the déjà vu?  Recession resistant companies with evolved strategies like SEM should be in the forefront of every MLOs mind considering the demographics of our Georgia MLO population.  Today, MLOs are now flocking from the banks to participate in the purchase recovery which started two years ago.  Recruiters and Company websites all pitch 8-day close, MLO friendly, “the street needs”, etc. 

Truck pictured Left - Pinto pictured Right
The only issue is you can put a Truck body on a Ford Pinto; however, it is still a Ford Pinto.  MLOs need to form their own opinion and meet future employers face to face. 

Due to our service focused team and security at Club Drive, seeing what we do requires MLO applicants visit us at Club Drive headquarters.  SEM built a large engine and truck to support our TEAM.  This engine absorbs volume fluctuations and efficiently creates organic referrals from Realtors and past Clients. This consistently great Realtor and Client experience is why we enjoy one of the highest growth rates among our peers and MLOs can have confidence that operations will be ready when their applications surge.  We simply underwrite more effectively, close faster, and support our MLOs with the best Realtor and client awareness programs.  This creates SEM’s organic growth and why we prospered through three recessions to become the largest local Georgia-based, Non-bank Lender.

I talk a lot about a Village, and I truly believe a TEAM is security and in today’s mortgage market every MLO needs a Village to support them.  The Village is proven and why MLOs make 26% more working with our team.  You owe it to yourself to better understand the companies that service the Georgia Mortgage Market.  When you run into that negative recruiter or the "green eyed monster" bashing a company, make a first hand opinion.  No matter who the company is that is being defamed, go visit them face to face and make your own opinion.  

If you are a professional MLO closing 3-4 deals a month and you want to create or grow your current Realtor and Client referrals, you owe it to yourself to hear directly from me why SEM is the most emulated company in Georgia.  I will guarantee confidentiality.  Meet with me for 10 minutes at my Club Drive Office and see first-hand why SEM can close faster.  See "Who we hire".
Cal Haupt
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
770-279-0222 (Just ask Admin to locate me and they will transfer you to my cell phone)

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