Business increases typically come at a predictable rate, and when you look at INB loan numbers over the years, you can see a steady growth.
But when our loan operations staff saw a 498% increase in loans in April 2020 over the preceding three-year average, we had to think and work creatively to make sure nothing fell through the tracks.
“Right now we’re in an incredibly unique situation in the housing market,” says Corey Kates, AVP, Mortgage Lending. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been sitting at extremely low interest rates, which translates to more buying power. So 2020 was an ideal year for many people to buy a home.”
That jump in home purchases brought our mortgage team at INB together like never before, with increased collaboration, efficiency and communication – all to make sure our clients could get the keys to their new home when they expected.
Dedication Behind the Scenes
Buying a home is an enormous purchase, so it takes a dedicated team at INB to carry that out – and most of that process is behind the scenes.
“We try to be very transparent and manage expectations,” says Todd Fliss, head of INB Mortgage. “INB is consistent and nimble. Being a community bank, we can respond and react quickly.
“Our culture is collaborative, and our departments work well together to help our customers. We host a weekly sales call to communicate with our team: what they need to know and what our goals are.”
Get a closer look at our mortgage operations team.
We Move Fast So You Can Move Fast
At INB, we know people are counting on us with our decisions and processes. We’re always researching and trying new ways to approve financials and close loans more quickly. Why? So you can get into your new home as fast as possible.
“It’s important for us to be as tech-driven as possible. People aren’t just sitting at a desk anymore. We want to be available at people’s fingertips and accessible to everyone at all times,” says Samantha Patrick, mortgage processing manager. “At INB, we’ve made buying a home simple enough to do on your phone, because we have a strong department on the back-end.”
But that doesn’t mean that your loan is serviced completely online.
“My clients can upload documents securely, and they get updated throughout the transaction. They love that because no one wants to wait and it makes the process smoother. But our differentiator is that you have me; you’re not calling a 1-800 number,” says Natalie Dodson, AVP, Mortgage Lending. “You get my email and cell, and you can drop off documents right to me. I will attend your closing and answer any questions you have. You’re buying a home, and you should be excited about who you’re working with.”
Not every loan situation is simple, though. That’s why INB is at the forefront of staying educated about programs and assistance that might help customers reach their dream of homeownership.
“Situations run the gamut, and we can help many people who think they might not qualify otherwise,” notes Gregg Formigoni, vice president, mortgage operations.
“We have programs that help people with little or no down payment. We have government programs to help alongside our own programs; we can help with homebuyer grants, veterans’ programs, limited credit programs, and assistance with investment properties.”
More Growth = New Communities
At INB, we’ve maintained intentional growth over the last two decades, which brings exciting opportunities to reach more communities.
“We want to look at new markets for INB mortgage; that’s a major focus for us in 2021,” Todd says.
In 2021, interest rates are expected to remain low, bringing more people into new homes. If you’re considering buying a home this year, our INB Mortgage team is ready to sit down with you and talk through all of your options.
“Sometimes people will hold off on buying a home, simply because they don’t know what the down payment will look like or what the process is like to buy,” Natalie says. “I encourage anyone to come talk with me and get all those answers, so they feel more assured about home ownership. My only goal at the closing table is that you’re excited!”