Do you want to provide your clients with a stress-free mortgage process? How can you achieve client satisfaction most effectively? Join your host Heath Barnes as he dives into a deep conversation with Roger Kube on making each moment count with your client. Roger is an accomplished 20-year mortgage advisor with a successful track record of providing exceptional service to his clients and business associates. In this episode, he shares his journey to making six figures a month and the challenging experiences that shaped him today. He explains his expertise in creating that ‘wow experience’ that will help you better understand your clients and build rapport with them. He also emphasizes the importance of shifting your focus to the clients’ best interests.
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Building Rapport, Exceeding Expectations, And Client Satisfaction With Roger Kube
In this episode, I interview Roger Kube of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation out of San Diego, California. Not only is he the number 20 loan officer in the country with Fairway but he’s the number 1 in customer satisfaction. He’s going to talk about how his father taught him how to connect with people, keep the connection and blow his clients away. He’s going to talk about gifting. You’re going to enjoy this show, especially in these times in the mortgage business. Closing more transactions with a higher closing ratio are going to be needed. I hope you enjoy the show.
I’m excited for our guest in this episode. Our guest, Roger Kube is an accomplished loan officer with many years in the business with a successful track record in providing outstanding customer service. His highest priorities are his clients’ best interest in exceeding their expectations. Committed to helping clients understand what’s happening every step of the way, he provides a stress-free seamless mortgage process with a plethora of knowledge and experience offering a wide range of mortgage options for his clients, including competitive interest rates. He also enjoys surfing among other things that allow him to spend his free time enjoying life. Welcome to the show, Roger.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you having me on the show.
Let’s jump right in Roger. For those that have never heard of you, you’re in San Diego. You are independent. I’d love to hear a little backstory about how you got into the business after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2000.
My backstory is I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2000. I applied to several law schools. I took my LSATs and my future was law school, for sure. I got accepted to UCLA Law SchoolI gave them about $1,000 to hold my admissions for a year. As I got settled in California and made it to San Diego for what was going to be about a year, I was looking for a job.
I had just gotten out of college. I was broke. I had no money. I had very limited belongings. I was living in Pacific Beach, San Diego, which is a post-college haven. It was great and the party was continuing but I called my two brothers up. I have 3 brothers in the industry and my 2 brothers at the time worked for a company called H&R Block. You probably heard of them.
Our good friend, Blaine Stewart worked for them. That’s how he got a start.
Blaine Stewart got his start in one of my brother’s offices. At that time, my brother Andrew was managing a branch in Northern Virginia and Blaine went to work for him. My brother, Ryan, who is President of AnnieMac Home Mortgage, was working in the Northeast region for H&R Block Mortgage. I called one of them up and said, “I’m in San Diego. I’m looking for some work for the next year, something to buy my time and make a little bit of money. Do you guys have a branch here? Maybe you could help get me an interview.” Sure enough, there was a branch here and the Branch Manager is Bruno Gonzalez.
One of my brothers set up the interview and I went into the office. I was mid-twenties at this point. I got a little delayed starting college but Bruno was sharply dressed, hair slick back and has a Rolex watch. He was looking sharp like he was made of money. I sat down and was a little nervous. I’m not the kind of guy that gets too nervous. I was a little intimidated. He looks at me and says, “Are your brothers Andrew and Ryan Kube?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “When can you start?” That was the interview process. That was it.
It does say a lot about my brothers and they were both top producers in their own right within H&R Block Mortgage. They had a good reputation, fortunately, for me. I went in and started the next day. It was a great start because H&R Block is like, “Here you go. Here’s your database of clients in San Diego. Go to it.”
It was the same time I got into the business. All you had to do is take the twenty-hour course, sign up and you had your license. It is much different than it is now.You can pull a lot of information from that initial conversation with the client. You have to get to know them better using a common method. Click To Tweet
I don’t know about you but back then, I did a lot of house visits. I’d go to people’s homes, present to them their applications and pick up documentation. It was not uncommon for me to be fed when I went over. I even had a couple of clients try to introduce me to their daughters but it was some fun times. Nonetheless, I found some success right away with H&R Block. I started making six figures and double-digit monthly income. I was making $10,000 to $12,000 right off the bat. I’m like, “This is great.” I fell in love with San Diego too. It is such a great place. It offered such a high-quality lifestyle. I said, “I’m going to keep trucking along and see how this pans out.” Here we are many years later.
It sounds like you had an early start in having appreciation and taking good care of your clients because if you walk into someone’s house, you’ve got a mortgage application and they want to feed you, you’re probably doing something right.
I’ll give that back to my mom and my dad for making sure that I’m well-mannered and know how to act around people. It’s a nice skillset to be able to adjust to any personality, hit it off and be friends.
It’s interesting you say that because with the gift to have a conversation with other human beings, sometimes we don’t get that from our parents. Did you get that from your parents?
I certainly did. My dad was in medical sales all his life. He was very successful and was always the life of the party. He loved to socialize with everybody. He’s the kind of guy that if you’re walking down the street, he’s going to acknowledge your presence even if he doesn’t know you, even if it’s just a nod. He is very social and my mom, as well. We get that gift from them.
It sounds like that gift carried on into your business. You worked for Fairway. You’re the number 1 in customer satisfaction out of 3,800 loan officers. My hat is off to you. That’s not easy, especially in a market that you’re in where it’s high level, high loan amounts and things like that. What are the 1 or 2 things that you could help readers with, especially in this market? Things have changed. You don’t just pick up your phone and you’ve got a lead. You’ve got to take care of every single client. I’d love to know what are the 1 or 2 things that you are changing or doing that are helping you stay top of mind or providing that customer satisfaction?
It’s my favorite start of my career. My volume in 2021 was 20 in Fairway out of 3,800 and that made me proud. What made me prouder is that we finished number one in client satisfaction in the company and that’s equal pairing. Fairway sends out the same survey to every single client after every single loan. We’re all on an even playing field in my team because of my team. As you know, that’s all a team effort. I don’t give the client that number one experience. We give that client that experience.
It’s something that we talk about regularly and we’re very intentional about it. What it starts with number one is having the client’s best interest first and foremost. Come at it from that perspective and not from a perspective of, “How much am I making on that deal?” I know what I’m making on that deal. Don’t get me wrong but I’m not focused on that. My focus is on giving that client the best possible experience and that comes in a variety of ways.
Number two is getting to know and genuinely caring about that client. The more you get to know somebody, the more similarities you find and the more similarities you find, the more you empathize and care about that person. I’m sure with you too but I have some lifelong friends that started as clients or business partners who are also my clients. It’s getting to know them and there are a couple of tools. One major tool that we use that’s going to help me get to know them as quickly as possible is our All About You form. The form finds out things about their family, interests, hobbies, favorites and the best way to contact them. That’s important.
Some people don’t like to be called and left voicemails. Some people prefer it. Identify the best form of contact and then also, what other professionals they work with that are serving them at a high level. If they don’t have other professionals that serve them at a high level, make sure that they’re aware that I have them for them. Add value to their life. That’s what I’m trying to do. The more I get to know them, the more I can add value.If you want to be successful in the real estate industry, you have to know how to build rapport and trust, show competency and ability, and acquire a skill set level. Click To Tweet
In addition to providing them a mortgage and giving them an experience that they’re going to look back on and be like, “That was great. My friends should know about Roger.” That’s also part of it. It’s very intentional in creating that experience and the All About You form. Making it a point that we get that back from every client is going to help us launch that wow experience.
What I hear you saying and the readers should know this as well, is being intentional about being connected to your client. It’s not just having a conversation but you have a format and specific questions that you send to the client that is going to give you more information about them so you can connect with them.
A lot of that information I’ll even pull in from that initial conversation but not all of it. I’ll get started with getting to know them better using a common method using the acronym FORD. It’s learning more about them and then that All About You form. By the time we meet for the second time, I have a lot of information. I know a lot about them. I know how to best serve, relate to them and gain their trust. By the end of that second conversation, that preapproval meeting is the second conversation, that’s a meeting, we’re solid because they want to work with me.
When do you send out that form? You have a conversation with the client, they fill out the application and you meet with them. Is that what that process looks like? Where in that process do you send it out? How do you send it out? How do you make sure that they fill it out? There are questions that some people might feel they’re a little intrusive so they might not fill them out. What’s been your experience with sending it out and then getting them to fill out the form?
Some people are eager to fill it out because they love telling you about themselves and others aren’t. You got to have something in place to be able to capture as many of those All About You forms as possible. Number one, it’s important to start gathering some of that information in the initial call verbally. Number two, in my process, I’m the first person to talk to a new lead from a realtor partner, past client or business partner.
The second step is for them to complete an application. Once the applications are complete, my teammate sends them a document request list. In that document request list is the All About You form. We show it as a required document. We get that document back for processing. Sometimes what was happening is some people would complete some of it or half of it. The goal is to get it mostly, if not all, completed.
One thing I’ve changed or I’m about to change is I’m going to do a video that’s going to go out. When that document request list goes out, there’s going to be a templated video that goes out about the document request list reiterating the process and then also a request to fill out the All About You form and why. We’ll see if that helps to move the need a little bit but we are highly successful at getting it completed. If we don’t, I open up the preapproval meeting but within 30 seconds, I’m bringing up some common interests that I’ve learned about them in some way relating to them. I’ll fill it in right there.
I’ll ask them, “Thanks so much for filling out the All About You form. It helps me get to know you better and how to better serve you. This is why I ask for you to complete this form. I’m missing a little bit of information. You got to have a favorite restaurant. What’s your favorite place to eat?” There are a few stages where I’m completing the All About You form and those are some strategies that I use to get them completed.
You are the first person to speak with every client and that’s amazing being that you are number 20 out of 3,800 loan officers. It’s not beneath you to have that first conversation with the client. Years ago, you and I have a similar friend, Blaine Stewart who changed that about me and my business. I used to have somebody else take the loan application and I would talk to him at the appointment but in this super competitive time, being that person that the client talks to first are super important.
Without a doubt. First impressions are everything. What am I best at? I’m not the best at processing alone and marketing an event. Eighty percent of what happens with a client experience, I’m not best at. I have a teammate who’s best at that but building that rapport, trust, showing competency and ability or securing that application, I do it best. I’m the best person to do it from a skillset level and especially from business partners, I would expect them to talk to my referral first too. My business partners want me to be the primary point of contact.Participating in coaching programs is highly recommended. That can elevate your game in the real estate industry. Click To Tweet
You’re taking those skills that your dad taught you as a kid and bringing them into your business, which will continue to make you top in not only your company but also in the industry to stay top of mind. What do you think are the 2 or 3 questions that are on that form that you never want to miss having them fill out that is important when you connect with them but also in following up with them in the future? What are those 2 or 3 things that you find most common that people are best for to know about someone?
It’s some of the information we’ve done and some of the information on the application like clients’ birthdays. Also, a favorite something like a beverage, restaurant, hobby or sports team. Something that’s going to allow me to get a little creative with gifting because we do a lot of gifting and we want to be gifting something personal. The goal is to find something personal to gift that’s going to have an emotional impact. They’re going to be grateful and happy that they got it. I got to know a little bit about them to be able to give. At least one thing that falls under that category, favorite or whatever it may be. That’s one of those top three.
The other one is I want to know about the professionals that they’re working with and how they feel about them. I want to know at least their financial advisor, CPA and trust attorney but the financial advisor and CPAs are my two favorites. If they’re working with somebody who’s a five and that’s asked on the All About You form, I want an introduction. I want to know why they’re a five. I want to work with a five-star CPA or financial advisor. If they don’t give them a five, I want them to introduce me to my five-star financial advisor. That way I’m adding some value above and beyond providing a mortgage. That’s the second thing that matters a lot on that All About You form.
Having this conversation, you’re re-inspiring me to start using the All About Me form. As a result of COVID, I stopped using it. One question that most clients seemed to enjoy was, “What’s your dream vacation?” I stole this from Brandon Donaldson, my first coach in the business. The clients used to come to my office, now it’s all Zoom but they would write in the dream vacation and then we would order a travel book for their dream vacation. They would get it two days later. You’ve re-inspired me to start using that form again. Thank you.
I appreciate it. I’m going to add dream vacation on my All About You form because I don’t have it and that’s a great idea. I’m going to take your idea and implement that.
It’s crazy how often someone, especially in the summertime, might be going on a dream vacation or coming back from one. It adds another level of rapport-building with the client. I love the acronym you used, FORD for Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams. Is that what you learned from your dad?
That was a sales skill that I learned early on in my career from some sales class but my dad does that naturally and part of me does that naturally as well but I’m very intentional so I get more information. I build more rapport and connection as a result. During my calls and my power hours, I’m reminded about FORD on my calendar so every time I’m making my calls, I’m using FORD as the conversation.
Besides using the All About Me form, which I love, what are 1 or 2 other things that you either did in 2021 or 2022 that are going to keep your number one satisfaction with your clients in this changing market?
It’s gifting. Everybody loves receiving gifts if they’re good. I don’t like getting gifts I’m not going to use. I’ll discard them but when somebody’s thoughtful or it’s universal that almost everybody’s going to like, I love the gift. After the initial call, we send out a welcome package and that welcome package includes meeting the team, a little bit more about Roger and Fairway and stuff they do as adults with the home buying process but it also includes a small gift. I was gifted a gratitude journal. You can get them on Amazon for $5 or something because I use one.
Regularly, I keep a gratitude journal where I write in it the mornings. I identify what I’m grateful for and what’s coming ahead that I’m going to be grateful for. There’s even an evening wrap-up, which I can’t say I do as often but that has had a big impact on my life. I send it out to every single client and inside cover. I talk a brief little passage about how it’s impacted my life and how I hope it’ll impact theirs. A daily dose of gratitude goes a long way from your perspective. It’s my first gift in the process.
At the preapproval stage, once I meet with them on Zoom, I send another gift, which is a succulent, a candle and then a little matchbox. It says, “Life would suck without a mortgage team like us.” That’s the second gift. Once they go under contract and have their initial loan approval, I send them a box of yummy Cravory cookies. There’s a message in there that says, “Congratulations on your approval. You are one step closer to baking cookies in your new home.”
I gift them again foreclosing gift. It’s a personalized closing gift based on that All About You form. If you look at the budget on it, it’s minimal. I’m spending less than $100 on a client through the entire gifting process or right around $120 maybe but still, they’re getting hit with gifts that they’re enjoying. I get compliments all the time and feedback. “They’re thoughtful and cute.” If you’re not gifting your clients at every opportunity that makes sense to gift them, then do it.
You send out the All About Me form and then a gift and an application. It’s succulent.
After the first call, everybody gets a gift. Also, after the pre-approval meeting. Once they’ve completed all their tasks and they’re preapproved, then they get a gift for the pre-approval meeting.
One of the biggest issues that I have is, “If it’s too complicated to do, I’m probably not going to do it.” How complicated is it to put these gifts together and send them out? Do you use a service? What are the logistics there?
I have a marketing/event/gift coordinator. She wears a few hats but she prints packets and gratitude journals on hand. All she’s doing is sticking them in an envelope and mailing them out every couple of days. It’s pretty efficient. I don’t think it makes her a ton of time. It’s the same thing with the preapproval gift. The cookies come directly from the company and she also sends out the closing. It’s delegating.
Most people that excel and you’ve always excelled in the mortgage business, somewhere in their life, they had a moment either in the business or early growing up where something shifted. They went through a difficult time and then they’re a changed person. I’m curious if you’ve had one of those in your life.
I can identify multiple ones right off the top of my head. The most recent was the birth of my son. That’ll get you motivated. Not that I wasn’t before but being a father to a young son. I also raised another son. He was my why for many years. He’s taking care of himself well but he was my why and what moved me. As far as an event is concerned, it’s the 2008 crash. Most people around me were exiting the business and I saw an 80% drop in my income overnight. I lost $30,000 to $40,000 in my pipeline and from $350,000 to $60,000 within the next year. It was a significant drop-off.
In the same year, I also was going through a divorce and was audited by the IRS. I had three of these major life events come at me and they knocked me down. Sometimes, those types of life events either will knock you down and you’re going to stay down or they’re going to motivate you to excel and build something even greater, whether it be in your relationships, business or family.
It initially knocked me down and I was down for a little bit but ultimately, I rebounded. It was a different perspective altogether. That was probably a turning point in my career, while I was successful before the crash, everybody was and it was pretty easy pickings back then making money before the crash. Pulling myself out of it and rising to the top served as a lot of motivation.
We could be at the precipice of something very similar to 2008. It’s not going to have the magnitude that 2008 has but it’s a slowdown. It’s good for people to hear that despite a divorce, a substantial drop in income and being audited by the IRS that having the right mindset and shifting the story about yourself and what’s possible will allow you to get through those times. As we start to wrap up, do you have a favorite book or a quote that you go to from time to time that keeps that perspective and balance for you?
I have lots of favorite quotes and books but the most pertinent book is a book that I’m just reading. It’s assigned by my coach. If you’re not in some coaching program, I highly recommend it. That’s elevated my game to a level I never would be at otherwise. No matter the coaching program, get a coach but the book I’m assigned to read is Never Lose A Customer Again by Joey Coleman. He is teaching how to turn any sale into lifelong loyalty over 100 days.
The point being is with the number of leads down, because the number of buyers is down, converting those buyers is so important. My conversion ratio needs to be much higher than it has been over the last couple of years. Even though that was good, it needs to be better and I need more leads too but I need to convert to ones I have better. There is a focus on the client experience from start to finish. There is no finish because you want to continue to develop that relationship from the start and Never Losing A Customer Again sounds like a great topic. That’s what I recommend at this point to take a look at.
If our readers want to get ahold of you if they have questions about anything we’ve talked about, what’s the best way for them to do that?
I want to acknowledge you, Roger. Doing what you’ve done in the business is remarkable. Being number 20 at Fairway and number 1 out of 3,800 loan officers, it’s saying that you’re doing something right. I appreciate you being on the show and your friendship, Roger.
Thank you so much. I appreciate our friendship and the opportunity to come on the chat with you in this episode.
Thanks for reading. What a fantastic episode. I hope you enjoy it.
About Roger Kube
Kube is an accomplished 20-year Mortgage Advisor with a successful track record of providing exceptional service to his clients and business associates. His highest priorities are his clients’ best interests and ensuring that he exceeds their expectations. He’s committed to helping his clients understand what’s happening every step of the way. He provides a stress free, seamless mortgage process with a plethora of knowledge and experience, offering a wide variety of mortgage program options to fit his clients’ needs, and offers very competitive interest rates. He really enjoys building strong relationships with his clients.