Joe Robinett is a mortgage and lending professional committed to providing clients, partners and strategic alignments with the best possible home financing experience. He has more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector and is now working in one of the most successful mortgage companies.
COVIDEO: Before we begin, let’s give our readers some more information about yourself and your organization. You have over 15 years of experience in financial services and responsible lending. What is it about the mortgage industry that attracted you the most?
It’s both very challenging and very rewarding. A mortgage loan is like a big puzzle with many pieces, it’s exciting when we can put them all together. It can be very rewarding when we help guide a first time home-buyer to home-ownership when they didn’t think it was possible. Our clients enjoy a refreshing process compared to their past mortgage experiences.
COVIDEO: The mortgage industry has awarded you numerous times. Actually, your company Fairway Independent Mortgage has been voted #1 Best Mortgage Company to work for. What does that mean to you and your coworkers? Have you noticed that clients and business partners are more inclined to work with you?
Yes, aligning my business with Fairway has been a great fit. The culture of an organization can make a big difference in the client’s experience and also the experience of our business partners. Having an operation staff that is equipped to support my team’s efforts in creating a great experience for our clients and business partners is a must. There are so many roles involved with the process of obtaining a mortgage. You want everyone who is behind the scenes to be focused on creating an amazing experience and Fairway has been a great partner to help accomplish that.
COVIDEO: In the mortgage business, building long-term relationships is crucial. How do you ensure that type of approach for all of your clients and partners? What is important to keep in mind when talking about trust between these two sides?
Trust takes time to earn and can be lost quickly. One of my favorite quotes is “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The most important thing that I want my clients to know from the beginning of the process is that I truly care about helping them reach their home-ownership and financial goals. My team equally cares about the client obtaining the mortgage and the business partner who referred us. We set the right expectations and provide advice that is within their best interest. We also pro-actively communicate and guard our clients against negative surprises during the process and control what we can control. That builds trust.
COVIDEO: Everybody has their own idea of success. What makes you feel successful and satisfied? How do you share your success with your business community?
Knowing that I’ve given my best brings satisfaction. When a client tells me that we’ve made their home-ownership dreams come true, and they are going to be referring everyone they know to my team, that brings that feeling of success. It doesn’t have to do with the number of loans or the volume, but making a difference in people’s lives. As far as sharing my success…that could mean many different things. What comes to mind is sharing what knowledge I have to those serving mutual clients to help them be more successful in their businesses. It also means being generous and financially supporting local causes and local businesses and helping to create referral opportunities for those who run a referral based business as I do. This could be for a financial planner, attorney, CPA, contractors and of course my Realtor partners.
COVIDEO: One study showed that 60% of customer referrals occur in the first six months after the loan is closed. How do you remain in contact with your clients even after the loan process has ended?
Great question, one that I’ve been paying close attention to lately. Staying connected and maintaining our past client database is an important part of our future growth while also supporting our goal of creating an exceptional client experience. Too often, a loan officer or realtor stops serving that client once they close, which is a big mistake. One way we do this is by providing our past clients with Annual Mortgage Reviews. We get a lot of data during the mortgage process, which can be used to create a great future experience as well. Whether kids hit college age and we need to help them with a game-plan to finance those college expenses, perhaps our first time home buyer newlyweds are having kids and find themselves out of space, and even our baby boomer clients nearing retirement age who need a creative mortgage solution in their golden years. Additionally, we send out great content in our newsletters. But, my favorite way we remain in contact is through our client appreciation events. We have an amazing time and it’s great to get some quality face time with our past clients and partners at these events.
COVIDEO: This year, you started using Covideo for your business. When and why did you decide to try out video communication?
About 4 or 5 months ago I started leveraging Covideo. Quite simply, it’s effective. We’re in the relationship business, and communication is a foundation of relationships. This tool helps support the relationship through more effective communication. It’s simple to use which is important and it helps support the message I’m trying to get across to clients while adding a more personal feel vs. a text or phone call alone.
COVIDEO: As you started replacing written communication with video, what were the first benefits you noticed? Also, in which situations do you use Covideo now?
I’ve gotten great feedback. I’ve used this to say ‘Thank You’ after meetings, wishing someone Happy Birthday and even to support a client’s offer by sending a Covideo message to the listing agent. I’ve also been using this to welcome a client to warm them up before we connect over the phone. With a quick video message, they’ve already met you virtually and it helps lead into the next interaction with more trust.
COVIDEO: What are your favorite Covideo features?
There are many different templates you can choose from, you can include your custom links back to your sites or social media pages, but most of all, it’s simple to use.
COVIDEO: As someone who really enjoys creating videos, what would be the three things you would say to those who feel uncomfortable being on camera?
It’s been a challenge for me to get comfortable with doing more video! The three things I would say, however, are 1) it’s going to help your business. 2) The more you do it, the more comfortable it will get. 3) Get over it and just be you. People appreciate authenticity, flaws and all.
COVIDEO: Do you remember any particular issue in your business communication that the usage of Covideo solved successfully? Can you share it with us?
In business, you want to both be effective and efficient, which is an ongoing challenge. For me, using more video communication has helped in both areas.
COVIDEO: Do you think that video helps to reinforce the decision-making process? Does it affect the relationship mortgage professionals have with their clients and partners?
Absolutely. You might have heard the saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”, that’s most important. Using video to deliver a message highlights the HOW. Your audience can see how you feel, they can see your smile and hear your tone of voice.
COVIDEO: Broadly speaking, could we say that video in the mortgage process reduces the risk of fraud while increasing the feeling of trust?
Anything that adds clarity to the communication can minimize fraud and help establish trust. While we love meeting face to face with our clients, there are times when our clients don’t have the time to make a trip to our office, but connecting over video makes the client feel as if they know you even if you haven’t met in person.
COVIDEO: Will video become a standard part of the mortgage process, and if so, why?
I do believe we are headed in that direction and I think it should be. The mortgage process is complicated enough as it is, and there is only so much we can do about that in such a regulated environment. With all of the people and roles involved with obtaining a mortgage, the use of video can add clarity and be a big support to the overall process.
COVIDEO: Besides the current uses of Covideo, what other areas of the mortgage business do you see video being used in?
Personally, my Team will be using Covideo more for a standardized introduction to a new referral and also will be used for mile-stone updates through the process to help our clients and everyone involved in the loan process know where we are at.
COVIDEO: Would you recommend Covideo to your colleagues? Why do you think people in the mortgage business are still hesitant towards video communication?
For sure, highly recommend it. People are always hesitant to try something new or for the first time. Most have gotten comfortable with doing the things a certain way and habits are always difficult to change.
COVIDEO: In the next three years, do you think that communication in the mortgage industry will stay the same or will it somehow change? Do you see video as an important part of that communication?
The industry is always changing. As technology continues to evolve, this will always create new opportunities and new ways of doing business. There’s no question that video will be an important part of communication, it already is or should be.
COVIDEO: Lastly, could you share some of the reactions from people who received your video messages with us?
Before video, I often got a ‘Thank You’ reply when sending the same message via email or text, now after using Covideo, I get the same ‘Thank You’ but with a “I love the video!” as well. So, I know it’s making an impact and I’ve had several requests from folks who want to use it as well.
Below you can watch a video by Joe Robinett: