I was recently interviewed in Our South Bay by journalist Laura Watts for their February/March 2014 issue, and I couldn’t be prouder. The original interview is right here on their website, but I will reproduce it below so you can easily read it:
Watermark Home Loans is a mortgage banker that funds new home loans in-house similar to a traditional bank but with the flexibility to broker a loan if the situation requires it. The firm offers the most competitive programs and can find solutions for almost every scenario. Regan Hagestad is a licensed real estate broker and Hermosa Beach resident who has worked in the mortage banking industry for 12 years. He has been a partner with Watermark Home Loans since 2006.
What is the biggest challenge facing your clients today? How do you help them with those challenges?
“With lending guidelines loosening up and more products becoming available, we’ve seen a definite shift within our industry. The biggest challenge my clients are running into has nothing to do with qualifying; rather it is finding a home in this competitive market. With low inventory, buyers are at a slight disadvantage since most homes for sale end up with multiple offers. Every realtor will tell you that one of the things they consider when they review an offer is who the lender is and how easy the loan process will be. I’ve built a strong reputation with local realtors, and I make it a habit to speak with the listing agent every time one of my clients submits an offer. When the listing agent knows the lender and understands how easy the loan process will be, it makes them feel more comfortable in accepting that offer. Providing the best financing option is a given, but helping a client get their offer accepted is something I do to give my clients an edge in this competitive market.”
What would you like potential clients to know about you?
“Transparency and solutions are the foundation of my success, and I promise both to each and every client. While other lenders focus on the feel-good services, I focus on the financing. Addressing challenges early while creating an open and honest loan transaction is what I pride myself on. I always make sure that any questions are answered correctly the first time. The answers may not always be what a client wants to hear, but there will always be an answer and never an excuse.”
What does it take to be the best in the business?
“Any lender can quote a rate and take the transaction from A to Z. What truly separates me is all the stuff that goes on in between. Understanding the market as a whole and having knowledge in all areas of finance is what truly separates me from other mortgage professionals.”
What’s most rewarding about your work?
“The most rewarding part about what I do is the feedback and thank-you’s that I receive from my clients—whether it is because I stepped in when another lender wasn’t able to qualify them or because we were able to make a somewhat complex process seem simple. I really enjoy impressing my clients and giving them a trusted advisor within an industry that hasn’t had a great reputation over the past few years.”
How do you give back to your community?
“I’ve always liked working with kids and giving them opportunities they may not otherwise have. I’m an active member in Commissions for Education and West Coast Sports associates. CFE is a local organization of real estate professionals dedicated to donating 1% of all commissions earned to South Bay schools. WSA is a Los Angeles-based charity whose mission is to offer inner city children the opportunity to play sports and engage in activities as an alternative to the negative influences surrounding them. Education and athletics shaped my life, so both of these groups are a natural fit for me.”