Why work with me?
My name is John King. I am an expert mortgage advisor working with the talented professionals at Summit Funding in beautiful Lodi, California.
Over the last TEN years I have had the pleasure of serving the home-buying and refinancing needs of over 1000 individuals and families. Through that experience I have seen just about everything (which seems impossible as I write this, since every day I run into a unique situation that is a little different than anything I have seen before). The reality is that although every situation is unique, they all fall into similar categories, and my experience in working through sticky situations continues to prepare me for the next challenge.
I have seen a significant evolution in the home mortgage world in the last decade. Many of my colleagues did not survive the last few years, and I want to explore some of those reasons (specifically related to what I did different and how that can help serve your needs best today).
Transactional versus Relationship focus.
Most of my colleagues were solely focused on the transaction and not on building long-term relationships with their clients. So when everyone began buying homes at the height of the market, they (my colleagues) had no problem waiting for the phone to ring to get their next loan. But, when the market shrank they realized that they had built no customer loyalty because they never bothered to provide the service and follow-up worthy of repeat business let alone having someone refer a friend to them.
By contrast, my philosophy has been (and continues to be) to work by referral. What that means to you is that I plan to provide such outstanding service to you that you would gladly refer me to everyone you know that is looking to purchase or refinance a home. While my transaction based colleagues are out meeting with realtors to try and find their next loan, my team and I are working on your loan today to make sure that your transaction is everything you expected and more. In return, I count on you to help me find my next client so that I can continue to focus my efforts on the experience and the relationship and not on finding my next transaction.
Ability to structure a loan
The second reason that many people did not survive the market change is because many of them never truly understood how to structure a loan and how to determine if someone is qualified. The industry has shifted from a focus on quantity to a focus on quality. At the height of the real estate boom, lenders were granting loans to borrowers without much regard for “ability to repay.” A loan officer’s job was to find a borrower, convince the borrower to use him for the loan and then sit back and wait for it to close so the loan officer could get paid. The actual loan approval process was handled by other people who would follow a checklist to determine if the client needed a “full documentation loan,” a “reduced documentation loan,” or a “no documentation loan.” There was always an option to get someone approved so there was no “structuring skill required.”
Early in 2007 all of that started to change. The first of many lenders shut their doors (starting with the bankruptcy filing of New Century in April of 2007) and that marked the beginning of the end of the “easy to qualify” loan. Changes came from investors (such as fannie mae and Freddie mac) as well as the banks lending the money. Those that loaned their own funds using their own rules soon became extinct, and the remaining lenders had to play by a whole new set of rules… and that meant the skill of the loan officer had to change too. Now you not only had to find someone willing to do business with you, but you had to be knowledge in underwriting criteria and skilled in understanding how your borrowers’ situation fits within the guidelines. This skill is very different from just being a slick salesperson that tells people what they want to hear, and those without it DID NOT SURVIVE. (Unfortunately many of them moved on to being foreclosure consultants but that is a topic for another time).
Personally, this shift in skill set served me well. I have always prided myself in knowing the guidelines and staying abreast of changes. The result is that I built a reputation within the industry of providing “QUALITY APPROVALS.” What that means to my clients is that they have a stronger offer to present to a seller since their lender is known for closing the deal if he issues a pre-approval letter. By contrast, many of my competitors still issue letters of approval without a full review of the borrowers’ situation, or maybe they review all of the documents but they do not understand how the rules apply. Since the industry is set up to have the underwriter look at the transaction only after the buyer is in contract, it is usually at that time that problems are discovered. No seller wants to be in a situation where the buyer does not qualify and they now need to go find another one. Especially in a declining value market, the time lost on the unqualified buyer means that the value of the home may have decreased by the time you find the next buyer… costing the seller both time and money. I can tell you that there have been many times when I learned after the fact that my buyer got their offer accepted because the listing agent knew me and of my reputation and advised their seller of the quality of my work. Keep this in mind as you select a lender and decide if you are going to work with someone local or not.
As I mentioned above, I have spent the last ten years building a referral based business, and I would love the opportunity to help you with your transaction and allow you to experience a transaction so much better than you expected that you too will gladly refer all of your friends, family, and co-workers to me.
Thank you for giving me your time, and I hope you find value in the information that I have provided to you via this website. If there is a topic that you would like me to discuss please let me know and I will be glad to address it.
Your Mortgage Advisor for LIFE,
NMLS # 453426