Aaron Hinson is the epitome of what it means to be an independent mortgage broker. He runs a small team in a quaint town and is an involved community member. Aaron allows his clients the time and space to share their stories to personalize their loan process effectively. Hiring a small staff enables him to reinvest in his local community. In this episode of Broker To Broker, Aaron explains the steps he takes to succeed, reassuring that while it can take time to see success in this easily overwhelming industry, you only have to take one action at a time.
Enjoying his life as a restaurant worker in college, Aaron eventually took his people skills to the mortgage industry. After learning from the retail side of the industry for a few years and becoming frustrated with the roadblocks and lack of freedom, Aaron transitioned to wholesale. “No matter how hard I tried, someone else was always in my way,” Aaron says. Having more control and hands-on experience allowed for a more seamless process, allowing Aaron to be his true authentic self.
Aaron’s transition included communicating more effectively with his clients. Instead of following a script or pushing the only products his bank offered, Aaron was now free to perfect his processes and procedures. “People can smell trust and intentions,” Aaron says. Aaron made it his number one goal to understand his clients. He pulls out a notepad or opens a Word document, and he asks questions including:
- Where are you right now?
- What are your goals?
- What is most important to you?
- What is your vision?
“I just shut up and listen,” Aaron explains.
People will tell you what they want; you have to listen. They might have heard something about mortgages before, and they may have done some research on it. Just tell them that you’re all ears, and the progression from this point on will be more human. From here, do what makes Brokers Better. Use your expertise and freedom to personalize their loan. Use your experience to dial it into a product or financial solution that will fit them best. Let them get out what they want by opening the door.
With success comes responsibility, and as the duties kept piling up, Aaron realized he couldn’t do right by his clients or grow without a team. A new Contract Processor took the most time off his plate, but hiring a new LO and LOA has also been beneficial. And although this might sound counterintuitive in saving time, Aaron suggests hiring green employees. There is a lot of work on the front-end; answering questions, shadowing, and screen-sharing. Have them read the guidelines, but be the translator for them. Aaron took about eight months to train a new hire fully, but he affirms it has all been well worth it. In the selection process, look out for those that seem passionate and personable. Create a welcoming environment where team members can ask questions, and your employees will be beneficial and loyal.
Aaron’s recommended Xinnix LO and LOA training goes a long way as well. The time commitment is the biggest hurdle. Just believe in the individual, and although it might not always come naturally, you have to do your best to have a long-term mindset.
Another colossal time-saver for Aaron is a proper tech stack, which Aaron utilizes to focus on his weakness, social media marketing. It’s always a work in progress, but a combination of Wikirealty, Flowify, and MBS Highway have helped him fill the gap. Sixty seconds here and sixty seconds there go a long way.
Aaron uses all this extra time to be an active community member. He is a member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a Board Member of the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals group (YPN), and a member of SOS Outreach, an organization helping at-risk youth experience the outdoors. He also teaches life skills at a secondary high school, like successfully using a credit card. Having his mentors to look up to has inspired Aaron to guide others.
And while getting leads is not his primary concern, being active in his community does benefit his business. For the same price, your logo can sit next to that of a big bank on the sponsorship board in the outfield of a little league field. If you’re also volunteering, it completely separates you from the banks and humanizes an uncompassionate industry. “You get as much back as you give,” Aaron says. “Anything that keeps us balanced keeps us whole.”
Aaron’s parting advice is nothing new for most wholesale mortgage brokers, but it never hurts to be reminded; always put the consumer first and don’t give up. Focus on making their life better, talk about how and when it’s best for them, and try to do everything you can to knock it out of the park. And while Aaron had a lot of doors shut in his face when he started from scratch in a new town, he kept pushing and believing in himself. At the end of the day, as long as you keep moving, you’ll be the only one left standing.
- Intro to The Wholesale Channel (1:46)
- Clients and Community (8:11)
- From Networking to CTC (13:35)
- Social Media Tech Stack (18:16)
- Building a Team From Scratch (21:59)
- Parting Advice for Mortgage Brokers (30:41)
This episode is sponsored by PRMG.