Learning With A Lender • Joel Schaub • Connecting To Your Passion

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Welcome to the June episode of Learning With A Lender with Joel Schaub!

Aside from his reputation as being one of the top loan officers in the industry, Joel Schaub is as well-known for his passion in providing value to brokers and clients. In this episode Joel talks about the importance of connecting to your passions and interests, and how by starting from a place of giving back, that this will propel your success in your practice.

Joel Schaub can be reached at joel@rate.com or 773.654.2049.

Joel Schaub


D.J. Paris 0:14
Hello and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real. The only podcasts made by Chicago real estate brokers for not only just Chicago real estate brokers but brokers all over. We are been getting tons and tons of email, and also private messages and social media about how much you guys appreciate the show in particular how much you appreciate this episode that we do monthly which is called learning with a lender with Joel Schaub from guaranteed rate. Now, if you’re new to the show, let me tell you a little bit about Joel Joel is the vice president of lending at guaranteed rate, he has been doing loans at a high level since 2003. has gotten to that level because of what he does directly for agents, which is he gives back part of his commission to the buyer on every transaction. In the last three years, Joel has closed 174 million in transactions in funding. In 2018. Alone, he gave back to the to the borrower over 271,000 in closing costs back to buyers who worked with him and that puts Joe’s volume in the top 1/10 of 1% of loan officers nationwide. Out of in fact that a 370,000 loan officers in the country Joel is ranked number 181. Year to date, Joel has closed 102 transactions for 33 million in funding, but he always has time for more loans and your business. And I also heard not to embarrass Joel but this is a very big month for him. It’s actually his biggest month ever. And he’s going this month of May is going to be doing over 10 million in funding. So congratulations, Joel, that’s amazing. Welcome to the show.

Joel Schaub 1:57
DJ, thanks so much for having me. Those are numbers that mean a lot. But really, the whole point here is if we can help if we can find a couple of things that will help the agents grow their business. That’s the reason that we do this.

D.J. Paris 2:11
And I’d like to before we get started, I want to make a real important point about Joel, because the reason we have him on the show, obviously, there’s a tons of loan officers out there who are all vying for business. Joel came to me with a very specific value proposition which he said I would love to be on your podcast every month. And it’s been almost a year since show’s been coming on. And he says all I want to do is give value. I don’t even want to promote myself. And I said no, I’m gonna promote you. But we want to make sure that that he said, I want to provide value. And it’s been really one of our most celebrated series. So we do comes on every month. So what are we going to talk about today?

Joel Schaub 2:52
Well, a couple of things that I really wanted to focus on here was I remember years ago when I wasn’t doing the kind of volume that I was doing. And I would look at other folks that were doing, say 10 transactions a month, and I was doing three, like how could I ever, you know, you’re doing three transactions? How could you ever build that up to five or 10, or this month, I’ll have over 30 closings this month, right? And it’s all about building a brand. Yes, it’s all about giving back. And it’s all about doing the right thing every single day. And so there’s no secret, I didn’t just get to $10 million of fundings in a month. Because I buy a bunch of leads, or I put up a bunch of billboards, it’s a combination of things. And that’s kind of what I wanted to share with the agents. And the focus would be if I can get somebody that’s on the podcast that could do just one or two more deals this year by some of the ideas that you and I will go through. That means a lot.

D.J. Paris 3:49
I think that’s a perfect, perfect topic. Let’s get into it.

Joel Schaub 3:54
So we know with all the technology out there, TJ, we were talking about this before the podcast don’t buyers and sellers seem to know it all these days?

D.J. Paris 4:02
Oh, of course, well, they have access to the entire inventory without ever talking to a realtor.

Joel Schaub 4:08
Right. And so when you get one of these new, let’s say it’s a buyer, they seem to already know what downpayment they need, what the rates are. And they they sometimes no more than their own good, right? Sure. And so when when you’re a real estate agent, and you’re trying to grow your business, one of the things I think you could really do that will set yourself apart is just building this brand. Okay? Because a lot of times Now all we’re doing is we’re opening doors, okay? They the buyers have a lot of the information. Sure. So with the different companies coming on the scene, what can we do so that five and 10 years from now, people still call us. It’s built a brand and try to give back. So one of the things that we want to focus on here is just the social media, right? People see me all the time and I’ve put up billboards, you’ve probably seen a couple of them. I If

D.J. Paris 5:00
they’re all over Wrigleyville there, I love it.

Joel Schaub 5:04
And these are high level form of advertising that literally cost 1000s and 1000s of dollars. Okay? People ask me all the time, how many phone calls do you get from those billboards? Are you getting a lot of calls? Right? And I have to remind people, that’s not the focus of the billboards, I don’t put up billboards to get people to call. I put up the billboards to build a brand, right? Okay. The same way, as a real estate agent, you don’t need to spend $10,000 on a billboard by Wrigley you can build your brand by giving back and doing things that are simple, such as their social media. So I want to focus on something that agents can do that genuine to themselves that will allow them to gain more business. Love it. And so for me, it was something simple, just took two things that I really liked. I liked the Chicago Cubs. And I liked my dog. And it really isn’t anything more special than that. It was literally I wanted to create a brand that focused, nothing to do with real estate, nothing to do with mortgages. And it really worked. Okay, yes. So I encourage the agents on the phone to really dig into what it is a lot of people could do, like mommy daddy groups, sure, maybe they have a child that’s at a specific school, maybe there is a charity that they really connect with. And, and when I mean charity, it’s not just for the sake of saying I’m part of a charity, but really get in and give back. Right. And that’s that focus that I always talk about here of givers gain, if you can find something that you’re actually passionate about, that you can give back, your business is going to grow. And I’m telling all the agents on the phone, if you’re doing three or four transactions a month, and you find something that you’re truly passionate about, and that you can give back people will see that for sure. So that’s one of the focuses that I want to thank and you’ve seen that before, right?

D.J. Paris 6:54
Oh, absolutely. And, you know, we should highlight, you know, you, for example, are very active in realtors, to the rescue real estate to the rescue, which is a group of realtors who are involved in animal rescue, you’re very, very active there. And I know you’re very passionate about it.

Joel Schaub 7:12
I’m on the board of directors for real estate to the rescue. And the idea is truly just to find a way that you can give back. And so when when people see that it’s not just about hitting all these numbers and closing these types of transactions in the volume that people always ask me about, but it’s he’s actually out there truly donating not just as money, but his time, right? It really has helped me grow my business, it really has led to somebody saying, Hey, I’ve seen you there, I’d really like you to handle my next purchase. And so it’s an it’s not self serving, I think it really is to the core of what most of us in real estate want to do is they want to build a brand. That’s long term. And it’s not just based on the next Zillow lead that comes in. Right. It’s, it’s based on true friendships and people that are out there that can give back to

D.J. Paris 8:03
you. Yeah, I couldn’t, I couldn’t agree with you more, you know, in what I think you’ll find I, for example, I’m very active with misery Cordia, which is a home for developmentally disabled men and women, I do it quietly. And also, I’m not a producing broker. So it’s not, you know, my business wouldn’t be affected. But getting involved in that has just enriched my life in a lot of different ways. However, if I wasn’t producing broker, boy, the opportunities would would be pretty significant. Because just as a result of the types of people who give to an organization like misery, Cordia are certainly potentially great buyers and sellers. And so yeah, I would say if you’re a broker out there, if you’re not involved in something that you’re passionate about, you’re missing out on the the feeling of fulfillment you’ll get from obviously helping, but also, you’ll be surprised at business that will just come to as a result,

Joel Schaub 8:55
I’ll give the listeners on the podcast here a real simple way, you don’t have to get in and start donating 1000s of dollars or hundreds of hours of time coming up on June 21 is the real estate to the rescue sixth annual cubs outing. And so for a $75 donation, it gets you tickets to the game, a three hour pre party, that’s all real estate. So it’s great networking, as well. And that will be on Friday starting at 9am. So we’ll make sure that a post goes out afterwards so that everyone can see that. Yes. And that’s a simple way to really be involved, get give back and be part of something that’s actually a fun, it’s actually a really great

D.J. Paris 9:39
event. And if you look in the notes, if you’re listening to this on a podcast app, if you look in the notes, we’ll have a link to that particular event or if you’re not even going to that event but you want to get involved we’ll have a link there as well where you can learn about real estate to the rescue.

Joel Schaub 9:55
Great. Okay. One of the other things DJ that I want to make sure that we cover here as far as building the brand. So the second thing that we talk about here is social media. And one of the things that everything is moving towards is video. And we’ve been saying it for a while now, but it’s still not too late. It is simple as a real estate agent to create short, meaningful videos that you can share to your followers. Yes, your friends. Yes. Okay. It humanizes you. It shows them that you are in the business. And it doesn’t have to be polished, it just has to be consistent. So cutting a video once a week, or even once a month, is better than doing zero videos at all. Yes, so I have a couple of ideas that we can talk about, let’s do it. Market Updates, talk about where you specifically as a realtor, do most of your business, and do a quick 30 to 62nd update on what’s going on in the market and share it with all of your people.

D.J. Paris 10:53
Yeah, and I want to tag on to that, all you have to do is turn your phone around, you do not have to have professional equipment, it’s so true. Nobody cares if it’s well lit. You know, just use your phone, it’s good enough. And it’s the quality of the it’s the quality of the content, not the quality of the broadcast.

Joel Schaub 11:11
It truly is because a lot of people always do this, they say okay, I’ll get to that someday, right. And then they don’t. So I encourage you this week after you listen to this, create a short video. And the simplest one is talking about something that you know, something that you really, truly are an expert at. And that’s typically an area where you do a lot of business. So you could do the Roscoe village update, yes, South Loop up this, okay, wherever you are at and just tell people what is physically going on right now in real estate, and then repeat it, it doesn’t have to be perfect. What it has to be is just something something is way better than nothing when it comes to this. And I’ve seen agents that struggled to even put one out. And then once they talked to me and they actually started putting out videos like I do, they started getting more listings. And that’s the that’s what we’re talking about here, getting more buyers and getting more listings so that these podcasts are truly beneficial. That’s why we’re doing this.

D.J. Paris 12:08
Yeah, I’ll give you a perfect example from this past weekend. So I was didn’t have my weekend totally planned out. And it was now like Thursday of last week. And I went oh my gosh, that’s the It’s Memorial Day weekend. So I and I get an email from Chicago magazine. They say top 10 things to do this weekend, which is a great little short little email. And they said, Oh, by the way, it’s bike the drive where they’re going to shut down Lakeshore drive on Sunday, and people can bicycle and I went, Oh, I’ll do that. And I’ve done it before. But I completely forgotten that that was going on. So I immediately went and did that. And I thought, you know, Boy, wouldn’t it be cool on social media. And this isn’t necessarily real estate related. But as Joel said, you know, you can talk about whatever you’re passionate about. And if you’re saying, hey, Chicago, city dwellers, here’s five cool things going on this weekend. Maybe the real estate related. Maybe they’re just that, yeah, I mean, even if it’s just here are three festivals, we’re in festival season. So here’s three neighborhood festivals you should check out. I like for example, the Sheffield Music Festival was also this week. And I the only reason I even know that happened is because a girl that I am seeing was like, Oh, I’m going to that this weekend. And I went I went I completely forgot. So my point is, is even if it’s not necessarily real estate related, although ideally, maybe it would be you can at least do that and think about this Instagram allows you 62nd videos. So do it on Instagram, say here, the cool here are the three cool things going on this weekend. If you have nothing else to talk about. That’s not a terrible idea. And do that every week, people will be hooked on your content very quickly.

Joel Schaub 13:36
And I just want to make sure that people know that it’s an action step today something that we can actually do and move forward with instead of thinking about this and doing it next week. As soon as you do this. Try it Yes, put it out there. There’s nothing bad about having something that’s new and from you. It doesn’t have to be perfect. So let’s make sure that we you and I will follow up. Let’s see who is actually going to post some of these. And I’ll make sure that I comment. Yeah, in

D.J. Paris 14:00
fact, I’ll even make a deal with the listeners. If you do one of these videos. And you do it two times in a row, email us and I will promote it to our 1000s of listeners via our Facebook page as a thank you. And by the way, we’re approaching our 100th episode. And this is in no way a pat on my back. Because really, it’s not. But my point is, is when I first started thinking about doing this podcast, I thought about it for two years, because I knew that the moment I start doing it, I have to be consistent. And I’m not going to see really probably any real listener growth at least for a year. And thankfully, it happened sooner than that. But now, you know, it’s consistency. People write us all the time. And it doesn’t make me special. It’s just something that somebody should have done and I decided to do it. But the point is, is I just decided to do it one day, and here we are. And now we have 1000s of listeners because we’re providing I think pretty good content from what everyone tells me. So you really well and this is why this is why we’re so honored that Joel You know speaking to the audience real quickly is is too busy to do this. And yet he still does it. He’s as passionate about giving back. So if you can figure out a way, whether it’s real estate related or maybe in another way, maybe you’re new and you’re like, I don’t really know enough about real estate yet to do those, okay, figure out something else you’re passionate about, provide that content to your to your contact list.

Joel Schaub 15:18
And as an agent, that’s the number one thing too that you need to do is once you learn how to close deals partner with a mortgage professional, even if it’s not myself, go find somebody that you can get along with somebody that will take your calls on nights and weekends, because that’s where over 50% of real estate happens, right DJ, it doesn’t happen just from nine to five. And that’s where most of the brick and mortar banks close. So you need somebody like myself, or somebody that’s at another company that literally will take your calls, and get those deals done. And that’s how I’ve been able to build it up where month after month, they close over 20 transactions by giving agents that actual access if you need a pre approval. Yesterday was a holiday and I did three letters, it was a true holiday and people respect that. That’s what they’re looking.

D.J. Paris 16:04
Yeah. And you know, we always say it’s never crowded. What is it outside expression? It’s never crowded along the extra mile. Joel is somebody who’s routinely, the feedback people give me when I send them to Joel is Wow, that guy is always available. Of course he you know, he’s not always always available, but he’s almost always available. And his numbers reflect that. And it isn’t necessarily because he has billboards, it’s because he time after time again, does such a great job for his clients that that people are referring him business just left it right. I mean, we even have an opportunity at our firm, and the first and for to partner with a lender for this particular project in the first person. We’re like, we got to call Joel, because you know whether or not you know, the partnership happens is another thing. But it was like that was our first thought, because Joe has given us a ton of value even for this podcast. So you know, well,

Joel Schaub 16:55
if he asked my wife, she will say it seems like I am always available on vacation, or we’re at a dinner, I will excuse myself just to take that phone call. It means a lot because that’s really, I don’t do all this because I need to I do because I like us. I really am good at what I do I enjoy the mortgage part of it. And, and agents have said, Hey, go call Joel. He’s not. He’s not doing this because he needs a paycheck. Right? You know, he’s done, because he really enjoys what he’s doing. So he’s good at it. Let’s, let’s, I want to end on one guy. Go ahead. Let’s talk a little bit about rates. Let’s just give the since we’ve seen the yield on the 10 year treasuries drop down to 13 month lows, it has had a direct result in just the last couple of weeks on mortgage rates, and they’ve come down. So in the last week or so we’ve seen rates today that would have been lower than anytime in the last 13 months. Wow. So let’s let that sink in. If you have a buyer that’s closed 567 months ago, I’m gonna give the listeners an action step that will help them look really good. Yes. We talked about this before. And this is another one that I think really adds value. We want what the easiest way to get more businesses through our past clients. It’s not putting up billboards, it’s not doing TV commercials like I do, it’s literally doing a really good job. And staying in touch with these people, they already had a good experience when they closed. So call them I heard rates were down, tell them they should reach out to their mortgage professional to do a refinance. And that’s not to say, Hey, call Joel, that’s whoever their mortgage person was, you can tell them they should reach out. They have a good experience, I heard rates were down, now might be a great time. And if I get that phone call from my realtor, and that realtor isn’t trying to sell me anything, they’re just connecting with me. So many times these agents call up and try to ask for business from people and I don’t like I’ve

D.J. Paris 19:01
always, always felt if you have to ask you’re doing something wrong.

Joel Schaub 19:06
And it’s almost true. And so if you can continue to just, you know what people want in the real estate business, they want a friend. That’s right. They really want somebody that they can count on. And so if you could literally just take some time, I know we’re all busy, but maybe even just create, you know, for most agents, they can create a list of all the closings that they had last year. Okay, we’re not too busy to make those phone calls and what a great phone call. I was listening to a podcast. I heard rates were down around 4% on a 30 year. I heard rates were at three and a half on a 15 year huge. Didn’t we close higher than that? now’s a great time to reach out to XYZ and just see if they’ll do a no cost refinance for you. I would love that if my agent called me and said that

D.J. Paris 19:52
it’s funny and it’s not because I’m somewhat involved in this in this industry I have before I was involved in real estate at all. I was just a marketing guide and totally different industry. I owned a place for 11 years. Not Not once. Did anybody ever call me and I and I love my real I love my realtor. But not once did the lender didn’t call nobody. The only time I ever knew to refinances because I saw an article online. And and I called my loan officer and said, hey, it was It wasn’t guaranteed, right? But I said, if someone else and I said, Hey, should I refinance, and they went, Yeah, you probably should. Again, the point is, is it is never crowded, no one else is making this call. Very, very few brokers. And if you will look like a hero, you can call not only your past clients, anybody you know, that owns a home and say, Hey, I don’t even know if this applies here or not. But I was just thinking about you. And I don’t know if you know rates are at a 13 month low. And you might want to reach out to your lender. By the way, if you don’t like your lender, if you’re looking for someone else, I’ve got a great referral for you. But you know, just wanted to pass that along. You’ll be a hero

Joel Schaub 20:58
30 year, you’re exactly right, the 30 year fixed rate, which is what most people target when they say our rates is at or below 4%. And that’s the first time we’ve seen that in 13 months. And a little little tip for maybe it’s maybe you’re an agent on the call, and you own a house. I’ll give you the like the mortgage inside tip of what most mortgage guys, if I’m refinancing my own house, what do I do? Okay. So instead of just going down and taking the lowest rate that’s in the market, for example, if the best rate in the market today is 4%, you want to select a rate where there’s no closing costs whatsoever, even if that rate is 4.1 to five, right? Okay. So for example, six months ago, we closed the bet at the time, the best rate in the market was 4.75. And that’s what I locked in at. And that’s what I’m paying, the banks would love you to call up, take the lowest rate which is 4% and pay 2000 or $2,200. In fees. When I recommend doing as you call your mortgage professional say what is the rate if I wanted to pay no closing costs at all. mortgage professional definitely walk you through that. And as long as it’s at a lower rate than what you currently have, that might be the better option for you than paying fees. So if I could save $180 for free, or I could save $195, but I had to pay over $2,000, which 1am I gonna take I’ll take one and a lot of people don’t know how to do that. And so when we’re talking about a refinance, you can always ask the bank, what would be the rate if it was a no cost refinance, where the Lender Paid all of the costs, right, and then look at those two options, that’ll be a big win for certain people on this.

D.J. Paris 22:45
So let’s just recap we have two action steps for everyone listening who’s looking to increase their business through branding and providing value one is come up with some sort of regular communication video I think is a great media medium for this because it can be short, quick, it doesn’t have to be super professional, come up with some item of value that you can on a regular basis, start to condition your your your clients and your contact list on social media to start, you know, appreciating this this content. And then the second thing is right now call everyone you know who owns a home and says hey, I was just noticed that rates are at a 13 year or 13 month low and contact your your mortgage professional to see if a refi makes sense. You love to those, I love those two things, I promise you, you’ll get at least one or two deals out of it at least

Joel Schaub 23:39
you truly Well, there’s enough time in the day to be able to do so. And so sometimes it just takes somebody telling you something that you could actually do. So take those two steps. And I guarantee when we talk next time for the next monthly podcast, you’ll get another buyer or two out of if

D.J. Paris 23:54
you’re in doubt if there’s anyone speaking of guaranteed if there’s any, if there’s anyone who doesn’t have a great relationship with with a loan officer, and they’re looking to you know, speak with you, Joe, what’s the best way they should reach out to you?

Joel Schaub 24:09
So one of the things that we do for anybody that’s listening is I do partner with real estate agents. And when I get referred as the preferred lender, I do give $1,500 In my commission back on every single transaction. And so that’s how in the beginning when you said I gave $271,000 of my Commission’s Back. This will help agents close more deals. Okay, so my phone number is 773-654-2049 and you can shoot me a quick email, just use my short email Joel JOE l@rate.com r a t e.com. Put in the subject line podcast and then I’ll get you guys on the phone and we’ll go from there.

D.J. Paris 24:51
And Joel also does events you know, regularly and so keep your eye out for those we’ll be promoting those of course on our keeping it real page On Facebook, which is also a good reminder, if you’re not a subscriber to our Facebook page, go to facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod or just search for keeping it real podcast, you’ll find us subscribe, like the page. And you’ll see, for example, when Joel does an event, we’ll be promoting that there, as well as also visiting our website, which is keeping it real pod.com. And you can stream every episode we’ve ever done. Of course, all of our episodes are on iTunes, Google Play any podcast app you might use to search for keeping it real podcast, you’ll find us and, again, if you have any questions for Joel, whether it’s lending related branding, I mean, Joel is, you know, aside from being a superstar loan officer, he as far as a branding expert goes, I’m a marketing person, I have a tremendous amount of respect for what Joel has done. In addition to just providing value and closing a lot of transactions, his branding is pretty impressive. So stay in touch, Joel is going to be providing this content every single month to us if you’re a listener, and you don’t have someone that you’re working with as a loan officer Joe’s your guy. And other than that, Joe, thanks again for being on the show. We will see Joel will be on again in a month for another learning with a lender. Oh, by the way, send us your questions as well. If you have questions that you’d like Joel to address, whether they’re lending related branding related, really anything related to this industry? Let us know and we’ll we’ll bring them up on the next episode. But other than that, Joel, thanks, and congratulations on your biggest month ever.

Joel Schaub 26:32
DJ, we appreciate it. I definitely think we’ve provided a lot of value on today’s show and I look forward to the next Thank you very much

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