“So, in order to stay friends with that lender, account executive, or make a really good commission, they would put the customer in a loan that wasn’t ideal and then what would happen was, in a year or two later, the customer would come back and they would have to do a refinancing because they couldn’t afford the payments anymore, they were in the midst of a divorce, or something terrible was happening financially in their lives. Not to say the bad mortgage caused that, but that bad mortgage sure didn’t help. When I was watching this happen, my stomach would churn. It didn’t sit well with me.”
Like finding a different way to collect credit card debt, he had another epiphany: “I thought to myself, there’s a better way of doing this.” He put his thoughts on paper in a business plan drawn up for one of his entrepreneurial classes before approaching his boss with the novel ideas. “He responded with ‘that would be awesome if business could be done that way, but if I did business this way, I wouldn’t make any money. So I can’t do that.’ In my arrogance and pride as a recent college graduate, I said I’m going to do it. He did great, gave me his blessing and pointed me in the right direction to open my own mortgage company.”
Almost as if to test his mettle, his decision to open his own mortgage firm was made right as the first inklings of what would be known as the Great Recession emerged. “The writing was on the wall,” he recalled. “I had people I knew that I loved and trusted pleading with me not to start a mortgage company right now. But I felt very strongly about a way of serving people that I thought it was important.”
He’s never looked back. “My mortgage company is set up really differently,” he said. “We put a cap on the amount of money we can make per each transaction. So on a mortgage, instead of trying to sell somebody a higher rate than they deserve – to try to earn as much commission behind the scenes as possible – we put a cap on our income and should the customer choose a higher rate or should we receive higher commission from the lender, we give that commission back to the customer at closing to help make their costs lower or help pay for other things. We’ve kind of peeled back the curtain of what really happens in a transaction.”
That inside-the-ballpark presentation includes showing clients their options on a television screen. “We show them behind the scenes of the pricing at each lender’s website. So they see what rates they qualify for and they choose what rate works for them. And because of the cap we have on the commission we get on each transaction, we’re also able to provide folks with a gigantic financial benefit.”
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