Three things you didn’t know about your local banker

Bankers enjoy it when you talk to them. Bankers quite literally have a vested interest in your chosen enterprise. I mostly handle commercial cattle loans and it is an absolute pleasure when a client comes in and gives me an update on for example how they need a new bull or how they plan on marketing their calves. Bankers are in a unique position where they can solve problems. For example: One client wants to sell some bulls, one client is looking to buy, BOOM match made in heaven. This is an important service that is often overlooked in the banking industry. The bank is supposed to be a place where local industry comes together. If a solid relationship is developed, a banker can serve as a great reference or intermediary between two previously unknown parties looking to do business. Not only does this type of interaction strengthen both clients respective enterprise it can also lead to profitable business relationships within the community. You may have heard the phrase “Buy Local.” This philosophy is essential to the success of the small rural community. When at all possible it is most beneficial to all parties involved and the community as a whole when transactions take place locally and capital is not transferred out of the community. A local banker can serve as an excellent broker or source of information and hey they just might throw in some financing to sweeten the deal.

Relationships matter. Often people come in to the bank only when they need large loan and need it now. These same people often get angry about the time consuming nature of the lending process. By developing an ongoing relationship with your banking institution through small transactions and the opening checking, savings, or CD accounts the lending process will be a lot faster. The reason behind this is that if you are a loyal customer it is likely that most of the required (by law) documentation for a large loan is already on file at the bank (think Tax Returns, financial statements, identifying documents, collateral appraisals, etc.). When a strong banking relationship is developed securing a loan is much easier for the borrower. A lot of the time when a loyal client wants to make a purchase that will need to be financed it is just a simple matter of evaluating their current financial standing and having them sign the papers. It is not as simple when the banker has to contact an accountant, send out an appraiser, analyze the financial statements, or prepare the loan package from scratch. All of these acts significantly increase the time it will take for a borrower to be approved for a loan.

The administrative assistant runs the show. When you call the bank to set up an appointment with your banker the first lovely and professional voice you will hear is that of the administrative assistant. In the bank the administrative assistant will likely be the individual that is sitting at their desk, with a stack of papers two feet tall on it, obviously very busy, but still takes the time to greet you warmly and tell you which banker you need to see. This is one of THE most important and hardest working individuals in terms of daily lending operations. The administrative assistant sets the schedule and heads up most of the correspondence between borrower and lender. The administrative assistant at my bank is the master of all phones, printers, emails, and scheduling. The administrative assistant is a powerful and highly respected member of the banking team and rightly so as they take on the lions share of the stress around the office. The administrative assistant’s role is critical to lending operations and in my opinion they have the hardest job in the entire bank. So please when you see our administrative assistant smile and give her a compliment. I can promise she deserves it. She puts up with us bankers all day everyday.

– JohnHollison –



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