It’s true: Some of the most amazing, dedicated people in the mortgage industry work for our hometown lender, Guardian Mortgage. These are the same folks who answer phone calls after hours, always greet you with a smile in the checkout line, and volunteer to make our communities better. In short, these people step up.
That’s what Mark Watson does. Watson, who is this month’s Guardian Angel from Guardian Mortgage, takes the time to make sure his client has an excellent experience no matter the size of the loan, ensuring that they become the industry’s most sought-after client: A happy referral generator.
We were absolutely thrilled to chat up Watson, who is an avid cyclist. Besides being an all-around great guy, he knows the mortgage business backwards and forwards, and has the kind of experience that clients seek. Find out more about Watson after the jump!
CandysDirt.com: How did you get into the mortgage industry?
Mark Watson: I guess you could say it is in my blood. My dad and stepmom were in the business for, gosh, I’d say close to 30 years, if not longer. My dad spent the last 20 years with Guardian Mortgage. I worked in various sales positions out of college but eventually ended up in the mortgage business because of them.
CD: How do you approach each new loan or customer you work with?
Watson: To me, each new loan or customer is an opportunity to build a new lasting business relationship. If nurtured and handled the right way from the start, it could blossom into a lasting referral partner for many, many years. With Guardian Mortgage, as you know, these types of business relationships are the backbone of who Guardian Mortgage is and how we have been able to continue to grow and maintain our success in this business.
CD: Rumor has it that you’re an avid cyclist – how did you get into the sport?
Watson: Yep, the rumor is true, and I have my wife and Plano Bicycle Association (PBA) to thank for it. She is the one who gave me the bike this past Christmas, after hearing me talk about getting one for almost 2 years but never pulling the trigger. After that, the PBA has been my driving force for it really taking off.
After I got the bike I researched various cycling groups for organized rides and came across PBA. They have a bunch of different riding levels from beginner to expert basically. I went on a couple of organized rides and loved the group because they reminded me so much of Guardian Mortgage. They are like a big family, in my opinion.
Everyone involved, from the board president, Andrew Hoodwin, to the board members to the club members, is always stepping up to lead, teach, advise and guide you to help you become a more avid and better cyclist. This is the same approach we take at Guardian Mortgage each and every day with our clients, and not just in originating but on our servicing side too! I enjoyed PBA so much and what it stands for that I decided to not only become a club member but a sponsor as well!
CD: How has your cycling mindset carried over into how you approach other aspects of your life?
Watson: Great question! For me, when cycling, I feel an incredible sense of achievement when finishing a long 40-mile ride, for example. It truly challenges me to stay focused, be patient and to really push myself to do my best and finish each ride. I try to carry that same mindset over to my job when helping clients achieve their goals as well as at home as a husband and a father.
CD: What advice do you give first-time homebuyers? What about those looking to purchase a second or vacation home?
Watson: With first-time homebuyers, it is about asking the right questions, listening to their needs, presenting them with options based on that information and then making the right recommendations for them.
My goal is to be sure and help them to not end up being “married to their home,” meaning all they do is work to pay the mortgage and can’t enjoy their life. First-time homebuyers are one of my biggest rewards in this business. It truly is an opportunity to build a new business relationship, to be an advisor to them and to ultimately help them achieve the dream of homeownership!
Sitting at a closing with first-time homebuyers and seeing the joy on their faces once they have closed on their loan is incredibly rewarding, knowing that Guardian and I helped them achieve this dream.
For those purchasing a second or vacation home, it is all about discussing their financial plans with regard to the property. How long do they plan on keeping it, do they plan to possibly move into it full-time some day, etc.
CD: What drives you to do what you do every day?
Watson: It is working for a great company like Guardian Mortgage. We have an incredible set of colleagues throughout the company from management to my loan originator assistant, to processing, to underwriting, to closing, to post closing, to marketing on into our servicing department.
All of us, working together as one to take care of our clients. I will say that we as Loan Officers are incredibly blessed to have such an amazing servicing team at Guardian Mortgage. The job that they do in taking care of our clients’ loans after they are closed is one of the biggest reasons we get so many referrals!