National Real Estate SolutionsNational Mortgage News recently spoke with some of the most successful loan officers in the nation to figure out their secrets to success. Oren Orken from Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate originated over 100 mortgages worth approximately $32 million in the past year, which placed him at #176 on the annual “Top Producer” rankings. Below are Orken’s personal story, marketing strategy, and some keys to overcoming adversity he’s learned from his years in the industry. If they’ve worked for him, they may very well work for you too.

How Did You Get Your Start in Real Estate?

A Chicagoan through and through, Orken studied at DePaul University on the city’s North Side, earning an MBA with a concentration in real estate finance. He worked at a variety of companies before landing at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate, including Bank of America Home Loans, Wells Fargo, Capital Funding Mortgage Co., and Perl Mortgage. If Orken’s success serves as any guide to aspiring loan officers, the message is clear: it’s OK to hop around from company to company until you find a good fit.

What is the Most Successful Marketing Strategy?

To capture new mortgage business, Orken began co-hosting open houses with real estate brokers. He would read through the list of broker open houses on Mondays and cold call the agents to see if they would let him co-host. Though the majority didn’t say yes, he picked up a couple of agents very quickly and they began sending him regular business.

How does one Address the Needs of the Local Market?

Because his particular area of service has lots of condos, Orken made himself an expert in the FHA and VA approval and exception process. When realtors have to deal with difficult projects related to condos, he’s become a go-to option.

How can one Overcome Difficult Loan Scenarios?

Orken describes working with a borrower who came to the U.S. from Spain. Because he had to work with human resources officials in Spain during Spain office hours, the project proved quite difficult. Rather than dragging his feet, Orken went above and beyond and helped fund the client quicker than most ordinary cases. The borrower appreciated the effort so much that he came back to Orken three more times—once for a purchase and twice for refinances.

What Lessons do Loan Officers Learn Over Time?

The most valuable lesson Orken has learned in his years as a loan officer is that you must take good care of your team. It’s a symbiotic relationship; when he does his part, his team helps him push his loans through on time so he can deliver to his customers and remain in compliance.

Working with Acuity National Real Estate Solutions

Acuity is a national title agency that works with realtors and loan officers to facilitate rapid closings. With recent changes to the disclosure process (TRID), timelines are more important than ever. Our cutting-edge process combines advanced origination technology with the traditional business virtue of thoroughness, expedience, and close attention to detail. For more information on how we serve loan officers, please visit our homepage.

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