Mortgage Professional America: Can you give me an idea of how, when, and why you started in the mortgage business?
Stephen Cardillo: Started in May of 2003. A friend of mine worked at a mortgage company and thought I would be a good fit. I was initially nervous about going straight commission, but there was no better time in my life to give it a try, so I bet on myself.
MPA: What is the most memorable deal you’ve ever done?
SC: My very first deal was the most memorable, but not for the reason you may think. It was a refinance customer in Alabama that closed and was about to fund. Shortly after the signing, the husband decided that the mortgage was not right for him and rescinded the deal before it was funded. Being brand new to the business and straight commission, this was an eye-opening experience. This was followed shortly by me having to pay for a customer’s appraisal. The following Monday, when I came to work, a senior loan officer told me, “you’re going to make it in this business.” Confused, I asked, “why?” He said, “the previous week would have made most new loan officers quit, and you’re still here.” After that I honed in on my process and moved forward with becoming a partner with my customer and not an order taker. I am here to assist them in meeting THEIR goals, not my own. That’s where I failed my first customer, and I have never forgotten that lesson.
MPA: How do you set yourself apart from your competitors in the lending space?