Top Originator: create memorable fences

Derrick Strauss (pictured) recalls when he found out he had established a successful mortgage career

“I had a veteran who really wanted to buy a house with his finances, but didn’t qualify for the house on his own. With a VA loan, you can’t have a co-borrower on the loan unless it’s your spouse. Ideally, they wanted to buy the house first and then have their wedding afterwards, but I had to tell them that I couldn’t get there unless they were married, ”Strauss said. “They immediately went to the justice of the peace and got married a day later, produced a marriage certificate, and I was able to add the new spouse to the loan and meet its closing date.

Planet Home Lending’s retail branch manager told MPA it was one of the most memorable closings of his career. From marriage to parenthood, Strauss takes pride in being able to celebrate milestones with his clients along the way.

When asked what his secret was, Strauss confessed that he doesn’t just write loans. Instead, he likes to approach his clients’ issues through holistic thinking.

“I have a system that I use with people right after going through a major credit event in their life,” he said. By devoting himself to solving his clients’ problems, he has been able to raise millions of dollars every month.

Last year Strauss closed 225 loans and a volume of over $ 82 million. He was also recognized by SocialSurvey as one of the top 250 loan officers nationwide for customer satisfaction. On top of that, he managed to grow his branch to its highest output by refining his process to be fast and productive.

“One of the best tips I’ve heard is, ‘you’re as good as your last month / year / transaction’. We cannot rest on our laurels of the past, but must continue to move forward in our success. It motivated me to work hard and never think about myself too much, ”said Strauss.

Strauss adds that he’s learning to move from a management mindset to a leadership mindset. He knows that without this change, he will not be able to develop his branch, sales team and operations to the level of professionalism and production that they want to achieve. It is a priority for him to inspire his team and to move it forward. Over time, the mortgage professional sees himself mentoring his loan officers, imparting what he has worked hard to build and empower the next generation of the industry.

“It’s a difficult time. With COVID-19, low inventory and low jobs, this will continue to be difficult. For those who are willing to do the hard work of prospecting, finding solutions for old clients and making them a full time job, there will be success. For others who don’t want to do these things, it might be difficult or impossible, ”Strauss said.


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