No matter how you look at it, most loan officers I know would tell you that getting loans done hasn’t gotten any easier recently and they generally don’t see easy street anywhere in the near future.
A few recent comments I have heard from loan officers:
“You think your turn times are bad — try explaining to someone that you should be able to get their loan done in 90-120 days! (He wasn’t kidding)“
“You aren’t going to believe this – today, my company decided that they were going to change the seasoning requirements on USDA and VA loans regarding loan flipping and didn’t give anyone any warning. I had four of those deals in the pipe!“
And a few comments that I have had from some local Realtors:
“There’s a ton of stupid walking around <insert company name>… But I’m not sure if it’s different anywhere else.”
“What are the chances that my deal can fund on Tuesday? No, wait – don’t tell me — I know what you are going to say… 50/50.”
“The underwriter is asking for things that make zero sense. It makes me question their general ability to function.”
And if my brain hadn’t went semi-numb to these kinds of conversations recently, I am sure I could probably fill up another page or two with similar comments.
I think I have at least a decent idea of what it must have been like to be a Firestone tire dealer in 2000.
These recent comments have been weighing pretty heavily on my mind and I probably brought them with me into our weekly sales meeting this week. One of the agenda items in the meeting was each loan officer was going to share their homework from the previous week where we were each supposed to come up with our unique “angle” on how we were going to give our elevator speech to prospective clients.
Honestly, everyone’s ideas seemed tired to me. You have heard them all before.
“We have the lowest rates…”
“No one can do a loan cheaper than I can…”
“I can get a loan done in 15 days and no one can do them faster than me…”
All I could think to myself during the homework-sharing session was… Bleh.
I wasn’t even going to say anything, but then my manager kind of forced me to speak by directly asking what I thought would be a good angle.
I tried to play it off and said “guys, I don’t know – those all sound pretty good to me”.
“No, really Justin, what do you think a good angle would be when telling a customer why they should use us and not the loan officers down the street…“
“How about… We Suck Less?“
The room immediately went silent and no one said a word. They just all looked at me with eyes as big as baseballs.
I shrugged, but didn’t say anything. What, did they think I was kidding?
For about 10 seconds, I was sure I was going to get a(nother) trip directly to the principals office for being what I thought to be authentically honest.
And then it happened.
My 62 year old friend and fellow loan officer broke the deafening silence in the room with an exhale and a low mumble:
“Hell, I think that just might work“.
About the Author: Justin McHood is a mortgage broker with VanDyk Mortgage Corporation. You can find him at Arizona Mortgage Team, on the Zillow’s Mortgages Unzipped Blog, and at most East Valley Friday Nights gatherings. He’s the one in the blue shirt.