In the Life of Mike Tag

One of the greatest injustices of the mortgage industry is the high commission some loan officers receive for originating a home loan. In many cases, it equates to 1.5% (or more) of the total amount of the mortgage. That’s a $4,500 paycheck for closing a $300,000 loan! And where does the money for those high commissions come from? Through an increase in your interest rate. This is wrong and unjustified, in my opinion.

My personal mission for City Creek Mortgage is to eliminate the over-compensated loan officer by educating consumers about why most companies charge such high interest rates. A loan officer on salary or a lower commission rate can save the consumer money—in most cases, a lot of money.

I’m NOT saying loan officers shouldn’t have the opportunity to make a great income. I believe that the ethical model is to earn a little off a lot of loan closings vs. a lot off a few. A higher-volume team with salary-based loan officers can provide a great living for employees as well as lower interest rates for borrowers.

If you’re shopping for a home mortgage, don’t be afraid to ask your loan officer about their personal commission rate. If they stumble over their answer, be careful. Look for a salaried loan officer and I bet you’ll find a better deal.

I recently lost my last living grandparent. My Grandpa Tom was an outstanding man, who loved and cared deeply for all of us. We will forever miss his repetitive jokes, his warm hugs and his fabulous cooking. Outside of the grief, this feels to be a strangely symbolic event. Since grandpas are generally considered to be the Patriarch of a family, his loss represents a “passing of the torch” if you will. A shift that is slowly working its way down to me. The reality is that I’m getting older and I need to decide what kind of legacy I want to leave behind.

Having lost his wife, my beautiful Italian grandma just two years’ prior, my grandpa’s health sharply deteriorated after her death. I believe that the pain of losing her was more than his body was able to handle.

Love stories like my grandparents are becoming less common and are a legacy worth repeating. For me, they will remain a vision of the commitment, love and compassion that I hope to model with my bride.

Anyone who knows me well understands how much I value transparency. The most fulfilling conversations are ones where each party is transparent and open with the other. A wise friend once told me that Transparency = InToMeSee (Intimacy). When we allow others to see beyond the good and even into the ugly side of us, they develop a greater understanding, trust and emotional connection. Although sometimes difficult, it can be the single most important element of a beautiful relationship.

I believe we live in a society where we are taught to be one person in public and another in private. My coach would say that the best way to live a life of integrity is to be the same person in all situations. Although sometimes I fail, this is something I consider often. I believe that if we all make an effort to focus on transparency, we will find that we develop deeper relationships and will have more fulfilling friendships as a result.

Last November, I realized the power of journaling during a trip to Costa Rica with a business development group that I’m a member of.  During my stay, I was given the time to develop my thoughts and ideas.  As I sat down next to the water to think with my pen and journal in hand, I was able to map out plans, hopes, and dreams that have been on my mind for years.  I felt a burst of life envelop around me.  For the first time in a while, I felt a sense of peace and recognized many new possibilities.

Journaling is now a ritual in my life.  Having a place to land my thoughts helps me to feel more secure in my knowledge and prepares me to face situations that arise.  By tracking my feelings, lessons and ideas, I have found that I am a more well-rounded person with a greater sense of knowledge and perspective.     

If you aren’t currently journaling, I encourage you to try.  It may seem like one more thing to add to a busy life, however, I believe it is something that you greatly benefit from immediately.