People say that I have a shoe fetish. I’ve even been accused of that fetish by folks who read my articles regularly. Yes, I’m a girl that has trouble avoiding the shoe and handbag areas of the local department stores.
Today I am also going to discuss shoes yet again. As the proverb goes (and there are many variations):
Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes.
Translation: Do not criticize someone until you have actually been in their position, doing things as they are doing them.
Never has this proverb hit home for me more than in the last four years. Over the last few years, I have negotiated hundreds of short sale transactions. I have also read hundreds of blog posts attacking banks and mortgage lenders for being inept, irresponsible, unprofessional, and disorganized.
I have also personally experienced much of the turmoil discussed in the articles that I read. Just like everyone else working short sales, I have been hung up on, yelled at, bullied, and disconnected. Yet I realized early on in my journey through the wacky world of short sales that it is not about me. It is about understanding the overwhelming nature of the short sale from the point of view of the mortgage lender.
- I sometimes have difficulty hiring one or two employees who are well-qualified to negotiate short sales. The bank must be required to hire hundreds of them.
- I sometimes have difficulty with our office telephone system and its 30 extensions. The bank must have a telephone system 1000 times more sophisticated than my own.
- Our six negotiators in house sometimes have difficulty with our 200+ files. Individual negotiators at some banks have over 400 files.
- If I take a few days off and don’t read the news, I miss out on the latest information in the short sale arena. How can the banks possibly fully educate their staff on all of the latest short sale programs and procedures?
Once you can understand the bank’s position, you can successfully strategize to get the job done for your client. Yes, I have learned to walk a mile in the mortgage lender’s shoes. And, it doesn’t matter to me whether they are made by Manolo Blahnik or Nike.
Photo: flickr creative commons by Paul Keller