Fred Kreger Honored as Mortgage Professional of the Year
Fred Kreger, CMC, Branch Manager at American Family Funding (Santa Clarita, Calif.), a Division of American Pacific Mortgage, recently received the Mortgage Professional of the Year award from the NAMB, the National Association of Mortgage Professionals. He has been involved in the mortgage industry at the local, regional and national level for 12 years.
Broker Banker—For what did you receive this significant honor?
Fred Kreger—The NAMB award is generally given for the loan originator’s commitment to the mortgage industry, leadership, ongoing involvement in our profession and the association, and giving back to the community. I was personally recognized for my contributions to the area of advocacy for borrowers throughout the United States, as well as my involvement on the state and national level of NAMB.
BB—Why is it important for loan originators to be involved with NAMB?
Kreger—First, it means that you’re part of something larger; you have a great support system with others advocating for you and your clients. Membership helps ensure that your concerns and needs are communicated and that your customer stories are being told. I’ve always felt that the industry has given me so much—supporting my business and family—that it’s important I give back.
BB—What other benefits?
Kreger—Being part of NAMB gives you access to a wide variety of ideas. You learn new business strategies, resources, and other helpful information by attending local and national conferences. You can also develop or enhance certain skills, such as speaking in front of groups and networking.
BB—How do you respond to those who say they’re too busy or that NAMB represents brokers only?
Kreger—I still originate $2 million a month and have time to give back to CAMP and NAMB. I make it a priority to be active. It may take thinking outside the box, as you’re doing something new that you’re not used to. You also have to be organized with your time. But we’re not asking for you to spend 20 hours a month. You can start by joining NAMB, and then sit on a committee or get involved with our advocacy program.
Regarding the second point; NAMB benefits all loan originators. I’ve always been a mortgage banker and have obviously benefited greatly from my participation.
BB—How has NAMB become stronger during the last five years?
Kreger—In the last few years, NAMB has focused even more on ensuring mortgage originators have access to credit to help their undeserved consumers. We are the “boots and Heels on the ground,” telling legislators and others what is important in our industry. As a result, NAMB has gotten stronger from both the membership and financial side. More people are attending conferences and other events. Support has definitely grown. Originators have seen that NAMB gives them the needed support, including the tools to better thrive in today’s environment.
BB—What should originators be doing to gain support from legislators?
Kreger—It’s important to understand the local environment, have a one-on-one relationship with legislators. Become a consultant to them, the professional that a legislator will call to get updates regarding the lending industry. You want to establish that level of trust with elected officials. The first step is to call and introduce yourself and have a discussion regarding housing, credit and related issues. We are developing an outline of talking points that will help originators better communicate their mission, to give you an even greater level of credibility.
BB: What do you consider one of the primary challenges for originators today?
Kreger—The main thing is the fear of the unknown; originators are worried about new legislation and other problems, which makes it difficult for some to move forward. It’s important to know that the sky isn’t falling. At the recent NAMB conference there was a definite sense of optimism, a positive attitude about the future. You can still originate and thrive in today’s environment.