KEITH SPAIN, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT LOANSOUTH MORTGAGE, Atlanta, is fondly known to his colleagues as "Big Daddy." This nickname could stem from his annual production of around $78 million last year, his 15 years in the industry or, from what I gathered from my conversation with him, the fact he just makes it look so darn easy.
Spain began his professional career in sales before transitioning into the mortgage industry, and he practices a finely tuned system of doing business focused on customer service to the highest degree.
I had the chance to speak with him and learned that although it may look simple to the naked eye, his way of doing business is strategic, efficient and extremely effective.
Spain credits two groups for being the main source of his business: real estate agents and past customers. In fact, he works primarily with what he calls his 12 core agents, for whom he closes every single deal they do.
When asked how he maintains these relationships, he replied, "In that core 12, I would say I have worked with all of them for at least 10 years--so these are long-term relationships. I think the reason for that is because I try to make them feel like they're the only Realtor* I work with."
Unlike some loan officers who pursue multiple referral sources, Spain sticks to what works for him--giving intense focus to a group of people who consistently bring him major business. Along with the core 12, he also does business with around 40 other Realtors in his area, building a strong reputation through excellent service and word of mouth.
When it comes to marketing strategies, he again focuses on relationships. He opts to let his assistants take care of the internal details of the loan while he handles all communication with the customer and the referral source. Throughout the process of the loan, those involved speak to Spain 100 percent of the time, and he never misses attending a closing.
"It's a great marketing opportunity not just for the selling agent, but also if you've gotten the HUD-1 out two days in advance, it's a great opportunity to talk to the listing agent about hopefully working with them as well."
Quality of service is clearly an enormous part of Spain's success, but the quantity of loans he receives plays a major part as well. He went into detail about how he started working smarter by taking loan applications online, and the incredible impact that has had on his business.
Has it made him more efficient? Spain replied...