Speed to Respond – Core Value # 5

Speed to Respond – Core Value # 5

Speed to Respond is the primary reason that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has achieved so much success and growth. It starts at the top and flows through every facet and person at the company. As they say “speed kills” and it why Fairway is killing the competition.

Management is quick to respond to “The Street” or the branch/loan officer level. Management includes the following: operations, underwriting, legal, compliance, pricing, closing & funding. When they respond quickly to “The Street” they in turn can respond quickly to their clients and referral sources. These are the life-blood of any mortgage organization and deserve a fast response.

Everything at Fairway Independent Mortgage is set-up to the mantra of “Speed to Respond”. Above all else is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation does not believe in excessive layers of management. Those layers just slow the process down of getting an answer or result for a client or team-member quickly. Loan officers have a direct line to their branch manager. In turn the branch manager has direct access to whatever person, department, or executive they need to get a response and answer quickly.

Another unique quality about Fairway Independent Mortgage is that they hire the very best at each position and they only do that one position. This prevents a cross-up n lines of communication. Moreover, it empowers everyone in the company to know that they work with the best and their sole focus is to be the best at what they do. Additionally, it truly defines “positive synergy”.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is an an employ-owned private company or ESOP. This type of structure gives it even more advantages to act quickly. Because the company is employee owned Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is not “beholden” to Wall Steer analysts. This independence allows Fairway as a company to make changes quicker than the competition in an ever-changing mortgage market. In addition, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation can make long-term decisions that perhaps would negatively effect “quarterly” earnings, while on the other hand the benefits will be ten-fold in the future.

The “Speed to Respond insures that Fairway Independent Mortgage is built to deliver mortgages to the marketplace fast!

 

 

Refinance – When Does it Make Sense

Refinance – When Does it Make Sense

Refinance – when does it make sense?

Here are some good rules of thumb from our blog located at http://www.fairwaykelsogroup.com/the-benefits-of-refinancing/

When considering refinancing your home with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – The Kelso Group, it is important to determine what goals you have for your short-term and long-term finances. When you refinance, you pay off your current mortgage loan with a new mortgage loan that has rates and terms that should better suit your overall financial needs.

There are many ways that refinancing your home mortgage loan could benefit you:

  • Reduce your interest rate – If your home is currently financed at a higher-than-market rate, you may be able to reduce your interest rate and overall interest costs by financing at a lower rate. Over time, this could save you a great deal of money!
  • Extend terms to lower monthly payment – You may be able to extend the repayment time of your loan, which will also lower the monthly payment. If you are looking to improve your cash flow, this may be a good option for you. Just keep in mind that you will be making payments on your home for a longer period of time.
  • Build equity faster – You may also be able to shorten the term of your mortgage, which could reduce your interest rate and/or overall interest expense. By moving to a 15-year fixed rate, you might be able to pay off your home sooner without increasing your monthly payment by much.
  • Change from variable to fixed rate – You may be able to reduce your monthly payment by changing from a variable-rate to fixed-rate loan. This may help free you from the potentially expensive interest rate/payment fluctuations that can occur in a volatile real estate market by locking in a low, fixed interest rate.

The bottom line is that there are many ways to save money and benefit from refinancing!

Smart Phones – Are They Hurting Your Child’s Learning Ability?

Smart Phones – Are They Hurting Your Child’s Learning Ability?

Smart phones – they are ubiquitous. I tell my wife that our son once he learns to drive won’t be able to go anywhere without his cell phone. That is because he never looks up from it in the car to see where we are going. He’ll need Google Maps to go anywhere, and if the battery runs out or his phone dies, he’ll be “lost”.

When it comes to school kids today use cell phones to look up information to write reports and work problems. But would they be able to find the answer without their smart phones?

So the question lingers do smart phones really make us smarter?

A study at my Alma Matter The University of Texas has research showing that smart phones may actually make us dumber. Here is an article on it from CNET.com :

Looks like the word “smartphone” may be a misnomer. Sure the phone may be smart, but just having it around makes us dumber, according to a study of nearly 800 phone users conducted by the University of Texas at Austin. 

Researchers at the university’s McCombs School of Business asked participants to take a series of computer-based tests that needed their full concentration. Before they began the tests, geared to measure “the brain’s ability to hold and process data at any given time,” people in the study were randomly asked to either place their phone facedown on the desk, in their pocket or in another room. All were told to mute the sound. 

The study found that people with their phones in another room “significantly outperformed” those who had their phones on the desk, and did slightly better than those who had their phones in a pocket. 

“Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources,” said McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward, who headed the experiment. “It’s a brain drain.”

Researchers found just having a phone within view or easy reach reduces a person’s ability to focus and perform tasks, because our brain’s are actively working to not pick up the phone. “The mere presence of their smartphones was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity,” Ward said.

Sound like the research has vindicated my opinion on our son and his smart phone – maybe we should just call them cell phones!

Number One – Four Years in a Row!

Number One – Four Years in a Row!

Number One ranking for Fairway Independent Mortgage for the fourth year in a row! “Mortgage Executive Magazine” came out with their annual rankings this past week. Fairway Independent Mortgage was voted the “Best Mortgage Company” for where to work industry wide. That has to be a huge part of why Fairway Independent Mortgage has grown from 3000 to over 5800 employees in just the last year.

Our CEO Steve Jacobson stresses “consistent & persistent” – being number one the last four years codifies this philosophy. Creating an environment to be number one is a result of Fairway’s adherence to their “Core Values”. These include:

Humility First, Foster Growth & Knowledge, Have Fun, Create An Amazing Experience, Speed to Respond, Seek Wise Counsel, Respect/Listen/Stay Balanced, Committed to Serve, Consistent Honest Communication, & Family Focused.

Most companies have core values, the difference is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Company Lives them. That’s why we can consistently be number one. We maintain an “ethos” that we will treat every client – “Professionally, Respectfully, Honestly, & Fairly”.

The other reason is our philosophy that “mortgages are what we do, not who we are”. We believe in the “human-touch”. People seeking a mortgage are not a “transaction” to us, they are human relationship that we want to nourish and serve.  When we do that with each and every client we create an experience that benefits both the client and the employees working on the mortgage loan.

On the other hand, another reason for the continued success is Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s commitment to give back to the community. We have our own foundation The American Warrior Initiative. This organization is self-funded by Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and it’s employees. It helps veterans in need. American Warrior Initiative also trains realtors how best to work with members of the military and veterans.

Most of all we are humbled by being recognized as the best place to work in our industry and are here to serve you.

Creating An Amazing Experience For You!

Creating An Amazing Experience For You!

Core Value Number Four is “Creating An Amazing Experience For You!” Not only do we want to provide you with the best product and rate for your situation. We want to make your experience so wonderful that you will always refer those you care about to us.

One key way we do that is our “Speed to Respond”, and that starts with our communication with you. Whether it is a phone cal, text, or e-mail we will always respond almost immediately. We are here to serve you, and the best way to do that is to communicate quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly.

We also have systems in place to make sure that your loan is processed and underwritten quickly. We do that by hiring the best people at each position and let them concentrate on their job only. Our loan officers only originate loans, our processors only process loans, underwriters only underwrite loans, and closers sole job is to close the loan.

You get the picture, by letting our teammates do only what they do best we create efficiency throughout the entire mortgage process. This efficiency allows us to offer the quickest loan approvals and closings in the industry.

When it comes to communication our proprietary CRM system, “Motivator” not only keeps you up to date during the loan process, it keeps both realtors up to date as well. When milestones are reached an e-mail is sent to you to let you know where we are in the process and what action items if any you need to take.

We also have personal touch-points with you our client during the mortgage process. We send you thank you notes with scratch-off lotto tickets, Starbucks gift cards, cookies, and more. Once we close your loan we provide you with a closing gift as well to show our appreciation.

Post-Closing you are provided with your own ‘Servicing Concierge”  for the life of your loan. We want to make sure you have a live-person to contact should you have any questions on things like first-payment date or escrow balances.

Again our goal is to create such an “Amazing Experience” that you and those you care about become a “Client For Life”!

 

Memorial Day – Why It Means So Much to Me

Memorial Day – Why It Means So Much to Me

Memorial Day – back when I was born it was always May 30th not the last Monday in May. May 30th is also my birthday which is now known as “Traditional” Memorial Day, since the government made the changes to ensure a three-day weekend to start the summer.

I’ve always wondered if one of the reasons for my strong patriotism along with the love of our country and respect for the military sacrifices so many have made has to do with me being born on this day. Regardless of the reason I feel all Americans need to remember the reason for this holiday. It is so much more than just the “Start of Summer”.

According to History.com Memorial Day originated in the years following The Civil War. Memorial Day is a day in which many visit cemeteries to remember our fallen. Others go to parades to honor the fallen and those that fought along side of them.

It has been said in The Bible, John Chapter 15, Verse 13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Now comprehend how many have made that ultimate sacrifice for you, your family, your friends, and your fellow countrymen. The number is staggering.

The number of Americans that have paid the ultimate price is over 1.3 million per militaryfactory.com. And this does not include the millions more that have suffered both physical and mental disabilities. Unfortunately these numbers are only through 2012 and don’t include the many others that were killed in action since then. That’s an astounding sacrifice that has been made by people you didn’t even know.

As a birthday present to me I ask that while you are enjoying a long weekend with family and friends – that you take a moment of silence to pray for the fallen and reflect that without their sacrifice you would not be where you are today.

How do we keep from others having to pay the ultimate price? I leave you with this –

It has been said that if the children of the world’s politicians were the first into battle war would not exist.

 

Term Limits For President – Senate – House of Representatives – A New Idea

Term Limits For President – Senate – House of Representatives – A New Idea

Term Limits – it seems they are brought up every election cycle. And yes I have heard it over and over from the opposition. That we have term limits built-in through elections. Let’s be real, that is a complete fallacy due to the built-in advantages of the incumbent candidate. These advantages include:

  1. All the direct mail that an incumbent can send throughout the year to their constituents for free.
  2. Almost instant access to the media via press conferences and interviews on radio and television.
  3. Name recognition from the aforementioned above bullet-points.

These built-in advantages are just too much to overcome for all except a very-well financed or wealthy candidate. The research proves this point. According to Politfact.com even though Congress has only a 11% approval rating, 94.6% of them are re-elected. That’s proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that incumbents have a grossly un-fair advantage over the challenger.

Though the above is a problem. The much larger problem and even great reason for term limits is the inefficiency of running for office every two years for Congress and Senate along with every four years for the presidency. Due to this inefficiency we only get a 50% productivity out of our elected official due to their spending half of their time running for re-election. Could you imagine if companies were run in this manner – we’d be in a depression. Though I think it is obvious we are in a “Political Depression” due to our current system of electing our national politicians.

Thus, I have come up with an easy and brilliant solution to get our government working efficiently again without members of congress living off the people for a lifetime. This idea will put the power where it belongs back in the hands of the people. Being elected was never about a lifetime appointment.

Here is my simple solution:

  1. House of Representatives terms are for four years not two. One person cannot be elected for more than three terms.
  2. The Senate would remain at six year terms with a maximum of two terms and they would again be appointed by the state governors and not elected.
  3. The Office of President and Vice President would be for one six-year term.

That insures that no one in Congress can “run for life”. It means that they won’t have to worry about elections every two years. And finally the President can act in the best interest of the country without ever worrying about re-election.

Like most of the best things in life – Short & Simple.

Cary Michael Cox

Debt Snowball – Rolling Over The Nation Now

Debt Snowball – Rolling Over The Nation Now

Debt Snowball – that is when you continue to roll up assorted debts into one. It can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. When a debt snowball is used to consolidate debt into one lower and manageable payment that is a good thing. Many consumers have done it in a good way using home-equity loans to pay-off other higher interest debt.

On the other hand, when you continue to roll-up more and more debt into a debt snowball just to accumulate more debt – you are creating a disaster. Unfortunately that is what Fannie-Mae appears to be doing by changing it’s underwriting guidelines with regards to student loans & payments. Yes that same Fannie-Mae that brought you the mortgage crisis of last decade seems hell-bent to do it again.

Up until now a lender had to count the fully-amortizing payment or one percent of the outstanding loan balance of a student loan in a borrower’s debt to income ratio. That is common sense – count the full-payment or more on a debt to determine a borrower’s ability to successfully repay a mortgage. Since we the people are backing these student loans and mortgages that is a reasonable and sound lending-approach.

Well folks that sound and reasonable approach just got turned upside down by Fannie-Mae. They have now changed their guidelines to allow lenders to accept the payment for the student loan that is reflected on the credit report. No longer following the common-sense guidelines aforementioned.

Here is the problem – the government allows student loan borrower’s to negotiate a lower-payment and defer the additional payment and interest to a future date. Basically they are allowing debt to be piled upon more debt. That usually doesn’t work out very well.

Thus, with Fannie-Mae’s new guidelines you are not qualifying the borrower on their real debt to income ratio – but on a deferred reduced payment that will be due at some point in the future.

This bad debt snowball may turn into another mortgage-crisis avalanche!

The Battle of San Jacinto – 181 Years Later And Still The Shortest Battle Ever

The Battle of San Jacinto – 181 Years Later And Still The Shortest Battle Ever

The Battle of San Jacinto happened on this day April, 21st a hundred and eight-one years ago. The battle was between Texas and Mexico in Texas quest for independence. It was fought in San Jacinto, Texas which is about twenty-two miles outside of what is now know as Houston, Texas.

The Mexican Army was led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana. On the other side the Texas Army was led by General Sam Houston. Santa Anna had an Army with him of twelve hundred men that were fresh off a victory over the Texans at the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of Goliad. On the other hand, General Sam Houston had amassed an army of nine hundred men ready to avenge their losses to the Mexican Army. Santa Anna was known as a brutal dictator and had laid carnage to even women and children when fighting the Texans.

He was such an evil ruler that many of those that fought against him were citizens of Mexico known as Texicans. Even though the Texan Army was out-numbered they had several advantages going into the Battle of San Jacinto. First, they knew the lay of the land, it was familiar to them. On the other hand, it was foreign to the Mexican Army, and they established their camp in a vulnerable location. Moreover, the Mexican Army had been on a long march to get to San Jacinto. They were tired and weary. Lastly, the Texan Army was rested. They were also highly motivated by revenge along with their thirst for independence from Mexico.

Combining those factors when the Mexican Army took it’s afternoon siesta from their long March the Texans attacked at 4:30 PM. They charged the sleeping Mexican army with cries of “Remember The Alamo” & “Remember Goliad. Eighteen minutes later it was over. In what can be described as not only the shortest battle, but also the most decisive one as well.

The Texas Army in that short time had killed six hindered fifty Mexican soldiers and captured another three hundred. Moreover, the Texan Army only lost leven men with another thirty wounded in battle.

And that my friends is where the saying “Don’t Mess With Texas” evolved!

Don’t Mess With Texas

 

 

 

Krav Maga – My Journey, The Begining

Krav Maga – My Journey, The Begining

Krav Maga is the best self-defense system on the planet in my opinion. There is a reason most top Special Operation Groups use it. These include Navy Seals, Delta Force, SAS, and Shayetet 13 the Israeli equivalent of the US Navy Seals. In fact, Krav Maga is taught to every member of the Israeli Defense Force. Moreover, this combat system has been adopted by many of the top law enforcement agencies nationwide. If all of these “Teams” find it to be the best I’d say that my opinion is valid. Moreover, there is no self-defense system that has been more “Battle-Tested” than Krav Maga. That makes it a proven system that works.

Like many young boys I always had an interest in martial arts. Perhaps it was all of the Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and later Jackie Chan movies I had watched. Finally, after college I took the plunge and contacted many martial arts schools. The one I settled on at the time was Champions Martial Arts. It was a school that taught multiple systems as one. I practiced there for years obtaining a black-belt in Shin-Nagare Karate and Wu-Shu Kung-Fu.

There were lost of positive things I learned there. The four that you should learn at any quality martial arts school: Respect, Discipline, Patience, & Determination. It also provided me a place to set goals and obtain them through hard work. The most practical martial art I was introduced to there was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I had a solid foundation on ground-fighting. I also developed many friendships many of which I still enjoy today. Eventually the Head Instructor retired, and it was time to find a new martial arts school to train & practice.

About that time I heard about an Israeli Martial Art system called, Krav-Maga while watching a television program. What piqued my interest was the instructor talking about using “anything” as a weapon and the practicality of the system. It was simple, effective, and anyone could learn it. That was all I had to hear, now I had to find a place to checkout this martial art. And I’ll continue the story in my next post. Until then, “Walk In Peace”.