There’s No Such Thing as an Unqualified Borrower!

Admit it!  After reading this article’s title you either thought, “This Leffler guy’s delusional” or, “Now I’ve GOT to read this!”  I’m betting that it was the former.  Well, I assure you that I am far from delusional!  In fact, I stand by what I profess and will go so far as to assure you that what I’m about to discuss will set your career on fire and you apart from much of your competition.

Ok, so now you’re thinking, “Oh yeah?  Well what about that 19 year-old first-time homebuyer wannabe with the 462 credit score, a half dozen collection accounts, only a part time job, and no assets who called last week asking about financing a home?  Are you saying that this woman was actually qualified for a loan?”

No, I’m not saying that someone presenting with a low credit score, minimal assets and limited-to-no income is qualified for home financing.  What I am saying is that this person is not currently qualified.  Yes, this single word makes a huge difference.  Please allow me to explain.

Have you ever browsed through a store that sold high-end goods without the means or intention to actually buy anything?  Or did you ever take some time to visit a car dealership even if you were not ready to buy?  Have you ever encountered a salesperson who, upon realizing that you were not a viable candidate for a sale, treated you differently?  Perhaps as less of a person?  Hopefully you’ve never experienced this type of shame.  But, if you have, you know that it doesn’t feel good at all.  Being treated as less of a person simply because you can’t afford something or qualify for its financing is disheartening.  Therefore, by considering those whose credentials fall short of mortgage qualification as only being currently unqualified, the game completely changes.  And so does your bottom line.

I completely understand how time is money and that you became a mortgage loan originator (MLO) to earn a living.  And to do that, you must close loans which requires qualified borrowers.  But what often goes unrealized, however, is that today’s unqualified borrower represents tomorrow’s closing.

Nobody intentionally chooses to default on their debt.  Either they were ignorant of how credit works in the first place or something happened to cause their circumstances to change for the worse.  There was a time, years ago, when my credit score was below 500.  But things can change for the better.  And they definitely did for me.  Now I’m proud to share that my credit score is well over 800.  How likely would I be to go back to a mortgage loan originator who treated me poorly back then?  Not a chance.  Someone else would ultimately be getting my business and earning that fat commission.  By treating everyone with respect and dignity and by realizing that, just because someone is currently unqualified doesn’t mean that he or she won’t be in the future, the MLO is setting the stage for a hugely successful career.

The next time when you encounter a prospective borrower who is not qualified at that moment, instead of discarding him or her, sit down with that person, analyze his or her current circumstances, compassionately guide and counsel him or her regarding what he or she would need to do to ultimately become qualified.  Help him or her to create and establish an action plan for qualificational success.  Not everybody will be willing or able to successfully adhere to the plan, but those who do will be forever grateful.

After meeting with this future client, set up a tickler on your calendar to follow-up with him or her in 30 days.  If, when you do so, you learn that he or she has not been following the plan or presents with all sorts of excuses for not doing so, schedule one more follow-up a month later.  If, at that follow-up nothing has changed, wish him or her well and move on.  Plainly and simply, not everybody is meant to secure home financing.

If, upon following-up, however, you observe that this future home buyer has been adhering to the plan, schedule another follow-up for two months later and continue to do so every two-to-three months after that.  Become their cheerleader and encourager and, by doing this, not only will you keep them excited about and committed to bettering their situation, you’ll maintain top-of-the-mind awareness.  Then finally, once they’ve achieved qualification and readiness, even if it takes a year or more, BOOM!; you’ve closed another loan.

By treating all actual and potential customers with respect and dignity, you will eventually build a consistently-fulfilling pipeline of borrowers who, not only are now qualified whereas when they first met you they were not, but of whom you’ve created lifelong, loyal customers and referral sources.

So yes, there really is no such thing as the unqualified borrower.  Only those who are currently unqualified.  By realizing and appreciating this subtle but critical distinction, you’ve launched your career lightyears down the pathway to success while making a positive difference in the lives of many.

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