Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How I, David Zitting, Got Into The Mortgage Business

After working at a grocery store, I made my first parlay into mortgages. I was 18 at the time. The funniest part of my first mortgage job was the interview. I walked in and was greeted by a man.
“Hi, I’m Jeff. Can you type?”
“No,” I replied.
“Can you run one of these,” he asked. (It was an HP calculator)
“What is that?”
“We’ll get you one. Go ahead and sit at your new desk and we’ll get you started.”
I started this new job during a company-wide competition. They had two teams: White Lightning and Blue Thunder (I was on White Lightning). Even though I had only been there a few days before the contest was over, when our team won, I got a check for $1,200. I had never had what I call a “comma check” before—a check with a comma in the amount. As soon as I saw that check, I became addicted to comma checks with my name, David Zitting, on them.
When I started out, I was a loan processor. The loan officers in our office were making a lot of money, and they always drove around in really cool cars. Man, did I ever want one of those cars! One of them, Bob, would walk up to my desk and wave his money clip of hundred dollar bills in my face. Every time, I would reach out to grab it and he would take it away at the last second. I told him if I ever grabbed the money I was going to keep it. After a long time of Bob doing this, I finally caught the money. He tried to get the manager to make me give the money back, but he said since I finally grabbed it I got to keep it—and kept it I did!
Seeing him coming to my desk all those times, and always having wads of hundred dollar bills, fueled my desire to become a loan officer myself. At that time it was the early 90s and the market was pretty slow. Rates were just coming off of double digits and the largest loans were around $150,000 (most averaged $80,000). I asked my manager if I could start originating and that I was excited to start to build my sales career. I had a strong knowledge of mortgage products, and I was often the one keeping the customers happy as I processed their loans. He told me no because I looked, and was, as he put it, “simply too young. No one will trust you with their mortgage.” I think, due to being a very efficient processor, he wanted to keep me inside that desk punching out loans. I constantly asked him, at least once a week, and finally I had had enough. I approached him and told him if he wouldn’t make me a loan officer I would leave and go somewhere that would. He gave in and let me become a loan officer.
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