Top Originator on How to Reduce Turnaround Times
At a time when it’s common to close loans in 45 days, Joe Garza (pictured) can get his clients approved for a mortgage in just one day. Think of it as a superpower. His ability to secure same-day close clearance has earned him several accolades from United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), including as the top 1% producer. Another member of his team also received an award for digital marketing.
The Arizona-based mortgage professional is the owner of Olympus Home Loans. Over the past four years, Garza has grown from a one-on-one shop to seven employees, and together they closed more than $ 35 million in 2020.
So how did he handle such rapid turnaround times and growth? The simple answer is digitization.
“The technology in this industry is the biggest missed opportunity for most mortgage companies – of all sizes. If a day at the office still involves stacking files, searching for lost documents, repetitive tasks and tons. of phone calls, this company is behind schedule, ”Garza said. “Working through the pandemic without the convenience of having our team and clients in one place has reiterated the importance of real-time and remote collaboration. Digitization is essential for mortgage brokerages to scale effectively. “
During the roller coaster of the past year, Garza said his team had to adapt quickly to new ways of working and doing business, which took a lot of energy and focus. To add to the stress of these changes, he also had to consider the emotional impact of the pandemic on his team. So he looked at all the options available to increase the efficiency of his business and his customers, and he found out that these were digital home closings. But even before the COVID-19 lockdowns, Olympus was already using a virtual real estate closing platform, JetClosing, to complete transactions – an innovation that Garza says sets them apart from old-fashioned brokerages.
Read more: Loans take nearly two months to close, what can originators do?
“I started working with JetClosing long before the pandemic hit and have always appreciated their team’s ability to accommodate our average 17-day lead time with some of our wholesale lenders. JetClosing played a key role in modernizing our internal processes, which allowed my team and I to respond quickly to the pandemic, continue to close loans quickly, and help many more people in less time ” , did he declare. “Even with increased demand for refinance and resale orders in response to low interest rates, we relied on JetClosing to automate much of the administrative work associated with the lending process, so we were able to focus on tasks of greater value to our customers. . “
When he doesn’t jump at another opportunity to learn about new technology partners and networks, Garza is building relationships with local real estate agents, industry groups like the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME), and corporations. of titles.
“This year, and going forward, we feel ready to take on whatever challenges the world throws at us,” he said. “We expect to see a slowdown in refinancing orders and an increase in home sales. To stay ahead of an ever-changing market and dynamic industry, we are invested in building strong relationships with real estate agents and real estate companies. As we enter the peak home buying season, realtors will be extremely important partners for us this year.
Another strategy that is Garza’s priority is figuring out how to best qualify clients for loans beyond standard risk assessment. Given the tumultuous year, he admitted there were many variables to consider. Still, Garza said they will continue to be extremely diligent in qualifying people in a way that allows them to maintain the trust earned by partners and customers.
For most of the day, Garza takes an interest in all aspects of his business to ensure that they consistently deliver competitive and stable turnaround times. Once he’s sure operations are running smoothly, Garza spends the rest of his day building relationships with his employees and customers to make sure everyone is happy and feels supported.
“To everyone who works in this industry, be sure to do it for reasons that motivate you. You will be surprised at what “crazy ideas” work. Try them out. Believe you can do it, while still having a support system, ”Garza said. “If you decide to go this route, do your research and be prepared for the challenges that come with it. The challenges can seem overwhelming at times, but the reward of seeing your hard work and your team succeed is a feeling unlike any I have experienced so far.