We interviewed Gene Pastorino, Branch Manager at Union Home Mortgage Corp, about how video is changing the real estate industry. With over 20 years of experience, Gene shares his expertise and knowledge about the mortgage business and how Covideo can change your communications game in 2019.
You’ve been in the mortgage business since the late ‘90s. How did the mortgage industry develop during those years? Has a lot of it changed?
When I first got into the business there were only a few different loan programs. FHA, Conv and VA. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s we started seeing the stated income, no doc, zero down loans and 40 year terms. We can even do loans one day out of foreclosure now.
You have a project called Millennial vs. Gen X. Can you tell us more about it? What is the goal of that project?
I am grooming Oliver (my assistant) to take over when I retire and wanted to do something that would grab the younger generation’s attention. The initial plan was to show people what was involved in getting a mortgage and what type of programs are out there. What we have found is that more and more people are watching and they wanted to know the GEN-X & Millennial take on life events. We still try to incorporate mortgage on each show but have found people tend to watch more when we are just being us.
Are there any factors that differentiate your typical client from, let’s say, insurance clients? Is the communication different with them? How?
All clients are usually the same when it comes to questions. CPA and Engineers seem to be a little more like number watchers and question more, but all in all everyone puts their trust in me. With the CPA and Engineers, they like to see more on paper so they can review options, fee’s etc.
How do you usually spend your workday? Take us through an average day at work in the mortgage business.
My day usually starts at 3:00 AM ending at 6:00 PM. Honestly, most of the day is one phone call/email after another. To take an actual loan application and get started is an hour or two of time. It is the follow up and closing of loan that takes the time.
What are the most common challenges or obstacles when talking to a new client?
Getting it across that we will find out everything about them. People either try and hide things or think certain things aren’t important. For instance, we had a client owning a property free and clear and thinking that, since there is no mortgage, we wouldn’t need to know or wouldn’t find out about it. I recently had a client not tell us that she was married!
In the mortgage business, what do you feel makes for good customer experience?
Digital is becoming more and more important in every industry, including the mortgage industry. How much of the process is being digitized? Do you have any favorite digital tools?
We are pretty much 100% digital now. I have an app that people can download and through the app they can do everything from initial loan application to uploading any documents I need.
This year, you started using Covideo for your business. What made you think of video as a perfect solution for your communication processes?
Being in the business for 20+ years I have gone from meeting 90% of clients face to face to maybe a handful a year. Covideo allows me to keep that personal touch with my clients.
As you started replacing written communication with video, what were the first benefits you noticed?
The clients’ reactions. They have never seen emails like mine.
In which situations would you recommend other mortgage professionals to start using video communication?
In almost all ways. Again, it goes back to the early years when you met people and shook hands and had that personal touch. With Covideo you can keep a little bit of the personal touch.
What are your favorite Covideo features so far?
The different backgrounds. I will be available to send one personal email to all clients during the holidays.
Do you remember any situation where Covideo helped you with your clients or partners?
With my older clients. I think they want to come in, but currently they feel that they must do things online. Covideo gives that personal touch and gives them the feeling of being in front of me.
Do you think that video affects the decision-making process? What are its top three benefits for someone who is in the mortgage business?
It’s hard to say with my business. 100% of my clients are referrals or past clients so not sure how much shopping around there is. I would say that with real-estate agents it shows that we are a step ahead of the other guy and maybe help get their referrals. If you are a new guy in the business, Covideo is a must.
Would you say that video will become a standard part of the mortgage process, and if so, why?
I know that it slowly is becoming part of mine.
When talking about the future in mortgage, where do you see video communication in it?
I think video is the new thing. I think it will become the norm. Not just in mortgage but in all sales. It’s that personal touch that we have all lost.