How Serving Others Drives the Mortgage Business
In Print
How Serving Others Drives the Mortgage Business
December 12, 2019 12:02 PM
Stan Foraker

A year and a half ago I wrote an article for an internal publication in our bank. But as I was reflecting on goals for 2019 I couldn’t help think this is still my driving passion. So I am reviving it for all of you, particularly those who love this business as I do.

While on vacation last year I finished Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. Good authors reach the hearts of thoughtful readers. And Simon struck a chord with me to the point that the stone he threw in my pond is still having ripple effects

I was challenged to consider “why” I remain so enamored with the mortgage business after 35 years regardless of the level of difficulty,complexity, pace of change and, from time to time, bad if misguided press.

A long time ago, I remember a young couple who when I told them that we had approved them for their first home, got looks of disbelief on their faces, jumped up in front of me—and hugged each other for a(embarrassingly) long time!

Then there was the 70-plus-year-old distinguished woman who had been an airline pilot in the 1950s when it was unheard of for women to be pilots. She had been so busy living an extraordinary life that she had never gotten around to owning her own home! (In her 80s, to keep her mind sharp she decided to learn to speak Chinese, including six weeks on the continent of Asia for full time language immersion). She was brought to me by a friend of hers who was an existing customer of mine and her first question to me was “Am I not too old to get a mortgage?” She was like a kid at Christmas when she closed on the first home of her lifetime.

And recently we had the privilege of serving a family of six who were living in a run-down unsafe rental property and when trying to buy their own place got turned away by other lenders. We worked through options for them and took the time to find a solution that allowed them not only to buy the home but to be long-term successful homeowners. The parents are thrilled to have a safe place to raise their kids and also to have a yard and a house they call their own.


“Why” do I do what do? I do what I do because it gives me a noble way to serve other people. I serve their fundamental need and desire for safety and security. I serve their pride in home ownership. I serve their dreams for the future. I serve their desire to be part of a community. I serve their efforts to be good financial stewards of their resources. All of these are worthy reasons to own a home. And my team and I get to be a part of that wonderful outcome.

The result is this: My now articulated “Why” becomes the centerpiece for every strategic or tactical decision I make in the “how” we do things part of the business.

And the mortgage business is the “what” we do. Process is to be built around service. How I interact with my team is about us partnering in serving others. How I work internally within my company and use the resources we have is about how best to serve our customers.

And underneath all the normal business principles that apply to running any business will remain my passion to serve others.

Now THAT was a great vacation!

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