How 4 Loan Originators Became Top Producers

Closing loans is like pinball…

You have lots of intricate parts: the flippers, bumpers, ramps. Your goal is to know how to use each one to your benefit and score mega points.

Just like a pinball machine, there’s a lot that goes into the loan process. You’ve got to be good at marketing, networking, customer service, time management and you need to know your products inside and out.

Scoring huge points takes more than just hard work. The following paragraphs reveal golden nuggets from those who’ve made it on the Scotsman Guide Top Originator list.

If you’re ready to learn from the top players in mortgage, this post is for you.

Keith McKay, Prime Choice Funding Inc. No. 2 Top VA Volume (2016)

Keith McKay came in second place for Top VA Volume and twelfth place for Top Refinance Volume in the 2016 Scotsman Guide annual rankings.

McKay has a unique view on loans. Loan applications are more than just a pile of papers sitting on your desk. Each one has a story to tell.

As the Scotsman Guide’s Featured Top Originator, he states, “When people have a story, and it goes onto their application, you need someone to help understand that perspective, because there’s going to be bumps and bruises along the way. Having a good business plan and marketing plan is extremely important, whether you’re chasing down Realtors, or going direct to consumers — but you need to have someone to help coach you along the way.”

McKay’s advice to originators is to “find a mentor who can help you navigate your clients’ stories.”

Tony Adkins, Alliance Home Loans LLC No. 1 Top FHA Volume (2016)

Tony Adkins found himself on the Scotsman Guide Top Originator list 6 times. No. 21 for top dollar, 5 – refinance, 4 – top volume gain, 18 – most loans closed, 3 – VA, and finally, number 1 for FHA volume.

Adkins has three success strategies:
1. Strong work ethic
2. Product knowledge
3. Streamlining the business

Strong work ethic. If you’re a mortgage originator, chances are you already have this one on lockdown. Next…

Product Knowledge. The better you know your product, the better you could prescribe loans. Like a doctor, Adkins focuses on the clients’ needs and prescribes the right loan remedy. “It’s, ‘What are you looking to do? What is best for you and your family?’”, Adkins says.

Too many originators are out there selling a one-size-fits-all loan solution. Which is great because this gives you an edge. Knowing your products inside and out affords you a colossal advantage over your competition.

Streamlining the business. Adkins uses cutting-edge software that he says makes it “exponentially easier to do a loan than was the case in 2000”.

Stephanie Machado Barto, GMFS LLC No. 1 Top USDA Volume (2016)

Stephanie Machado Barto ranked three times in the Top Originator list. No. 1 for top USDA, No. 45 for most loans closed, and No. 114 for top dollar volume.

Machado uses two strategies. Most important is knowledge of loan products. Second is sales expertise.

One reason for Machado’s success is because she brings value to her clients. All too often, people aren’t aware of USDA loans. For those who qualify, Machado is able to help them get lower monthly payments and save them 30 to 40 percent they’d pay for FHA.

“I think at the end of the day a lot of people over-promise and under-deliver. Our goal is to set it straight in the beginning to make sure these loans get closed. You’ve got to know your product in order to sell it, and I think that’s the most important.”, says Machado.

Shant Banosian, Guaranteed Rate No. 4 Top Dollar Volume (2016)

Shant Banosian is a mega-producer. His funded loan volume landed him on the Scotsman Guide top 10 list – third year in a row. He has three pieces of advice for anyone ready to become a mega producer and stay on top of their game.

1. Efficiency.
2. Build a better team.
3. Speed up the loan process.
4. Branding.

Efficiency. Run your office like an assembly line.

Henry Ford introduced the assembly line to the automobile industry in 1913. This single innovation revolutionized the world ever since. Successful entrepreneurs and companies have employed this model to squeeze ridiculous profits. Banosian is one example.

Banosian applied this model with impressive results.

The way to stay on top of the game, Banosian explains, is to assign a specific job to each team member. If each person specializes in one thing, they’ll become an expert at it. Experts perform at the highest level. He says, “If everyone is a true expert and can perform their role perfectly, the team will win every time.”

Build a better team. Hire open-minded people who will support your vision.

The best team is the one that works the hardest, right? Actually, according to Banosian, not always.

“Hard workers sometimes have hard heads”, he says. “They have to be coachable and buy into your system.”

Banosian suggests that when you’re building your team, look for open-minded individuals. He’s had more success with team members who are interested in learning.

Speed up the loan process. Out with the stacks of paper, in with the online forms.

The mortgage industry is going digital …finally! We all know the drudgery of paperwork. Going online is easier, faster and more efficient. “Being a mega-producer means you have to be incredibly fast,” Banosian says, “with the game going digital, the production possibilities are endless.”

Brand yourself. Build a quality brand and you’ll aways have business.

As your process speeds up and smooths out you’ll start building your personal brand. Banosian uses social media to promote his brand with minimal expense. “It doesn’t happen overnight,” he says, “but once you start building a brand of quality, you’ll always have business.”

Reaching mega-producer status depends on several factors. It’s a lot like loans in that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

About the author
Stephanie Vigil
Customer Acquisition Specialist

I'm the Co-Founder & Customer Acquisition Specialist at The Lead Reel. I build custom blueprints for loan officers with one purpose: To turn the "average Joe" into a top performer. Before starting The Lead Reel, I worked in tech in San Francisco, CA.