Top Producer Pro Tips: Northeast Notables 2017

Published
  • May 02 2017, 10:12am EDT

Learn how the some of the industry's most successful loan originators get it done with these tricks of the trade from the 2017 Top Producers rankings' top 20 loan officers of the Northeast.

No. 20 Charles Shulman, NJ Lenders Corp.</br> Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. (No. 90 overall)

Tell us about a goal you've set for your business for the coming year.

To continue what I have been doing for the past 25 years — follow up with each lead that I receive until they eventually buy a home, even if it takes five years to do it. I will try to touch base with as many past clients and real estate brokers as I can during the year to say hello.

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No. 19 Paul O'Reilly, Salem Five Mortgage</br> Salem, Mass. (No. 81 overall)

There is no shortage of advice on how to be successful in the mortgage industry. What is the best you have been given? And who gave it to you?

Just keep in touch with your past clients and your business will grow. Todd Duncan said this over 20 years ago.

No. 18 Christina Longo, Guaranteed Rate</br> Boston, Mass. (No. 70 overall)

How do you develop and maintain relationships with real estate professionals?

It is very important to me to maintain great relationships with my real estate brokers. We are true partners as we both need each other to establish business, offer great services and to cross-sell one another during the whole process. My focus is to make sure my agents needs are met whether they want to know all the details of the loan or they just want to know when the loan is clear to close. Communication is key in making a successful "team" relationship.

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No. 17 Catherine Haddad, Atlantic Home Loans</br> Parsippany, N.J. (No. 68 overall)

What technology has made the biggest impact on how you interact with borrowers? Why?

Technology has made many things so much easier for both loan originators and customers alike. We are able to move quickly with esigning. We are able to offer great advice and get great feedback via social media, and there is just about an app for everything on smartphones. By just the swipe of your finger you can inquire, reply, advise and provide. Also Facebook helps me keep connected with existing partners and build new relationships.

No. 16 Michael Tanionos, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage</br> Woburn, Mass. (No. 64 overall)

How do you develop and maintain relationships with real estate professionals?

It is on a personal level first. People don't do business with people they don't like.

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No. 15 Anthony LaRocca, Contour Mortgage Corp.</br> Garden City, N.Y. (No. 50 overall)

What is the biggest challenge facing your local market in 2017?

In 2017 my biggest challenge will be recruiting and hiring another two assistants. As 2016 ended I began to build many new successful relationships. I am expecting my volume to increase and in order to keep my entire referral network growing without missing expectations I see the recruiting of two new assistants crucial for my success to continue as I grow.

No. 14 Joseph Smith, Guaranteed Rate</br> Boston, Mass. (No. 49 overall)

If you hadn't become a loan officer, what would you have done instead?

I would have become a professor of economics.

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No. 13 Bruce Salik, HomeBridge Financial Services</br> New City, N.Y. (No. 47 overall)

Tell us about a goal you've set for your business for the coming year.

One of my main goals this year is to have a better system of following up with purchase clients, as this can be a long process. Unlike a refinance, this is a transaction that can take months or even years, especially when someone is trying to find that perfect home. With our market moving more toward a purchase environment this is key, and that relationship building side of things become even more important than ever.

No. 12 Steven Grossman, NJ Lenders Corp.</br> Little Falls, N.J. (No. 46 overall)

What is the biggest challenge facing your local market in 2017?

I believe there are two major challenges. First, the overall orgination volume nationwide is forecasted to be 25% less. This will increase competition and push down margins. In addition, compliance costs continue to rise. Unless the new administration alters some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's rules, lenders will be constantly faced with increased compliance costs.

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No. 11 Glen Lemeshev, Vanguard Funding</br> Garden City, N.Y. (No. 42 overall)

What technology has made the biggest impact on how you interact with borrowers? Why?

Online origination tools for applications, document procurement and management are key. Being able to communicate industry data related to rates and market activity in real time, rather than mainstream media time, is also important. I utilize weekly newsletters through email and social media campaigns. There are online review ratings from clients and mobile accessibility that lifts geographic constraints.

No. 10 Allyson Kreycik, Guaranteed Rate</br> Wakefield, Mass. (No. 38 overall)

What's your favorite part about being a loan officer?

The flexibility in working from home most of the time and being a full-time mom. I don't miss out on school programs, dance recitals, doctor's appointments, piano lessons and soccer practice. The job has flexibility that I wouldn't be able to find in most other professions.

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No. 9 Ryan Sawyer, Low VA Rates</br> Clifton Park, N.Y. (No. 35 overall)

If you hadn't become a loan officer, what would you have done instead?

Great question, I definitely would say I would be a sports agent. I grew up playing competitive hockey. I love the atmosphere of competitive sports and that may be the sole reason for my drive and focus in business, along with my wife. My wife is the reason for my success.

No. 8 Christopher Gallo, NJ Lenders Corp.</br> Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. (No. 31 overall)

Tell us about a goal you've set for your business for the coming year.

My biggest goal would be to master the perfect mortgage process. I want to build and perfect a system that is fast and effective. This will allow me to grow my business further and work smarter.

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No. 7 Seth Goodwin, Wells Fargo Bank</br> Boston, Mass. (No. 27 overall)

There is no shortage of advice on how to be successful in the mortgage industry. What is the best you have been given? And who gave it to you?

Your career is not defined as what you do between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but rather what you are willing to do outside of the norm.

No. 6 Jason Shannon, Contour Mortgage Corp.</br> Garden City, N.Y. (No. 18 overall)

What is the biggest challenge facing your local market in 2017?

The reason I have a large volume of business is due to the work ethic I have. I am the last one out of my office and most times I'm here till midnight pounding away on clearing loans. So my biggest challenge is to try and spend more time with my family and not here at the office and continue to close the same volume. I have been actively looking for a few more assistants to help me with paperwork but its hard to find people that work like me.

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No. 5 Andrew Marquis, Guaranteed Rate</br> Waltham, Mass. (No. 12 overall)

There is no shortage of advice on how to be successful in the mortgage industry. What is the best you have been given? And who gave it to you?

Always do the right thing and you will succeed. Communicate clearly and always deliver as presented. Do this and you will build a huge pipeline of referral business. This was from some mentoring I learned from a mortgage broker/employer during 2003-2005.

No. 4 Baret Kechian, loanDepot</br> Hoboken, N.J. (No. 10 overall)

What's your favorite part about being a loan officer?

Being at the top of my field and being an expert in what I do are my favorite parts of being a loan officer.

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No. 3 Julie Long, Commonwealth Mortgage</br> Woburn, Mass. (No. 8 overall)

If you hadn't become a loan officer, what would you have done instead?

I would have gone to law school. It's still on the map — for when I slow down.

No. 2 Shant Banosian, Guaranteed Rate</br> Waltham, Mass. (No. 4 overall)

What's your favorite part about being a loan officer?

A lot of times we are working with first-time homebuyers and it's a lot of fun getting to know people during such an important phase of their life. I love when we further develop these relationships and do multiple loans over the course of a few years. We establish such a bond that I become a trusted advisor for them, their friends, and their families.

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No. 1 Brian Scott Cohen, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage</br> Brooklyn, N.Y. (No. 2 overall)

What technology has made the biggest impact on how you interact with borrowers? Why?

I am not a big social media user. In this day in age I probably should be, but I really prefer telephone, email and face-to-face interaction.