Full Transcript is Below:
– Welcome into our Top Producer series for the month of February, 2023. I’m NFM TV’s, Greg Sher. And the year is already flying by and we are gonna welcome in another one of our many superstars in the NFM Family of Lenders. We’ve got so many incredible women at this company and today we’re going to feature one we’ve not featured yet. Michelle Powstanski joins us from Ashburn, Virginia. She is a part of Main Street Home Loans. We just love those folks at Main Street. And Michelle, we really appreciate you joining us.
– Thank you so much for having me. I’m really happy to be here.
– I know, I know. I’m psyched to learn more about you. We’re coming off of a pretty tumultuous year in the business. I think that’s safe to say. Your last three years, your numbers involved some purchases and some refinances obviously, but you still have maintained a nice book of business having eclipsed the $35 million mark in self-generated production, mostly all purchase in 2022. That’s incredible. That’s really incredible. Tell us about that journey of fighting for every last deal as so many people in your position have been.
– Yeah, obviously, 2020 through about June of 2022 was like drinking from a fire hose. I mean, it was just coming in every day and it was almost difficult to keep up with it all. And then once the tides changed and the feds started raising the rates in June of this past year, 2022, I still managed to have some of those buyers that really just interest rate wasn’t an issue for them. They knew it was an opportunity to get into the market when things were starting to kinda slow up. They were having opportunities to win contracts that they wouldn’t necessarily have had the opportunity to do when things were super competitive. But Main Street has always had very competitive products and rates. So I tend to be able to hold my own in those situations.
– It’s an art though to explain to a consumer why it’s an advantage to buy a mortgage at 7% when they’re so used to hearing 3% and three and a half percent. Just quickly walk us through that pitch for a minute.
– When interest rates go up, now that tends to mean that sellers are willing to negotiate on price. So you’ll pay less for the property in a market like this. They might be willing to pay closing costs. The buy down option came back. That buy down option’s always been around, but nobody’s talked about it in over a decade until now because this is the type of environment where hearing that you can get the seller to pay for your interest rate to be 2% under market, that makes people feel a little bit more confident to go out there and get into a house now and then work to refinance hopefully in the next 12 to 24 months.
– You’ve been doing this 26 years, you started out as a receptionist and you’ve worked your way up. Let’s see, let me look at this list of titles that you’ve had in your mortgage career. I’m sure you’ve kept a couple out. Receptionist, processor, wholesale account manager, wholesale account executive, retail production manager, retail loan officer, home loan consultant. So you certainly know the business. How much does that help you when it comes to educating your consumers and how important is it to winning business?
– For me, I felt like I wasn’t ready for the next step until I mastered the one and then I would go to the next. And even when I did the account executive role back in my early twenties, I felt like I needed to do the account manager role to fully understand, be able to explain to my clients what’s gonna happen with that loan and what can they expect. I mean, I think being able to say fully and come across in a very trustworthy way and letting the client know, “Hey, this is what you can expect. I’m gonna be here throughout the beginning to end.” Most of my clients end up sticking with me. Even some of them will shop, but it’s very few, only because I spend a lot of time making sure that they are 100% comfortable, that they trust me.
– That first consultation, how much time do you set aside for that?
– The first initial phone call is just me saying, “Hey, what is it that you’re looking to do? What is your motivation for wanting to purchase a property or what do you need out of the refinance? What is your goal?” And once we have that, I’m like, “Okay, I’m gonna set up a Zoom. What’s a good time for you to spend, 30 minutes to an hour?” And just doing that and being able to see the clients these days too, that’s a whole other side of it that I think is really important, is the face-to-face.
– You have recently stepped out kind of of your comfort zone and your traditional business lane to the extent that I was watching you, I don’t know if it was Facebook or TikTok, but you popped up, I watched something, I liked it, and before I knew it, literally within 24 hours, somehow you had captured my email and an email popped up in my inbox about developing a relationship as a possible buyer. So I wanna know all about this pivot, this transformation that you’re in the middle of and how are you so brave having done what you’ve been doing for so long?
– I was very, very blessed that referrals by just word of mouth was really good for me over the last couple of years. But now, like you said, the pivot is happening where I’m realizing social media is the new commercial. I realized that I need to be in that space. It’s incredibly important to me to come across very genuine and to give good information ’cause I think it’s important. I think if you’re not doing that, you’re missing the boat.
– Have your referral partners said anything? Have they noticed you showing up more and asked, “Well, how are you so brave as to be able to do that?”
– It’s funny. They’re all going through the same thing. We’re all feeling it. I’ve even seen some of my referral partners going to social media classes and things like that. I mean, everybody is supporting each other and they’re very much cheerleaders of mine and I know they’re there liking what I put out and encouraging me.
– You got into this before you were 20, so my question is how much longer are you gonna do this?
– To be honest, I really don’t know that I see myself stopping. I really enjoy what I do. No one ever says they wanna be a mortgage lender when they grow up, but once I got into it and I started realizing that I get to work with people and I have all this knowledge I’m gaining and I can share it with people, that is my passion. Being able to take knowledge that I have and empower other people, I mean, that’s what gets me going. So for now, I’ll say I may not stop until I have to.
– Yeah, you’re so impressive and certainly very worthy of being our top producer. We appreciate your time. Michelle Powstanski, thank you so much. Continued success with the NFM Family of Lenders and more specifically, the great folks at Main Street Home Loans.
– Thank you so much.
– I’m Greg Sher from NFM TV, we’ll see you again next time.