Archive for December, 2010

The BC$(&^$(^%*

Everyone that knows me knows I hate the Bowl “Championship” Series. This year’s mess, with the inclusion of a cringe-worthy UConn team and the endless round of justification for excluding TCU from the national “championship” game, is the standard package of crap foisted on college football fans. Except there’s even more stupidity on display than usual.

You might not have heard about the glitch. Yeah, that’s right, a computer glitch that caused Boise State to be ranked 11th instead of 10th. That’s been corrected, but here’s the fascinating report on what happened:

>>The discrepancy was discovered by Jerry Palm, who runs the websites and, in the Colley Matrix computer ratings, one of six used by the BCS.

Wesley Colley said Palm, who verifies the Colley Matrix ratings, noticed the results of an FCS playoff game involving Appalachian State and Western Illinois had not been included in the data base used to generate the ratings.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement that he was “deeply disturbed” when he learned of the mistake.

“This error should not have happened and is unacceptable. The final standings have been corrected. Fortunately, it had no effect on any team’s eligibility for the BCS games.”<<

He’s appalled that a mistake happened, but NOT appalled by the fact that the BCS rankings are being materially affected by THE 1-AA PLAYOFF GAME BETWEEN APPALACHIAN STATE AND WESTERN ILLINOIS!?!?!?

Every time I think I know how totally bogus this system is, I find that there are new depths of pathetic just begging to be discovered.

Finally, a Serious Question

Let’s say, hypothetically, that I have a loan that I’m working on. It’s a complicated one, involving four different lenders being asked to perform different roles in the transaction, and a couple dozen other things. It’s going to take a couple of months to do, and that is if the appraisal isn’t horrible, if the loan can even be done.

We start to work. Over and over we hit hurdles, and over and over we jump them. We resolve concerns. We deal with lenders and underwriters and processors and appraisal people and title people. This all takes time.

Two months go by. Three months. We are working on the file every single day. EVERY day. We hit snags and we figure out how to get them loose and keep moving forward. The deal is on the point of being approved.

Then one of the lenders changes its mind and backs out. We can find a replacement, but in order to get that replacement to play ball, I have to give up all my compensation, and even write a check to bribe the new lender. The negotiations on how to do this take about twelve, thirteen hours. All told, I’m now into this deal a hundred hours or more, hours that in order to save the deal, I cannot get paid for.

Boo hoo. This stuff happens. That’s not the point.

What I want to know (here’s the serious question) is this: how do I let the client know what I’ve done?

I don’t ask this because I want the credit. I ask this because I want the reputation I deserve, which is that I will do whatever it takes, including acting as the Red Cross, to get a deal done. I need that reputation for my business to thrive. I have earned that reputation. How do I go about making sure that I have it?

If I were in the position my clients are in, I would darn well want to know what Hell my loan officer had to go through to get my loan done. I would want to know that the deal was inches from falling apart after 100 days of work, and that to save it, he is doing the deal for nothing. When people go above and beyond the call of duty for me, I like to know it, because those are the people I want to do business with.

And yet, I cannot get past the “tooting my own horn” of the process. It feels vaguely pathetic to go to the borrower and say, “let me tell you the unshirted Hell I have had to go through to get this loan done for you, on top of which I am doing this as a compassionate service.”

Probably I will say nothing, or not very much. That’s my usual MO. But I depend for my livelihood on the goodwill of my clients, and their willingness to tell their friends about me. This is a story that would be worth telling.

Help me figure out how to tell it.

P.S. Don’t say, “well, you already did, right here in your blog.” Seriously? You’re going to be at a party this weekend, and you’re going to say “hey, you should talk to this guy whose blog I read. He blogged about doing this amazing thing to keep a deal alive. I’m sure he wasn’t making it up. You should call him.” That’s going to be a real referral? The best referrals – almost the ONLY mortgage referrals – come from the personal experience of the person doing the referring. The only people that can make a good referral to me out of this experience are the clients themselves. And they don’t read blogs (or I would never have posted this).