Trevor worked many years ago with a top producing loan officer at a mortgage Bank. This top-producer brought in a lot of business and Trevor was the new kid on the block climbing the ladder, building his business.
In his travels, Trevor met a local real estate attorney who could potentially refer business. Trevor had been working with that attorney on a home purchase transaction. The attorney said, “Oh, no, that’s where you work? I’ll never do business with your company because so-and-so is a nightmare and your company is a nightmare.”
That other top-producing loan officer had a terrible reputation. This loan officer had a bad habit of not responding to anybody’s phone calls inquiring asking, “What’s going on with the deal? When is it closing?” He simply did not answer phone calls.
This was in the days before email, the days of beepers and telephones and he simply did not respond to anyone. The attorney told Trevor, “I beep this guy all the time, he never calls me back. I guess your company is just slow to get things done that’s why he doesn’t respond. Why should I expect you’d be any different?”
So when Trevor confronted his fellow loan officer about this complaint, his response was very laid back. He said, “I have one philosophy. The deal closes when it closes.”
WOW. He made Trevor and the entire company look bad.
On the positive side of the story, he kind of wasn’t wrong because there is a process to getting a loan approved and closed. The fact that he was a terrible communicator is a different issue entirely; he never spent any time communicating to manage expectations.
We did a video on managing expectations, emphasizing follow up. Sometimes the timeline to close can really be a bit much, and especially with how many people are involved in the loan process.
We’re working now on a business acquisition deal, and the sellers were involved. They just could not get their head around what was needed, even after the loan was approved, and they knew the Lender was going to do this deal.
Their responses to requests for documents through the entire process were, “Why this? Why that?” Week after week, all they did was push back. The Seller’s attitude was constantly to fight the process. Then, when they’d actually submit a document at 10 a.m. in the morning, they’d follow up by sending an email at 1:30 in the afternoon, “So when are we closing?”
This is not really understanding the loan process either.
So, to take that “top-producer-bad-communicator’s” phrase and reconfigure it, “The deal closes when it closes.”
There is a real process to achieving the loan approval and getting to the closing. As long as all parties are communicating and cooperating, it will close in a reasonable time, but it doesn’t mean it’s closing in 10 minutes. Communication and cooperation, those are key elements.
For our part, we maintain clear communications. As often as this particular seller was impatient, we still kept a clear head and kept our communications positive, responded accordingly. Ultimately, we got what we wanted from the seller in the way of documents we needed.
We did another video describing how the lender reviews everything. If you spend so much time asking, “Why?” And spending so
much energy fighting the process when you could have gotten what was needed to expedite the process.
With this particular seller it was constantly “When are we closing?” and, “Where’s my money?”
We understand how financial professionals can get jaded. Someone like the former colleague in the industry can say to themselves, “Okay, I’m kind of exhausted with these calls.” And they shut down because they know the deal will close when it closes.
People can get upset about the process, but when all is said and done, if there’s clear communication, you have to understand the process and you have to be patient.