NATIONWIDE MORTGAGE EDITION
THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BE A GREAT MENTOR
SUCCESSTHESE 7 HABITS ARE THE REAL SECRET TO SUCCESS
5 Lessons from Silicon Valley to MODERNIZE AND MONETIZE YOUR BUSINESS
Business Growth Hack:
ABSORB YOUR CLIENTSâ€™ STRESS!
NATIONWIDE MORTGAGE EDITION
DEE ANN HARPER
in the loan. The All-In-One loan is A fan of continuing education, Nikk Nikki spent thean All-In-One last San Francisco-based Mortgage Loan Dee Ann Harper had done everything There are McDaniel many other has reasons for Lilly’s mortgage business when she decided to open probably the most sophisticated loan 15 I’ve ever 11 industry. four decades in the mortgage works hard to stay ahead of ever-chang Officer Lilly Chiang – of PNC Bank – her own brokerage. Starting 7as a loan success, among them her welcoming officer, seen, and one of my favorites. It allows you During this she has built not only is a highly-respected, trustworthy and moving into wholesale and then intodemeanor andtime, her constant striving managetheto opportunity to pay off your mortgage in ing industry laws and guidelines. “I hol a remarkable but also a about stellar realized half the time as you normally would, just classes for new agents and for first-tim dedicated professional who consistently ment as a lending services manager, she keep her buyersresume, and Realtor partners under- every by attaching your mortgage to your checking home buyers,” she says, “and continuin reputation as step a trusted, talented profesplaces her clients’ best interests front she had done it all in the business except informed of the often-convowrite, and that’s when - with lots of experience account and flowing the money through your sional who is committed to shepherding education courses for Realtors alread and center during every transaction. under her belt - she opened InTrust Mortgage. luted loan process. “I’ve noticed there checking into your mortgage, and then back thewhen most I’ve difficult a It’s a novel idea in the US, but about in the business. With my buyers, I’m With a focus on excellence in customer areeven times triedtransactions to get ahold out to again. successful conclusion. her yearsown lender, 80% of the loans in Europe and in Australia very good at making sure they under service, Lilly has been helping her cus- One of the things Dee Ann learned inof my and I As hada toproducing leave team. are loans Regional Manager the Texas branch of like the All-In-One.” stand all options available to them, goo tomers in the Bay Area achieve their real in the business is the value of a strong a voicemail and wait at twenty-four hours what allows you to move effectively and First Community Mortgage, Nikki truly or bad. It’s important to me to mak estate dreams for close to two decades, “It’s for a return call,” says Lilly. “I make efficiently,” Dee Ann says. “I think ultimately That flexibility and range of options allows cares about and always works and in that time has funded well over that’s what borrowers and the agentssure Iyou pick up her the clients phone when someone that Dee Ann to do what she likes best: make her sure that they know they’re making th LILLY DEE ANN HARPER McDANIEL withand their best interests in if mind. right choice wantCHIANG - they want an effective “I just enjoy helping people,”and doing what’s best for them.” Nikki’ two billion dollars in loans and been work with calls me, and I don’t mind they clients call happy. NIKKI time.” a first-time integrity and her honest approach have also built a constant recipient of her company’s efficient process that closes on time every meJASON on the weekends or at night.” she says. “Especially if they’re SHANNON homein buyer - just seeingahow multi-generational excited they are Nikki, who began her mortgage career 1979, offers client base. “I’ve helped grandpar Chairman’s Award. That effectiveness and efficiency is what when they finally get the keys to their new wide variety of working loans through Community, childrenand and grandchildren in the same family, Backmakes whenInTrust he was stunt-riding motorsolutions for which a varietyents, of clients Lilly’s own experiences with First lenders Mortgage stand apartpoor from their home is very rewarding.” 19 20Banksituations—ensuring 23potential is division of First National Texas and operates she with justifiable pride. “I seldom ever los competitors. The key, Dee Ann says, to anever sacrifice Lilly, former real estate agent andcycles, recruiter, began factors into heriscommitment toone providing exceptional Jason Shannon never anticipated thatsays, for the always work in ways that DeeofAnn that desireoftoColumbia helpand people outainto the rest inclients all fifty states, as all well as the District client.” her career in the mortgage industry aincareer 2002, after anand tocustomer service, and making sure hertakes buyers inother, mortgages. When awith close homeowners agents alike canofrest work for them. “We will adapt andNate work how they–want to“Weherdo Serving as a Big Sisterasked inUSDA the Bigwhat Brothers Sisters most about what he does Pina Manager of FairWhen heBigenjoys and Rico. FHA, Conventional, unpleasant experience obtaining a loan hersheown are completely educated about what to life. expect when friendfor suggested a anatural fit Puerto in his In one Loan Officer Chuck Walde work,” says.he’d “If webe have young millennial who wants program, she hasassured been a mentor to adue youngdiligence. girl for six years way Independent Mortgage for a living, Nate points first the rewarding feeling and many otherthatproducts,” saysyear Nikki. “We also do a When she’s nottoworking, Nikki enjoys spending tim home. “The real estate Broker I was working with just Jason obtaining a our loan. sure my clients for the industry, decided to app, par-“I case, institutions unable to do everything online or through theyalways can do it make now. Every the teamtwo at InTrust Mortgage were votes on which to Lead of Silverton lot of VA loans. We do a lot of government programs with her family – particularly her two young grand Corporation’s Davis, California of helping people achieve the American dream ofMortga didn’t take the time to explain everything to me,” she understand what the differences are between the loan way. I actually have an older couple as we speak that we’re charity they’ll be supporting that year, with previous charities lay his social skills and work ethic to resolve a loan, but when put to the working are not very technologically savvy, I approaching including Meals On Wheels, Muscular Dystrophy Association because our branch offices strategically placed near children. She alsoChuck lovesbusiness spending time at her beac recalls. “The listing agent ended upa sending mywith filewhoFifteen products that are available forsothem,” sheare explains. branch – is rapidly homeownership. “I also like that this is really Walden Team new challenge. years later, test—Jason turned it around within five them in my office in person. We cater to how the agent and The Humane Society. military in where she hopes to retire eventu over to a woman who was a Senior Jason Vice meet President atan intrepid Lillywant is also proud thebases.” widethat variety of loan prodhashowbuilt career aof days. “Above all,and youhouse haveevery to Mexico, know hisas second decade of providing fast-paced, that loanLawrenceville, is different, like a and the borrower to work, and we combine – ally. Additionally, Nikki is passionateGeorgia about givin JP Morgan Chase, and she sat me down and explained offers. with processes thatucts are complete soPNC efficient sometimes loan Dee Ann also gives back by keeping Ihe the community in“There theat each situation, and then mortgage professional, with a we have the fingerprint. guidelines,” explains. top-notch customer service love looking consummate professional w Nikki, who once impressively closed over 46 million back to her community. A member of her local Boar everything to me. Then, she ended reputation up offering me a approvals three hours.” know about what’s real estate.and “If people ever hiswithin seamless communication, arehappening a lot ofinwith options possibilities to dollars his many clients the dealing it quickly want in more information about mortgages orof theRealtors, realand estatecorrectly.” inmortgage loans in awould single year, has achieved a remarkshe isprovides also an active participant with th job. It was initially a rough transition, but ultimately Anyone looking for a do well to exceptional serv in-depth and a proven track outcan there people aren’t aware of The knowledge, flexibility Dee Ann brings toable her level clients industry itself, catch that me on Real WALDEN Estate Talk Sunday NATEthatPINA JASON CHUCK northern part of SHANNON The Golden ofincludes success that sees most of business being Homes for Heroes organization, which is the larges it ended up working out very well.” record read Lilly’s reviews on Zillow.com, on which sitethey sheher success. don’tsheunderstand. know to both his many clients theofrange of loans offered. “We have hundreds of options mornings on 570or KLIF,” says. “I’m on My thereclients every other based upon repeat clients and their referrals. “I don’t nationwide of real estate andNate mortgage pro State’s Central Valley. Nate’s During the rare moments henetwork finds some free time, holds a perfect-five star rating. Among the glowing for our clients as opposed to just a handful,” she tells Top week, 8 to 9am, with Willie Lambright.” I’m honest, reliable, and genuine. partners. With fo buy leads orofanything that,” explains. This loy- more fessionals who IareRealtor committed to finding ways toahel Very well, indeed: the lion’s share of Lilly’s business she has received is thislike one: “Inshethe Agent. “In additiontestimonials to conventional and government loans true sense caring for both enjoys nothing than spending it with his wife and Today, Jason serves clients under theis banner of truly treatis everyone like they’re family, and I veterans always buy homes. Nikki is also currentl alty perhaps theLilly’s surest indicator of the that everybody we have asset depletion loanshome, where The performance future promising forexceptional InTrust Mortgage,military largely because is based on repeat clients and word-of-mouth. “I’ve offers, process of buying our first on excellent communica hisinclients and his community their four children, and the family can frequently be Contour Nassau, say: if Iiswouldn’t close itand for my mother, Ilicensed wouldn’t you Mortgage, don’t earn any Specializing traditional income, butthe youshe have plenty Dee Ann approaching next steps wisely. “We’re service provides. “Communication key, my serving a three-year term as a Director for the Centra done business here for seventeen years,”if says Lilly, was She incredibly patient and took isher and with aTexas deep well of industry knowledge, Ch of in assets, we can utilize your toin qualify you.in WeNJ, can in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico,” shehas says and skiing, general haveoutstanding. resulted a was sterling reputation athe found outdoors riding bikes, or taking advanSuffolk and five boroughs, heassets is also licensed close it as for who client. So far, that system served word is my bond,” says Nikki, has been elected Homebuilders Association. when asked to elaborate on this impressive loyalty the timeloans, to educate andreturns, was able move also provide bank statement in lieu us of tax for tothe next extremely step is to have offices in each states. “I’m focusing on CT, PA, and the rest of NY. As Sales Manager, Jason everyone well. Clients know they can trust me.” trusted and dedicated professional. tage of thebeen many recreational opportunities afforded has Associate ofarethe numerous times from both the her customers have demonstrated. “I’ve self-employed been workquickly andmortgage was always super-responsive throughout borrowers. Because as we know, there a lotYearmethodical, steady growth so that there’s no helping compromise inhis clients achieve the Ameri heads tightknit five loan everything officers andon has Fort Hood Board Realtors andwethe Texas “My favorite thing about this business,” byCentral the Valley. He is also passionate aboutsays Nikk ofaself-employed borrowers whoprocess.” write off their of the product that deliver to theCentral customer, to our real estate ing with these families for a long time, some of them team the of entire dream since 2003. taxes. We have one-timeas close loan. We have agents and our referral partners.” made aNate name for ahimself an construction incisive professional Beyond office, Jason gives back locally through Homebuilders Association. “Ithe take pride in not takingto with obvious sincerity, the rewarding feeling I ge began his career while still attending college inother giving back his community, both “is through Fairway were just children when I worked with their parents, withcoming a knack for problem-solving. What’s more, various community his free hours, offDavis. the ground that go to closing.” seeing theheroes, excitement my clients at the closing table. and now they’ve grown up and they’re to me In other words, loans if you’re looking an won’t exceptional the agriculturally-focused city of “Iforwas told by andpartnerships. its focus onInhelping andofthrough organizaa military veteran, owned a small business w the entirety of his business is based on repeat and Chiang. he most enjoys time Chuck, spent with his family and when they are buying their first home.” lender, further than find out look more about DeeLilly Ann Harper, visit a friendTowho owned hisnoown mortgage company that it DeeAnnHarper.com, tions that include theoutdoors— American Warrior Initiative, and referral clientele and driven by esteemed word-ofloved ones, while enjoying the great his father for seven years before hecementing decided he wan be a To great way to recalls Nate, future plans hiscatching business includes call 405.824.8320 orcollege,” email Fordharper@intrustlending.com more information about NikkiforMcDaniel, NMLS # 759248, mouth would promotion. account forpay his for success thus from skiing and his surfing to dirt-biking and to find a new vocation. “I got really bored,” he reca who cites began business while reputation as the leading philanthropic far, Jason a learning straightforward approach the stilla attending baseball game.Fairway’s As for the ofNikki.McDaniel@fcserv.com his business, please call 254-681-5626 or future email For more information about Lillythe Chiang, “and I wanted to find something that was different classes and playing water polo. the time I was in tolender in their area. prioritizes transparency, accessibility, and“By followJason intends keepCopyright momentum onMagazine the steady Top Agent please call 415-595-9980 or email Lilly.Chiang@pnc.com All loans and collateral subject to approval through. “I’ve beenyear doing a longI’d time, and with upswing,and while continuing to mentor up and coming my fourth ofthis college, jumped in full-time, would challenge me. One of my good friends own First National Bank Texas | NMLS# 402924 | Member FDIC| Equal Housing Lender no complaints from clients and referral theymortgage ascend the ranks. Now, with I’ve never really looked back.” partners,” team members as“Buying a home can be a strain emotionally and how I company, and both he hired me. That’s he says. “I know the guidelines and I know how fifteen years of experience and says insight behind him,shouldn’t be a transacNate. “This Copyright Top Agent Magazine financially,” into thehemortgage to navigate this process without problems. I also Jason Shannon considers what enjoys most business.” about Copyright Currently overseeing an equally dedicated team of tional business. I want my team to be there Top forAgent our Magazine understand that communication is key, and I pick his chosen field. “There’s so much satisfaction that seventeen others, including eleven Loan Officers, clients, not just during the transaction, but afterwards up my phone at all hours. I never want my clients comes from helping Currently people achieve one fourth of the year with Silverton Mortga ona his Natepartners and direct lender Fairwaythey offercan’t a widebiggest spectrum well, and tohebesays. continuing or referral to have questions goals in as their lifetimes,” “So many resource for them for Chuck his team process loans in Alabama, So of loan products to suit any buyer’s needs. “However,” anything fromand finance real get answered.” of the people I work with aren’t sure if theytocan get estate, or simply when Carolina and Tennessee, says Nate, “our big focus is on helping heroes: military, lifebelieve throws them a curveball.” approved or don’t that homeownership is though the bulk of their b Likewise, Jason is a student of the and industry whoWe waive possible put a deal the state of Georgia. Ch ness rewarding is done tothroughout police, firefighters, teachers nurses. allfor of them. It’s really stays up-to-date onfees market’s latest and together familiesaand playarray a positive our lender for310-734-1440 them, andproducts we’ve teamed up withfora all those offers wide of loan products to suit any n Phone 310-734-1440 | the Fax trends. local Accordingly, he to is help able cover to source lending in that milestone.” non-profit closings costs part or provide
4) 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BE A GREAT MENTOR
17) HOW TO MAKE YOUR COMMUTE PRODUCTIVE
8) SUCCESS–THESE 7 HABITS ARE THE REAL SECRET TO SUCCESS
21) 5 LESSONS FROM SILICON VALLEY TO MODERNIZE AND MONETIZE YOUR BUSINESS
12) BUSINESS GROWTH HACK: ABSORB YOUR CLIENTS’ STRESS!
including outlier bank statement programs to help
any extra assistance they might need.” email@example.com | www.topagentmagazine.com self-employed, one-time construction to perman To learn more about Jason Shannon, email JShannon@ContourMtg.com,
and a 100% conventional with no mortg No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior loans, consent of the publisher. Top Agent loan Magazine Currently, a staggering ninety percent of Nate’s visit ContourMortgage.com/Jason-Shannon, or call (516) 425 – 4518 insurance. Chuck, as a veteran, is particularly prou is published by Feature Publications GA,onInc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, business is based repeat customers, and past-client the many VA loans he has done. “We do a lot of tho Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change referrals of friends and family and is perhaps the most address, send inquiry accurate to firstname.lastname@example.org. Published in the U.S. he says. “When veterans talk to other veterans, we t measure of the excellent customer service Copyright Top Agent Magazine they provide. Excellent communication is one of the to trust each other because we’ve been through so m strongest reasons for this amazing customer loyalty, of the same things and there is an instant connectio Top Agent Magazine and Nate and his team strive to keep every one of their For more information about Nate Pina, buyers and Realtor partners constantly up to date on please call 707-718-6060 or is referral base The entirety of Chuck’s business www.
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6 Things You Need to Do to Be a Great Mentor
Everyone reaches the point in their career where they feel they have gained enough experience and wisdom about business and what it takes to succeed, to actually help someone else achieve the same. Although you may have trained or given advice over the years, taking on the official status as a mentor to someone is a whole new ball game. 4
Although mentorship is an unpaid endeavor, you’ll be surprised to find out how much you’ll gain from the experience. You’ll also grow as a business person through the process of teaching someone else. It’s also an endeavor that many will pay forward one day, creating a business atmosphere that is based more on mutual success than competition, which is better for everyone.
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If you were mentored, you may already have an idea of what it entails, and what you liked or didn’t like in your mentor/mentee relationship. Although it is a personal relationship that will need an individual approach, there are certain things that are key when it comes to being a great mentor: 1. Be a good listener
est about your own failures. It can be a huge relief to find out someone they look up to has gone through similar experiences and still managed to come out on top. As we all know, oftentimes the greatest lessons come from failures, which can be times when our character is truly tested. Building trust through mutual respect and honesty will make every aspect of your mentorship more effective.
You’re basically a sounding board who needs to hear your mentee’s ideas, plans and goals in order to advise them. Strong, constant and clear communication is key to any successful mentoring relationship. Sometimes just letting them talk things out with you, will lead to them to discovering the solution they were looking for. 2. Set expectations and goals at the start When listening to your mentee in your first meeting about the potential relationship, it’s important to establish the parameters of what that relationship will be: What can you give them? What do they need or expect from you? Once the terms are agreed upon, you may want to set specific goals you’ll be working on together so that there’s a defined plan of action, timeline and result you can both expect. 3. Be honest This is important when it comes to offering them constructive criticism or tough love, but more importantly, you need to be honTop Agent Magazine
4. Get them to think, don’t make decisions for them Sometimes being a mentor is being a bit like a psychologist. By asking certain ques-
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tions you can lead your mentee to their own conclusions about their business dilemmas and strategies to reach their goals. Being a mentor is all about guidance. Build confidence by drawing out the best in your mentee rather than just presenting them with solutions. 5. Look at the situation objectively One of the key strengths you offer your mentee is a complete emotional detachment to their business. You have no sentimental attachment to doing things a certain way or working with an incompetent vendor because you ‘go way back’. Your only motive is what’s best for your mentee and their business. Although emotions cans still get in the way sometimes, having a detached perspective on hand to guide you is invaluable. 6. Don’t just offer constructive criticism, be supportive Yes, being a mentor is sometimes advising your mentee that he’s doing something ineffectively, but your main purpose is to alway approach everything like cheerleader. You need to let them know that through it 6
all, you are a reliable support to them and have a complete belief in their abilities. Make sure to always praise their accomplishments. Remember: your job as a mentor is more about guidance than constant feedback. Your goal is to help someone become the best they can be, not someone who just does everything the way you do it. You’re helping them build confidence in their own intuition, which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of success, and one day, they too might be a valuable resource to another mentee down the road.
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LILLY CHIANG San Francisco-based Mortgage Loan Officer Lilly Chiang – of PNC Bank – is a highly-respected, trustworthy and dedicated professional who consistently places her clients’ best interests front and center during every transaction. With a focus on excellence in customer service, Lilly has been helping her customers in the Bay Area achieve their real estate dreams for close to two decades, and in that time has funded well over two billion dollars in loans and been a constant recipient of her company’s Chairman’s Award. Lilly, former real estate agent and recruiter, began her career in the mortgage industry in 2002, after an unpleasant experience obtaining a loan for her own home. “The real estate Broker I was working with just didn’t take the time to explain everything to me,” she recalls. “The listing agent ended up sending my file over to a woman who was a Senior Vice President at JP Morgan Chase, and she sat me down and explained everything to me. Then, she ended up offering me a job. It was initially a rough transition, but ultimately it ended up working out very well.” Very well, indeed: the lion’s share of Lilly’s business is based on repeat clients and word-of-mouth. “I’ve done business here for seventeen years,” says Lilly, when asked to elaborate on this impressive loyalty her customers have demonstrated. “I’ve been working with these families for a long time, some of them were just children when I worked with their parents, and now they’ve grown up and they’re coming to me when they are buying their first home.”
There are many other reasons for Lilly’s success, among them her welcoming demeanor and her constant striving to keep her buyers and Realtor partners informed every step of the often-convoluted loan process. “I’ve noticed there are times when I’ve tried to get ahold of my own lender, and I had to leave a voicemail and wait twenty-four hours for a return call,” says Lilly. “I make sure I pick up the phone when someone calls me, and I don’t mind if they call me on the weekends or at night.” Lilly’s own poor experiences working with lenders factors into her commitment to providing exceptional customer service, and making sure all of her buyers are completely educated about what to expect when obtaining a loan. “I always make sure my clients understand what the differences are between the loan products that are available for them,” she explains. Lilly is also proud of the wide variety of loan products PNC offers. Anyone looking for a mortgage would do well to read Lilly’s reviews on Zillow.com, on which site she holds a perfect-five star rating. Among the glowing testimonials she has received is this one: “In the process of buying our first home, Lilly’s performance was outstanding. She was incredibly patient and took the time to educate us and was able to move extremely quickly and was always super-responsive throughout the entire process.” In other words, if you’re looking for an exceptional lender, look no further than Lilly Chiang.
For more information about Lilly Chiang, please call 415-595-9980 or email Lilly.Chiang@pnc.com
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Successâ€“ These 7 Habits Are the Real Secret to Success What is it that makes some people so successful and others not? Is there a secret recipe one can follow, as easy as baking a cake, which will give them the strength to achieve their ultimate goals and have it all? The answer is that, in a manner, there is. The trick is in how you think about success and what it means for you. Many people define success as achieving their personal goals, but could this be leading them to look at the world a little too narrowly? The people that are truly successful in every aspect of 8
their lives donâ€™t stop at simply achieving their personal goals. They succeed in many avenues of their life, including their job, relationships, health, and family just to name a few. It turns out that ultra-successful people tend to have quite a number of things in common. One main skill many seem to possess is high emotional intelligence, or the ability to manage your emotions so that you can stay calm and focused even in high
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stress situations. Luckily, it seems not all of them are simply born with this ability, but have many strategies they use to help them achieve higher emotional intelligence. Here are seven strategies and habits that will help you achieve success in every area of your life.
BE COMPOSED The first thing successful people always seem to have under control is their composure. Successful people stay calm and composed when the going gets tough and fingers start pointing. They don’t panic. The secret? They understand that in life things are always changing. It doesn’t matter if something is bad at the moment because that will change soon enough. In this topsy turvy life all you can really do is adapt in order to stay happy and remain in control of how you react.
BE KNOWLEDGEABLE Have you ever noticed how successful people always seem to have such a wide range of knowledge and interests? Successful people do know more because they are always working to grow and learn. They strive to constantly increase their self-awareness. If a spare moment exists, then they will fill it with some kind of self-education. They do this because they are passionate about learning new things and ways to improve their life. Ignore the fear of being judged and ask questions, because that is the only way you can learn. Successful people don’t
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fear asking questions. They fear not asking those questions and growing stagnant.
BE DELIBERATE It is important to think and reason before you come to a decision. Successful people don’t rush. They seek out advice from other, they think of all the aspects, and sleep on their thoughts before finally making their decision. Your gut instinct can be misleading, and lead you to make a rash decision that you will come to regret later.
BE CERTAIN, AND SPEAK WITH CONVICTION Successful people speak with certainty. Unless you communicate your ideas with conviction and certainty, then you will have a hard time getting people to listen to them.
BE POSITIVE Successful people use positive body language when they are talking to other people. Their tone is enthusiastic, they maintain eye contact, leaning in towards the person speaking to show interest. Successful people use it to draw those other people in. How you say something can be just as if not more important that what you say to people. Positive body language can completely alter how your speech is perceived by others, and helps to keep attention on you and what you are saying.
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BE MEMORABLE BY LEAVING A STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION You only have once to make a first impression, and they are incredibly important, as they are closely ties to positive body language. You have around 7 seconds to convince a person to like you after you initially meet them. That is how long it takes them to decide when they meet you. After that a person is simply spending the rest of the conversation justifying that initial reaction they had. You can make sure you make a good first impression by having strong posture, a firm handshake, a warm smile, and open shoulders.
BE FEARLESS Successful people know that to give in to fear is a choice. They donâ€™t let the fear take over, instead focusing on the rush of euphoria that comes with conquering fears. All of this adds up to having a high emotional intelligence. What helps you to succeed is the ability to control those whirlwind emotions so you can stay calm and focused on actually succeeding. These habits can help you gain a higher emotional intelligence, but as you probably already know, anything involving dealing with your emotions in a healthy manner takes serious work. So, donâ€™t give up if you fail the first time. You must always try and try again.
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DEE ANN HARPER Dee Ann Harper had done everything in the mortgage business when she decided to open her own brokerage. Starting as a loan officer, moving into wholesale and then into management as a lending services manager, she realized she had done it all in the business except underwrite, and that’s when - with lots of experience under her belt - she opened InTrust Mortgage. One of the things Dee Ann learned in her years in the business is the value of a strong team. “It’s what allows you to move effectively and efficiently,” Dee Ann says. “I think ultimately that’s what borrowers and the agents that you work with want - they want an effective and efficient process that closes on time every time.” That effectiveness and efficiency is what makes InTrust Mortgage stand apart from their competitors. The key, Dee Ann says, is to never sacrifice one for the other, and to always work with clients in ways that work for them. “We will adapt and work how they want to work,” she says. “If we have a young millennial who wants to do everything online or through our app, they can do it that way. I actually have an older couple as we speak that we’re working with who are not very technologically savvy, so I meet them in my office in person. We cater to how the agent and how the borrower want to work, and we combine that with processes that are so efficient sometimes we have loan approvals within three hours.” The flexibility that Dee Ann brings to her clients includes the range of loans offered. “We have hundreds of options for our clients as opposed to just a handful,” she tells Top Agent. “In addition to conventional and government loans that everybody offers, we have asset depletion loans where if you don’t earn any traditional income, but you have plenty of assets, we can utilize your assets to qualify you. We can also provide bank statement loans, in lieu of tax returns, for self-employed borrowers. Because as we know, there are a lot of self-employed borrowers who write everything off on their taxes. We have a one-time close construction loan. We have
an All-In-One loan. The All-In-One loan is probably the most sophisticated loan I’ve ever seen, and one of my favorites. It allows you the opportunity to pay off your mortgage in about half the time as you normally would, just by attaching your mortgage to your checking account and flowing the money through your checking into your mortgage, and then back out again. It’s a novel idea in the US, but about 80% of the loans in Europe and in Australia are loans like the All-In-One.” That flexibility and range of options allows Dee Ann to do what she likes best: make her clients happy. “I just enjoy helping people,” she says. “Especially if they’re a first-time home buyer - just seeing how excited they are when they finally get the keys to their new home is very rewarding.” Dee Ann takes that desire to help people out into the rest of her life. Serving as a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, she has been a mentor to a young girl for six years now. Every year the team at InTrust Mortgage votes on which charity they’ll be supporting that year, with previous charities including Meals On Wheels, Muscular Dystrophy Association and The Humane Society. Dee Ann also gives back by keeping the community in the know about what’s happening in real estate. “If people ever want more information about mortgages or the real estate industry itself, they can catch me on Real Estate Talk Sunday mornings on 570 KLIF,” she says. “I’m on there every other week, 8 to 9am, with Willie Lambright.” The future is promising for InTrust Mortgage, largely because Dee Ann is approaching her next steps wisely. “We’re licensed in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico,” she says and the next step is to have offices in each states. “I’m focusing on methodical, steady growth so that there’s no compromise in the product that we deliver to the customer, to our real estate agents and our other referral partners.”
To find out more about Dee Ann Harper, visit DeeAnnHarper.com, www.
call 405.824.8320 or email email@example.com Top Agent Magazine
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Business Growth Hack: Absorb Your Clients’ Stress! Your business coach or a CRM software sales rep has probably described a number of products or services to help you grow your business. But sometimes the easiest way to increase the deals you’re closing is to simply be present for your clients. In doing so, you’ll find have the power to decrease the stress they feel. And when you decrease their stress, you increase your value to them, leading to new referrals and organic growth. 12
You may be thinking, “I have enough stress; how can I find the emotional bandwidth for other people’s stress?” But consider this: As their day-to-day point of contact in this life decision, you are already a strong presence in your client’s lives. Why not allow yourself to be the only seemingly calm part of this process? By asking them what’s on their mind, by truly listening, by showing that you truly understand and even by rolling up
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your sleeves to relieve some of their grunt work, you’ll prove yourself invaluable. Think of yourself as the equivalent of an anti-anxiety pill to your clients. All you have to do is form a few easy habits.
Laura and Raj, their agent and their loan officer soon came to learn that Laura’s 80-year-old mother may eventually move in with the family. This news not only helped the agent best meet Laura’s and Raj’s needs for a new home; it gave both the agent and the loan officer opportunities to go above and beyond for their clients. Their REALTOR® connected Laura with a senior services nonprofit near Laura’s mom’s current home that may be able to assist the family. And their loan officer outlined various, detailed options to Laura and Raj make smart, long-term financial decisions. Meanwhile, the agent and loan officer earned the trust of Laura and Raj, who felt less worried about the future.
Listen – really listen – with patience Behind every home purchase or sale is a person or a family with a uniquely complex set of needs, motivations, objectives and priorities. Asking the right questions and truly listening to the answers are the easiest ways to learn how to make clients’ lives easier. In doing so, you not only show that you’re interested in them as people, but you help yourself discover ways to surprise your clients with service. Take “Laura and Raj,” for instance – a couple in their 30s who wanted a larger home because their family of five outgrew their first home. By patiently getting to know Top Agent Magazine
Empathize Don’t be afraid to describe your own personal experiences as a homebuyer or seller, explaining how you felt at the time; let your client know you “get” it. The agent who is willing to open up and let buyers and
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sellers know that they personally understand their needs and concerns will connect with clients quickly, break down barriers and help the process move smoothly. Chayan Alavi, Broker/Owner of Alavi Agency in Long Beach, California, challenges himself and his team to ensure that every action of every day serves others. “If we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes with empathy, then we become stellar professionals and great human beings, too,” he says. “I like knowing that we remove the sales pitch from real estate and make it all about the customer.” Chayan and his team focus on customer advocacy and building trust. But they don’t take trust for granted. Instead, they know trust must be earned and nurtured over time.
Roll up your sleeves “You can’t be afraid to do anything!” says Matthew Todd of d’aprile properties in the Chicago area. “People know there’s nothing I won’t do to get the job done.” He has 14
mowed clients’ lawns, walked dogs and personally cleaned someone’s 8,000-squarefoot, $2 million home for a showing one day after his seller left the house. Two days before another closing, Matthew’s client was unable to move large amounts of unneeded furniture out of the house he sold. No problem! Matthew joined or created five online garage sales; sold or gave away most of the client’s belongings and had the remainder hauled away before cleaning in time for the closing. “The first time I sit with a seller on listing presentation or the first day I take someone on a buyer’s tour, they know I’m ‘all-in.’” Meanwhile, in the Cincinnati area, Aaron Denton of Summit Funding considers himself and his team members to be concierges for their borrowers. “We’re like personal assistants,” says Aaron. “People are happier when you remove the stress.” Included in their standard services are researching moving quotes; arranging and organizing movein day; scheduling utility transfers; assisting with children’s school registration paperwork; and even connecting buyers with local resources like daycares. If “rolling up your sleeves” isn’t your strongest skill, then an easy alternative is to get to know professionals in your area who can do these tasks for you. In the end, remember that by listening with patience, empathizing, and being willing to go the extra mile, you have the power to remove the stress your clients would experience without your help. When clients feel cared for, they remember the agents and partners who helped them.
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NIKKI McDANIEL Nikki McDaniel has spent the last four decades in the mortgage industry. During this time, she has built not only a remarkable resume, but also a stellar reputation as a trusted, talented professional who is committed to shepherding even the most difficult transactions to a successful conclusion. As a producing Regional Manager at the Texas branch of First Community Mortgage, Nikki truly cares about her clients and always works with their best interests in mind. Nikki, who began her mortgage career in 1979, offers a wide variety of loans through First Community, which is a division of First National Bank Texas and operates in all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. “We do FHA, Conventional, USDA and many other products,” says Nikki. “We also do a lot of VA loans. We do a lot of government programs because our branch offices are strategically placed near military bases.” Nikki, who once impressively closed over 46 million dollars in loans in a single year, has achieved a remarkable level of success that sees most of her business being based upon repeat clients and their referrals. “I don’t buy leads or anything like that,” she explains. This loyalty is perhaps the surest indicator of the exceptional service she provides. “Communication is key, and my word is my bond,” says Nikki, who has been elected Associate of the Year numerous times from both the Fort Hood Board of Realtors and the Central Texas Homebuilders Association. “I take pride in not taking loans off the ground that won’t go to closing.”
A fan of continuing education, Nikki works hard to stay ahead of ever-changing industry laws and guidelines. “I hold classes for new agents and for first-time home buyers,” she says, “and continuing education courses for Realtors already in the business. With my buyers, I’m very good at making sure they understand all options available to them, good or bad. It’s important to me to make sure that they know they’re making the right choice and doing what’s best for them.” Nikki’s integrity and her honest approach have also built a multi-generational client base. “I’ve helped grandparents, children and grandchildren in the same family,” she says, with justifiable pride. “I seldom ever lose a client.” When she’s not working, Nikki enjoys spending time with her family – particularly her two young grandchildren. She also loves spending time at her beach house in Mexico, where she hopes to retire eventually. Additionally, Nikki is passionate about giving back to her community. A member of her local Board of Realtors, she is also an active participant with the Homes for Heroes organization, which is the largest nationwide network of real estate and mortgage professionals who are committed to finding ways to help military veterans buy homes. Nikki is also currently serving a three-year term as a Director for the Central Texas Homebuilders Association. “My favorite thing about this business,” says Nikki, with obvious sincerity, “is the rewarding feeling I get seeing the excitement of my clients at the closing table.”
For more information about Nikki McDaniel, NMLS # 759248, please call 254-681-5626 or email Nikki.McDaniel@fcserv.com All loans and collateral subject to approval First National Bank Texas | NMLS# 402924 | Member FDIC| Equal Housing Lender
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How to Make Your Commute Productive The highest caliber business owners and entrepreneurs utilize every minute of their day. Though this may be a lofty goal, there are certainly ways to make our daily routines more efficient and productive. Consider the morning and evening commute—time blocks that are accounted for every day. For some of us, daily commutes may mean a lengthy drive through gridlock traffic, or perhaps just a quick fifteen-minute crosstown excursion. However short or long your commute may be, there are ways to maximize this component of your daily routine and reap the rewards. With that in mind, take a look at some ideas below to inject some energy and productivity into your daily commute. Top Agent Magazine
Listen to the latest industry-centric podcasts or audiobooks Whether you drive, bike, walk, or take public transportation, a commute is the perfect time to tune into an industry-oriented podcast or audiobook as a way of building your skills or getting into the zone for the day. Instead of letting your commute time be passive, you can process insights from leading industry professionals, or develop your skillset on a topic you haven’t yet made time for. Perhaps you’d like to develop your social media presence, or maybe you’d like to tap into the millennial homebuyer market—whatever the case may be, there is audio material out there suited to your interests. What’s more, podcasts are free and easy to incorporate on your smartphone or
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tablet, and there are ample audiobook subscription services out there that make regular listenership cost effective.
Create a mental to-do list to get a head-start on your day, or to prepare for tomorrow Getting your thoughts in order with a straightforward to-do list can help you dive in once you make it to your desk, or serve as a conclusive mental routine to end your work day. If you drive to and from work and don’t have your hands free, don’t fret. Speaking your to-do list aloud can help you detangle your thoughts and tasks by vocalizing them. You can also try breaking down your to-do list by verbalizing the day’s goals, the week’s goals, and the month’s goals as a way of structuring priorities. If your commute is hands-free, you can incorporate a variety of apps that serve as custom-made todo lists that’ll organizationally map your duties for the day. In either case, use your commute window to identify and name the tasks ahead of you, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running when the time comes to perform.
Tend to your personal commitments and planning A productive commute can boost your professional performance, but it can also serve your personal growth and out-of-the-office responsibilities, as well. Perhaps you can think out and plan your meals for the week so that you don’t come home burnt out and with nothing in mind for dinner. Maybe you check in with a relative or partner and catch up for a spare twenty minutes. Not only does this eliminate a few items off of your personal to-do list, it can actually give you a more focused mind at the office. If your personal life is in good order, you’ll be able to devote your full attention to work tasks. As the old saying goes, there are only so many hours in a day. If you added up all the minutes spent commuting around town, how many hours would amount? Though the trek to and from the office is an engrained part of professional life, it doesn’t have to be a drag. Account for those spare commute windows in productive ways, and in only a month you’ll have devoted a significant portion of your time to bettering yourself as a person and a professional.
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NATE PINA Nate Pina – Manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s Davis, California branch – is rapidly approaching his second decade of providing top-notch customer service to his many clients in the northern part of The Golden State’s Central Valley. Nate’s true sense of caring for both his clients and his community in general have resulted in a sterling reputation as a trusted and dedicated mortgage professional. Nate began his career while still attending college in the agriculturally-focused city of Davis. “I was told by a friend who owned his own mortgage company that it would be a great way to pay for college,” recalls Nate, who began learning the business while still attending classes and playing water polo. “By the time I was in my fourth year of college, I’d jumped in full-time, and I’ve never really looked back.” Currently overseeing an equally dedicated team of seventeen others, including eleven Loan Officers, Nate and direct lender Fairway offer a wide spectrum of loan products to suit any buyer’s needs. “However,” says Nate, “our big focus is on helping heroes: military, police, firefighters, teachers and nurses. We waive all of our lender fees for them, and we’ve teamed up with a local non-profit to help cover closings costs or provide any extra assistance they might need.” Currently, a staggering ninety percent of Nate’s business is based on repeat customers, and past-client referrals of friends and family and is perhaps the most accurate measure of the excellent customer service they provide. Excellent communication is one of the strongest reasons for this amazing customer loyalty, and Nate and his team strive to keep every one of their buyers and Realtor partners constantly up to date on the status of each transaction. Top Agent Magazine
When asked what he enjoys most about what he does for a living, Nate points first to the rewarding feeling of helping people achieve the American dream of homeownership. “I also like that this business is really fast-paced, and that every loan is different, like a fingerprint. I love looking at each situation, and then dealing with it quickly and correctly.” During the rare moments he finds some free time, Nate enjoys nothing more than spending it with his wife and their four children, and the family can frequently be found outdoors riding bikes, skiing, or taking advantage of the many recreational opportunities afforded by the Central Valley. He is also passionate about giving back to his community, both through Fairway and its focus on helping heroes, and through organizations that include the American Warrior Initiative, and his future plans for his business includes cementing Fairway’s reputation as the leading philanthropic lender in their area. “Buying a home can be a strain both emotionally and financially,” says Nate. “This shouldn’t be a transactional business. I want my team to be there for our clients, not just during the transaction, but afterwards as well, and to be a continuing resource for them for anything from finance to real estate, or simply when life throws them a curveball.”
For more information about Nate Pina, please call 707-718-6060 or email Nate.Pina@fairwaymc.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 19
JASON SHANNON Back when he was stunt-riding motorcycles, Jason Shannon never anticipated a career in mortgages. When a close friend suggested he’d be a natural fit for the industry, Jason decided to parlay his social skills and work ethic to a new challenge. Fifteen years later, Jason has built an intrepid career as a mortgage professional, complete with a reputation his seamless communication, in-depth knowledge, and a proven track record of success. Today, Jason serves clients under the banner of Contour Mortgage, Specializing in the Nassau, Suffolk and five boroughs, he is also licensed in NJ, CT, PA, and the rest of NY. As Sales Manager, Jason heads a tightknit team of five loan officers and has made a name for himself as an incisive professional with a knack for problem-solving. What’s more, the entirety of his business is based on repeat and referral clientele and driven by esteemed word-ofmouth promotion. To account for his success thus far, Jason cites a straightforward approach the prioritizes transparency, accessibility, and followthrough. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and with no complaints from clients and referral partners,” he says. “I know the guidelines and I know how to navigate this process without problems. I also understand that communication is key, and I pick up my phone at all hours. I never want my clients or referral partners to have questions they can’t get answered.” Likewise, Jason is a student of the industry who stays up-to-date on the market’s latest products and trends. Accordingly, he is able to source lending
solutions for a variety of clients and situations—ensuring that potential homeowners and agents alike can rest assured in his due diligence. In one case, two institutions were unable to resolve a loan, but when put to the test—Jason turned it around within five days. “Above all, you have to know the guidelines,” he explains. “There are a lot of options and possibilities out there that people aren’t aware of or don’t understand. My clients know I’m honest, reliable, and genuine. I truly treat everyone like they’re family, and I always say: if I wouldn’t close it for my mother, I wouldn’t close it for the client. So far, that system has served everyone well. Clients know they can trust me.” Beyond the office, Jason gives back locally through various community partnerships. In his free hours, he most enjoys time spent with his family and loved ones, while enjoying the great outdoors— from skiing and surfing to dirt-biking and catching a baseball game. As for the future of his business, Jason intends to keep momentum on the steady upswing, while continuing to mentor up and coming team members as they ascend the ranks. Now, with fifteen years of experience and insight behind him, Jason Shannon considers what he enjoys most about his chosen field. “There’s so much satisfaction that comes from helping people achieve one of the biggest goals in their lifetimes,” he says. “So many of the people I work with aren’t sure if they can get approved or don’t believe that homeownership is possible for them. It’s really rewarding to put a deal together for all those families and play a positive part in that milestone.”
To learn more about Jason Shannon, email JShannon@ContourMtg.com, visit ContourMortgage.com/Jason-Shannon, or call (516) 425 – 4518 www.
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5 Lessons from Silicon Valley to Modernize and Monetize Your Business Silicon Valley may be the region for disruptors, tech entrepreneurs, and futurists, but even the most forward-thinking, abstract companies are still businesses that have to keep tabs on their bottom line. Thereâ€™s much to learn from Americaâ€™s fastest-growing sector, and even if Silicon Top Agent Magazine
Valley seems like a world unto its own, there are key lessons prime for adaption in your own endeavors. Below, consider a few ways to translate the trends and teachings of Silicon Valley for your own business, and reap the rewards in the process.
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1. Diversify your value Real estate is a business built on relationships, but your relationships will go stale if the only thing you communicate is you interest in making a sale. In order to sustain relationships for the long term, you’ve got to remain valuable to your clients beyond the transaction. Serve as a local resource, not just a salesperson or real estate expert. Ensure your marketing materials, social media presence, and communications offer useful, relevant, and original content your clients will benefit from. What’s more, vary your communications so that every time you reach out it’s not just about new business or a referral.
2. Company culture matters Silicon Valley tech giants always emphasize the importance of company culture—not just as a way of drawing and retaining talent, but also as a way to appeal to clientele. What are your company’s values? What do you stand for? How you’re positioned in the marketplace is becoming just as important as what you do and how well you do it. Your company culture is part of your branding, and your brand should feel clear and composed to clients eyeing your services.
3.Think big picture More and more, clients want to have an experience, not just a transaction. When it comes to buying a home, this means they care more about a property’s bedroom and bathroom count. As an agent, consider showcasing properties in terms of lifestyle. What neighborhood amenities are nearby? What opportunities are there for community involvement? How does public 22
transportation stack up in the area? Before making the purchase of a lifetime, clients want to envision a complete lifestyle.
4. Leverage multiple platforms By now, you probably recognize that social media is not afterthought. Your social media presence should fit your brand and voice, interact across platforms, and actively engage with your audience. In other words, if you want to reap the benefits of social media, it’s not enough to post a few times a month and walk away. Active engagement means responding to comments, interacting with your followers’ profiles, and posting original content beyond a sales pitch. Likewise, you’ll want to be active across multiple social media platforms and ensure that your profiles are interconnected. That way, you’ll be working from a unified voice and brand.
5. Reputations rule the roost Never underestimate the power of word-ofmouth marketing and testimonials. If you haven’t asked for feedback from past clients, and you aren’t sharing positive testimonials and reviews—you’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools at an agent’s disposal. You can pitch the virtues of your working style all day long, but those courting your business want to hear about positive experiences from the client’s perspective. If you want to take your business to the next level and maximize the twenty-first century values of a company on the rise, look to the lessons of Silicon Valley to get your start. There are always opportunities to innovate, and doing so will help you break from your routine and stand apart from the pack.
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CHUCK WALDEN Loan Officer Chuck Walden – Lead of Silverton Mortgage’s Chuck Walden Team in Lawrenceville, Georgia – is a consummate professional who provides exceptional service to both his many clients and Realtor partners. With a focus on excellent communication and with a deep well of industry knowledge, Chuck has been helping his clients achieve the American dream since 2003. Chuck, a military veteran, owned a small business with his father for seven years before he decided he wanted to find a new vocation. “I got really bored,” he recalls, “and I wanted to find something that was different and would challenge me. One of my good friends owned a mortgage company, and he hired me. That’s how I got into the mortgage business.” Currently on his fourth year with Silverton Mortgage, Chuck and his team process loans in Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee, though the bulk of their business is done throughout the state of Georgia. Chuck offers a wide array of loan products to suit any need, including outlier bank statement programs to help the self-employed, one-time construction to permanent loans, and a 100% conventional loan with no mortgage insurance. Chuck, as a veteran, is particularly proud of the many VA loans he has done. “We do a lot of those,” he says. “When veterans talk to other veterans, we tend to trust each other because we’ve been through so many of the same things and there is an instant connection.” The entirety of Chuck’s business is referral based – perhaps the surest indicator of amazing customer service - with 75% of that coming from Realtor partners and the remaining 25% from previous clients. “For our Realtor partners,” says Chuck, when asked to account for the impressive loyalty, “we are experts at communication. We always let them know what’s Top Agent Magazine
going on with the loan, and give them frequent updates, which makes everyone’s life a lot easier. “Also, we do not view the closing date on the sales contract as a suggestion. We take the responsibility of closing on time very seriously.” Chuck and his team also take a decidedly egalitarian approach with their business. “Our team mantra is that every deal is a big deal,” he explains, “regardless of whether someone is buying a $50,000 home or a million-dollar house. We treat all of our customers with respect, and we try to make the entire process as drama-free as possible.” Chuck is also passionate about giving back, and does so through a variety of endeavors. Recently elected the very first President of his local Veteran’s Association of Real Estate Professionals, Chuck is working with that organization to educate both veterans and real estate professionals about how veterans can use their benefits to purchase a home. Chuck’s primary plans for the future include growing his business and adding team members who share his client-first ethos. “I want to make sure we’re growing intelligently, and not just for the sake of growing,” he says.
For more information about Chuck Walden, please call 678-725-8076 or email ChuckWalden@SilvertonMortgage.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 23
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