Case Study: Bobby Campos, Benchmark Mortgage
We recently sat down with California-based mortgage expert and Branch Manager at Benchmark Mortgage, Bobby Campos, to discover how his decades of experience and passion for the mortgage industry are helping to improve the lending process for his clients.
Bobby is a lifelong Fresno resident and has been in residential mortgage lending for more than 25 years. Prior to lending, Campos worked as a real estate agent for London Properties for five years. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1979 with a B.S. in Business Finance and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Campos specializes in builder business and has developed strong relationships with builders in the Fresno/Clovis area.
Lending with honesty and integrity, Campos has developed an extremely strong core of associates who understand all the facets of today’s complex mortgage environment. Problem solving, creating mortgage solutions and educating clients of the best mortgage to fit their needs is what his team has accomplished to give their clients excellent service, communication and personalized attention throughout every transaction.
Campos’ team consists of his processor Renee Younkin, with whom he has worked with for more than 18 years, and his associate loan officer, Missi Lucente, who has more than 21 years of lending experience. Problem solving, creating mortgage solutions and educating clients of the best mortgage to fit their needs is what his team has accomplished to give their clients excellent service, communication and personalized attention throughout every transaction.
Our interview with Campos provides helpful insight for any mortgage professional seeking to find value from an automated mortgage operation.
HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT FLOIFY?
I heard about Floify through my company, Benchmark Mortgage. They’re the ones that presented it to us. Throughout the company, they hosted a webinar that highlighted they were looking into the Floify solution, so that’s how we heard about it.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHANGE FLOIFY HAS MADE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
It has been an excellent change. Really, the big thing here is it has helped us open the doors for communication with the milestones that can be emailed or texted. We do use Floify more with an email system, so when clients and agents get these communications they really like it. We’re really impressed with Floify. It helps us provide a visual of where we’re at on each loan. So, we have found it to be an excellent asset for us to have.
BEFORE TRANSITIONING TO FLOIFY, WHAT WAS THE MOST FRUSTRATING OR CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE LOAN PROCESS FOR YOU?
The loan process is still challenging, but Floify has really helped with improving communication. Now, I’m the type loan officer who’s been doing this a long time so I communicate to both sides very well. However, before Floify, it was frustrating when a client would send things in and they weren’t in detail, so we would have to go back to the client and show them we needed all the pages to their statement, for example, or this is not what we’re looking for, or this is what we’re looking for. Floify also provides clients with visuals and helps them eliminate a lot of that frustration. Floify also really helps the client and my team keep track of everything they send in.
WHAT ABOUT FLOIFY MAKE YOU AND YOUR TEAM MORE PRODUCTIVE?
Being able to get a good visual of everything in the loan process and if we have everything we need in the system. Floify just helps us dial things in a lot better. We’ve got a client who has a complete package and we know every piece of information we need is in. Floify works really well with clients who are not tech-savvy – they really enjoy doing it this way. They like it. They see what we need. They send it in. They don’t need to ask, “Hey, so do I have everything in, Bobby?” Or, I’ll use my associate, who helps me with everything. So, many times they like Floify because they know we have everything in. I think some of that goes in how I interview clients because when I get a prospective client who comes in, and I am a hands-on person, so most of my clients are face-to-face, I do prefer that, but when they come in, I kind of give them an overview and education of how the system works. Here’s what happens when you write and offer, or what’s going to happen, or how we have a timeline. I now even use the word Floify because they’re familiar with the Floify system.
When I tell my clients we’re going to set them up on Floify and we’re going to use it to communicate, it helps all of us. So, we already prepare them for what to expect – and that’s just from the buyer’s end. From the agents’ end, well, the buyers’ agents I work with, those are my repeats, my referral partners. However, from the listing side, we can provide a rundown of yes, we can get this done in 22 to 24 days, which is what clients want. I tell them how we would communicate and how we are going to put them on this real nice Floify system, and it doesn’t get any better. In fact, one of my clients who comes from a large office told me one of her associates closed a loan with us a few months ago, and said, “Bobby’s got system that really keeps us updated, so you’ll really enjoy working with him.” So, I’m giving Floify a compliment. These are the types of things that really help us out. And here’s the thing, I’m not saying Floify is going to make this transaction or make them take our offer, but I really feel it helps us. So, as I lend more and more, Floify is going to continue to bring us even more business and help us grow.
And currently, I’m now working with about four to five new agents who are starting to send me business and were originally were listing agents. Now of course, we not only communicated on the phone, but with Floify, and we did close those loans in a very timely manner for them and that’s all they want, so that is a compliment to Floify.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TIME SAVINGS FOR EACH LOAN YOU AND YOUR TEAM PROCESS SINCE USING FLOIFY?
I would probably say Floify saves us five to eight hours of calling people and explaining to them what we need and why we need it. I think that’s a case by case scenario, but I would have to say it is definitely a time savings. And then, I have to throw in the equation of how Floify helps me manage my time more efficiently, which I’m working on a lot more now. Floify helps me avoid calls in the evening, maybe on weekends, too, because I have to respect my clients’ work schedules and their work environment and ensure I am only contacting them when they’re actually at work. It seems like a lot of people do communicate today, as we know, via email, text messages and so forth, but Floify has provided us with a lot of time savings because we don’t have to continually explain what we need, it lets them know right away. I’ll give you an example… We had a client the other day who just sent in page one of all their bank statements, but they did get back to me in a couple days or after I spoke to him on something else. They said, “Yeah, I remember, you told me you needed all the pages, even the last page.” So, Floify does help us save time in this regard.
HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU SAY YOU SAVE EACH WEEK ON AVERAGE BY NOT ASKING YOUR BORROWERS FOR DOCUMENTATION?
Again, hard for me to pinpoint, but I would say 50% of my time I no longer have to keep calling a client like I used to before, or have my associates call them to remind them we need documentation. So, Floify has really helped us a lot in this area. And also, Floify helps us provide a lot of customer satisfaction, more so for the client who has been through the loan process before and has had a frustrating experience. I can’t even tell you how many clients I have worked with this last year since we’ve been using Floify who have really complimented our system and how we’re doing things. I had one gentleman in particular, he sent me an email right away. He said, “Bobby, I love your new system. This is great.” We don’t have to spend as much time talking on the phone to each other, but you can still call me, of course. He’s a good client, I’ve been working with this gentleman for probably 14 or 15 years. That aspect for an investor who’s constantly in the real estate market or in the financing arena, they really enjoy it. I’ve received wonderful compliments about the system. And again, that’s just something we relish. We work that within our testimonials and so forth.
So, Floify is just a heavy asset for us. I can’t tell even you, it’s hard for me to explain it, but it’s really good.
WHAT KINDS OF STAFFING CHANGES HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SINCE USING FLOIFY TO HELP RUN YOUR MORTGAGE PROCESSES?
No staffing changes. If anything, Floify has allowed me to control our staffing a little bit more in the future. We have only been with our branch for a year a half and we really enjoy it. I’ve been in the industry since January of ‘94. I love working for Benchmark. It’s a fabulous company. We can streamline. We can move a loan right through the process, especially when we have the right borrower who gives us the right help.
Having Floify as a complement within that flow structure is excellent, but staffing wise, no, I mean what Floify is going to help me do as we grow is add more people to our branch, which is something we really want to do. I want to use Floify even as a recruiting tool to help perspective loan officers understand the flow, how we do things here. Why we do it. The compliments we receive and how it will help them be successful. Staffing wise, I haven’t reduced any role. Floify has just helped us streamline everything better.
And this is the reason we’re talking, because my associate who uses Floify all the time was going on vacation and I almost went crazy, like who’s going to fill this in?! So, we had to get brush up on Floify, which was good, because I want to be knowledgeable in all the systems we use and that’s why I made the phone call to Floify. I just asked your Support staff if I could get a refresher course on how to make sure I have everything under control. Really what I wanted to do is get our milestones out. Appraisals in. Loans out of underwriting and so forth.
Floify is a very nice solution, and I always get the compliment, “Bobby, we love that system, and boy, you really did fly through this loan. I’m real impressed. I want to keep in with touch you.” And that’s something we want to continue to market. We really look forward to the future to really build a strong foundation of high-producing real estate agents. Like I said, I’ve been originating for a little over 24 years. I know a lot of good agents. I just really want to connect with a lot of good, seasoned agents. They’re the ones that really understand the business. They respect the business. And they really appreciate the communication.
So again, Floify really helps us with everything.
HAS YOUR BUSINESS SEEN AN INCREASE IN PROFITABILITY SINCE TRANSITIONING TO FLOIFY? IF SO, HOW MUCH OF AN INCREASE (IN PERCENTAGE TERMS)?
That’s hard to pinpoint, but I think profitability really depends on the loan officer and how they use Floify. However, just having new partners that I can potentially build and grow and do future business with, well, that does increase our profitability. I’m not a branch that wants to be quantitative. We want to be qualitative. We just want to do good production, a good day’s work, and go home knowing we did a great job for the people we did it with. I’m just trying to build a strong branch, strong business for Benchmark around the systems we use, and I just want it to be done very nicely, but from a profitability point of view it’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s definitely something that’s helping me attain the goals we want. So, I can’t definitely say 25, 50, 100 percent, but we have seen a growth in our business and there’s a lot of factors which attribute to that. But the biggest part is the business we bring in. How do we bring in the business? Having good referral partners. How do we get good referral partners? By doing good work for them and showing you do good work. How do we show we do good work? Communicate to them. You, Floify are giving us the visuals to accomplish this. That is what’s really nice.
SINCE TRANSITIONING TO FLOIFY AND REDUCING DIRECT CONTACT WITH BORROWERS VIA PHONE AND EMAIL, HAS THEIR LEVEL OF SATISFACTION WITH YOUR SERVICES CHANGED? IF SO, IN WHAT WAY?
Yes, the satisfaction level has really increased. I’m going to go back to the seasoned borrower who’s been through the system before because they saw it has streamlined and we’re being a lot more efficient. So, from a level of satisfaction, yes, very much so. Now please don’t get me wrong, I have a client who we’re going into escrow with, I know they are not tech-savvy people. This is their first time buying a home. I know I am going to have to explain everything to them. So, hopefully, as long as we explain things properly, their satisfaction will be okay, but they don’t have anything to compare it to. But from the season borrowers’ aspect, oh my gosh, yes, and I go back to that gentleman, who sent me that email, “Loved your new system.” That is satisfaction. And this guy changes houses like he changes his shoes. He buys a new home every 2 or 3 years. He can’t stay there, so he’s going to be a continued client with us. So, from the point of the season borrower, I think the satisfaction with Floify is excellent.
FROM A LENDER'S PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST VALUABLE ASPECT OF FLOIFY?
For the borrower, we can set up Floify to communicate and remind them of document requests and milestones. We also work with builders, so if we’re originating a builder loan and we’re doing a buildout that’s taking six, eight, nine months, we will set up Floify to remind borrowers to send us bank statements every month. Overall, it’s just a very good communication solution to have set up from the client that we’re going to do a close in 30, 45 days or sooner. Again, Floify gives us a really good aspect of the status of the loan. And Floify helps when we’re busy and I’m on a loan where I know I need to get certain things accomplished. The borrowers want the appraisal out within 12 to 14 days. They want the loan approved within 17 to 21 days. That’s where Floify helps me visually see where I’m at very quickly. So, I can manage a lot of things. Floify not only helps the loan officer, it helps the buyer and the agents, too.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHY DO YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING MORTGAGE POINT-OF-SALE SOLUTIONS, IS SO IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY?
Technology is where the industry is going. We are in a digital era. We just have to stay aware of that and any good loan officer has to stay aware of where we’re at, what’s going on, and the changes that are taking place. Compared to 10 or 20 years ago, the industry is changing and we have to stay abreast of those changes, that’s something I have to do constantly, and I always try to be aware of new things that are happening, what’s going on within the digital arena and so forth.
Floify has been a true complement. And I commend you guys because when my team and I have issues or something, we can call in and get a really good, quick response. I can set something up right away and what I have seen, as compliment to Floify, is that you’re not just sitting back. You guys are definitely staying on the cutting edge. Staying abreast of any changes. I get the impression you listen to the people that use your system and what changes can be done. And I know a lot of that has come from the gentleman within our company we work with, Andrew Soss out of Newport Beach, he helped me when we started on Floify. He gave us a call and went over everything. I remember him telling me how he’s been using Floify for like five, six, seven years. He says they always make changes and they listen to what we need to have done to help us make changes in our business. So as a compliment, I think Floify really stands out to where I feel there have been other services I’ve received from other companies that just run stagnant and become complacent. I don’t think your company has done that I hope you don’t, but I will stay a Floify user for as long as I stay in this industry, I’ll tell you that.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE LOAN OFFICERS WHO ARE ON THE FENCE ABOUT USING A POINT-OF-SALE SOLUTION LIKE FLOIFY?
The only advice I would tell loan officers is to contact someone who uses Floify and somebody they feel comfortable with. You don’t need to hear it from the company, hear it from a user. Hear it from somebody who actually uses Floify and can give them the pros and the cons. That’s just something I would do. I mean, that’s just how I do it. Of course, I’m fortunate and I’ve been in the industry a long time, so I have a lot of friends, not only loan officers, I have underwriters, I have other processors, other managers, not only within Benchmark, but within other companies that I still reach out to. It doesn’t matter, we’re there to accomplish the same thing. Take in a loan, process it nicely, get it closed and keep the client for life. That’s how I do it. If I had to put percentage on it, 80 to 90 percent of my business is referral business, and I’m lucky, but, of course I’ve worked with a lot of people and I’ve always been transparent and honest. You just have to understand the client and work with them the best you can. That’s how you do business. But for any loan officer who’s on the fence, I would tell him to reach out to a company or an individual loan officer they can trust and who uses Floify and get their honest opinion of it.
I feel their opinion will be very positive.