Being an independent mortgage broker can feel like you’re facing big retail banks all alone. Why not learn from industry experts who have already forged the path? Join JP Hussey, Broker/Owner of the Hussey Team, as he goes in-depth about the business with industry experts and AIME members every Tuesday. Sit back, relax, and benefit from the insights you’ll need to further your breakthrough in the broker channel!
Seeing Through the Cycles (with Atrion Faiola) – Episode 129￼
Host JP Hussey sits down this week with Atrion Faiola of NorthPort Funding. Atrion has spent almost 20 years in the industry, and has worked on both sides of the aisle. The two discuss making the most of the recent downturn, the cyclical nature of the mortgage channel, and the need to keep your foot on the gas even when times are tough.
Atrion joined the mortgage channel right out of high school. As a teen, a next-door neighbor hired him on to his brand new mortgage business. He began at the very bottom: making cold calls. Eventually, during the recession, he left to join a major bank. He went through their LOA training program and found a niche in physician lending. Atrion was eventually appointed branch manager, a position he held for a number of years. When the branch folded, he used the severance payout to start his own shop.
Atrion has seen it all in the industry, a fact that he uses to keep himself grounded. “I’ve been through so many cycles,” he says. “I remember when they invented the trigger lead… now the trigger lead is basically useless.” He points to a willingness to adapt and a motivation to overcome as crucial to his success. The downturn the industry is going through, he says, is just another in a long line. “It’s a blessing in disguise for brokers. We’re faster, more flexible, and we can hunt different opportunities.”
Atrion was initially attracted to the independent wholesale channel because of that indomitable spirit. He says that after watching Mat Ishbia and Anthony Casa speak at a Fuse event, he knew he had to make the switch. “You can’t take your foot off the gas - stay motivated, believe in what you do, and use your downtime.”
When asked what advice he would give to brand new brokers, Atrion was quick to answer with some powerful words of wisdom. “1) Call financial advisors over real estate agents. 2) Align with real estate agents who match your personal style. 3) Never stop adding value - have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and share that knowledge with everyone you know.”
2:00 - Background
6:00 - How is this downturn different?
10:00 - Why did you become independent?
17:00 - Asking powerful questions
25:00 - Process
33:00 - Closing advice
This Episode is Sponsored By EPM Wholesale
Making the Switch from Banker to Broker (with Daniel De La Torre) – Episode 128
JP Hussey sits down this week with Daniel De La Torre of UMortgage. Daniel has only been part of the broker channel for a few months, but with a background in the retail mortgage industry, he brings a wealth of prior experience and keen insight along with him. The two discuss making the switch from bank to broker, the importance of the personal touch, and key advice to get started as a broker.
Daniel emigrated to the US from Cuba in 2004 and quickly found a job as a telemarketer. He began exploring mortgages shortly thereafter, but the market crash caused him to turn to real estate. In 2015, he returned to mortgages, and two years later, he was working in a bank setting. He says he only closed 1 loan his first year on the job, but through perseverance and persistence, he drove his numbers up to over 100 a year. He says the switch was brought on by a desire for independence, pricing flexibility, and product optionality. After years of being told that switching from bank to broker was crazy, he did the research for himself and decided to take the plunge. “It was the hardest career decision I’ve ever made, but I’m glad that I did,” says Daniel. “It’s important to make sure you’re associating with someone who can coach and direct you… knowledge is the most important asset.”
According to Daniel, his process is not much different than most people’s. What separates him is his attention to detail and care for his clients. For example, he recommends using a service to send personalized cards and gifts to clients as a way to reach out to past contacts. An initial call enables him to check in and see if a client will be a good fit, and from there, it’s the VIP treatment. “In the past, we didn’t have time to make the calls… now that we do, we have to take the time.” He also stresses the importance of getting back to realtors and continuing to both learn and teach mortgage information.
When asked what he would tell a newcomer to the channel, Daniel had some great advice. “You need to figure out what you want to be. Do you want to own your own shop? How scalable do you want to be? From there, you can learn the right channels and choose your platform.”
Background - 2:00
Making the Switch - 5:00
Process - 20:00
What should everyone be doing? - 26:00
Advice for people making the switch - 31:00
Closing advice - 34:00
This Episode is Sponsored by 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching
Mind Over Money with Brian Cooke (With Brian Cooke) – Episode 127
Host JP Hussey is joined this week by Brian Cooke of Sunny Hill Financial. Brian joined the broker channel a few years ago, after a long and successful career on the other side of the industry. In that time, he’s made a name for himself with a relentless pace, unparalleled customer satisfaction, and a diamond-tough work ethic.
Brian graduated college in 2001, directly in the middle of a crippling financial crisis. Stuck at home with no job, he began dropping off resumes. His first interview led to a job as a closed loan reviewer, which kicked off a nearly 20-year mortgage career. Eventually, Brian felt that he was undervalued by his employer, despite record-breaking production and 16-hour days. One thing led to the next, and he decided to enter business for himself. Now, he runs his own show. Backed by a team of 20+ plus LOs, he regularly turns out a level of volume that would be notable for a team three times its size.
Part of Brian’s success is his focus and his obsession with the customer experience. He is constantly working on his mindset, sharpening his tools, and developing his repertoire. Almost all of his business is brought in organically because of his reputation. “I just am obsessed with the overall client experience - I get massive referrals… It’s just working hard, and never being off. I’m always on.” Brian’s commitment is reflected in his incredible response time, which he says is never more than 20 minutes. That speed and dedication is key to the retention and referrals that have skyrocketed his profits. “My performance and being better is what gets me business,” he says.
For Brian, dedication and mindset are the keys to success. He says he is constantly learning from the experts and actively putting their advice into practice. He recommends reading everything you can about taking control of your mental space and working hard on discipline. His advice to new brokers? “Spend more time on your mindset than your skillset - that’s what’s going to get you there.”
Background - 3:00
Rewiring the operating system - 8:00
Process and stats - 14:00
Organic referrals - 19:00
Speed the leads - 23:00
The experience difference - 29:00
Closing advice - 32:00
This Episode is Sponsored by MyCreditGuy - Credit Restoration
How to Get Started in Mortgage and Carve your Niche (with Gay Veale) – Episode 126
Gay Veale of Epoch Lending might be relatively new to the mortgage industry, but she brings a wealth of life experience. A 30-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Gay shares her wisdom and perspective on leveraging connections and proving your worth.
Gay Veale joined the Air Force out of high school, where she would serve for the next three decades. After leaving the military, she worked for a time as a consultant in the defense industry. However, when a friend introduced her to the broker channel, she decided it was time to take a risk and make a change. She began working as a loan officer just 19 months ago, in November of 2020. In that short time, she has used her extensive expertise and experience to become a recognizable name in the world of VA loans.
Gay knows what it’s like to live the military lifestyle, and that knowledge enables her to help service members get the loan products they need. She understands the importance of a tight-knit community and working with people you trust. When asked how she generates leads, she points to a network of fellow veterans who have since gone into real estate. By leveraging that network at the start of her career, Gay has been able to grow her contacts list exponentially, and create a solid base of partners to work with. She also points to the importance of asking questions and forming relationships in Facebook groups like “Brokers Are Better” (BAB) while you are carving out your niche.
Gay’s advice to others who might be transitioning to the broker channel after years in another career? “Whatever product you’re going to do, make sure you know it inside and out. Know your product and make sure you’re communicating that expertise.” She also stresses making use of communities and resources such as Vetted VA. These welcoming and informative communities can provide the tools you need to get started and help you thrive along the way. “A home is a basic need of life and always will be,” she says. “I feel great about this job and the service I provide future homeowners.”
Background - 1:30
Industry start - 4:30
Why mortgage - 7:00
Lead generation - 10:30
Establishing a niche - 13:00
Multi-state licensing - 18:00
VA Loans - 21:00
VA loan limits - 24:00
Vetted VA - 31:00
Advice to newcomers - 37:00
Advocacy group - 43:00
This Episode Is Sponsored By AFR Wholesale
National Mortgage Brokers Day 2022 (with Katie Sweeney and Brendan McKay) – Episode 125
This week’s episode is a very special one - Broker-To-Broker host and AIME President of Membership Marc Summers is joined by AIME’s CEO Katie Sweeney and President of Advocacy Brendan McKay. It’s also National Mortgage Brokers Day (or is it week?) - so the three share their tips for celebrating the broker channel and getting the good word out there.
“National Mortgage Brokers Day is not just a day, but really an entire week -and we’ve grown it into a month - of education. Educating the consumer about the benefits of working with a broker, educating the industry about all the great things the broker channel is doing and its impact on communities, but also educating each other to be better at our craft,” says Katie.
Education is at the forefront of the AIME CEO’s vision for the month - she says that the goal is not just to tell people that brokers are better, but to show them why.
For Brendan Mckay, education is key to seeing brokers return to the 70% market share they held before the 2008 financial crisis. “Mortgage broker became a dirty word,” he says. To him, this year’s National Mortgage Brokers Day represents the culmination of five years of work to turn that around.
“I was there in ‘08, ‘09, and it was scary,” Marc Summers chimes in. “We didn’t have a voice. Now, I know we have AIME itself, and a community surrounding it that’s working to make things better.”
Of course, this year’s NMBD also sees the launch of AIME’s most important initiative to date - the BACPAC. This political action committee enables AIME’s members to make their voices heard on capitol hill and directly affect policy decisions. It is an unprecedented step for the broker channel, and is a massive win for the nation’s independent brokers. The three discuss making BACPAC a possibility, its impact on the industry, and what the future holds for AIME.
This week also features the release of a powerful educational tool for AIME’s members with the introduction of AIME Academy. This online platform will provide educational support for everyone from aspiring LOAs to seasoned brokers, as well as special product certification for VA, FHA, Self-employed borrowers, and more. “Until we get back to 50% market share, we have a lot of stories to tell and education to put forward,” says Katie. Resources, including shareable templates and social media profile pictures, are also available for members starting today. Now, let’s go celebrate!
What is NMBD? - 2:00
Why is NMBD important to you? - 4:25
The importance of education - 6:25
BACPAC Announcement - 7:05
The importance of BACPAC - 11:00
Training course announcement - 15:00
How to celebrate and spread the word - 22:00
Closing remarks - 25:00
This Episode Is Sponsored By National Mortgage Brokers Day
Cultivating Connections and Building Expertise (with Craig Messman) – Episode 124￼
This week, join in with JP Hussey and Molitor Financial’s Craig Messman as they discuss the importance of creating structure and approaching the industry with methodical intent. Craig is one of Chicago’s top producers, and with almost 20 years of experience, he knows a thing or two about long-term success. In this episode, he shares his tips for structuring and scaling your operation, cultivating in-house experts, and much more.
Craig entered the industry in 2001, learning the ropes at a large bank. In 2005, he and partner Troy Molitor started their shop together, and the rest is history. Although their shop takes a boutique model, they oversee 50+ employees and continue to post runaway numbers.
One of Craig’s keys to success is focusing on purchases. He recommends using these transactions as networking opportunities, carefully fostering relationships with those involved in the purchase. Craig says that communication - even over-communication - is essential at this stage. He maintains that honesty and transparency should be prioritized, and that leaving clients in the dark for any length of time is a huge mistake. “I never want my clients to experience what it’s like to buy a car,” he says. Craig mentions that he even discloses to clients what percentage of the sale will go to him, emphasizing that nothing should be withheld from the client.
Craig also delves into the nitty-gritty of his tech stack and his processes and procedures. He uses tools like Flowify, Lending Pad, and SureFire to streamline workflow, but he credits a lot of his success to another strategy; namely putting his most experienced processors up front. “It’s easier to catch mistakes earlier than try to fix them later,” he says. This is also central to another one of his business tenets - a pod system that enables newer employees to safely learn on the job and develop their skillset. “If you want to scale, you have to establish your front end,” says Craig.
Cohesion is central to Craig’s model - everyone from underwriters to real estate agents are running the same playbook. He believes in building from the ground up, drawing on cultivated relationships and genuine connections. “When you build it your way,” he says, “the organic way, the stress-free way, the endorsement way, that’s gonna be a very sustainable business model for you. Otherwise, these lead systems just go back to the transaction.”
(2:00) - Background
(5:30) - The importance of Purchase-focused business
(8:05) - Teaching people to communicate
(10:19) - Technical stack and workflow
(11:20) - Transparency in the buying process
(13:00) - The Pod system
(18:00) - Creating connections with all layers of the process
(23:00) - Building in-house expertise
(35:00) - Triangle approach
(42:00) - Drawing on existing relationships
This Episode Is Sponsored By AmeriSave Wholesale
Lost without these
Finally got through all of these. I have been able to implement so many nuggets picked up in these podcasts. If you are in this business and have questions to ask about growth, this is the place you will find the answers. Invest in you, spend the time.
Recommend!🔥🔥 You have to listen
Must listen! If you want to grow and learn the info here is invaluable.