This month I closed my 1,000th mortgage. During that time, you would think I would have learned hundreds and hundreds of things - and I hopefully have – but there are two lessons that I’ve learned along the way that have changed not just how I work but who I am. Let me share them with you.
Lesson #1 - These Are People’s LivesWhen someone buys a home, it’s not a small thing to them. It’s not a whim. It’s not a casual event. BUYING A HOME IS HUGE. Life changing. The home they buy will become the place where their story happens, where their memories are made. It will house their joys and tears. Even though they don’t know what their future will hold when they buy it, they know that this home will hold their future.
It’s easy for a mortgage lender like me to get so caught up in the day to day activity of her work that each loan becomes ‘just another loan’. Through my 1,000 mortgages, I have learned that each loan is NOT just another loan, at least not to my clients. It’s the start of a new chapter in their lives.Knowing this, I treat my client’s differently now than I did in my early years. Yes, I still concentrate on getting their loan approved. That’s just one piece of my job now, though. I also find ways to share in their excitement. I look for opportunities to reduce the increased stress that goes with such a foreign experience. I understand that uncertainty can lead to anxiety, so I err on over-communicating so that they can feel safe that all is as it should be with their purchase. My job is not just to get them to closing. As much as I am able, my job is to help them love the experience of buying their home.
Lesson #2 - It Takes A VillageAs the loan originator, I get to be the person that the homebuyer talks to and interacts with during the loan process. My part is such a small piece of the puzzle though. Managing a person’s loan application from start to finish takes a multitude of people. Case openers, processors, loan assistants, underwriters, manager, closers…… the list goes on and on.
Every one of these people play an integral part in the mortgage process. Each of their roles is a place where things could go wrong if the person doing it didn’t care. These people do care though, very much, and they work hard day-in and day-out to make someone else’s dream come true.These ‘behind the scene’ players typically don’t get any praise for what they’re doing. They’re not at the closing table, seeing the tears of joy and getting the grateful hugs from the buyer. They’re back at the office, getting the job done.
In my early years, I soaked up the closing hugs and congratulated myself on what I had accomplished. Over time, though, I’ve learned that I accomplished little. My phenomenal team of committed mortgage professionals accomplished the most. I’m a friendly smile and a great starter, but not much more. They’re the ones that see it through to the end and make the dream of home ownership really happen.
So…..that’s what I’ve learned. Bottom line, these 1,000 loans have taught me gratitude. Gratitude to my clients for entrusting me with their stories and gratitude to my team for letting me represent their committed efforts to our clients. Thank you all for the privilege of it. Here’s to another 1,000!