You tend to hear from Jim in our LodeStar Reports, but it’s time to hear from the other folks who make up our amazing team! This week, we talked with Jim Mark, our Quality Control Manager, Customer Success./i>
What brought you to the mortgage industry? To LodeStar?
I’ve worked in the real estate industry since 2003, serving in various production and management roles, specifically in title services (search, examination, clearance, and underwriting). I had been working for a real estate law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, but when the pandemic hit last year, I was laid off in early April.
Only a couple of weeks later, I was fortunate to learn of LodeStar. They actually had a really cool write up of the job description on Indeed—it just really appealed to me: “Have title insurance experience but want to do something really different in the industry?” It checked all my boxes. I’d always thought about working with software. To me, it’s been cool to see how software has revolutionized the work we do.
Obviously, things worked out. The position, scope of duties, the LodeStar culture, all could not have been a better fit. Everyone I have worked with have been wonderful: helpful, easy going, capable.
Describe a typical day for you at LodeStar.
The commute is not bad (I usually work remotely). I’m saving a ton eating-in. The coffee’s great and I have almost no pop-ins! My typical day actually varies. But I always start by sitting down and assessing what’s going on. What’s in my ticketing system, email, voice mail? I set my priorities for the day—and, of course, the customer always comes first.
I’m charged with things like making sure we have correct fees from agents. There are so many different factors in a quote—my job is to make sure we’re getting it right.
As a customer success manager, I am an explorer, communicator, and sleuth. I start with the basics and foundation, then figure out the details. I spend a lot of time in our SQL database—I knew almost nothing about SQL coming in. Now that I’ve been trained and gotten a ton of experience, I love it! I’ve learned a lot here, in fact. I came in knowing little about the inner workings of online closing calculators. Now, I manage them with precision.
Through it all, I’m always conversing with clients and teammates via email, phone, and videoconferencing.
How--if at all--has 2021 been different from 2020 (from the perspective of LodeStar and/or the mortgage industry)?
From my point of view, from my perspective at LodeStar, the differences between last year and this year are actually not that stark. From the time I arrived until now, we’ve just kept growing faster and faster--in the number of clients we onboard, the number of agents with whom we touch base, and the number of quotes generated. All of this certainly is not to downplay or make light of the seriousness of the pandemic. But from our little corner of the industry, things are only getting better and better.
Tell us one thing nobody would ever believe about you that's true.
(Laughs) Shoot! Let me think about this…Actually, I present myself as much more serious (especially at work) than I actually am. I’m a bit of a jokester at home or with friends. But when people meet me in person, I’m a lot different.