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Apr 27, 2018

Mortgage success did not come to Jason Knee right away. In fact, he was working in a call center and kind of stumbled into the mortgage industry by accident. He was getting paid $10 for every lead and $50 for every file he was able to pass to a loan officer. That's a far cry from where he is now, closing 340 loans a year for over $160M in closed deals. You don't come by that kind of success accidentally. In this conversation between Andrew and his guest, Jason Knee, you'll hear how hard work in conjunction with a great team can multiply your efforts exponentially. Take time to listen. You will enjoy getting to know Jason and discovering the off the wall always that he has built a team culture that drives his huge mortgage lending business.

Most bank loan officers have a job, not a business. Jason is an exception to that.

In an established financial institution like a bank, it is easy for lending officers to wait on the machinery of the organization to bring leads their way instead of hustling up their own leads and building a business themselves. Jason is one of the exceptions to that stereotype. Though he does work for an established bank he also understands that his success is up to him and that the sky is really the only limit. With that attitude and approach, he has gathered a team of like-minded people around him to make mortgage success happen year after year. Jason's approach is the type that creates success and you will glean many helpful tips from the things he has to share.

340 loans for $160M last year. And Jason handles most of those personally, sort of

That's a lot of loans closed and a lot of files to bear the name of one mortgage officer. How does Jason do it? The honest answer is that he doesn't do it alone. Though he loves the phone calls, the deal structuring, and all of the nuances of making a loan happen, he also realizes that there are many aspects of the loan process that he does not enjoy. That's where he brings in people to be on his team who can take up the slack where he finds less enjoyment or doesn't have the right skill set. In this conversation, Jason describes the different roles on his team and how they work together to bring about the kind of mortgage success that those numbers represent. There are many practical things in what he has to share so make sure you take the time to learn from his amazing success story.

Where do you want to go? It will likely take more people to get there

A listener to the podcast asked a question about how a mortgage originator can know that it is time to hire an assistant. For Jason, the answer is directly tied to the destination he has in mind. He says that you first have to know where you want to go with your business before you will understand how many and what people it will take to get there because you can't do it alone. As you listen you will understand that Jason values the people on his team much more than the typical boss, and you'll hear how he fosters a light-hearted, but very productive team environment.

Jason’s mortgage success is built on this team-building principle: Culture fit trumps experience

When Jason first started building a team to support his growing mortgage business he was carefully looking at experience, scanning resumes to find the exact qualifications he wanted, and quizzing candidates about their knowledge of the mortgage industry. He doesn't do any of that anymore. He said now he sets their resume on the desk and just talks to them. He wants to get to know who they are, what their personality is like. He wants to understand their personal ambitions and the things that will show him whether or not the person sitting in front of him will fit well into the culture of his team. Skills can be taught, the attitude and integrity can't. That is the philosophy that has fueled his mortgage success and has built an outstanding team to support it. This episode is full of many practical insights like that, that you won't want to miss.

Topics From This Episode

  • [0:48] Who is Jason Knee and how did he get into mortgage banking?
  • [6:40] What it’s like for Jason working for a branch bank: team, production, marketing
  • [12:27] Jason’s volume - 340 loans for $160 million - how Jason does it
  • [14:47] Systems are the key to following up and keeping things going with leads
  • [17:35] How Jason incorporates social media into his lending business
  • [21:08] How do you know when to hire your first assistant and what should they do?
  • [24:40] Why Jason has defaulted to hiring for attitude and culture only
  • [29:15] Moving into leadership and management of people wasn’t as hard as he thought
  • [32:10] Jason’s suggested game plan for building business in a new area

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jason Knee

Connect With Andrew Soss

  • Asoss (at) benchmark.us


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