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I Drive a Chevy

Monday, January 16, 2012 - Article by: VanguardNM - Sierra Pacific Mortgage - Message

So now that I have captured your attention regarding the vehicle I drive, one can only wonder what on Earth driving a Chevy has to do with Mortgages, Lending or rates for that matter. Well I am here to tell you; it does.

I was recently training a new loan officer a few weeks ago. We spent a lot of time together, going over programs, rules, etc. We were having a nice dinner together at his home (not a job requirement of course, but I guess I am a great trainer), when the subject of the mortgage crises came up. The meltdown! The economic disaster! Whatever terminology you choose to call it, it was now the main topic of discussion. As a very proud loan officer, I immediately came to the normal defensive stance and emphatically blurted my usual responses; "The Loan Officers are not to blame for this mess; I am so sick of Wall Street blaming the Loan Officers", Blah.. Blah.. Blah.... Then I continued to complain about the new legislation and the strict and what I deemed "unfair" restrictions placed on Loan Officers. After all; I never sold any of the programs or committed any of the unscrupulous actions that Loan Officers were being accused of. Well this gentlemen; who had no qualms to speak his opinion or to argue with his "trainer" began to contradict my statements. He talked about the borrowers who were put into mortgages they could not afford. He talked about the banks that passed down these no -doc loan programs that basically only required a pulse to be approved. I listened, but continued with my side of the amicable argument. But what he finally said that made me actually start to see things differently was a simple statement about accountability and responsibility. He said to me "Do you really think some Loan Officers, given the opportunity did not charge a customer excessive fees when they could? Or higher rates? Do you not think that some of the Loan Officers steered borrowers into programs that paid them higher commission because the customer did not know any better? What he was saying was really bothering me. I am not sure if it was because I was embarrassed for my industry, or if it was because he was right. And he was right! All I knew for sure was that I never steered my clients. I never made gross amounts of money or commissions. As a matter of fact, I never understood how the many loan officers I once knew, made the kind of money they did. They all drove Mercedes or BMWs. I drove a minivan. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Where was my reward? I provided excellent customer service, fair and reasonable fees, and I always let my customers know exactly how was paid. I always gave them choices by outlining the different programs available to them, and most of all, I never put a customer in a loan they could not afford. Hell! I often have dinner at some of my client's homes!

After defending myself and my business to my trainee, (who by the way was a former customer) he simply said this:

"Kelly, this is why you are still in business and they are gone. You were responsible and accountable and this is why your customers are loyal to you. It is obvious how much you care!" I laughed and thought to myself.. "Yep... most of those Loan Officers are now out of business."

But what made me smile most, was that I no longer had a minivan; because after three years of traveling dirt roads, mountains and icy hills in a minivan, I finally could afford to upgrade! Yes; I proudly drive a Chevy!

Kelly Krauth- New Mexico's Favorite Lender

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