About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Beyond the Boundary: Working With the Lending Industry Print E-mail
Written by James D. Nadeau, PS, CFM   
Saturday, 11 August 2012

A 857Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

A lender is much like a physician. A physician uses many pieces of evidence, including physical symptoms, verbal accounts from the patient, and sophisticated tests that reveal the inner workings of the body, to diagnose and treat a patient's ailments. Only after evaluating the complete picture can a doctor issue an accurate diagnosis. In a similar manner, a lender attempts to capture the many parameters under consideration of loan value and risk by analyzing the applicant's current debt, payment history of past debt, and ability to pay this debt.

Due to unforeseen circumstances which could affect an applicant's ability to pay the debt created, the lender must also consider the worth of the parcel of land and its improvements as it relates to its own ability to satisfy the mortgage note should the applicant default. To aid in this evaluation of long term value and risk, a mortgage loan inspection (MLI) is utilized.

Every mortgage note created is an investment for several parties. Risk is one of many key components of each transaction, and a mortgage loan inspection aids in defining risk and value by determining if the improvements used as loan collateral comply to municipal building setback compliance at the time of construction and if said improvements horizontally scale in a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). However, this product is not the only avenue by which a land surveyor can aid a lender, investor, underwriter, title company, and title insurer in the loan process.

Providing MLI's is a service that greatly benefits the lender. It also creates a wonderful opportunity for a land surveyor to establish a relationship in order to offer additional guidance, education, or services in areas such as subdivisions, municipal compliance issues, land divisions, land descriptions, as well as flood zone analysis and submissions. Be patient. It takes little time for them to grasp the value of a solid relationship with a Professional Land Surveyor.

The purpose of this article is not to engage in a political or economic debate, but it would be naďve not to mention the elephant in the room. Lenders and lending practices have come under tremendous scrutiny and criticism over the past few years. No matter what side of this debate you fall upon, a better understanding of the process of lending, and the individuals in this process, will be of great benefit to your business model, the lending institutions, and of most importance, the consumer. Become an extension of the lenders' team by providing a trustworthy component of their services.

Seek professionals who value the relationship over the transaction. This concept will always have extreme value. Mark Jones, SVP/Director, Residential & Consumer Lending of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, states that,

"We are a medium sized mutual savings bank and our success is built on relationships--relationships with our clients, with our service providers such as our surveyors, and those in our communities that we serve. What is important to me is having a relationship with our service providers where we are familiar with each other, and that our companies have similar values, similar respect for our mutual clients, as well as for each other, and an open line of communication."

If you are looking to establish a relationship with a lending institution in order to become one of their preferred vendors during the lending process, you may want to start with your current bank. If you are not conducting your business accounting with a bank that has the ability to refer work to you, consider switching. Mark Jones mentioned that as a mutual savings bank they choose to give back to those who support them. When considering any services your company may need, such as banking, information technology, even landscaping, consider using companies that can provide referrals. In this case, the banking/land surveying trade is logical.

Diversify your scope of service by adding additional licenses and certifications that further increase your value. Never stop trying to improve and expand your skill set. It is a wonderful component of self-confidence and greatly aids in creating trusted relationships. We found tremendous benefit in becoming Certified Floodplain Managers, as it related to our ability to extend our services to the lending industry. Mark Jones concurs in saying that,

"An MLI may determine that a property is in a flood zone, which was not identified by a Realtor, and the prospective purchaser may not be willing to incur the cost of the required flood insurance. Thereby, we're giving them the information they need to evaluate the costs as well as the willingness to move forward."

Many real estate deals have been placed in jeopardy when costly flood insurance becomes part of the discussion. Contrary to popular belief, lenders want deals to close. This is their business model. Although the lenders have been mandated with the oversight of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), all submissions which include the necessary elevations in order to dispute a flood determination must be certified by a land surveyor, engineer, or architect. It only makes sense that if a land surveyor has begun the process with the mortgage loan inspection that their management of the appeals process would be the next step. It is a missed opportunity on the part of Professional Land Surveyors to not include this in their scope of services.

Always consider yourself a consultant, and education as a core component of your business plan.

Your ability to gain respect and trust has no better avenue than time spent educating your client and offering your expertise beyond the initial request. I have found that taking the time to explain a finding, address a concern, or elaborate on services is always met with gratitude.

In order to connect with lenders and market our scope of services, including flood insurance appeals, we have found tremendous benefit in offering free educational presentations. Using resources within own office, we created a presentation detailing the elements of mortgage loan inspections - their uses and limitations, the differences between a mortgage loan inspection and a boundary survey, the origins of the NFIP, the shortcomings of the current maps that are used during a mortgage loan inspection to determine flood insurance requirements, the process of resolving flood disputes, and a keen understanding of the parameters of flood insurance. Throughout the presentation we establish ourselves as a resource for the lenders and an advocate for closing the deal.

Reflecting on our core values of client representation at all levels, we initiated the presentations as a way of easing the process of land transfer for all parties involved. We wanted to make our partners better able to serve their clients and make them aware of ways in which they could utilize our scope of services that they may not have known prior. What evolved has been exponential. The class is now offered as a continuing education course for Real Estate agents. The branding of our business as a reliable resource for matters pertaining to land has also evolved. Clients know they can call us with anything from a single question, to a more in-depth evaluation of a land issue that is showing signs of being a problem, or simply needs consultative attention. Moreover, lenders know that including our services in their business model means that no matter what issues arise during a transaction with their clients, they are equipped and ready to be a part of the resolution. I am not aware of a better model of professionalism than to educate, assist, and represent your lender so they are better equipped to confidently and accurately provide services to their clients.

Mark Jones sums up service providers in this way,

"I guess to put it simpler, I went into a local drug store the other day and across the door was a sign that stated `Expect something extra.' No big superlative, nothing grandiose, just simply expect something extra--that's what I value most about a relationship with a service provider--just something extra. By definition the majority of providers are average--what can a provider do to provide something extra and separate them from the average?"

I agree with Mark, and I would strongly advise you to provide your clients these extra services, while being compensated accordingly, to promote the growth of your company and extend the benefits to your employees, clients, and yourself.

Being a consultant, an educator, and yes, a land surveyor, may seem like a tall order. But to expand your business, you must additionally be a savvy business owner. From offering additional services to executing your current scope with excellence, constantly evaluate what you are providing to your clients and its monetary value. Remember that your ability to provide employees with consistent work and competitive salaries must be a part of your business plan. Having the financial stability to afford new equipment and appropriate technology is also essential. Asserting your value to the lending industry will go a long way toward accomplishing these goals.

Jim Nadeau has been a licensed surveyor for more than 20 years, owns his own business, and provides services in southern and central Maine. He is also a realtor and a certified floodplain manager, and frequently makes presentations before insurance agents, mortgage brokers, lenders and realtors.

A 857Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev   Next >

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Marc Cheves, PS 
Editorial: A Great Year to be a Surveyor
Some magazines have what are called "theme" issues. That is, most of the content is focused on one particular subject. In my 22+ years of survey magazine publishing, my philosophy has always been to have a little bit of everything in each issue, thereby eliminating the possibility that ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Case Examinations: Halverson v. Deerwood Village
Whew! We really beat the snot out of Bryant v. Blevins and practical locations. Well this month we're back on new case that hit the Minnesota Supreme Court's docket in 1982. We've got the familiar gymnastics of jurisprudence featuring an extraordinary array of flying rope stretchers ...
Read the Article
Michel Philips 
Extreme Environment Surveying
A Franco-Chilean team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 rugged handheld for marine cave surveying, gathering data to classify the inaccessible northern half of Madre de Dios for UNESCO World Heritage. The team of cave divers used the Nautiz X8 ....
Read the Article
Erik Dahlberg 
The Original Green Engineers
Sometimes, it's best just to leave things as you found them. That's the lesson shared by Dr. Richard Miksad and his students at the University of Virginia. As a result of studies covering nearly a decade, Miksad's teams have developed detailed ....
Read the Article
Dave Lindell, PS 
Test Yourself 49: No Dimensions
In square A-C-D-B with side S, C-E is tangent to the semicircle Q1 with diameter B-D. Q2 is the inscribed circle of A-C-E. The tangent to Q1 and Q2 meets the sides of the square at F and H and intersects C-E at t G. Q3 is the inscribed circle of C-G-H. What is the ratio of the radii of circles ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
Discovery on Grizzly Peak
When First Lieutenant Montgomery M. Macomb arrived in Carson City, Nevada, from Washington D.C., on July 28, 1878, his assigned survey crew from the 4th Artillery was waiting and ready for the new field season. At age 25, Macomb was the leader ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Fighting City Hall Over Land
Once upon a time (1989 to be exact) in a place not so far away from where I live, a man (Francis Galdo) bought a home across the street from a vacant parcel owned by the City of Philadelphia. That parcel, along with others, had been acquired by condemnation back in 1974 subsequent to a 1956 ....
Read the Article
Patrick C. Garner, PS 
Book Review: Boundary Retracement: Processes and Procedures
When I was in my mid-twenties and learning the honorable profession of land surveying, I was lucky to be guided by a mentor who would grab a book off his office shelf and say, "Every surveyor should have a copy of this!" The first example he waved at me was Davis, Foote and Kelly's Surveying ....
Read the Article

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

Javad Intros
Total Solution

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
7820B Wormans Mill Road, #236
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax