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The Devil’s in the Details


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[vimeo id=”104055337″ width=”625″ height=”352″]

5 Traits of Detail-Oriented Professionals

reverse mortgage newsDetails. They can make or break a reverse mortgage professional. One missing item in a loan application can stop the wheels of progress. Incomplete or missing borrower notes can expose us to future liability issues. So what are the traits of detail-oriented people that we can learn from?

First, they proofread their work repeatedly. Our minds play tricks on us when we read the same text filling in the missing pieces. So before you send that email that will live in your recipient’s server forever or send a letter to your borrower stop and look again. Check for grammar, accuracy and clarity.

Second, they take note of seemingly insignificant details. Make a practice to…

Download the video transcript for this episode here.

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  1. Great tips, and easily implemented. Thank you, Shannon.

  2. Shannon,

    I’m new to this field and am finding it difficult to come up with a system for keeping track of all the data you mentioned in today’s clip. I’m using Excel now, but it’s cumbersome, and SE (as far as I know) doesn’t have “ticklers.” Do you have any suggestions?

    • Tom,

      Actually SE has a robust reminder and scheduling system. We do have the ability to upload images, files and attachments to a record but the borrower’s photo is not displayed but is an attachment. Hope this helps.

  3. Yes, there are aspects of prospects which should be tracked and reviewed frequently but one should also be aware of the difference between productive tracking and nonproductive tracking. At one end I have seen some who are so analytic that they spend more time on analytics than on actual time with people yet they think they are salespeople. At the other end are those who are constantly complaining about the paralysis of analysis but have only tangentially spent any real time on gathering what is generally considered crucial to their sales activity, analyzing that data, and taken appropriate actions to improve their sales. Finding what data is most productive in increasing sales is 1) a function of the customer type and product and 2) the sales discipline of the salesperson.

    But do not sell the need for detail short or as a friend of mine once said about creation in the book of Genesis: “Wow, I never realized God could be in the details.” One of the biggest mistakes I see when HECM originators get a bad appraisal value is either a fatalistic attitude (“what can I do about it?”) or such an overconfident attitude that their appeal is so general as to be more antagonizing than constructive.

  4. The_Critic,

    It is interesting you bring up appraisals.

    In the last five years, I found three appraised values so objectionable in light of the needs of the borrower I had to appeal each of them. As to time and effort, the first took some research and a few phone calls regarding the comparables selected by the appraiser but with some effort in writing and rewriting I prepared an appeal which was sufficient to get an increase in value of 14% of which only 70% had any impact on the HECM proceeds since the revised value exceeded the lending limit.

    The second appeal was denied. While the appeal was well written, there were insufficient details for the appraiser to see any significant flaws in his approach or the comparables selected.

    The most recent appeal resulted in an 8% increase in value when we were only looking for 4%. Rather than using an industry approach, I used the same general approach I would have, had I been appealing an IRS appraised value. That approach worked far more effectively than expected. In fact the day after filing the appeal with the AMC, an AMC manager called advising that about a change which needed to be made per appeal protocol. He expressed his admiration for the structure and documentation substantiating the appeal but also warned that any change was up to the appraiser. Once filed, the revised value was emailed from the appraiser in less than a week.

    To gather all of the data for the third appeal was both easy and difficult. It took a month to prepare due to the need to contact realtors involved with the sales transactions reflected in the information for the comparables since the most critical appraiser to challenging the comparables was on vacation. It also took a few days to organize, review, edit, and pull it together in its final form since there were no HECM appraisal appeals in the style and substances of an IRS appeal. The most difficult thing was to present the many errors in the appraisal that had absolutely nothing to do with value but were plainly wrong without antagonizing the appraiser. A great deal of time was spent on details but in the it paid off for the borrowers.

    (The opinions expressed in this comment are not necessarily those of RMS or its affiliates.)

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