IN EACH OF MY TOP PRODUCER INTERVIEWS, I ASK A VARIETY OF QUESTIONS--including, "What is your customer service strategy?" and "Do you have an assistant or other team members helping you?" In this month's interview, I spoke with Daniel Arias, a senior loan officer with Calabasas, California-based Skyline Home Loans. When I asked him the same questions, it was clear these two in particular were the ones he was most excited to talk about.
Being a people person, Arias has always worked in customer service-oriented positions. Unlike many loan officers, he did not just fall into the job. He worked part-time at a bank and learned that being a loan officer was a good fit for him; he loves it.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles, he grew up in a family of educators, making him somewhat of the "black sheep" of the family when he went into banking. Holding the title of the third-highest-producing loan officer at Skyline Home Loans, and with loan production of more than $26 million (64 units) in 2014 and more than $47 million (106 units) year-to-date, it is easy to see why he decided not to follow his family into the teaching profession.
Because he is on pace to double his production, he was an obvious choice for this month's top producer column.
So what is he doing exactly?
He doesn't use any unique marketing techniques. He says, "My name has just spread as someone who is reliable."
He adds that he has created deep-rooted relationships and consistently stays on top of each and every relationship, whether it's with a referral partner or a past customer.
He partners mostly with Realtors[R] and because of his dedication to creating meaningful relationships, he regularly keeps in contact with about 40 of them. Of the 40, he has about 10 who send him business on a consistent basis.
In order to keep up with all of his relationships, he says he sets a goal to write five letters every day--which can be a thank-you, happy birthday or just a "hello" letter. He also makes five calls a day when he first gets to his office. He says this is an easy, daily task that takes 20-25 minutes, but always gets a large return.
Because he is so intent on creating relationships with his referral sources and customers, I asked him how he takes his loan applications. His answer: He always encourages his buyers to meet in person, especially if they are first-time homebuyers, so he can set expectations and build rapport to make the process easier for them. On...