Here’s what you lose when you get fired as a mortgage originator: your clients, your database, the files on your computer, your marketing materials and your pride.
Lizy Hoeffer Irvine experienced this firsthand. She lost her job five years ago after a falling-out with her former business partner.
“They just said I was the weak link in my partnership,” Hoeffer Irvine said.
She has rebounded nicely. Hoeffer Irvine closed 844 loans in 2018, ranking No. 6 on Scotsman Guide’s Most Loans Closed list. In last year’s tough market, Hoeffer Irvine originated $197.8 million in loan volume, up from $139.7 million in 2017, or a 42 percent increase.
Hoeffer Irvine, who works at Guild Mortgage Co. in Phoenix, improved from No. 55 on the magazine’s Total Dollar Volume list in 2017 to No. 13 in 2018. She did that during a year in which she gave birth to her third child.
“I probably would have closed more loans” if not pregnant, Hoeffer Irvine joked.
Hoeffer Irvine thinks anybody can achieve this level of success. “I mean, honestly, I just don’t feel like I’m all that special,” she said. “I’m just a basic person and not, like, super funny or super smart or anything.”
She does follow a metric-based mentoring and coaching plan, and she said she’s motivated and disciplined. “It’s like a diet weight-loss plan,” Hoeffer Irvine said. “Some people are 9 percent body fat and other people are 40 percent body fat. It’s just, ‘How well did you execute the plan?’”
Hoeffer Irvine started in the mortgage industry in 2002, when she was an Arizona State University sophomore, as a receptionist at a small mortgage company in Phoenix. She described an industry at the time that lacked some professional polish.
“I mean, I felt like every appointment (the brokers) ever took was at a strip club,” Hoeffer Irvine said. “It wasn’t like what you thought a mortgage company would be.”
She was soon promoted to positions as a loan-officer assistant and then as a processor. When the recession hit, Hoeffer Irvine went from the support side of the business to the sales side. She had no choice because her processing job was eliminated. She thinks she may have tried to be a mortgage originator eventually, just not that soon. And it was a difficult time at first.
“I was panicked every month about whether or not I was going to be able to pay my bills,” she said.
After that first year, she started to religiously follow the Brian Buffini system for generating business and leads. Six years ago, Hoeffer Irvine switched to The CORE Training system, which she currently follows. Her firing gave her resolve and determination. Still, she argues, anybody can do what she has done with proper help.
“I would definitely get coached and then I would submit to a process, whatever system it is,” Hoeffer Irvine said. “To just think that you can go this alone by the seat of your pants, it just makes no sense.”