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Why Lenders Love to Work with Me

Organization engenders trust

Here’s a confession: I think organized people are more trustworthy.  I hate wasting time (fully acknowledging what “wasting” is varies person to person).  I take pride in being efficient.  I even said to my husband once that “being organized” means being able to locate something in 60 seconds or less.  (Maybe I even said 30 seconds…?)

I think being organized is a choice.  It represents personal values.  One can be organized in one arena of life and not in others.  A member of my team for over 10+ years has tried their damndest to get me to be more organized about links, locations, previous shares, etc., and also very kindly responded to my many repeated requests over the years, keeping me humble about my own values and choices.

As such, if you are going to make the choice to be organized, it should definitely be focused in arenas where you’d like results.  (Unless you’re like me and you actually like to “play organizing” – a joyful response I’d give when asked what I was doing by my husband in our early courtship years.  I’m thrilled my younger daughter has also used this phrase with happiness.)

For me, that arena is investing and wealth-building.

Before I go on about the benefits of being organized, I need to say something, or I’ll seem ignorant.  People who look like me – women, people of color – we have to do/be/have 10x better.  We cannot afford slip-ups.  We don’t get the same privileged acceptance of “blips” as others of dominant or powerful sexes or skin color.  We have to work that much harder to even get a phone call back, a meeting for coffee, an email introduction, and so on.  For wealth building and investing, the paramount importance of “Excellent” or at “Very Good” credit scores and solid financial statements cannot be understated.  There is no room for that one late phone bill or whatever dumbass choice you made in college or move address change you forgot to make.

With that, back to the value of being organized.  What I know is lenders want to make money, and make it as fast as possible with as little effort as possible.  They have underwriting criteria that can gum up the process over which they can exert very little control at times.  While there may be a great deal on the table, applicants who are sluggish in producing throughput can get overlooked, denied, or not be able to negotiate parameters easily.  And that can impact YOUR investing returns and performance.

A differentiating factor amongst applicants in receiving the time, effort and flexibility of loan officers is often how easy they are to work with, to get through the process and approved.  That just makes sense, right?  Like, why would anyone want to go through a complicated process with a person who seems disordered?  Let alone a brown female.

Thus, it was with gratefulness and validation that I received this email back in 2021 from a lender on a real estate refinance transaction here in Philly:

Financial organization skills are outstanding

And I’ve received many others like it.  Last week, our attorney in Florida said that if I wanted a job in the future with them, I could have it.  It stemmed not from any legal expertise of mine, but the ease with which I was able to be responsive with pertinent info and clear suggestions based on my understanding of my business.

I’ve never been denied a loan – whether purchase, construction, nor refinance.  There are several reasons for that, including knowing underwriting criteria like the back of my hand.  One clear reason is that lenders like to work with me.  I make their jobs easier.

Top Strategies for Making Your Lender’s Life Easier

  1. Create a list of typical items that lenders will ask you (last 2 years tax returns, Personal Financial Statements, Rent Rolls, etc.) and have it ready to hit copy-paste-send super fast the minute the lender asks you for it.  What’s important here is not only the list being thorough and matched to the asks, but how quickly you are able to send it
  2. Maintain the typical property and applicant data tables regularly – Depending on your level of activity, at least every 3 months.  This allows you to have current versions ready to go for #1 above.  Property history tracking sheet (for all of the properties you’ve ever owned as some lenders will ask about your experience, not just your active holdings).  Data tables for Personal Financial Statements (once I finally got everything into Quicken, this process got SO much easier).  Rent Rolls, etc.  You will evolve the structure of these over time, as you understand what’s being asked of you.
  3. Store documents in the cloud, in well organized folders – I use Dropbox.  (Nearly) Everything is there.  You don’t have to figure out how to send large attachments and then wonder if they got filtered out by the recipient’s software.  If your recipient can’t receive cloud links, then you can engage in emailing attachments – but then it’s about their system deficiencies, not your organization and business management.

While the base personality type that enjoys the above is definitely within me, I have been intentional about optimizing this process as lending requirements have changed over the years.  Also in response to how our own processes have changed.  90% of the foundation stays the same, but I need to adapt the other 10% over time.  I’m looking forward to teaching my eldest daughter how to do this so that I can start to shift some of the tasks to her!

I’ve received unforeseen benefits from showing up in this way to lenders – well beyond the loan approvals.  For example, when I asked one to be an advisor, she said yes.  I asked another to support investment growth activities, and he said yes.  Both did it quickly.  I haven’t made them millions over the years (yet), but they know my time investment asks of them will be clear, productive, and rewarding.

And that’s a bet any lender likes to make.

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