We’re the Biggest… We’re number one…. We’ve been voted the best….

Best of lists don’t always reflect what’s best for your needs

When selecting a lender to work with, do any of these attention-grabbing phrases matter to you? Does being the ‘top’ lender necessarily make them a better lender? Does closing across the nation make them more knowledgeable in the market area that you care about? Should rankings or popularity polls inform your decision on who to select for a professional service?

Perhaps recognition and awards may be one measure to use when selecting a service provider, however the lack of those should not be the only deciding factor when choosing a professional. Many of the most talented people in the mortgage industry work for lesser known firms; those small independents and local institutions. Many companies large and small do not submit their numbers to the ranking organization. As a matter of fact, many of these rankings are not even consumer-driven. There are quite a few companies who offer incentives to their employees to insure multiple votes in the ‘best places to work’ polls that are run locally and nationally. Like opinion polls in politics, the results can vary depending on how the questions are worded and how the participants are selected. So many times, these polls are not a direct reflection of client satisfaction.

In the end, you want people to connect with you because of a strong referral, or because of your terrific reputation, one that is built upon integrity, hard-work, knowledge and superior customer service. If you happen to be numero uno on some list, well that’s just a cherry on top.

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Millennials can get real with real estate

In recent years, hundreds of researchers have discussed the “millennial” as a strange breed of human, likely to spend more than $100 on a nice dinner, unlikely to buy a home, and likely to buy products branded with a particular shade of pink – millennial pink that is. But few have explored the real reasons behind the home ownership issue and provided real, actionable advice based on said reasons.

Let’s put it out there: millennials watched as their parents struggled through the Great Recession, graduated college when the job market was at an all-time low and lived through some of the most confusing political and economic shifts. So it’s no wonder they want to wait, date, mate, then procreate before buying a home. That said, these five steps can be taken by millennials of any age, in any financial situation.

1. Talk to a loan officer. I know, I know, it seems so far off, so why bother? But it is never too early to have a conversation about where you are today, where you’re going and what you need to do to achieve your goals. A loan officer cannot only do a credit review and provide advice on how to repair or build up credit, but can also provide you with a good sense of what your income today might support, and how you can work toward saving for a down payment.

2. Start saving – every little bit helps. You may want to think about co-housing while you’re still young, or cutting down on some of the pricier expenses in your day-to-day life (cough cough, food delivery). Every dollar that typically goes toward those expenses can be put in a savings account and, one day, used for a down payment – the most difficult part of buying a home.

3. Consider: where do you want to be in five years? It’s clear that the days of staying at one job for five to 35 years are over. Whether it’s to find the right career or to make more money, most millennials have had to hop jobs and/or cities on a yearly basis, and many see their current situation as temporary. But it’s also important to consider where you are today, where you’re hoping to go and when you want to settle; that way, you can plan thoughtfully and appropriately for your future.

4. Be realistic. What kind of lifestyle do you want? If you want to be in a new construction building with fancy amenities, you may need to consider where you can realistically make that happen – the answer may be Chicago instead of New York City. If you’re locked into a more expensive city because of a particular career, consider what sacrifices you might be able to make in order to make your current lifestyle and your future finances work for you.

5. Stop watching home improvement shows. This point goes hand in hand with the above question, but you’ll need to start thinking about setting realistic expectations for yourself and your future home. You may not be able to get an all-white, stainless steel appliance apartment, but you could get an apartment that needs a little elbow grease, then put in just a bit more money to get the clean, finished dream home you imagined.

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Let the Construction Begin!

When buying a new construction property there is a lot to think about, from finishes to paint colors, appliance choices to flooring. The one thing you don’t want to worry about is what the interest rate will be on your loan.

Mortgage Equity Partner’s long lock program protects you from market movement for up to 270 days, that’s 9 months to get the property completed!

And you get a free one-time float down or a free 30-day extension if you find you need more time.

So, stop worrying about rates and start shopping for furniture, you can be confident when you work with a Mortgage Equity loan officer that we have your needs front and center.

** One time float down to current 60 day rate allowed at any time during the process. Must meet investor specific qualification guidelines. 30-day extension cannot be used with float down. Borrower gets one or the other.

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No, I didn’t send you that letter…

Good consumers should be educated in marketing ploys to stay out of trouble. We are here to help.

If you recently closed on a mortgage you might find that you are getting lots of new types of mail. Because a mortgage is recorded with the registry of deeds it becomes public record. Many service providers purchase lists of newly purchased homes in order to market their services to the new homeowners. That’s why you are seeing mail from landscapers to heating companies. But there is another type of mail that you might get, mail that isn’t from your lender but appears to be.

Insurance companies and other financial service companies seem to specialize in this. The letter may reference “your mortgage from ___________ lender” and go on to mention the lender along with the service they are trying to sell you as if the two are connected when they are not.

We get weekly calls from borrowers who are being offered ‘Mortgage Insurance’ to protect their home investment. It takes a while to explain that the letter did not come from us and that the product being sold is not likely one that the borrower should invest in. What they refer to as mortgage insurance is simply a life insurance policy that covers your loan amount. Basic life insurance is more reasonable.

The mail barrage happens at other life events, having a baby or with a death in the immediate family, marketers love to target life events as a way to sell you more, generally insurance but other products as well.

It is important to understand what you are getting in the mail and why. Call your lender if something does not sound right, or call your financial advisor, accountant or insurance agent with questions, if you don’t have any of these advisors give us a call and we can provide you with referrals to excellent professionals.

Good consumers should be educated in marketing ploys to stay out of trouble. We are here to help.

Cheers!

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You Don’t Need to Drop OUT… Just Opt OUT!

Stop disruptive calls from credit card companies and lenders.

It may feel like you have to go off the grid to rid yourself of annoying credit calls. The good news is that you don’t. You can stay connected while eliminating many of those telephone interruptions offering you new credit cards or a mortgage.

Before you have your credit pulled for a home loan qualification take the preventative step to protect yourself from identity theft and hassling telemarketers and lenders.

When a mortgage inquiry is logged on your credit report, your personal information is sold by the credit repositories, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax to certain types of mortgage lenders. These are called trigger leads because the leads are triggered by your credit pull and mortgage companies pay a lot for this type of information. Once they have your information lenders may try to sneak through your defenses by vaguely representing that they are working for your chosen lender or by using other tactics.

The more companies that have your personal data the greater risk that you will become the victim of identity theft. Put yourself in control of your personal information. At least 48 hours prior to having your trusted lender pull your credit, call or go online to:

You will be asked to provide some personal identification information for this service to verify that it is correctly removing your personal record from its marketing lists. In addition, you can choose to be removed from the lists that are currently sold to credit card companies which are used to generate credit card solicitations. You can opt out for a period of five years or forever. No reason not to OPT Out today!

Just OPT OUT at www.optoutprescreen.com to protect your personal information and keep your phone from ringing.

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Mortgage Equity Partners raises money for the Pan Mass Challenge

Mortgage Equity Partners raises money to help fight cancer with a donation to the Boston Bruins Foundation Pan Mass Challenge Team to benefit Dana Farber Cancer Institute

The PMC is personal to MEP

September: Mortgage Equity Partners raised over $3200 in support of David Holding, Vice President of Secondary Markets helping to bring the amount of money raised by David to over $6000. The Pan Mass Challenge is a 192-mile bike ride from Sturbridge MA to Provincetown MA, the money raised by the PMC is donated directly to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.   This year’s PMC goal was to raise 46 Million dollars.

Read More >

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Mortgage Equity Partners CEO, Sean Riley, to Moderate Panel at NEMBC

Sean RileySean Riley to Discuss Cyber Security at This Year’s Conference

Sean Riley, the President, CEO, and General Counsel of Mortgage Equity Partners, will be moderating the Cyber Security-Overseeing your IT Department panel discussion at the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference (“NEMBC”) this year in Newport, RI. The NEMBC is the largest mortgage banking conference in New England attended by banks, credit unions, mortgage banks, and mortgage brokers in the region. Sean was chosen based on his vast experience in Mortgage Compliance and Risk Assessment Management. Safe guarding confidential and sensitive pieces of information during the loan process for borrowers and employees is critical and risks to the funding process continue to challenge lending organizations. Sean will lead a panel of experts to outline best practices to protect this information both physically and electronically. He will also discuss the latest security risks unique to the mortgage industry and how to protect your firm, employees and borrowers from the deleterious effects of such data breaches.

The Cyber Security panel that Sean Riley will be moderating takes place at Gurneys of Newport from 1:00 -2:15pm on September 14, 2017. Mortgage Equity Partners is committed to improving the mortgage industry by supporting the NEMBC. David Holding, VP of Capital Markets, sits on the conference planning committee.

“The New England Mortgage Bankers Conference has always been a fantastic way for us to share and learn more about the industry, and we’re thrilled to have our CEO, Sean Riley, representing us in the Cyber Security panel discussion this year” said Amy Tierce, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We look forward to playing an active role in the conference, and are sure the discussion will be enlightening for all companies.”

For more information on the New England Mortgage Bankers Conference, please visit https://www.massmba.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4262

About Mortgage Equity Partners

Mortgage Equity Partners is a customer centric lender founded in 2009. MEP is composed of mortgage banking experts who are committed to making the lending experience valuable, and affordable. They believe that a smaller, dynamic company can offer better service, and a more competitive portfolio of products. MEP was established based on the principle that by providing lower costs, low rates, and a high level of professional dedication, and integrity clients will enjoy a service level unsurpassed in the marketplace today. Mortgage Equity Partners serves clients in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Florida.

In the News

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Don’t Be Fooled by Pre-Approval Hyperbole

Yes, it’s still happening! Pre-approved buyers are winning bids on their future homes only to find out that their mortgage lender didn’t really pre-approve them as they thought.

Just last week a borrower was referred by an irate real estate agent. The buyer had a pre-approval from a company whose marketing touted that they deliver a fully underwritten commitment letter in just 7 days! And they did just that however, no one pointed out to the buyer or their agents that the letter was subject to verification of income and employment.

This lender did not review recent and past income documentation for this pre-approval. The borrower had recently changed from a full salary role to a full commission role and didn’t have enough history of receiving only commission income required to qualify for their mortgage.

Make sure that you do not go through the laborious process of bringing a new listing to market, fielding perhaps multiple offers, selecting one offer to accept only to find out days later that the buyer cannot complete their transaction. Otherwise, you will be starting the process all over again.

One of the best ways to ensure that the qualifying letter is correct is to call the lender directly and ask these questions:

  • Did you review income and employment documentation for this borrower?
  • Have you confirmed that the buyer has enough assets today to complete this transaction?
  • On a scale of 1- 10, how confident are you that this loan will close, excluding anything to do with the property (appraisal, inspection, title, condo details, etc.)?
  • If the answer is under 10, determine how long it will take the lender to address any areas of concern.

Protect your reputation. Protect your relationships with sellers, buyers and cooperating agents. Spare the heartache. Make sure that your borrower is working with a lender who cares to get it right from the start every time!

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Sales Statistics!

I was recently searching the Internet for statistical information regarding successful sales. How much more likely are you to land a transaction when you pick up the phone when the client calls? Or, how does a quick response to an inquiry impact your likelihood of your gaining the sale?

There are a lot of statistics on how to increase sales performance. There are plenty of metrics and data on this topic, especially for those sales people whose job requires them to cold call or respond to a lead driven business.

Harvard University did a study on cold calling and cold emailing. Did you know that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to cold call? Did you know that the most important factor to getting prospects to open your letters for an email campaign is having a snappy subject line?

You can learn all types of sales information online. Sales training resources abound in the form of live training programs, seminars, publications, webinars and programs. However, I can tell you one thing that I KNOW about sales success that does not require a Harvard degree to understand. Answer your phone whenever you can! If you cannot answer your phone, return the call as quickly as possible. The person who connects with the client first has the upper hand in winning the sale. Being available, being responsive, being on top of communication are simple acts and easy to manage. When I read about a negative sales experience, the consumer is usually talking about these exact behaviors; my person didn’t call me back or was unresponsive, or didn’t communicate clearly to me with next steps.

Is this you? If you are in any business that requires direct consumer contact, you are in sales. And being responsive, on top of executing the transaction and communicating effectively, will win you the trust of your clients, their repeat business and their referrals. Regardless of your industry, you don’t need a statistic to tell you what it takes to take care of your customers. Just treat them as you would like to be treated!

** Harvard study reference: http://www.leadresponsemanagement.org/lrm_study

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Maximize Your Holiday Networking Fun

Raise a glass this season and make a toast to a crazy year! We saw real estate records set, wacky elections, and just manic weather between the droughts and the storms. What a year it has been!
It’s not over yet. So, while celebrating the season with friends and colleagues at the multitude of parties and events in the coming weeks, take this time to grow your friendships and partnerships with some year-end party networking tips.
• Start with having some fun – At this time of the year don’t be a buzzkill by being solely focused on business at holiday events. You want them to know that you are genuinely interested in them, and not just what they can do for you. This is where the ‘art of conversation’ really applies.
• Be prepared – If there are folks you want to re-connect with, make a memo on your phone with their name and contact info in case they don’t have business cards or you forget to get one.
• Use Facebook – This is a great way to check up on the lives of the folks you want to see the most; you can start meaningful conversations when you know what your connections are engaged in.
• Research on LinkedIn – everyone is impressed to have someone take the time and interest to check them out, it’s flattering. Do it.
• Who do you want to connect with? Holiday events can be a great time to really connect with one or two people who you’ve wanted to meet. If you come away with one new potential friend or partner, you’ve had a successful evening. Now go have more fun!
• Don’t attend big parties if you don’t like them – You’ll be unhappy and others will feel that vibe. Find other ways to connect in smaller groups. Perhaps host a small event or ask a few new connections to lunch.
No other time of the year offers such rich opportunities to connect like the holidays do. Making new connections or strengthening existing relationships is a great way to head into the New Year.

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