Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My clientele ranges from 1st time home-buyer to the recently retired. However, I do have a passion for educating the younger generation and leading them into their first home. From the first time we meet to discuss their needs, through the accepted offer and then to the magical words: “Clear to Close”… there is true fulfillment in all of these moments. Watching their eyes light up with pride and knowing that they understand every part of the transaction is WHY I continue to do this. It’s a true blessing.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
When doing a home purchase or refinance pre-approval, I always ask the clients what THEIR goals are. I am there to offer them options, but those options must lead them to their goals. It’s their loan and their monthly payment, so it should be a decision that is right for them, and not just what I think they should do. I always offer to give them multiple loan options, and we sit down and go through them and have a discussion on which option best fits their needs. This way the client truly understands the loan they are taking out and the reasons why.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Working with first time homebuyers is a great honor to me. When I sit down with them and we discuss what they are looking to do, I always advise them to start with a comfortable monthly payment, instead of a “purchase price.” I then go on to explain to them that while they will be excited to purchase their first home, they are not going to want to give up having a life outside of the home as well. It’s so important for their first home to be a true blessing, and not a burden. By advising them on what is comfortable for them monthly, it will then determine what they can spend overall. With this advice comes their normal day-to-day and month-to-month expenses they may not have had prior, such as utility bills and that unexpected water heater replacement. These things are all part of homeownership, and the more prepared the clients are, the more successful they will be!
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
To insure a smooth underwriting process, the best thing the clients can do is listen to the advice of their VP on what paperwork is needed. If the clients give us exactly what we ask for, then we rarely run into issues. Such as, if we need a certain asset or liability to be explained, it’s for a logical reason. We are never looking to be a burden on the client. Many times, we are lending hundreds of thousands of dollars to a client, so items need to be sourced. It’s only for the protection of lending, and nothing personal at all.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
I have been very active over the last 15 years with the Brown County Home Builders Association, even taking away their coveted “LEAP” award in 2015 for Leadership & Enthusiasm in Association Programs. I have served on their Board of Directors as well as served as Chairman of their Fundraising Committee and have sat as a member of the Women In Building committee. Within this Association, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for many area charities (Sting Cancer, Habitat for Humanity, Cancer, Inc, etc) as well as the PAC (Political Action Campaign). Through the years, I have also been an active member of the NE Wisconsin Realtors Association, serving on various committees within the Association. In 2004-2006 I served on the Board of Directors for the WI Mortgage Brokers Association. I have also helped Brown County’s Habitat for Humanity projects in helping to build homes for local families. With every one of these associations or projects, my main goal is always to raise as many funds as possible to give back to our area. Making sure our community is the best it can be, is always TOP OF MIND ?
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am honest and I educate. I know that sounds funny, but I give the information to my clients, my colleagues and my referral partners exactly the way it is. That’s hard to say in a sales environment, however, I have found that it helps me stand out. There are no false hopes, and no undelivered promises to anyone. Some think that being overly honest can have a negative connotation, however, if you present it right, it’s more refreshing than anything. People don’t want to be “sold”, they want the truth. They want to know the upsides and the downsides of their loan. If you understand industry you work in enough to educate your clients and you believe in what you do, then the loans will sell themselves. Since my clients are well educated, they leave the closing table happy & confident… because they made these decisions for themselves. My referral partners love it because they know that their clients are in good hands that that their loan is going to close.