Leaders: Putting People First Pays Off


Three providers of customer relationship management services say that as the housing market changes and technology becomes better, focusing on the people behind the transactions pays off.

Petra Cephas President Bishoi Nageh, Bonzo CEO Chad Jampedro, and Big Purple Dot CEO Roxana Davidoff recently sat down with The Mortgage Note and this is what they had to say on the topic.

Leaders at Petra Cephas in New Jersey recently announced that its sales team has grown by 100 percent over the past 12 months.

They attribute that growth to the boutique mortgage company’s human-based customer relationship management system and their ability to free up loan officers from non-sales related tasks so they can spend all of their time growing realtor referrals and closing loans.

“Business is directly correlated to how many people you know,” Nageh said in an interview. “It’s really just building relationships. In a good market, you build relationships. In a bad market, you build relationships.”

According to a press release, instead of using automated emails, the company has real people communicate with customers about how their loan is progressing.

Company leaders say borrowers prefer these human-crafted messages because they are more genuine and personal.

All parties — loan officers, realtors, borrowers, attorneys, and others — are updated on the status of each loan on Fridays.

Nageh told The Mortgage Note they plan to continue hiring and are still under capacity.

“We are hiring. Part of that is we have always done it the right way. We’ve never really followed the trends of others,” Nageh said.

Jampedro, who was recently named Chief Executive Officer for Bonzo in Ohio, said teaming up with marketing makes the lives of mortgage professionals easier.

Jampedro believes the space of customer relationship management services is changing dramatically due to advances in technology and he is focused on bringing loan officers and marketing employees together to drive business.

“My marketing team sends weekly updates to our loan officers. Like, ‘Where are you? What are you doing? Where are your projects? Here’s your information,'” Jampedro said. “I push the loan officers we have now to meet with the marketing team.”

Loan officers get a monthly list of every deal that closed, and who their referral partner was.

“Everything is centered around the referral partner,” Jampedro said.

The automated Bonzo platform is designed and priced to help salespeople attract and engage customers without the legwork, cost, and time, according to company leaders.

“Say goodbye to spending hours emailing, calling, and texting just to start a conversation. Bonzo automatically follows up for you until they’re ready to talk,” is posted on the company’s website.

In May, Jampedro joined Bonzo Co-Founders Miles Miller and Jason Perkins, who serve as Chief Operating Officer and President, to round out the company’s executive team. He is the former President of GO Mortgage and was a customer and investor before being named CEO.

Davidoff said using automation to create personal relationships is key.

Big Purple Dot in California offers real estate management software for lenders and realtors. They offer lead management services, a call dialer, partner collaboration, CRM, SMS marketing, email marketing, and an open house app, according to their website.

With current changes in the market, Davidoff said personal relationships will be what drives business now and in the future. Reaching out and engaging with clients is key, she said.

“Although through technology, it’s being done a little differently where the face-to-face and in person is probably not as common anymore, but it’s still there. We want to make sure we continue to develop those relationships,” Davidoff said.

How do they do that?

Davidoff said they have released video messaging. The open rate has been about 98 percent on these.

Text messaging and email marketing helps real estate professionals get their face out there.

Davidoff said their platform also helps professionals reach out to past clients.

“If you are in the system, what it allows you to do, it allows you to filter,” Davidoff said. “You can send them a text message, you can send them an email.”

This allows for an automated, but an organic, way of keeping in touch, Davidoff said.

These leaders are prepared for changing times as the whirlwind COVID market becomes a thing of the past.

Mortgage rates hit their highest point in almost 14 years last week, up from 5.66% to 5.89%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.89%.

A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.88%.

Mortgage loan application volume fell the week of August 29, with both refinance and purchase applications going down as interest rates hit their highest point since mid-June, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey showed.

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Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]