Tanner Watson ’15 – The beginning of my relationship with the mortgage business can be summed up in two words: it’s complicated. Never having bought a home myself, nor has it ever even crossed my mind, walking into an internship with Access National Mortgage was like walking into a new school where everyone was really nice, but no one spoke English. Luckily my first task did not involve talking to clients or selling mortgages, but rather helping our marketing team with one of their projects for the Realtors in the area.
It was during this first week when I began to soak in as much knowledge as possible (which even here in week 5 still doesn’t feel like very much). I was lucky enough to sit near the majority of the MAK Team. In listening in on their phone calls and sitting in on the morning meetings, as well as initial consultations when I was invited, I was able to begin to pick a few things up. For those of you who don’t know, the MAK team is Mark Kuchik’s team of loan partners who help Mark’s clients through the thick mortgage process as quickly and painlessly as possible. And they are incredibly good at what they do. They have a monthly goal to close a specific number of loans and they, along with the other loan officers here at Access National Mortgage, are the only mortgage company around who promises to close your loan on time (there’s my sales pitch).
By week three I had absorbed a ton of information. I now know that if I want to avoid that pointless mortgage insurance I need to find a home at a price that allows me to put at least 20% down. I know that a conventional loan goes for 30 years, but there are also two other types of loans. There is an FHA loan and a My Community loan. There are also jumbo loans. When you are getting qualified, there are about a million different factors that affect the size of the loan you qualify for ranging from your debt to income ratio to your credit score (do I sound like I know what I’m talking about yet?). So my eyes have been opened to the tip of the iceberg of the mortgage business. There is still plenty I have not learned or have learned and still don’t completely understand (like Escrows).
It was also in week three when I really settled into my role as an intern. I have two main projects this summer. My first is to update our database contacts to make sure we have our client’s up to date contact information. The second is to help a couple realtors contact current FSBO’s (pronounced fiz-bo, but stands for “For Sale by Owner”) and turn those contacts into mortgage leads, eventually creating more business for the company.
More than anything I have learned about the mortgage business however, the Indianapolis branch of Access National has taught me what a professional company looks and feels like. When clients walk in they see their name on a computer screen and are personally welcomed by one of the nicest women on the face of the earth, our receptionist Darla. She then immediately takes them wherever they need to be and offers them almost any type of beverage they could dream of. From there the clients are treated with the utmost respect by our team of loan officers and partners who legitimately have their best interest at heart. Meeting face to face is something I have learned not many mortgage companies do, but when someone is making what is usually the biggest purchase of their life I’m sure it is nice to sit down face to face and cover the entire process and vent any concerns. Every Tuesday the MAK team as well as the other loan officer’s do their “Outstanding Tuesday Updates” where they personally call every client and let them know where their loan is in the process. Obviously I have never gone through the home buying process myself but I cannot imagine how somebody calling me every week to update me on the process could be anything but a good thing.
Overall this internship has been incredibly beneficial. Not only will I leave with a better understanding about mortgages and in turn be more prepared when I am ready to buy a home, but I will leave knowing I learned how to run and be a part of a successful company from some of the best in the business in Mark and Rhonda Kuchik. I can’t say thank you to them enough for giving me this opportunity and the people who work with Lilly to fund it. I’d also like to thank Kyle O’Keefe ’07 who convinced Mark and Rhonda to get their intern through Wabash.