Our Top Producer Series for April features Main Street’s dynamic Executive Vice President Mike Farrell. In the world of mortgage leadership and production, he has few rivals. Enjoy this exclusive glimpse into his world.

Full Transcript is Below:

– Welcome into our Top Producer series for the month of April. I’m your host, Greg Sher. You’re watching NFM TV. Joining us now is Mike Farrell, the Executive Vice President of Main Street Home Loans, a division of NFM Lending. Mike, thanks for being with us.

– Thanks Greg, happy to be here, looking forward to it.

– I’m really excited to have you here, Mike, for a couple of reasons. Number one, you’re an incredible producer. You’ll probably close in the area of $10 million in the month of April. But you’re also an incredible leader, a great speaker. First of all, how are you holding up? How’s Main Street holding up during these really challenging times?

– You know, I feel like everybody has really just pushing through this. We’re one of the, I guess, blessed businesses, that we can continue to work in times like this, but everybody’s at home, everybody’s engaged, I feel like things are cranking right now. So, everyone’s doing a great job, we’re super proud of everybody at Main Street.

– Well I know you’re set up to do a huge number in the month of April, how? How can you even do that in a market like this? What are the tricks that you have up your sleeve that you can share with remaining successful in a home environment?

– Well, the best part about anywhere with this is the technology, that we can communicate very easily, there’s video, there’s social media, email, text, phone, all those kinds of things. Look what we’re doing right now. I’ve done a bunch of these types of meetings with real estate agents and clients going over their numbers, their figures. And then with the realtor community, just going over their plans for the future here. So that’s pretty exciting. So we have Main Street as a whole, we just had a record month. We’re going to have another record month this month, and as the purchase business kind of slows down here because of the virus and people not leaving their homes and going out looking at properties, we have this giant glut of loans, so to speak, that we can get through that’s going to feed everybody until this thing turns around, so that’s pretty exciting.

– Are those refinances? When you talk about that pool of?

– We’re talking about refinances. You know, even for Main Street as whole, we’re actually still almost 60% purchase into April, which is, if you think about that pendulum shift that you were talking about, we’re not seeing a big slowdown yet on the purchase side. Certainly, we’re usually in the 80%, 82% purchase, so we’re definitely seeing those refis prop us up here, but we need them. And you talk about opportunities, the one thing that I always preach to my people and I educate and help people in our business even if they don’t work here, is how important your database is and being able to grab those opportunities, because as interest rates right now, I mean, we’ve seen it, they went from, plummeted to 3% back to 4.5%, back to 3.5%. I mean, you got to be able to move at a moment’s notice and get to your clients as fast as possible to take advantage of those types of opportunities, and I think that’s what most of us have done.

– How do you shift that mindset, though, for those people that have just been brow-beated into purchase, purchase, purchase, singular focus, how do you get them off that track on a dime?

– Well, I don’t know if it’s on a dime, I think it’s a strategy, it’s a system, it’s something that you have to put in place for yourself. And a lot of it has to do with what you’ve done during and after that purchase closing for that family and what you’re doing all the way through, so that you’re actually that person for them, so if you were a client of mine that closed on a home three years ago, if you’re really good with your database and you’re really good with note-taking and setting up tasks for yourself and things like that, I can call you within a second, going, “Hey Greg, send me your mortgage statement, it’s time, “we’re refinancing you.” And that’s what I want my relationship with the clients to be is, I call you and go, “Hey, we’re going to refinance you this month, so send me your stuff.” And you go, “Okay,” and you just hand it over because you trust me. And a lot of that is built during that purchase market or during that purchase transaction that we did a couple years for you.

– You’re using this opportunity to educate your referral partners and all the people in your chain. Can you share with us why you’re doing that and what kind of things you’re doing?

– Well, the main thing I’m doing is video message, usually every morning, but sometimes it hits twice a day, it just depends on what’s going on in the world right now. We are getting notifications on different loan products changing, guidelines changing, overlays being put in place, products going away, some coming in. There’s so much information out there right now and a lot of the real estate community is not really hyper-focused in their local markets on those types of things, because they just look at national news, like we all do, we think, “Oh gosh, this is changing for everybody.” Well, it might not change for everybody, so what I do is, I try to be that advisor to them and say, “Here’s your playbook for today on financing.” It’s just amazing how much the real estate community needs to learn what we’re doing on the mortgage side of things right now, because there’s so much that could get back to bite them if they’re not paying attention, you know? I get contracts sometimes, Greg, and they’ll have a 10 day appraisal contingency in this market, 10 days. You know, how can we get an appraisal done in 10 days when you know the appraisers aren’t getting out there that fast? Or the guidelines are changing? Or there was just a huge refinance boom and these guys need more time to get these things done? So I just want to have more communication, I think the more communication, the better and I think that’s one thing that really separates me on that side of it, as well.

– One of the reasons I was so excited to talk to you, in addition to being such an incredible producer is what you’ve built at Main Street Home Loans. So, how are you able to juggle that dichotomy, between originating, taking care of your office, and then you’ve got, your footprint has grown. Talk to us about that.

– Yeah, we can’t be more proud of what we were able to do in just a year and three months, I think it is. But we have a, you can’t do it yourself, although, sometimes there’s one or two people that might be the face of an organization, because my face is out there a lot, especially internally at our company, there are so many things. What we’ve done is we’ve kind of disseminated all these roles to everybody and one of our core culture models is that everybody has a voice. Everybody has a say. So we tell everybody everything that’s going on, the good, the bad, the ugly, every single day, every single week. Sometimes people have an idea and they say, “Hey, we should try this.” And we go, “Okay, take it, run with it, “it’s yours now, you own it.” Right, because that’s the only way, we don’t have a single senior manager at our organization that does not originate loans still. So that is our primary income as well. And so, to be able for me to originate, for guys like Darran Anthony and Tim Reinhart, Derek Schwartz, Pete O’Donnell, Sal Savasanto, there are just people, to name a few, there’s so many others. To be able to do all the originations that they do and be able to lead an organization, you have to have a lot more hands, a lot more help, a lot more brains.

– One thing I love about Main Street is the culture that you’ve built. In addition to that transparency, if you go online and were looking at some of the pictures right now of your Facebook page, and you’ve got, on Fridays, you encourage everyone to wear that Main Street swag, not matter where they are and share it. Where did you kind of come up with that and how does that play into the culture that’s out there at Main Street?

– You know what’s funny is that we wanted to make, you know, you think the word Main Street, and you’re like, “Oh, Main Street’s kind of like “that welcoming area where everybody knows everybody, “it’s like a family feel.” You think about a main street and there’s parades and barbecues and thing like that, and we wanted to bring that kind of feel to a work environment, and I think we’ve actually done that unbelievably. I’ve never seen so many employees so proud of their brand than I have in any company I’ve ever worked for. They take it with pride. There’s people that wear their Main Street shirts or hats, or things. Or they take pictures of themselves somewhere where the sign is a Main Street just to show everybody that they’re actually some place where they’re thinking of their work family. So that’s really where our culture is, is that you spend, most people during their work life, spend more time with their coworkers than they do with their own families, until they can retire or go on vacations and things like that, right? And so we wanted to really just create that home away from home in that work environment, and it’s worked out very, very well for us.

– All right, so just off the cuff here, advice to the entire mortgage community right now? Give us some wisdom in this moment in time.

– As a business person it’s a great time to reflect on the things you wish you could’ve accomplished or didn’t put into place or implement. This is a great time to do that right now, to really plan your home, you don’t have a lot of work distractions. Look, at the end of the day, sometimes we are more productive at home because you don’t have coworkers coming in or standing by the coffee pot or the water cooler or things like that, right? So you can actually get a lot more work done in these types of things, although I do like being in the office. But it’s really a great time right now to just figure out, what is the next, what is the buyer and the refinance and your past clients and the realtors look like 6, 12, 18 months down the road from now? And this is the time to prepare those things. I realized six, seven, eight years ago, that clients needed really good, professional, financial advice. That’s what they needed. It was so much more of, they were just filling out a loan application, and putting in their information saying, “I want to buy a $350,000 house and I want to put 10% down.” And a loan officer would just give them the information that they asked for rather than really figuring out what was best for that client. And I think right now is, you remember the movie, “Jerry Maguire?”

– Of course, “Show me the money.”

– “Show me the money,” right? But it basically, in the beginning of that movie he leaves his company because he says, “We should have less clients “and more personal relationships.” Now, we don’t want less clients, we want as many clients as possible, but what I want is I want one client to come in and I want them, every time they refinance, which is maybe once every five to seven years, and maybe they buy a house once every seven to 10 years, that’s three transactions for me over that timeline, for that one client, which is pretty amazing. So if you do it right and do it correctly, and you become that person that whenever they hear the word, mortgage, they’re thinking of you, then you’ve done something right. And a lot of people are doing it right, I’m certainly not an expert on it, most of the people that are at Main Street will laugh when I say this, but it’s called swipe and adapt. You take something that’s working for somebody else, you adapt it into your business. So one of the things that I focus on is these efficiencies where I’m actually making sure that, if I want to close down at 5:30, to get home, see my kids, family, eat, you know, do whatever, I have to be so efficient and so perfect during that day so I can close down at 5:30 and enjoy that family time. It’s like, well how can you do all of that? Well, you can with the right systems. And that’s really where I think, has separated me from other people, where I build those types of systems, those efficiencies and it’s an amazing, fun ride when you do it correctly.

– Well this has been an amazing, fun conversation, Mike, thanks so much for your time and for agreeing to be featured as our top producer for the month of April. Continued success to Main Street Home Loans, it’s been amazing seeing what you’ve done in such a short period of time, and we’ll talk to you soon.

– Thank you Greg, appreciate it, have a great day.

– All right, that’s Mike Farrell, Executive Vice President of Main Street Home Loans, a division of NFM Lending. I’m Greg Sher from NFM TV, we’ll see you again next time.