Key Sales People Are Those Actually Performing The Service

The key salespeople in a professional services environment are those who actually perform the services; they are the key that completes the sales force.

I've spent most of my career in the mortgage industry and have had an active hands-on roll in all aspects except payment servicing. Some people say I'm a good sales-person, yet I've failed the most at being a loan officer. Or, I should say, I've failed the most at the traditional sales side of being a loan officer.

As long as I've got an active audience, I've done well. Whether delivering the goods as a loan officer or processor with borrowers, or with underwriters or closers or title companies, I've had great results. Talking to the back shops with investors, or with warehouse lines....done well.

Give me a product and connect me with the person I need to deliver it to...that's my sweet spot. Or put me in a room of people, or one-on-one, to train or coach and I'll develop a relationship and get results through that format. But don't send me out on the streets or put me on the phone to "just sell." Almost guaranteed failure.

But, all those years I wasn't "out selling" I still thought of myself as a salesperson. When I had someone on the phone or face-to-face, I was still selling. We all sell something every time we talk to someone and hopefully it is with good results in relationship to the product or service our company is attempting to deliver through us. We might pose it a communicating or discussing or some other aspect, but generally we are selling.

Mortgage lending's traditional sales people are loan officers and a good loan officer gets the loans in the door. But then, what happens? Most don't even know that the sales process must continue. The loan officer has to "sell" to get the loan application in most cases, and the processor, underwriter, closer, and funder MUST continue what the LO started.

Most companies have a tremendous amount of assets sitting in their box, but many of those assets don't even know they should be selling.

To that end.....

Danny L. Smith
Business Coach
and Mortgage Consultant
Twitter @DannyLSmith

Who are the REAL Salespeople?

In a professional services organization, who are the REAL salespeople?

Lead, Mentor, Train, Tutor, Coach, Manage: Is there a difference?

Yes, there is a difference and part of that difference is in the follower, but first the question at hand -

Mentoring: where there is a mutual relationship with an intentional agenda to convey specific content along with life wisdom from one individual to another. (Howard Hendricks, The Elements of Mentoring)

Coaching/Training: an advising relationship in which an expert walks alongside another individual through a process or set of decisions and/or disciplines. (in part Howard Hendricks, The Elements of Mentoring)

Tutoring: one-on-one private individual instruction that is customized to meet specific needs

Managing: a hierarchal relationship in which in which the senior person handles, directs, governs, or controls the people and processes on an orginization despite hardship and difficulties

Leading: influencing others at all times; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in part through mentoring, training, discipling, tutoring, and/or coaching

Too many of us limit our belief of Leading to speaking at a seminar, leading a class/small group, "managing" people, etc. Yet, while Leading will often include one or more of these areas, most of us have been wrongly trained that to lead we have to be in a position of recognized authority; out in front; respected. We've been taught that Leading is specific to a time or place. That is incredibibly bad thinking and behavior. Whereas mentoring, training, tutoring, coaching, and managing have specific time sets, Leading is continuous, all encompassing.

Randy Pennington, in his excellent book, RESULTS RULES!, does a great job emphasizing the importance of results; good or bad. After hearing Mr. Pennington speak, reading his book, and reflecting on what all he has to say, I've realized how LEADING RULES! also.

Good or bad, you and I are LEADING every hour, of every day...and that RULES! who we are and how people react to us. We are following also and both dratiscally effects the sphere of influence and how well we trust and are trusted.

One of my life disciplines the past 16+ years is..."I will be the same 5 years from today, as I am today, except for what I listen to, what I watch, the books I read, and the people with whom I associate."

And finally, where does following fit into all of this? EVERWHERE. We have to be good followers to be good at any of this.
Pay attention, be purposeful, follow well.

To that end....


SAFE ACT Final Rule Requires Bank LOs to Meet Certain Registration Requirements

Federal Agencies Issue Final Rule for SAFE ACT Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - the Federal Agencies (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, Farm Credit Administration, and National Credit Union Administration ) have issued Final Rule regarding "the Registration of Mortgage Loan Originators" requiring residential mortgage loan originators employed by national and state banks, savings associations, Farm Credit System institutions, credit unions, and certain subsidiaries to meet certain registration requirements of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“SAFE Act”).

What You Do Speaks So Loudly....

Google "culture" and you'll come up with over 500,000 hits. Ask the person next to you to define it and you'll likely get nut'n. I've asked this to many people and one smart guy said, "well, it's like what Supreme Court Justice Stewart said about pornography, 'I can't define it but I know it when I see it.'"

Here's my stab at "it" -

Culture is the living environment in which people blend the core ideology (mission and values) with behavior, communication, and processes. The culture becomes healthier as the transparencies increase and individual agendas align. The healthiest cultures come from organizations in which leaders strive to be better followers and followers better leaders.

Culture is not about words on a mission or values statement. Culture is not about saying you want to have a good culture.

The Joy at Work Bible Study Companion states "corporate culture is remarkably poweful and amazingly resilient. It is about the values that are intentionally pursued, even when they are painful to uphold. It includes purposeful operating principles, concrete ways of working that reward behaviors consistent with the culture and punish behaviors that are not. Indeed, corporate culture sets the boundaries of behavior. It is not something controlled by a central headquarters, but by the "normal expectations" of how work is to be done by both top executives and front-line workers."

Building and maintaining culture is a way of life at home or at work and it must be purposeful, specific, and relational. It has been repeated many times that what you do speaks so loudly that what you say I can not hear. This biggest complaint I hear when working outside the boardroom is "they have no idea what goes on in the real world. They run this business like it is a mom-pop shop and let me talk and act any way they want as long as the job gets done."

The hardest part of building a healthy culture is liivng the Values....even when they are painful to uphold.

To that end.....

Circles and Life

I like circles, even imperfect circles. Life is full of circles; what goes around comes around, and such.

Robust Evaluation and Correction is about circling. The Bible says something to the affect of "what you don't get right, God will circle it back to you; again and again and again, until you do get it right.

Covey, in The Speed of Trust, uses a "back-and-forth" circle as visual to better describe his five waves of trust and their intersecting aspects; See, Speak, Behave.

(from Speed of Trust)
This is a great way to show that while life is not a list of things to check off, but it's not a trip around the block either.

In this circle of life, as this diagram shows, we speak, behave, see or behave, speak, see or speak, see, speak, behave, see, get the idea.

Collins, in Good to Great, had a similiar idea in mind with the whole Hedgehog thing. I picked up the Robust Evaluation and Correction concept from Dennis Bakke's Joy at Work.

In any event, we can't coast around the circle, or check things off our list(s), and think THAT'S IT - DONE!. Doesn't happen that way. I'm reminded of a woman I once heard say, "I don't do housework because it never stays done." Nothing stays done, not in an earthly since anyway.

To that end....

Robust Evaluation and Correction

Our overall societal culture drives a "we are all adults and should be able to do what is expected" mentality. Subsequently, when there are problems (and there are always problems), it just as important to recognize, acknowledge and resolve poor performance as it is exceptional performance.

This part of the 4Pt Process model is in similar to Collin's Hedgehog in that you keep going around the circle until you get it rightWith Robust Evaluation and Correction you achieve good teamwork through the conflicts of poor performance and the positive results it brings to the individuals, the team, and the organization as a whole.

Recognizing and proper handling of poor performance should be part of any individual and organization's core ideology and culture.

Recognizing performance comes from two sources: passive and active. Like sonar on a submarine, evaluation is either passive or active. Passive is simply listening to what is going on and responding accordingly depending upon the threat, or problem. Active is sending out "pings" to detect what is in the vicinty that can cause problems. Much like the bounce of the sonar's ping against the threat, when looking for problems in your organization you can't ignore the threat and do something else.

Looking for problems should never be the purpose. The purpose should be to recognize a problem and do something about it; small or large.

The basic techniques when confronted with a problem in performance are -

 Respond – Don’t React

 Expect the Best

 Go to the person

 Confront the Event, not the person

 Ask Questions, Seek Clarity

 Develop Action Plan of Changes

 Clarify the Action Plan

 Implement the Action Plan

 Evaluate and Correct Continuously

 Treat this like a never ending circle until problem is resolved

Robust Evaluation and Correction is an important part of recognizing the ingredients of the box you're in and doing the best with what you have before moving outside the box for something new. Too many times we want to fix a problem by getting a new piece of technology or a new hire and yet, we end up with similar results because it wasn't the technology or the person. Proper use of a good People Process makes a difference with all individuals and the organization as a whole.

To that end....

It's Not About The Coffee

Former Starbucks president Howard Behar says "Starbucks is not in the coffee business serving people. We are in the people business serving coffee." I acknowledge that Starbucks has had its own challenges since this book was published, but that doesn't degate the importance of the author's message.

I originally read and posted about this read in mid-2008 on another blog and was lead back to it today while researching materials for a client. The realty of the information Behar has struck again. Within 3 pages of beginning It's Not About the Coffee I found myself looking for a pen. Finding real deals is great and that's what I'm uncovering here. The author, Howard Behar, has been in the trenches. Most company presidents spend their time in meetings, meetings, meetings...I know, I've been one (side helps to have good follower-leaders).

Mr. Behar though, would attempt to visit as many stores (10 or more) each week as he could. He felt this is where he learned the most about his business, where he was able to set and let his entrepenual thoughts run wild and take hold. I had always assumed the President of Starbucks was one of the original owners, but not so. Mr. Behar was 44 years old and had 20 years in the retail furniture business when he came to Starbucks in 1989.

This is a great read and is puncuated with a bit of Mr. Behar's personal history as he shares the ten Leadership Principles he used through the years.

Here are some insights into his principles (just insights, not the'll need to read the book to get those);

Know who you are

Know why you're here

Develop trust in yourself

Build trust

Listen for the truth

Own It

Think like a person of action and act like a person of thought

Trust = Truth = Accountability

It's not rocket science, it's a lot harder

Getting past the no book

Maybe, maybe, the most best quote in the book (I'm rereading it, again) is on page 100 and Mr. Behar is talking about truth and accountability. He quotes Harold Geneen, CEO of ITT:

"I believe it is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises - but only performance is reality. Performance alone is the best measure of your confidence, competence, and courage. Only performance will give you the freedom to grow yourself."

My days are presently spent, in part, consulting and coaching business people and this is going on my required reading list.

To that end....


New Focus Groups Being Formed

We have the following Focus Groups being formed:

Central Texas
Participant Type: Mortgage Branch Managers
Date and Time:
       2nd Thursday of Month (beginning September)
       4pm - 8pm
Location: Austin - Arboretum Area

Central Texas
Participant Type: Realtors
Date and Time:
       2nd Thursday of Month (beginning September)
Location: TBD

Central Texas
Participant Type: Open
Date and Time:
       3rd Tuesday of Month (beginning September)
Location: TBD

North Texas
Participant Type: Mortgage Loan Officers
Date and Time:
       2nd Tuesday of Month (beginning September)
       9am - 1pm
Location: Plano Area

North Texas
Participant Type: Mortgage Branch Managers
Date and Time:
       2nd Tuesday of Month (beginning September)
       4pm - 8pm
Location: Plano Area

Summary of detail can be found by clicking Focus Groups, emailing and/or calling 512-773-6528.

HUD Sends Another Warning!

Is it discrimination or are lenders just trying to keep HUD from making them sign indemnification letters?

Per loan profits going down because of increase costs due to regulations.

Being Creative...In-The-Box

John G. Miller, in his books QBQ and Flipping the Switch, writes about being successful while working with what we have. Hence, "in-the-box."

On page 39, of QBQ, he writes - Every organization has imperfect systems and finite resources. We may wish we had newer tools, better systems, more people, and bigger budgets. But thinking too much about what we'd like to have is another cause of procrastination.

I liken that to "the grass is always greener on the other side."

There are a lot of things in life we don't have control over, and then there are times we've made bad decisions. We can't fall into the "I wish...." discussions with ourselves.

We have to learn to succeed with what we have. As some wise person once said, "have lemons, make lemonade."

And we can be creative while "thinking inside the box." Miller points out we can employ Creativity when we ask the QBQs.

What can I do to succeed with the tools I have? What tools do I have?

What needs can I fill?

What competitive advantages do I have?

What do I have to be thankful for?

How can I help to better develop the products I have?

What could I have done in the past to have had better results today? What could I do today to have better results tomorrow?

I understand there is a book out there that defines thinking outside the box as living in a vacuum. I say AMEN.

To that end....


Be Transparent, Demand Transparency

I get calls from clients from time-to-time ask how to properly ask a question.

My answer is always the same....just straight out ask. Typically, we'll then start talking about how to be transparent, how to talk straight, but leave the right impression. Sometimes, the client just wants to hear me say it again - talk straight, be transparent with your motives, and leave the right impression.

A call this afternoon was more along the lines of....I wnat to let you that I'm about to make a call to someone that just doesn't get it and the right impression is going to blow someone out of the water. Do you have any suggestions before I do.

This t;ype of straight talk/transparency has to happend from time to time and is not a problem as long as you recognize going in that you might be damaging a relationship and can stand the consequences. Hopefully, before you go to that extreme, you've practiced some softer behaviors that haven't developed the desired results.

Experience will show that the more transparent you are, the more you'll naturally demand transparency, the more you'll trust yourself, and the more you'll enjoy your work.

To that end....

Peace, Love, and Traditional Mortgage Lending

(The following was a post on my Inside-The-Box blog back in November, 2008, and I was reminded of it today and thought it still very appropriate)

Peace, Love, and Traditional Mortgage Lending was the title for this year's Texas Mortgage Banker's 58th Annual Educational Seminar and Marketplace.!

LOL. I'm a product of the 60's and 70's and that brings up some serious contradictions; while some were sitting around peacing and loving with their favorite bong in tow, others were fighting for it (the peace, not the bong nor the love). Overseas and on the campuses across America. Peace and Love......and fighting for it along the way. Ahhhh - the good old days.

But what about "traditional mortgage lending?" What is traditional mortgage lending?

Just because we are back to FNMA, FHLMC, VA, and FHA let's don't fool ourselves into thinking there is anything tradional about our industry. Not with automated underwriting, neighborhood watch, credit scores, mimimum credit scores, Uncle Sam's intervention, fraud detection tools, identify theft prevention, HAWK alerts, pulling transcripts from the IRS during underwriting, AVMs.....

Traditional? Not after 7 years of unchecked greed from Wall Street all the way down to main street, people turning their heads all along the way. The blindness and head-turning taken on by many is like the homeless guy, or the beaten pedestrian that everyone turned their head to ignore.

Tradional? I'm not sure we would know traditional if it bit us in the butt, but we are not back to "tradional" (no offense to TMBA). Traditional to some of us include typed 1003s, carbon paper, and a world without emails. Heck...tradional mortgage lending would have to include a time without computers. Now there's an idea - NO EMAILS!!!

If there ever has been a traditional, we have to do much better than traditional. We have to rise way above TRADIONAL. Here in Austin there's an old saying..."Onward through the Fog."

Let's break from the fog. Let's rise above the clouds hovering around us and get a clear vision of where we are going and how we're going to get there.

Peace and Love? Ok, but let's get our heads out of..the sand, and fight for it - that's traditional.

How Credible Are You?

A previous posting on Self Trust has brought up some interesting conversations, including the whole concept of credibility and ethics.

I'll say first that ethics hass gotten distorted because of the technical teaching of how to be ethical without lying and cheating...or at least not technically.

So, how credible are you? On pages 50 - 53 of the book The Speed of Trust there are a serious of questions that form an assessment you can take and grade yourself. If you are honest with yourself, it will give you a fairly good idea of where you stand with yourself. After scoring yourself, and if you have others that will be honest with you, have them score you. The gap between your personal score of yourself and their score of you will give you a good idea of how much you need to improve.

If there isn't a gap; someone is lying.

Paying Attention to Other's Strengths?

Leading well means a lot of things, including the awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of those in the box with you.

It's ok to develop strengths, or hire others to balance your team, but you can only work with what you have in your box; success comes from the box.

To train, that means you have to determine what to train and it takes time and money. That time and money is part of what is in the box.

Leading in the box, thinking in the box, means you're searching the matter out and not wishing for things to be different. It leads to positive results and not worrying about what is out of control anyway.

Staying in the box is real; it's being sure you're looking at the reality, getting better, staying focused, talking straight, and learning from mistakes.

To that end....

American Land Title Association Releases Update to RESPA-Compliant Uniform Instructions to Aid Use of New Mortgage Documents

WASHINGTON - (Business Wire) The American Land Title Association (ALTA) announced it has updated its uniform set of instructions to help facilitate the handling of new settlement documents that became mandatory Jan. 1, 2010 due to changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

The Uniform Supplemental HUD-1/1A Instructions are now available in an editable PDF file format and facilitates the transfer of information from lenders to settlement agents in order to create an accurate, compliant HUD-1/1A. Read More

FHA Loans with Low Credit Scores.....Really?

Michael Dewvall at First American Mortgage Trust claims that they are still offering some alternatives to the Automated Underwriting most lenders have been forced into. Michael says that true manual underwriting Makes the Difference!! For 580-619 credit score borrowers he looks for simple basic requirements and strong compensating factors to make your LOAN APPROVED!

Basic Requirements for consideration of a 580-619 credit score borrower:

a. Borrowers must have 3.5% downpayment from their own funds
b. Borrowers must have 4 months PITI reserves
c. Payment shock can be no more than 200%
d. Debt Ratios must be under 31/43
e. 12 months verified rental history via canceled checks or institutional VOR
f. All collections in the last 24 months must be paid off including medical (unless under $1,000)
g. Loan must meet basic FHA guidelines outlined in FHA handbook (4155)

Strong Compensating Factors for 580-619 credit score borrowers should include at least one of the following:

a. Long, stable job history (5+ years on same job)
b. Additional downpayment on purchases (at least 5%) or LTV below program maximum
c. DTI at least 5% below maximum allowed of 31/43
d. PITI reserves of 6 months or more
e. Minimal payment shock (125% or less)
f. Refinance that saves the borrower 15% or more per month
g. Current FHA mortgage paid as agreed (0x24)

Contact -

Michael Dewvall
Area Sales Manager (Western United States)
First American Mortgage Trust
(512) 343-0520 Office
(512) 949-5093 E-fax

HUD Proposes New Interpretive Rule to Govern Home Warranty Company Payments to Real Estate Brokers and Agents

HUD Proposes New Interpretive Rule to Govern Home Warranty Company Payments to Real Estate Brokers and Agents

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an Interpretative Rule in the June 25, 2010 Federal Register, providing HUD's long-sought views on the circumstances under which home warranty companies (HWCs) may compensate real estate brokers and agents for marketing their products. This Interpretive Rule follows HUD's controversial, non-binding, and informal staff interpretation letter dated February 21, 2008, which raised numerous concerns and questions about HUD's views on marketing agreements  Read More

Credibility Core #3 - Capabilities

To establish and maintain trust in today's world all parties will be checked off on his/her capabilities. Trustworthy people are capable of doing their job well, are credible, and inspire trust. A person can have all the other three cores, but without being capable, he/she will fail and inspiring trust.

Covey suggest the acronym T.A.S.K.S. to help guide you in defining the capabilities in yourself and otheers -

Talents: our natural gifts and strengths
Attitude: our paradigms - our ways of seeing, as well as our ways of being
Skills: our proficiencies, the things we can do well.
Knowledge: our learning, insight, understanding, and awareness
Style: our unique approach and personality

As you review these 5 areas in your life, and the life of others, think about how your beliefs and behaviors might be redirected in how you trust, or don't trust, someone.

Practicing this discipline will help you in your relationships.

To that end...

Loan Approved: 300 Acres Ag Exempt w/House and Various Outbuildings

This jumbo loan had the following characteristics -
  • Purchase
  • Owner Occupied
  • 250 acres
  • 2000 sf home
  • various outbuildings
  • Ag Exempt
  • Borrower
    • Solid business owner
    • 750 credit scores
    • Strong cash in business
  • 75% LTV
  • 30 Year Fixed Rate

A High Trust Relationship Between an LO and Realtor is about 4 Cores of Credibility

I suspect there is no other industry where Covey's "4 Cores of Credibility" are more prevailant than in mortgage and real estate.

1. Integrity
2. Intent
3. Capability
4. Results

Reading and studying Covey's book The Speed of Trust will very likely either change how you go about your business, or strengthen aleready good behaviors.

You can read more of what I've had to say by clicking on the following links and/or searching for keywords Covey, Speed, Trust in this or another of my blogs or Twitter account. Googling any of these keywords will bring up a lot of good and helpful information.

Leading Well by Reading Well

Inside the Box Success

The Speed of Trust in God's Eyes

To that end...

Loan Officer Licensing

There is a great deal of confusion about licensing and "if" EVERYONE has to have a national license and WHEN.

If you are in Texas, go to the TDSML website to get the REAL answers.

Click here TDSML.

Record Low Rates Aren't Reviving Home Sales

by Marilyn Geewax

July 11, 2010 In July 2008, the crumbling housing market started pulling down the whole U.S. economy. By September, millions of mortgage defaults had touched off a meltdown on Wall Street.

Today, financial markets have stabilized, but the housing market remains deeply troubled. New industry data show both sales and prices are slipping again in many markets, despite record low mortgage interest rates. Read More

Selecting the Right Mortgage Employer

When selecting a mortgage employer, here are some points to consider -
  • People
  • Processes
  • Products
  • Pay
  • Pricing

I've shared the Five Ps with loan officers literally hundreds of times over the past 16 years. The first time was when I was interviewing mortgage companies myself, other times while recruiting loan officers and still others just sharing.

While there isn't anything magical about the order, I do believe, depending upon your goals and purpose, you need to consider certain aspects over another. For instance, if the pay and pricing of a potential employer is highly competitive and the "process" of one lender means you have to totally keep your loans in-house and yet the "process" of underwriting is such that you can't get loans closed and funded in a timely manner, then the competitive pay and pricing don't mean much.

Or, the pay, pricing, and processes could be fantastic and the products lend themselves completely with your goals, yet the they align with your purpose and mission?

I've added other Ps to the list over the years based upon the situation, but in one way or another, the Five Ps are good benchmarks to consider in other areas of life, but particularly when selecting the right mortgage employer. And which ones are most important to me? The People and one of those other Ps I've added - the PURPOSE.

To that end....

(note - this is a reposting from 5/18/2010)

Trusting Yourself First

I have a few firm beliefs. One of them is this; "if I can't trust myself, I will not trust others."

Covey, in The Speed of Trust, talks about self trust in connection with it being the principle of credibility. I agree that to be credible to others one first has to trust themselves, and how well one trusts oneself is in direct proportion to how WELL one will trust another.

I struggle with this quite a bit because there are areas in which I trust myself but don't feel I can trust another. So, I circle back around to - what is good trust? Am I blindly trust someone? Are the results of the trust in proper proportion to the trust being given in the event it turns out bad?

We have to be certain we have the proper concept of trust down first and then we have to keep circling back to our own trust.

Do I trust myself to do what I need to get done in even the small things? In order to have a propensity to trust, one has to have a true north, a core, a foundation to start with. That true north starts with ourself. The Bible says to love others as we love ourselves. I know, it says to first to Love God, but that's another blog.

God Bless, learn to trust yourself.
To that end....

Strategic defaults give mortgage lenders challenge: those who can pay but don't

By Ken Harney, Washington Post

With tougher mortgage underwriting rules a virtual certainty under Congress's financial reform legislation, lenders have begun confronting still another vexing issue: Can homebuyers who have high credit scores be trusted not to pull the plug -- strategically default -- when the economy hits a rough patch and home values tank?    Read More

Mortgage Answers

Whether you are a borrower, a Realtor, or a loan officer.....I can either answer your questions or point you in the right direction.

Send your questions to or comment below.

To that end....

Want Mortgage Marketing That Works?

If you want your mortgage marketing to truly work, look at all of the mortgage advertising done by your competitors in your local area. Pull out the phone book, go through all of the papers, listen to the radio ads, and even look at their websites. Read More

Team Processing

Do you ever have thoughts (pictures) keep coming to mind and finally say something like "ok God, are you trying to tell me something?"

That was happening to me yesterday morning while mowing and I couldn't understand why I kept having flashes of a mortgage branch I was in the day before. Finally, I just stopped and started paying attention to those pictures in my head.

The pictures were how the processing team worked so well together getting things done. Not that there weren't conflicts (this is the mortgage business and tension and emotions can run high), but they were all working to get the loans done. These team members each have specific duties and work under a basic culture that "every file gets touch everyday by at least one person."

Makes me want to be a loan officer again!!!


Business Principles from Proverbs by Gary Seale

Gary is a friend and wrote this book three years ago and is presently republishing it as an e-book.

Good read and I thought I'd share a bit from the Introduction -

Envision a business world where telling the truth was a foundational precept. Imagine the quality of relationships that absolute truthfulness would build. Think about the enormous amount of energy that would be saved as your business peers no longer felt the need to pursue cover up games. Business and interpersonal skills would be enhanced because deficiencies were recognized and weaknesses were rapidly corrected. Contracts would be straightforward and simple because the agreements were built on a bond of trust. Bait and switch advertising would be a thing of the past. Sales claims could be trusted because exaggeration would be a dead issue...........Do not fear, your issues are not so complicated that they cannot be addressed by God’s wisdom.

U.S. 30-Year Mortgage Rates Decline to Record 4.57%

By Brian Louis

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. loans fell to the lowest on record for the third straight week, reducing borrowing costs for homebuyers as unemployment and foreclosures weigh on demand. Read More

Great Sales Results Come From Great Sales Techniques

By Mike Willshare and

The job of selling to people is perhaps one of the most difficult! The best sales techniques however, are those that help you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. It is only then that you will know what it is that you must do to convince them to buy what you are selling because it is needless to say that no one wants to part with their money easily! The sales techniques that you adopt must Read more

Mortgage Applications in U.S. Rise 6.7% as Homeowners Move to Refinance

An index of mortgage applications in the U.S. rose last week to the highest level since October as more Americans took advantage of lower interest rates and refinanced.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index more

Essential Leadership Discipline: Following Well

Following Well simply has to be an Essential Leadership Discipline. I read more than the average person and naturally run across very little about "following". By little I mean almost never. In the last year, and I keep up with stuff like this, I've only ran across about following in LinkedIn (one article) and the Bible. Nothing else, yet without followers, without following, without following done well we can't have good leadership.

The first time I remember reading anything of substance, written by man, about following was in a discussion on LinkedIn This discussion, in May of this year, led me to the article mentioned in the discussion, that led me to the book .

Now, I've researched and found some other things written about following and Ira Chaleff (Courageous Follower), has written and lectured extensively about the subject, but good have to go looking for it. No doubt I have an ax to grind,  but what is up with leadership leaders not talking about and writing about it? Seriously, are we that hung up on leading that we're scared to talk about following?

Having said all that, maybe this is just another blind spot I've got. But one thing I do know, following well is not something that comes easy and everyday I hear or read about being a good leader, or developing leadership, or some such very important leadership discipline. Yet no one wants to talk about following and how in the world can you have one without the other.

Ponder the thought of how well people follow you. Think about how important it is to follow well. In fact, I encourage you to stop thinking about leading and leadership and starting paying attention to your followership. You'll be surprised with the results and Randy Pennington makes a great case the Results Rule!

To that end....please learn to follow well.

This is an revision/update of a post originally posted on my Inside-The-Box-Success blog.

FHA loans to borrowers with 580+ credit scores!!

Michael Dewvall and First American Mortgage Trust offer some alternatives that few lenders are still pursuing.

True Manual Underwriting Makes the Difference!! For 580-619 credit score borrowers we look for simple basic requirements and strong compensating factors to make your LOAN APPROVED!

Basic Requirements for consideration of a 580-619 credit score borrower:

a. Borrowers must have 3.5% downpayment from their own funds

b. Borrowers must have 4 months PITI reserves

c. Payment shock can be no more than 200%

d. Debt Ratios must be under 31/43

e. 12 months verified rental history via canceled checks or institutional VOR

f. All collections in the last 24 months must be paid off including medical (unless under $1,000)

g. Loan must meet basic FHA guidelines outlined in FHA handbook (4155)

Strong Compensating Factors for 580-619 credit score borrowers should include at least one of the following:

a. Long, stable job history (5+ years on same job)

b. Additional downpayment on purchases (at least 5%) or LTV below program maximum

c. DTI at least 5% below maximum allowed of 31/43

d. PITI reserves of 6 months or more

e. Minimal payment shock (125% or less)

f. Refinance that saves the borrower 15% or more per month

g. Current FHA mortgage paid as agreed (0x24)

Contact -
Michael Dewvall

Area Sales Manager (Western United States)
First American Mortgage Trust
(512) 343-0520 Office
(512) 949-5093 E-fax

Manufactured Home/Land, possible build new home....and Ag Exempt

Recap of email exchange...answers to senders questions are underlined.

Can you give me more information on the loans you have available? We have a 1127 sq ft manufactured home (nice--looks like cottage) on 47.691 acres. It is not "permanently attached to the land" at the moment (considered personal property). The manufactured would have to be permanently affixed and made part of the real estate. The property is ag exempt and currently on a 7 year "land loan" with a fixed rate of 6.45%. Existing loan amount is $194K--bought for $257K one year ago.We would like to get a 30 year fixed on the whole thing if possible. Credit is in 700s. Today's 30 year fixed rate on this product is 5.5%.

What is the max loan-to-value? While we can go to 95% and we do have a good track record with these products and our MI company, because of the manufactured home, the max rate will probably be 80%.

Another way we may go is building a new home on the property. We would build using either cement block or poured cement walls--possibly add a basement. Is this a problem? Is it possible to keep the property as is with manufactured home as guest house, or will we need to divide the property? Probably need to separate it out, though we can keep the manf home as a guest house under a program with a rate of 6.75%.

The new house will share a well and electrical pole with the manufactured home. We would need the proper "shared" agreements in place if you do seperate it out.

We own the driveway from the paved road to the house, but do not own some of the land beside it; will this be a problem? Normally, we are only interested in proper access (easements and such have to be in order) and no detrimental factors because of such brought up by the appraiser. The appraisal, survey and any other documents would have to be reviewed by the underwriter.

How many comps do you require (solds, actives, distance, time)? Very subjective to the property itself though we won't be as tough as what is going on in today's market with Fannie/Freddie type.

Do you allow the land to be worth more than the home? Yes, up to 65-70% land value with a max of home value of $269,807. Our max total loan amount on this program is $417,000. If you go with the higher rate mentioned above, that program will take loans up to $1 million.


What does the future of the reverse mortgage industry look like?

Join the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association at the Dallas Westin Galleria on August 2 and 3 to find out.

This day-long forum is designed to give mortgage lenders, bank executives and real estate attorneys from all over the country, regardless of their reverse mortgage experience level, a wide ranging agenda from numerous vantage points. In addition, we have sessions that will focus exclusively on the loan originator.

The cost of this conference is $100, if paid by July 19 and $125 after the 19th.

• Payment(s) must be received prior to the start of the conference.

NOTE: This conference has been approved for 6 Texas SML credit hours. This course can only be used towards the renewal of a TXSML renewal application. Education requirements to renew an SML license are 15 hours of education. The course number is SML-18-2010-06CS.

To register, go to:

Our tentative schedule includes:


5:30 - 6:30 Opening Reception: Hosted by Reverse Mortgage Solutions

Westin Galleria: Room TBD


7:45 - 8:30 Registration

8:30 - 9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00 - 9:20 Welcome and Texas Update Scott Norman - MetLife

9:20 - 9:45 Secondary Markets Joe Kelly - New View Advisors

9:45 - 10:15 Regulatory Update Jim Milano - Weiner, Brodsky, Sidman & Kider, PC

& Marty Bell with NRMLA

10:30 - 11:00 Reverse Mortgages by the Numbers John Lunde - RM Insight

11:00 - 11:45 Aging of America Barbara Howard - MetLife

12:00 - 1:20 The Existential Threats Facing the Industry Jeff Lewis - Generation

1:30 - 2:00 Marketing Panel

2:15 - 2:45 Loan Servicing Panel

3:00 - 3:45 Pricing Strategies Panel

Do you need a room? Space is limited. Call the Westin today!

Dallas Westin Galleria / 13340 Dallas Parkway / Phone: (972) 934-9494

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Scott