*Loan Officers and Politicians Make Strange Bedfellows*
**By Brian Koss**
***Being a LO is like being a candidate for political office in your district. You take a defined territory and start with a belief as to whose hearts you can win over. Then you begin a campaign to win those hearts packaging your messages in ways you think they want to hear to then elicit their trust in you.
****First you start with good data and demographics. You better know the economic classes, ethnicity, religious affiliation, political leanings, and cultural attitudes of the area before you start. Then you need to know your own leanings on those subjects and how your views will play with those groups. Do you naturally fit or is it a forced fit to try and make the connection anyway?
****Obviously a certain amount of the voting blocks will not be a fit for you. Does it mean that you offend them and position yourself against them or do you just not pursue? Purposely distancing or disenfranchising sections of your community creates a negative energy that can spread to places you don’t want. Romney’s secretly taped speech on his distaste for the 47% who won’t vote for him created empathy for those on the fence and strengthened the resolve of the 47% to vote for Obama.
****The right way is to place all your energy on those where you gain energy yourself as a candidate; those who you intellectually know you can help and those who you have an emotional connection with. Some of these folks may be out of your comfort zone as they are not exactly like you or where you are from, but you have probed and listened enough to either know or feel you are the right person for them and believe you can establish mutual trust.
****Those who represent a District for a long time either are a strong voice for a very large majority or are empathetic bridge builders who people have learned to trust enough even if they don’t agree with their party on everything. This representative (you) has been able to find common ground on enough issues that they will get the nod more times than not.
****Those representatives have been able to grow their base over the years by appealing to old and young, rich and poor, by staying to true to their core beliefs, not doing anything scandalous to besmirch their reputation and continuing consistent in communication and message. That allows that growing independent vote to grow in their loyalty without being forced to declare blind fidelity. They weren’t beaten over the head or dragged in unwillingly; they made the decision over time with analysis and process of elimination so that their view is stronger and more resolute.
****They also stay in office because they don’t forget who got them there. They don’t let the power and fame get to them. They don’t move from their communities and become Washingtonians. No matter how big your success – your ego and views need to stay rooted in your core constituencies and with the people who believed in you from the beginning. That is where you get your true energy and humble view that keeps you honest.
****The best mortgage leaders in a community are like those political figures; you forget what party (company) they are affiliated with, how long they have been around (it seems like forever), you feel like you can go to them with anything (as they haven’t been polarizing on any one thing), and after a while no one of any strength even tries to run against them. You can have that longevity and success even in an industry that is scarred with many black marks. You can have a great career in politics without being a “career politician”. You can also have a great long career in helping people finance their dreams without being one of “those mortgage people”.
In September 2006, Brian Koss joined Mortgage Network, Inc. of Danvers, MA as an Executive Vice President of National Production. Mortgage Network, a lender founded in 1988, currently runs a $2.5B annual retail business with a 98.7% customer satisfaction rating. Brian brings with him 25 years in the business and has personally lent as a Loan Officer over $1Billion in home loans. From 2002 to 2006 Brian was the SVP of New England for Countrywide Home Loans.