Jason Frazier usually laughs as he says he was born into the mortgage industry. It's true, but the story seems a little outrageous.
His mom, a mortgage company CEO, brought him to work with her when he was just three days old, sitting him in a baby carrier on her desk. With this start, you might think Frazier started selling mortgages by the time he was 18, but you’d be mistaken. In fact, he’s never originated a loan.
Meet Jason Frazier
Despite what could have been a mortgage career immersion, Frazier’s mom advised him against getting into the industry. It’s advice he took, instead going into technology working for the likes of billionaire venture capitalist and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Toiling in this pressure cooker environment can take a toll on anyone and usually does. Frazier was no exception. In 2009, feeling burned out, he left that world behind.
With the money he'd made, he shares that he could have chosen to take it easy, but he was too restless to be sitting still for long.
After only two weeks, he joined the family business, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage as their CIO. By the time he left, he had also overseen their marketing, HR, communications, and training departments.
He then tried consulting and a short stint at Cardinal Financial, running their wholesale marketing before landing at EPM Mortgage as Chief Strategy Officer.
Along with his duties at EPM, he now also hosts the Mortgage X podcast and is a marketing coach for the Next Level Loan Officers coaching group.
We're all marketers
If you made a list of industries that have been slow adopting technology, you’d have to include the mortgage profession. It’s getting there, but still has a ways to go. Frazier says that technology and marketing go hand in hand, and the mortgage industry needs to embrace this duo.
“The soul of what we do needs to change to go along with the times,” Frazier argues. “And if you’re a loan officer, guess what, you’re also in marketing.”
The concept of marrying sales and marketing with tech isn’t a new one. Marketing platform company HubSpot has been preaching for years how we all need to be “smarketing” practitioners. In other words, if you’re selling, you can also be marketing using technology such as blogs, email, social, and other channels to connect with potential clients.
Frazier admits he can’t tell you how to be a better producer—he’s never sold a mortgage. But he can show you how to make your life as an LO more productive. The easiest way is to free up more time to do your core job.
“You need to automate the stuff that takes away from your sales activities,” he says.
For example, this means learning how to use a CRM’s built-in tools such as sending automated texts and emails during the loan process: Hi, good news! Your appraisal came back. I’ll call you soon to discuss! If these types of notes normally take you 10 minutes a day to send, you’d get a week of your life back each year as Frazier points out.
Automation gives you time to focus on what’s important and can have trickle down effects on your business. According to a survey by IDC, automating sales-related tasks increased deal closures by 30%, reduced the sales cycle by 18%, and led to a 14% reduction in sales admin time.
The biggest roadblocks for LOs adopting automation? LOs themselves.
“People who have built a team or automated or outsourced or got help with their business...they will tell you the same thing every single time and that’s one phrase: I wish I would have done this sooner. Period.
“You need to stop asking yourself the reasons why you would automate and start asking yourself why not? Why not now? Do it now,” Frazier says.
Balancing act: technology vs. humans
Frazier is not advising that you take the human piece out of your business mix. You shouldn't be 100% automated; people still want human interaction.
One survey found that 85% of online shoppers said they value an experience with a figurative human touch along with up-to-date technology. If nothing else, the pandemic revealed to the industry that you had to have technology in place. The volume of new purchases and home owners who are refinancing combined with the need for a no-contact process made digital tools a necessity.
“I think that what 2020 showed us is that we’re not ready for 100% automation, 100% virtual, 100% computer,” Frazier says. “It’s important to have those tools and those that had them did way better than those that did not in 2020. People still want that human interaction so find a way to do both.”
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