Choosing a Mortgage CRM: How Shane Kidwell Made His Choice

Have you ever wondered how implementing a mortgage-specific CRM will benefit you? Well, if you ask Shane Kidwell, owner of Dwell Mortgage and co-founder of Next Level Loan Officers, his answer is simple. It’s time. He gets to use his time more efficiently on the tasks that are most important.

“I can always make more money,” Shane said. “I can do more deals, I can get more creative, I can buy more leads, get new relationships – whatever! I can open secondary businesses that can support your primary job. You can’t get your time back.”

Keep reading to learn more about Shane (or check out the video below) to gain insight on how he went from part-time to part of the top one percent, how working with coaches changed his career path, and his thoughts on picking the right CRM for his team. 


From Firefighter to Top 1%—in three years

Shane started working in the mortgage industry part-time in 2010 but he was a firefighter as his full-time gig. In 2017, he retired from the fire department and began working as a loan originator. Since 2016, his hard work has landed him in the top one percent each year.

“I was always really quick to respond. I tell people all the time that you can make a fast mistake and people will still be happy that you were fast. If you make a slow mistake people are going to hammer you. I made a lot of fast mistakes, but I also made a lot of fast successes," Shane said. 

While Shane partially credits his success on his speed, he also gives credit to other people in the industry – the mentors and coaches – who provided light for the path he walked. 

While looking for the right mentors and coaches, Shane met a group of people who shared their secrets, unlike many top producers who hide their strategy and tactics, and he was able to get answers to real questions.

Through their help coaching him, he learned about choosing the right software and technology, hiring people, and much more. This group knew from experience that everyone finds both things to love and things to hate about any coaching group and it was then they got to thinking.

“We decided that for us, no one could it the way we could do it (other than us) so we did it.” Shane said. “We built Next Level Loan Officers and we’ve been around for a couple of years now.”

That’s how Shane became a coach.

What can a coach mean to an LO?

If you’ve never had a coach (or a good one), you may be surprised by what having a coach can do for your bottom line. However, since coaching is one of the foundations which helped Shane rocket to the top of the mortgage industry so quickly, we'll share his thoughts about why an LO should look for a good coach.

According to Shane:

There are three realms in your life. There are the things you know that you know. I know I love football. I love coffee. I love being an entrepreneur. There are things I know that I don’t know. I’m not talented artistically. I don’t have a lot of patience. I’m not good at ballet.

Then, there are the things you don’t know, you don’t know. This is the area where people crash and burn. I didn’t know I wasn’t good at this, I didn’t know I wasn’t a good manager. I didn’t know that my competition was giving my agents more value than I was. I didn’t know my finances were a mess. I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to manage my time.

When you have nothing to compare your personal experiences to, it’s hard to know whether you’re operating at your highest possible level. Moreover, without someone who will speak honestly with you – especially into your blind spots – you’re at a disadvantage to those with more experience or those with experienced, honest advisors.

That’s the gap coaching fills. As part of the team at Next Level Loan Officers, not only is Shane able to help other people in the industry step up their game, he is also supported by his teammates who have more experience than he does.

Criteria for choosing a CRM

The feature you, your coworkers, and your company prioritize as most important in a CRM is probably different than the priority Shane and his team had at the top. However, more than likely, the top several features will align.

Shane suggests you map out your non-negotiable features, and then also map out your negotiable features. Start by having a really good, transparent conversation with the CRM’s sales team – like us here at Whiteboard – about your non-negotiables. Is the CRM able to provide you with what you need related to those features?

“You’re not going to get everything you want – ever – in a spouse, in a business, in a car, in yourself. So, you have to be willing to say there are things I’m going to be okay with,” Shane said.

Keep reading to learn more about some important aspects of any CRM – including Whiteboard – and whether or not it is a good fit for your needs.

Evaluate how long it will take to get started          

Shane said he was spending all his time building out his previous CRM, managing and maintaining it, like he became the customer support system for the CRM. It was a terrible use of his time. When you’re looking for a CRM, find out how long it will take you to get started being productive with the system before making your choice.

“We were on a very complex, very elaborate system – very robust – but it required developers – inventors really – to keep the thing rolling,” Shane said. “I’d spent $40,000 in developer costs, hundreds of hours in meetings with my team and generating new fields.”

Make sure you can view your Pipeline

Shane says their CRM – Whiteboard – is the oil to their engine helping them run efficiently. He has three staff members and 35 staff members for the rest of his brand. Every morning they go through the CRM and Pipeline views to get a handle on what each team member is going to tackle that day.

Communicate the way people want — with texting 

It’s important to understand the technology the consumer wants, and not just use what you have, according to Shane. He said the texting feature is a game changer and his team leverages it all the time.

Consider the support team

When Shane and his team evaluated CRMs, they looked at the support teams. To him, a U.S.-based support team was very important. He wanted to ensure when anyone on his team had to get on a support call, the support team would understand the industry and the lingo.

By LOs, for LOs — who created the content?

One of the selling points Shane’s team found with Whiteboard, and one of the main tipping points in their decision to switch, was that it is a CRM made by LOs, for LOs.

“I wouldn’t buy a fast car if the designer hadn’t driven fast cars. Why have a technology that’s never been used by my own industry?” Shane said.

Don’t let time run out

If it’s time to decide on a tool, maybe it’s time to take some advice from Shane. Even if you only listen to what he has to say about taking advantage of the time-saving aspects of a CRM.

“My dad died when I was seven. I’d give you every dollar in my pocket today to have a week with my dad, a day with my dad, an hour with my dad. We don’t look at our time like that,” Shane said. “We look at our time and we treat it like a renewable resource and it’s not.”

Take the chance right now and schedule a one-on-one demo with us here at Whiteboard, and let us help you find out if we're the right CRM for you. 

Topics: Producer Spotlight

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