Top mortgage loan officers thrive by combining industry knowledge, strong customer relationships, technological efficiency, and ethical practices. They adapt to market changes, prioritize education, and continuously improve their skills to succeed in today’s competitive mortgage market. One of the top MLOs in the mortgage space is Garrett Locklear, founder of Candid, Inc. with $1Bn lifetime funding, he sat down with David Lykken and discussed what MLOs are doing to succeed in this tough market.
What are top MLOs doing to succeed in today’s market with Garrett Locklear of Candid, Inc.
Garrett Locklear, Founder of the Locklear Lending Team, and Founder of Candid, is a highly confident technological systems and processes specialist intent on an endless pursuit of perfecting the home buying experience. He focuses on providing trusted and experienced home-financing guidance to home buyers and homeowners. Subtle, super-dry humor is a fantastic pairing with his serious side, and he is passionate about serving others as they make the most important purchase of their lives.
Garrett was introduced to the mortgage industry by accident. He started as a Marketing Specialist by cold calling internet leads for other Loan officers. To a self-professed systems and processes nerd, the void of modern-day technological solutions correctly applied to enhance the mortgage origination process revealed an opportunity where the sky was the limit.
The Locklear Lending Team was formed in August of 2014 with a “relentless and tireless focus on providing an incredible and scalable home financing experience. Relationships are at the center of his business and philosophy. Sixty percent of their business comes from referral partners, most of whom are Realtors, and 40% are from past clients. Garrett had always been fascinated by the interplay between technology and interpersonal relationships, and the desire was to use technology to enhance, not replace relationships. Buying a home is a relational and emotional process, and he wanted technology to assist. They’ve been able to bridge the two better than most, and the proof is in the results.
The first two years of Garrett’s Loan Officer career were spent with a Google spreadsheet. As volume grew, it became apparent that a more robust platform was needed to better serve his clients. Garrett reviewed and demoed nearly three dozen systems and platforms inside and outside the mortgage space, from the big players all the way down to the ones that were mortgage specific. After nearly six months of research, the result was disappointment and exhaustion with what existed. Garrett concluded his choice was either to lower his bar and provide an average technology experience to his clients and referral partner or build his own.
The deficiencies of the existing platforms can be broken down into two categories. One category is a CRM for the mortgage space created with the executive suite in mind. While that may be helpful to sell, executives don’t originate mortgages. There was a massive disconnect between what a loan officer needed versus selling a platform to executives. The second category was systems built for loan officers, not by loan officers. Unless you are walking in the shoes of a loan officer daily, it’s basically impossible to create a platform that will help their world.
Over five years, with a meticulous and grueling, day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month agile development process, Garrett identified the friction points for himself as a Loan Officer, his referral partners, and clients and built technology solutions to address each. As a result, and over the course of eight years, Garrett’s volume grew from an industry average of $7 million a year to $250 million a year. With every $25 million, there were new hurdles to face, and Candid was built with that journey as the backbone. With each problem that arose, he found a way to overcome it and scale it. While he made it for himself and his team, he does sell it to the market. Other vendors do the same thing, but no other platform is as expansive or dives as deep into these issues and the struggle of a Loan Officer’s path to offer solutions. Today, Candid is home to high-end Loan Originators with $5 Billion of volume annually on the platform.
Garrett’s dream is to provide an incredible home buying experience to his client and referral partners, then to pass the very tools he’s developed and successfully tested on to other Loan Officers so they can do the same. He desires to grow to do more volume without losing the experience for the homebuyer, referral partner, or at the detriment to the Loan Officer’s life away from work.
Garrett is proof all are possible.