S1 Ep 29: Rick Guerrero on Adding Value as a Lender

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Rick Guerrero is the Director of Sales for US Mortgage. Today he shares some tips for building a valuable relationship between mortgage lenders and real estate agents. Tune in to hear how F.O.R.D. has helped Rick’s team become some of the best names in the Atlanta mortgage market.  Contact Rick: Rick.Guerrero@usmortgage.com

Learn more about the cast of RTRE by following us!

Chris Lazarus – www.sellectrealty.com
Nathan White – www.linkapm.com
Christian Harris – www.sea-town.com

reThink Real Estate Podcast Transcription

Audio length 36:29

S1 Ep 29: Rick Guerrero on Adding Value as a Lender

[music] [Chris] Welcome to re:Think Real Estate, your educational and hopefully entertaining source for all things real estate, business, news and tech. 

[Christian]: I am Christian Harris in Seattle, Washington.

[Nathan]: Hi, I am Nathan White in Columbus, Ohio.

[Chris]: And I am Chris Lazarus in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for tuning in. 

[music] [Chris]: Hey everyone and welcome back to this week’s episode of re:Think Real Estate. We’ve got a great episode planned for you today so stay tuned. Before we get started I’m joined by my co-host Christian Harris.

[Christian]: Hey.

[Chris]: What’s up Christian?

[Christian]: Not much. 

[Chris]: And Mr. Marathon himself, the ultra marathoner, Nate White. What’s up?

[Nathan]: Hey what’s going on?

[Chris]: Not much. So Nate before we get started you just crushed a major goal that you’ve been working on for the last year. You’ve actually done three massive events and our audience has been following you. And watching you on Instagram and Facebook live. Tell them what you…what you just did this past weekend before the Georgia game.

[Nathan]: Oh nothing huge. Right. I was out in Boulder Colorado and ran a 24 hour ultra marathon. Got a 76 miles in. So it was…it was a good run. I learned a lot about myself and just what the…what individuals I should say are capable of that. One of my good friends asked me the question “What did you learn?” And what did I learned that whether it’s running real estate, personal goals, whatever it may be, if you put your mind to something, I really, truly believe you can achieve it. I mean it’s literally…what are we today? Today’s the 13th. So fifty…fifty-one weeks ago I said “Hey I want to go run 100 K.” I beat that goal of 62 miles. I ran 76. So I think if you really want something bad enough you’ll go get it. And I went out and got it. So next is to try to check the 100 miles off the list. And keep selling some houses so I can keep running.

[Christian]: That’s impressive. That must be like a spiritual experience going that far, you know, like transcend out of your body. 

[Nathan]: It is…it’s 95 percent mental and the other 5% is mental. [laughter] It’s not the physical. I really…I mean it’s…it’s because once you get about past mile 35…40, let’s be honest. It sucks. And it is just gonna keep sucking. The…the thing is, can you have the mental fortitude to stay out there and to keep going? And you watch people quit. And it’s like…man like just don’t…don’t quit. Don’t quit. 

[Christian]: It seems like ultra marathon running is right up your alley. I mean you don’t have the common sense to quit when you’re buying something. [laughter] You keep going. It’s good [crosstalk] Right. 

[Nathan]: Right foot swollen twice the size of my left. And, you know, but it’s uh, you know, I will talk to this at least real fast. Is…there was a fellow runner, Ginger Schmidt [phonetics]. We ran a lot together but, you know, what we talked about a lot, and I think it’s relative in everything, is community. Whether again you’re ultra-runner, you know, in real estate. But again having community. I think that means so much in life in itself. Is important. And I will say in the ultra running community, its supportive. And I think that’s the way we achieve our goals. 

In something like that you have community that supports you. If you’re in real estate you…or…or lending, you know, we’re gonna have a somebody here to tell us about lending. The people around you can as much help make or break you. You know, what I mean? If…if people are telling you, you know, you can do it, you’re gonna do it. If people tell you’re gonna fail, you might fail too. So I don’t know.

[Chris]: I don’t think I could have come up with a better sag way to introduce our guest from that. Today we’re joined by the director of sales for U.S. Mortgage Corporation, Rick Guerrero. Rick you…your job is basically to bring people together, that are gonna create that environment in a mortgage office .

[Rick]: Absolutely. And thanks for having me everybody.

[Nathan]: Welcome. 

[Chris]: So that…that family and for our audience we did not plan that. Nate just completely went in that direction. So Rick thanks for joining us.

[Rick]: Absolutely. Thanks or having me. 

[Chris]: Tell our audience a little bit about what your role is.

[Rick]: So director or sales is pretty much a fancy title for a regional janitor. [laughter] I am involved with the Southeast region of the United States, in supporting our branches, supporting our loan officers and most importantly having fun with our real-estate agent partners. I have the opportunity of meeting with our agents, working with them to grow their business. As well as our loan officers. So I have the best job on the planet in my opinion.

[Chris]: How long have you been doing this and how did you get into this role?

[Rick]: So I’ve been with U.S. mortgage now for 3 years. I got into this role by constantly failing. I’m sure by putting myself out there and constantly trying to grow my personal business. And failing. I started off in insurance. I owned my own insurance agency and grew it out pretty largely, primarily by focusing on going after loan officers and getting insurance for homeowners insurance. Did such a great job. I was getting about 100 referrals a month from loan officers, that several companies started making me offers to come on board and work with our loan officers on how to prospect and grow business. So jumped into it about five, six years ago, and I’ve been loving ever since. Made a lot of mistakes so I’ve had the opportunity of learning. 

[Chris]: What are you doing differently? Because U.S. mortgage is growing pretty fast. Right?

[Rick]: We’ve been very blessed.  OK.

[Chris]: Yes. So what are y’all doing that’s different? Like what’s the secret sauce?

[Rick]: You know, I…I don’t know if it’s a secret sauce. More or less it’s just doing what you say and saying what you’re going to do. Like in this industry it’s…what I love about it, is if you just show up every day to work and do what you say, show up, call people back, return phone calls, be proactive, that makes you different. That makes you better. Which is very shocking but. hey look, we’ll go with it. That’s cool. And since if me calling you back or…or…or calling you to check in, is different and outstanding, like that’s fantastic. 

But it’s just being real and…and being authentic and wanting to work with people you like and trust. I don’t wanna work with everybody. I’m still on the fence if I want to work with you. [laughter] 

[Nathan]: So Rick I got some questions then for you as a…as a lender or what you would advise, I guess, your L.O.-s to do. First thing I want to say to sag way on what you said, I always like to say if you’re not failing, you’re not trying. So I think that’s how at least I’ve gotten to where I am, is through constant failure.

And interesting enough, I had a lender reach out to me. I was at an event a couple weeks ago and I work closely with one of his colleagues. But ironically enough, he was the first to reach out to me. He asked me at this event, he said “Hey what…what did I not do?” And so, I guess, the question I’m proposing is what do you tell your L.O.s to agents? Because what I saw when I got my license was “Hey, you know, I’d love to grab some coffee…” bah-bah-bah, they sit down, they talk it up and they say “When you get business give me a call.”

Well, you know, I know we get a lot of new agents to listen to this, and so that’s the struggle. Is how do you get business? And if you came to me as an L.O. and said “Well when you get business, call me.” I’m gonna tell you [censored] you. I mean that’s what I kind of did with a lot of the agents. Is like…like “Hold on.” Like this is a two-way street not a highway in a cart path. Right. So what would you suggest to your L.O.-s to establish those relationships? And how would you guide them about building those relationships with realtors? Because I…it can’t be all just take take take. It’s a give-and-take. And once you build that trust, then it’s really good. Right?

[Rick]: You’re absolutely right. 

[Nathan]: Does that…does that make sense?

[Rick]: It makes a lot of sense. It’s a fantastic question and hopefully…hopefully I give you a good answer. For me like I said I want to work with people that I like and want to work with. I am not available nights and weekends. I have a newborn. So if I’m gonna take a phone call at 10 o’clock and on a Friday, like it better be somebody I like. Not an [censored]. Right. Not an agent wasting my time.

So I agree with you Nathan. If I want to grab coffee and I want to get to know you as a person, find out about family, your occupation, your recreation and your dreams. It’s an acronym called FORD. I want to know as much as I could about you, to see if we it makes sense for us to work together. I don’t want to work with everybody. I might find you might…we might not fit. And that’s…that’s perfectly OK. But learning those things, you know, I know very little about you so far from this podcast. That you have a young son that goes to school at 12:30. And it looks like you have a very supportive wife. She gave you a kiss on the forehead during this call. 

[Chris]: Interaction. 

[Rick]: So like I try to pay attention when I…when I sit and meet with people. And that’s an example of that. So when I meet with somebody I don’t just want to talk and say “Hey send me business.” I want to pay attention to the things you’re saying and be engaged in that conversation. So I want to learn as much as I can about you. I also want to learn about your business. If you’re telling me that the majority of your business is driven from Zillow leads. Right. Well there might not be areas of value I can drive there for you. There may. There may not be. You might tell me where that is. That may be writing a check. Who knows. But if you told me that you drive the majority of your business through interactions and through farming, and through having lots of open houses for your listings, well then I can see opportunities where I’ve worked with other agents and helped in that arena, to help grow your business. Well attending open houses or helping door knock or just sharing the things we’ve done with our other agent partners that could help you. 

So I teach my L.O.-s “Sit with somebody. Talk to them. Get to know them. See if it’s…even if you guys even like each other.” Because if you don’t, don’t try to push on somebody that you don’t connect with. And that’s what…that’s what’s so common. Is that you get these people to call you up “I want to work with you” but they have no idea who the hell you are. What you say? Thank you?

[Nathan]: Can you digress? Or well yeah let’s go back to what you just said. FORD family occupation. What was the R for?

[Rick]: Recreation.

[Nathan]: Yeah recreation and then DD is for dreams. [crosstalk] [Rick]: Recreation is right. 

[Nathan]: OK. No and…and so yeah. Like that’s I guess…yeah that’s my takeaway. And…and that’s what I actually had a new lender just asked me “What would I advise?” And I said “Don’t…if you’re gonna go with somebody don’t go with a sales approach.” This is what…this is where I identify with the few lenders I work with. They know about my family. They do understand my occupation and they’ve learned some more. But they…they understand what my recreation is and…and they like to talk about it or listen about me rambling. And they want to know what my dreams are.

But they…and all this says, find out who that person is before you pitch them quote-unquote or whatever it is. So yeah ,I don’t…those listening, especially I’ll blast this out to a couple of agents. Or I mean L.O.-s I know, that are new. I think that’s important to hear, is  find out who the person is before you sell them anything. I…I mean don’t even talk about business to me. I mean, you know, hey there’s Christian and Christian tell me about you being a pilot or whatever it may be. L earn who that person is that he wears skinny jeans or he’s from Seattle. Or whatever it may be.

[Chris]: And he’s wearing a sweater when it’s 90 degrees outside.  

[Christian]: No it’ 50 degrees [laughter].

[Nathan]: That’s my thoughts. I am curious to see what…So I’d like to take that and then see what like somebody like Christian who’s, you know, got his own brokerage now that’s fairly new at it. What does he tell his agents about L.O.-s?

[Rick]: Well before we move on, can I add one thing to your comment?

[Nathan]: Sure.

[Rick]: OK so you mentioned that you’re gonna share that with some of the L.O.-s that you work with. And part of my role is I share those with my L.O.-s all the time. And what I’ve learned is, they never do it. [laughter] And I’ve learned that because I go to appointments with them. And I sit in the appointment and I’m like “Hey I just saw you talked to Chris Lazarus, why didn’t you ask about his family occupation recreation and dreams? Why did you really just jump to how we’re gonna help you with your business?” We’re not gonna help them with their business. We know nothing about their business. And…and going and doing it with them, and then me doing it with them and showing them, has been the…the biggest difference in helping them grasp that. And I’m sure it’s very similar to real estate agents that you have in your office. So I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just wanted, you know, leave you with that.

[Nathan]: We talk about that all the time. We talk about million-dollar ideas on here, nobody does anything with them. [laughter] [Christian]: Some of our ideas are good. Other ones not so much. But no I like…I like that…I like that approach. I mean it’s, you know, kind of the two most important prongs I think is kind of get to know someone, actually care about them on a personal level. And then their business. I mean I know for, you know, for…for me, that’s very much my approach. It’s like it’s an alignment with the client and with the…the people I work with. You know, lenders in title and escrow and that sort of thing. And the ones that I gravitate towards, are the ones that do their job well. But then also not just reaching out to me for their business but, you know, know me at some sort of personal level. And then are also reaching out to invest in the success of our business. Whether that’s helping with social media or my agents with their social media or marketing or like we’re starting to do like a monthly event, you know, Sea Town mixer, and you’re my primary lender. Is like “Yeah let’s go halfsies.” We’ll provide the first drink for people. You know, it’s not a sales event.  Just like let’s get people together that’s, you know, want to help raise money, and you want to do some community and have some fun. Have a drink.

You know, it’s that sort of thing. You know, obviously you’re not gonna work with everyone because there’s not always that alignment. And I personally don’t want to work with people that don’t listen to me. Or are a pain in my [censored] or who are, you know, [censored].  So, you know, I’d like that you lead with…with that. You know, start with the people you want to work with, you like and then go from there.

[Rick]: I don’t mind working with [censored]. But like lead with being an [censored]. Like don’t change on that later. [laughter] [Christian]: Yeah.

[Chris]: It’s…it all comes down to one thing I was saying last week. Is “Don’t be a pitch.” It’s your…your job is not to go out and pitch everybody that you see, at…Your job is to go out and make people like you. Because people do business with people they know, like and trust. And if they don’t know you, they don’t like you, how the hell are they gonna trust you?

[Christian]: I’ve never heard that. Can I quote you on that? Did you just make that up?

[Chris]: No that’s like Buffini [phonetics] and the [crosstalk] [Nathan]: No I think personally it’s better when you just say people like people who like people. 

[Chris]: Yeah they do. And I’ve actually quoted you several times on that. 

[Nathan]: Appreciate it. 

[Chris]: So Rick you’ve…you’ve done some pretty like out-of-the-box things with your L.O.-s. You like you’ve helped them market their business in ways that most L.O.-s don’t. why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about some of the things that you’ve done.

[Rick]: So I do so many. If I leave something out that you’ve seen, please add it. [laughter] I might not remember off the top of my head. A few of the things we’ve done as we’ve helped L.O.-s with…sorry we’ve helped agents with running sales funnels on Facebook. Specifically geared towards their listings. I’ve also gotten really big in doing video. So much that I reached out to Chris. Tried to learn how to use Premiere Pro. Got a Premiere Pro account and I started doing video editing. 

But we love doing videos with out real estate partners. And I try to teach them the same thing. Well I try to teach them that don’t make your real estate business about asking for constant business. Make it as driving value to the consumers. So I teach agents how to create a video Facebook account, where they’re posting videos that are content that the consumer wants to see. Not necessarily real estate focused.

For example, if your neighborhood is in Seattle…in Atlanta, in Marietta, why don’t you focus on like the best pizza restaurant in Marietta. The best burger place. Why don’t you just make videos and interview the owners of these restaurants so that way you come off…they…like you’re engaged in the community and you’re the one to know. So I like to do a lot of things like that. I like to just…I do love doing videos that that help our agents reach our audience. What else Chris? I feel like I am leaving something out. 

[Chris]: I mean you’re doing video. You…you’ve actually done open house tours. [crosstalk] And these are agents too. Not just the L.O.-s.

[Rick]: Some of my L.O.-s have such great partnerships with their agents, that they’ll go with their agent with the buyer and look at houses. And whenever their buyer finds the house they like, they’ll sit there in the house they like and write a pre-approval letter for them, on the spot. So they…because the market is so competitive, they want to get them the house.

[Chris]: That’s insane.

[Rick]: We’ll even do videos of buyers. I’ll do a video…so there’s sometimes there’s multiple offers on a property. So we’ll do a video of the buyer, talking about how badly they want to move into that house and they’ll have little kids in the videos. Saying “We love to play in this backyard and blah blah.” And we’ll send that to the seller and say “Please send this to the sellers. They really want to move into this home.” So we’re trying to do unique things to help our agents win the contract.

[Christian]: I like that. 

[Nathan]: I…that is different and I got to share with you. I texted one of the lenders I work with and said “Have you ever heard of the acronym FORD” and he just replied “Oh yeah family occupation recreation dream” He’s like “I used that on you two years ago.” [laughter] And it worked. 

[Rick]: We might have the same coach. Who knows.

[Chris]: So Rick one of the things that our audiences is always looking for, right, we’re talking to real estate agents and brokers primarily…what…like what do they need to look for in finding the right L.O.?  Because, first off finding somebody that actually cares about you as a person, that…that’s great. But getting into the technical side of things like what should agents look for that’s really gonna help them be confident in their partner’s abilities to get the deal done?

[Rick]: That’s a very good question and right now we’re an environment where I see a lot of lenders trying to open up shops in different markets. Here in Atlanta I feel like a new lender pops up every other week. [crosstalk] Constantly. And what these new lenders do whether, it’s national lenders, new companies. They’re…they just tell people they can come on, become a loan officer and they’ll make six figures and make lots of money.

And there’s a big rush to our side of the business to become a loan officer and there’s, I would say maybe 60, 70 percent that haven’t done it, have never closed a loan. And…Or have been only doing it for less than a year. I would say somewhere to real estate agents…how many real estate agents have you guys come across within a contract that don’t know what they’re doing? 

[Christian]: A couple of accounts.

[Rick]: You’ve never seen that before? Have you Nathan?

[Nathan]: I mean everybody’s jumping on to be a real estate agent? No.

[Rick]: Never seen that. So it’s…it’s unfortunate we deal with it a lot on both ends. I’d recommend looking for someone that has been in the business for at least a year. It works the reputable company. And there’s a lot of really good reputable companies out there. And just ask them scenario questions. How would you handle this? A lot of agents are somewhere knowledgeable on how they would handle transactions gone in the past. Ask them if their company is involved with Local Mortgage Maker Association.

So I’m on the executive board with the Atlanta Mortgage Manker Association and I have several of my loan officers that are nationally recognized for the production. So I would say align yourself or orbit with a company that has L.O.-s on their team in your market that are recognized for being good producers. Nathan you look like you want to ask a question really bad.

[Nathan]: No [crosstalk] [laughter] 

[Christian]: I have a question. I have a question for you Rick. I know in Seattle it’s been very competitive for a number of years. And one of the things I always tell my new…my new buyers, you know, when they’re looking for a lender, obviously I’ve got my recommended, you know, guys I go to. But when things I always press on is like, a lender you’ll know with the responsiveness or their timeframe to do the close, you know, but how they…their banks model for appraisals. How do you kind of gauge what their…their model is for that as far as like do they, you know, have a local company that knows the market that does the appraisers, versus a big national bull and they’re coming from the city, you know, three cities away and don’t know the market ,and are having the house purchase and sale fail because they’re, you know, coming in low?

[Rick]: That’s…that’s a slightly challenging unfair question.

[Christian]: OK.

[Rick]: Not to me. To take to tell them. Because we have no control over the appraisals we pick that we work with. And we can’t. like that’s…if we certainly have control over that…

[Christian]: Sure. But don’t some banks have appraisal…But don’t some banks, like the big bucks banks have like the appraisal as part of their like profit structure and, you know, have a much bigger pool they’re pulling from? Versus like in a local appraisal company that actually knows the market ?

[Rick]: So I…I can’t really speak for the big box breaks…the big box banks. But I would say that my understanding is all banks, all mortgage companies, we’re working…if we do work with a large national appraisal company, they are outsourcing it to somebody local. So it’s not like somebody’s come…and a company is coming in local from out of state, or out of city. The person doing the appraisal is local. That is really out of control. Sometimes, you know, look. Sometimes we have great appraisals.  Sometimes of course we have our…my favorite.

[Christian]: Yeah. OK.

[Rick]: Just part of the business. However as you…as, you know, sometimes you can challenge it. And…

[Christian]: That never works but yeah.

[Chris]: It kind of works once or twice. 

[Christian]: Every time I’ve challenged it, they’re like “Yeah tough. This is…this is my number…”

[Rick]: Well to your point talking about appraisals let me add this, I was working with an agent the other day. And it’s a brand new agent that worked with me. And they were impressed that we had the appraisal back to them within a week.  They said they’ve never experienced that. So I would say that some mortgage companies are a little faster with the appraisal and be activated in the loan through the milestones. Whereas other mortgage companies aren’t as aggressive ordering that appraisal.

[Christian]: Sure. OK.

[Rick]: That might be a better thing to look at.

[Christian]: Yeah. I mean really the…the question which wasn’t very succinct on my part was, you know, is there a way to determine outside of just talking to other agents and the reputation of lenders, and, you know, how many of their appraisals fail? There’s not really a way to be able to tell if an appraisal or if a lender is gonna be having an issue with an appraisal down the line.

[Rick]: I don’t believe so. That’s my opinion and I again…I sit with other mortgage makers from different companies and I talked them nationally and that’s just something we all deal with the same. We don’t have a choice in that.

[Christian]: OK.

[Chris]: That’s actually really interesting because we…we deal with bad appraisals all the time. And our job as agents is to try and overcome them. So one of the things that we do is when we have a property and the valuation…our estimate of the valuation is more…when there’s more ambiguity in there, we bring in a pre-list appraisal. And we have a company , DS Murphy in Atlanta, and they’ve been heavily involved in the appraisers board. So they…they will stand by their appraisals. And if the lenders appraiser does not match up with their appraisal they will fight it for you with them and the lender. So…because in Atlanta we’ve got a lot of tear downs. We’ve got homes where the home is from the 50s, 60s. They tear it down. They build a million dollar home and you’ve got a million dollar home in a neighborhood full of 300 thousands. How do you…how do you comp that?

So we bring in and we do something like that on those situations. And we found more often than not, that those values hold. Because that company is so entrenched in the local appraisal market, that every appraiser knows DS Murphy is gonna fight them if they…if they don’t.

[Christian]: Sure.

[Chris]: So they’re gonna come in pretty close and that’s always been a good solution for us. So hopefully to our audience that…that’s a good idea that you might be able to implement in your business. I would find out if you have any local appraisal companies that do that, if you don’t already know.

[Christian]: That’s a good…that’s a good tip. And is that…is that something the brokerage pays for? The agent pays for? The seller pays for? 

[Chris]: So it…we’ve had it done all different ways. It depends on the agent and it depends on the deal. The brokerage doesn’t pay for it. Usually how we structured is the homeowner pays for it and we will reimburse them out of the closing commission.

[Christian]: OK sure. 

[Chris]: So we give that credit back to them at closing. But every agent is different. They’re all independent contractors. Some pay for all their marketing and everything that they need to do up front and others make the seller pay for it. We try and get the agent to pay for all the marketing because it’s already hard enough for the seller to do it though.

[Christian]: Sure. Well that’s kind of their job. I mean get the house sold. 

[Chris]: Yeah yeah. It is. So Rick you’ve been in this role for three years now. What has your experience been like in growing a team, not just in Georgia, but you’re in charge of multiple states. So what’s that been like?

[Rick]: It’s like a roller coaster. There’s happy days and there’s not so happy days. It’s but…it’s been quite a challenge. But it’s…it’s no different than…than anything else. It’s about building relationships, staying in touch with people, following up and trying to see on people’s radar when they’re looking to make a move.

[Chris]: I mean that’s…that’s the same thing in real estate. Yeah it’s what we’ve been talking about for 28 episodes now. Is building the relationship. 

[Nathan]: Well and just to touch base, I want to argue or just agree with you on one point Rick. You have to find somebody that’s got a year of experience. I would go to just develop the relationship and form a partnership and…and build together. I don’t…that’s kind of what happened with me and in the lender I primarily used. He was under a year .I was under a year but we leaned on each other. And we built our…our brands or our identity together.

So I don’t know if I would say have a year experience. I would just…I would go with find a L.O. or a couple that are like you. And what I mean by, at least for me, it was I was hungry. I found an L.O. who was hungry. I knew he was willing to do the work as much as I was willing to do the work. And we created that success together. And it was a lot of fun. We had a ball like, you know, we were…we were having…we’re still having fun. You know what I mean.

But it was fun to hit these benchmarks and be like “Man we’re closing a million and a half dollars this month.” Or back his second year, he closed like 26 million. That was awesome so…Right. We were…we were pushing each other. So for those that are listening, just again Chris said it. We talked about it what 28 episodes, relationships people.

[Rick]: And no disagreement. I agree with you. I think the question the way was posed to me was what would I look for when looking for a lender partner. Those are kind of soft criterias. But…but to your point, look if I met somebody that’s super hungry, and I connect with, and they’re two weeks in the business, and I start working with them, well I’ll probably be their full-time focus. So there…you…just to your point. Just make the relationship or try to connect with them and have other options in case it doesn’t work out.

[Nathan]: Yes I guess I would have to agree with you.

[Chris]: Other options. 

[Rick]: Give me a call if it doesn’t work out.

[Chris]: So I need to find new mortgage lenders.

[Rick]: You can. [laughter] I would love for you to find new mortgage lenders to see how great I am.

[Chris]: You know I have so I know how great you are.

[Nathan]: I know Chris is probably gonna be wrapping this up soon. I do have one other question. I have lots of them today. What do you think about the state of where things are right now, with these 5 80 credit scores that people are lending on? And these no doc loans, ninja loans as I like to call them. No income no job no assets. We’re going back to some things that we did before the bubble burst. Are…do you think in your opinion, are we where we headed towards the same thing again?

[Rick]: In my opinion I don’t think we’re headed towards the same bubble. I mean it’s a very different environment. The regulation is still very strict. Even on lending on those 5 80 loans, they gotta have the assets and there’s a critical elements they must obtain to get qualify for those loans. Just because their credit score is 5 80, doesn’t mean they qualify. Those the no docs and some of these other ninja loans are concerning. 

I…I’m constantly recruited by other mortgage companies. And I get these emails talking about how that’s the route they’re going and I should look into that. I have no interest in doing that type of business. There’s a lot of other programs out there that they’re concerned me that I have no interest in doing. But I think that we’re not gonna have…I don’t believe we’re gonna have the collapse that we had back in the early 2000s. Just because of multiple facets and what’s going on in the market. You know, back…you can look at…there’s a lot of other issues going on. You know, we have inventory. We have…cost of building now is gonna be going up.

I don’t know…I don’t work a lot of builders myself but my understanding is a lot of these tariffs, the cost of materials is…is increasing. There’s a lot of other issues going on that I think are gonna hold off that bubble from popping. But I’m not a forecaster. I can’t predict the future. I would just encourage people to try…and as this podcast is for real estate agents and lenders, I would encourage people to work and do the business that you want to work or do. Don’t work and do the business that you don’t want to do, to get the business. Does that make sense?

[Nathan]: Absolutely.

[Chris]: Do what you love because you love it. And don’t do what you don’t love. It’s good stuff.

[Nathan]: You don’t…you don’t have to take on every client that comes your way.

[Rick]: There you go.

[Chris]: Absolutely. And a lot of real estate agents need to learn that too. 

[Rick]: And that’s a challenging for a lender because like there’s times where I try to make relationships with agents, they say “I got this client. I need you to get them approved.” And they’re a 5 80 credit score. Or they’re…they’re on the cuff and we can’t do it. Well because we can’t do that, we’re a bad lender. And they’re gonna go somewhere else they can. So if you keep shopping around, you’ll find a lender that’s willing to do some things that they shouldn’t do. So that’s…that’s a challenge that we all have.

[Nathan]: And I would say if you’re that…if…if you’re that agent that would go to that extreme, personally, shame on you. I just…shame on you.

[Rick]: I am seeing some mortgage companies in the market that are saying “If you do a loan with us, we’re gonna give you $3,000 or X amount towards closing.” I…just ridiculous amounts of money when mortgage…margin compression on our side is so, so compressed. Like there’s not that much way to give away. So does that mean the L.O. is working for free? Well I’ve reached out to L.O.-s at these various companies and they’re not. They’re still getting paid. So we’re seeing mortgage companies and banks currently losing money, intentionally losing money just to gain either a market share or gain brand recognition within the…within the market.

[Chris]: Or they’re making it up on the immunization.

[Rick]: They’re making it up somewhere. 

[Christian]: Loan or something there.

[Rick]: We only save money when we sell. 

[Christian]: That’s true. Yeah the only time I’ve seen lenders…every time I’ve seen lenders that, you know, give some sort of, you know, credit back, at closing, to get business, the experience is terrible for the buyer. Like they’re doing…[laughter] they’re doing, you know, that…And, you know, I would never let my client do that. It, you know, except for like, there’s one situation. I have a friend who bought a new construction. And they got $5,000 credit for using their built in mortgage, you know. Letters just turning out deals. And they said it was terrible, you know.

[Chris]: We just…[crosstalk]. No you get what you pay for and when they’re paying you, you get that service. We had a…one of my agents was bidding for their client on a new construction home from a small builder. And the counteroffer came back. The builder required…we require all agents to be pre-qualified through our lender. 

[Christian]: Yeah.

[Chris]: They required that. It’s illegal. That’s steering. And…

[Rick]: The builders are able to get around it for somehow.

[Chris]: This was the broker. This was the broker requiring it. So fortunately we counted and took it out and said “We can’t do it. That’s illegal.” And…and builders can’t do that either. Builders cannot require a pre-qualification with their lender. A builder can encourage it. They can encourage it. They can give an incentive. But even a builder cannot say “You cannot buy this house unless you get pre-qualified with this lender.”

[Rick]: What they’re doing is they’ll give…they’ll give 3,000 dollars…

[Chris]: They’ll give a lot of money. Yeah.

[Rick]: Their lender will give 3,000 towards [inaudible] and $6,000 towards closing. 

[Chris]: Yeah so they’ll incentivize it. But this person was requiring it.

[Rick]: But who’s gonna give up $6000 in upgrades?

[Chris]: Right. And there was no incentive for them to do that anyway. So we went back and just scratched through it on the counter. Said “No that’s illegal. Can’t do it.” Fortunately they signed off so we just let the buyer buy the house. But it’s crazy what people are doing. But so Rick we’re just about out of time today. For…you’ll loan in 48 states.

[Rick]: 48 states.

[Chris]: 48 states. And what states do you cover ?

[Rick]: So I currently have branches in Ohio, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. However I would love to open up in more markets. So if you’re listening and you’re a loan originator or would like to go into branch manager or will like help in growing your business, I’d love to look at that…

[Chris]: Look at that. That’s awesome.

[Rick]: I am pitching myself. What’s the question? [laughter] [Chris]: How can they get in touch with you?

[Rick]: They can call my cell phone or shoot me an email. Should I get that information or you…

[Chris]: Give it out.

[Rick]: My cell phone is 713 828 1161. That’s 713 828 1161. My email is RickGuerrero@USmortgage.com

[Chris]: And we’ll have all of his information on our website rtrepodcast.com. If you’re not subscribed to our newsletter, subscribe. Just go to the website and type in your name and email address at the bottom. Thank you so much for tuning in. This has been another episode of re:Think Real Estate. We’ll catch you next week.


[Chris]: Thanks for tuning in this week’s episode of the re:Think Real Estate Podcast. We would love to hear your feedback so please leave us a review on iTunes. Our music is curtesy of Dan Koch K-O-C-H, whose music can be explored and licensed for use at dankoch.net. Thank you Dan. Please like, share and follow. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rethinkpodcast. Thank you so much for tuning in everyone and have a great week. 


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