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.
Real Estate and financial markets ebb and flow in cycles of approximately 7-10 years, which can be extremely lucrative and very tumultuous for participating entities. To endure market gyrations, including the great recession of last decade, and come outstanding, is by no means a small feat. It is something to be admired of any financial entity, that is still here to tell the story.
It all began with an uncertain start of a few entrepreneurs trying to get into the mortgage business in the late ’80s. It was a time where there was no standardized industry technology, no consistent lending parameters, insufficient loan programs, and inadequate banking oversight. The market evolved. The industry advanced. Markets matured. Everything changed. Fast forward thirty-plus years later, this company has developed into the “number one mortgage lender in America.” To now be self-labeled the Number One Mortgage Lender in America is undoubtedly an achievement!
There is a distinctive value-added and a unique selling proposition (a “USP” as they say in corporate America) that is needed for a business to attain such noble regard. It is truly a testament of success to achieve such accolade in an industry that is renowned for excessive fees, a frustrating documentation process, and a need for consumers to feel equipped to endure the largest debt of their life. Mission accomplished… I suppose.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not talking about Approved Funding. We are by no means the number one mortgage lender in America, although I would characterize us as a great success story but for entirely different reasons. I also won’t reveal who I am speaking of, although it should be quite evident and irrelevant at the same time.
As I contemplate what an adequate unique selling proposition is in the mortgage lending industry today, I don’t think I would put as much core emphasis on the “onboarding” of loans as others in the marketplace do. Yes, twenty years ago it was a nightmare. Having to meet with your mortgage advisor face-to-face with your documentation in hand, was an inconvenience. During those days, having digital copies of bank statements and income documentation at your fingertips was also not as common as it is today. At the same time, however, actually meeting or conversing with a mortgage advisor offered something critical that cannot be quantified or grasped via submission forms and online portals. Definitely, more convenient. Certainly, a tradeoff. Debatably, a progression.
To me, “the pain” in the mortgage industry is no longer in the procurement of paperwork, it is the review and determination of how to evaluate those documents. Moreover, there are no longer exceptions or short-cuts to the loan process that once existed. Almost unanimously across the industry, everyone requires the same credentials.
So, what is a noteworthy USP today in the mortgage industry? I would say getting the best rates and terms while getting the best guidance and advice; All without sacrificing proficiency, hand-holding, and comprehension of long-term and short-term financial objections is the answer. But that’s just me. Perhaps I am old-fashioned and out of touch.
I want to put my money where my mouth is, so I went online to “America’s Largest Mortgage Lender.” I put in my request for mortgage financing on a new home purchase of $550,000 with a 20% down payment. I have to admit, the screen looked sleek and welcoming, and the data entry was simple. I completed about 20 fields of information and questions and was presented with a mortgage rate offer. Quick, easy, and painless …just as advertised. It said 4.500% for a 30-year fixed mortgage. Sounds good. Again, the screen was clear and uncluttered, very comforting and inviting. The screen had a big pop-up box right in the middle asking to “Begin The Loan Application”. It also had a box that said 4.784% APR. It seemed easy enough to me. Impressive to say the least. Except for one thing. That rate quote required 2.1% in origination fees which is about $8,800 more than someone would need to pay using Approved Funding. Not so clear. Not so simple. Not so impressive.
Tell you what, for anyone who is impressed with the ease-of-use of a system like that, I can offer something even easier without having to type anything, and you will be assured an even better rate. It’s so revolutionary that you can actually apply for the mortgage while driving (on a hands-free phone) simply by calling me at 201-833-0123. In 7 minutes or less, you can obtain America’s Cheaper Mortgage and get a better experience thereafter. Our mission is not to become America’s number one mortgage lender… It is to become our client’s most beloved mortgage lender because of the service, integrity, and results we provide.
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