Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.
One of the benefits of driving up to “the country” every weekend is the scenic views I get to enjoy along the way. Barring the frustration of traffic jams, detours and other surprise interruptions that can often be encountered along the way, the picturesque sights are simply magnificent.
One of the things that popped into mind on a recent drive upstate were the various highway signs that often forecast “Next Exit In 5 Miles” and “Exit Ahead.” Seemingly, these indicators really have no immediate impact, but upon further reflection, I began to see value in what these gauges represent.
In business, especially in a service business, it is most likely the case that the expectations and guidance that you offer the customer, your client, is as valuable as the product you are providing. When it comes to helping someone buy a house, or helping them obtain financing to purchase it, there is nothing proprietary about the mortgage you are helping to facilitate. The value, therefore, is in the experience and the path in helping them get to their end destination.
One of my loan officers was having a conversation with a fellow loan officer who works for a different bank. The other loan officer was complaining about some of the frustrations that she was encountering at her place, and specifically about a purchase transaction that was supposed to close by the end of this month which was being delayed through no fault of hers.
As is often the case, the bank needs to obtain the title report from the title company before they can accurately move forward with the closing. My colleague couldn’t understand why her bank couldn’t do everything that they needed to do while they wait for the title documents. She explained how they follow an unyielding one-lane “conveyor belt” business model where the application needs to advance one step at a time so that “nothing is missed along the way.”
As a business executive, I can appreciate protocol and process, but in a business such as ours, there has to be a system to allow for detours and deviations when things get stuck along the way; warranted or unwarranted. Thankfully, we don’t subscribe to this narrowminded single path approach for getting our mortgage loans processed because we see that model cannot accommodate the everyday bumps along the way.
At the same time, we also do incorporate the “Exit Ahead” mindset where we do our best to help manage expectations and outline the next steps and actions along the way. We don’t wait until the application progresses through the funnel to make these markers and benchmarks; It is part of the culture and mindset that our entire organization has.
Helping navigate the upcoming events and sequences is one of the most valuable benefits that we provide to our clients. In an industry laden with paperwork and protocol that can cause much “road-rage” along the way, having the markers in place to provide direction helps ease many nerves. I know we do this well, and our clients appreciate the path we lay out for them from the get-go.
We are heading into “Shabbos Nachamu,” the “Shabbos of Comfort” – as it is the first of seven haftarahs of consolation leading up to Rosh Hashanah. I would humbly suggest that part of the comfort is knowing what is ahead … And that is a “New Year” that is soon approaching with “new beginnings” and “new opportunities” – and it is that forecast and far-sightedness that gives us each a measure of comfort.
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