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Digging In To Dig Out

Wholesale lenders, escrow companies and title companies are sending me e-mails this afternoon:

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and as a demonstration of our commitment to our core values, ABC Financial will be closed Thursday and Friday (and Saturday and Sunday).  We wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and thank you for your business.

WTF ?

Okayfine.  Rant over, captured in three letters.  Sermon begins:

Thanks, Dave.  The words of encouragement are appreciated; readers might look at the words of the song he quoted, though:

If you’re going through hell
Keep on going, don’t slow down
If you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you’re there
Yeah, If you’re going through hell
Keep on moving, face that fire
Walk right through it

“Keep on moving, face that fire.”  A good reminder for us to persevere in the face of adversity.  What the title, escow, and mortgage companies are doing, however, is living in a 2005 world.  There are loans to be funded, resales to be recorded, and transactions to be closed.  There are, without a doubt, thousands of transactions that won’t fund, record and close on Friday…and thousands of clients who won’t be able to take advantage of the weekend to move.  Double that number if you count the chain reaction real estate transactions produce.

Complacency breeds contempt in my world.  I have always considered the last day of the month (which is Friday) to be a VERY important day.  If you can close ONE extra transaction, on Friday, instead of having it bleed over until Monday, here’s what you’ll gain:

1- One hour of phone time.  When the transaction won’t close because of the closed escrow company, we all have to make between 3-5 phone calls, explaining what happened and reassuring all principals that the transaction is fine.

2- One hour of e-mail time. Rushing to get last minute conditions in takes 30 minutes.  It takes another 30 minutes to get the weekend out of the employees’ minds, after their 4-day rest.

3- Four days of simple interest (or spending power).  When everyone gets their money faster, they can invest or spend it.

4- Points in the “favor bank.  The world works on the Law of Reciprocity. In Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe explains how “operators” in the NYC judicial, financial, and business systems kept close account of the “favor bank”.  Your clients do as well.  Pushing harder. to close their transaction just ONE DAY EARLIER, when everyone else would have given up, could result in five more referral prospects.

Let’s see why it’s important for those title, escrow, and mortgage companies to stay open on Friday. If we close that transaction on Friday, I save two hours of time, gain about $15 of interest, and open myself up to five more prospects.  I can spend that 15 bucks on the mail packages I send out, from the five phone conversations I have, in the two extra hours I found…

and I’ll close one extra transaction, next month…

…which is one extra escrow, one extra title policy, one extra loan closing, and two extra sides (for agents).  It’s a ripple effect and it’s traveling negatively throughout the economy.  We can stop that on Friday…

…if you’re committed.

PS:  I’m making a list and checking it twice.  If you’re naughty on Friday, don’t expect me to be nice next year.

PPS:  Oh, I already planned for this crap to happen so we closed our stuff yesterday and today.  We were maniacal this morning about getting the last one funded, even though the lender, title, and escrow company plan to be open on Friday.  I’ll be making those five extra calls on Friday.

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  • 5 comments

    5 Comments so far

    1. Karen November 26th, 2008 2:57 pm

      Well said! The “favor bank” is the all-time most important reason for all of the above. Our business is based so much on the trust and good will we engender. I have my favorite LO’s and Title Companies that I choose over and over just because of the favor bank. and they know it.

    2. J Boyer Morristown NJ November 26th, 2008 7:44 pm

      The Favor Bank ha, OK how about 8 extra transactions next year?

    3. Bob November 27th, 2008 5:46 pm

      All set to close on Friday, but the County Recorder is closed.

    4. Brian Brady November 28th, 2008 11:55 am

      I know, Bob…frustrating, isn’t it?

    5. Chris Johnson November 28th, 2008 1:26 pm

      Beautiful. Utterly.