Happy Labor Day! I hope that everyone is enjoying some time off. I know that for some the kids will start school after the holiday weekend. For us here in GA and FL, they’ve long since gone back to school. While I’m glad that they are learning and growing, when they’re busy with their schoolwork and sports, and me and my husband with our own jobs, it makes me appreciate our quality family time that much more.
Labor Day was originally recognized as a day to honor laborers and trade unions, whose people had been unappreciated and underpaid for centuries. As a nation, we settled on this particular day to celebrate our labor force. In keeping with this, is like to celebrate my team that labors hard to make each loan that we close not only successful but also memorable.
As the loan officer, I work with two principle team members: my processor and my assistant. My processor is Ebony Whitaker, who handles all of my loans. Ebony lives in a town remote from St Marys (where I work) yet she works tirelessly to process each loan, often toiling away on the weekends and at night while most others have long since called it a day.
What does a processor actually do? Ebony takes all the files that clients submit and goes through a thorough, detailed process of organizing and reviewing this paperwork and information. She makes sure that all the required documentation is on hand and completed properly, that it is well organized, that the client’s documents show that they meet the loan guidelines for whichever program they are applying for, and finally she looks for any red flags that I, as the loan officer, may have missed.
All of this work serves to not only back me up in generating the loan, but also to ensure that the underwriters who approved the loan and give it that all-important “clear to close” can review the paperwork cleanly and efficiently. Nothing frustrates an underwriter more than having to go back and re-engage with loan officers and processors who did not include simple documents that they should have known were required. Ebony helps to prevent this, and is a critical part of every loan that I close. Finally, if the underwriter has conditions for the loan, Ebony pushes hard to obtain the final documentation needed to clear each exception before the closing.
My other key team member is Madeline Torres Santiago, my loan officer assistant. Madeline spends hours collecting documents from clients and uploading them into our system for Ebony to process. She also orders cost estimates and appraisals, makes appointments for clients and attorneys at closings, and helps to handle my busy schedule. Madeline also helps our marketing team post ads and listings online, and ensures that our postings are organized and complete. One of the things that she does that helps me most is run the office when I’m out at meetings and closings. I very much dislike missing customers when I’m out of the office, but with Madeline on hand I feel confident that she can handle our clients’ needs.
I’m proud of my team and how hard we all work to make each loan closing a great experience. I couldn’t possibly do it alone! Our teamwork is what makes the entire process work. So, I hope that they have a truly wonderful Labor Day, and that they know how much I appreciate them. I also hope that all of you have a spectacular day with family and friends, and for those of you still working, thank you.