For Better or Worse; When Better's Not Better

My wife Heejin loves to tell people that she and I would have never been hired by our own company because we don’t come close to meeting the hiring standards.

Those standards include stellar academic skills. This is because as soon as we hire someone, we subject them to our “firehose training program” which consists of 90 days straight of brutal information overload.

Our new hires have to absorb close to 1,000 pages of text – while also studying for and obtaining their NMLS licenses and getting pounded with hundreds of case studies and hypotheticals.

The fact that our team members come out of our training program alive never ceases to amaze me.

I should add that many of our new team members don’t make it out alive (or, at least still working for JVM). Hence, we like to remind everyone that the Mortgage Analysts, Client Advisors and Closing Specialists who do make the grade here at JVM are truly gifted people.


I thought of this when we were chatting with someone who was laid off by Better Mortgage in early December – in what turned out to be the mother of all public relations disasters, as the CEO callously laid off 900 people via a Zoom call.

Better built a huge assembly line to enable them to process an enormous number of basic refinance loans.

But, their training program for their front-end advisors (who speak with clients) lasts less than a month.

This worked to some extent to help them process thousands of clean and simple refis (W2 borrowers; tract homes; good credit; no cash out; etc.). But, slightly complex refis often got hung up, stalled, ignored or killed outright.

And – purchases blew up left and right – no matter how clean the borrowers were – because every purchase has dozens if not hundreds of potential issues that can blow up transactions.

And a one-month training program can never prepare anyone adequately to spot and fend off all of those issues.

I am not just trying to pick on Better too, as all of the large online lenders (and many big banks) face similar issues because none of them have adequate training programs.

The reason is that they don’t have the talent or resources to build an adequate training program (ours took 11 years of toil to build out), and they don’t want to commit to the expense of training someone for 90 days straight.

They also don’t have the hiring standards we do, so even if they did have a training program and the willingness to commit the resources, their efforts would still likely be ineffective.

So – what is my point?

Borrowers and agents should remain particularly leery of any and every online lender – if they want to be sure that their transactions close without issues and on time (or if they just want to be sure their transactions close at all).

The big commercial banks also present similar issues. When Heejin and I buy properties in states where JVM is not licensed, we will sometimes approach big banks for financing but are invariably appalled by the naivete of the people we work with.

Purchase money financing should not be considered “a commodity” and… training matters.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167

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