Four years into Philip Schertz’ career in the mortgage business (his third career), he took over the operations of Burt P. Augustensen Mortgages, having previously been partners with Burt. And it was Burt Augustensen, a founding member of BNI Primary Connections, who brought Philip into the BNI fold.
Philip Schertz began his career as a corporate lawyer prior to his shift to sales and finance, where Schertz went on to enjoy a 20-year career in the mutual fund industry. “This is my third career,” he says of his transition from sales to mortgages. “In the old days, people had the same job all their life. Now people do all sorts of different things.”
Schertz was originally a wholesale rep for a mortgage company, He called on mortgage brokers to solicit loan submissions. Here is where he met Burt Augustensen, whose stern, but a generous approach to business would make a significant impression on Schertz. “People would call and they’d say ‘You’re in the mortgage business, can you help me get a mortgage for my cousin?’ I’d always tell them I wasn’t really in the retail mortgage business, but I know a lot of brokers, and I’d always send them to Burt. He had the client’s best interest ahead of his, always.
Coincidentally, when his employer exited the brokered loan business, Augustensen just happens to request a meeting with Schertz, Augustensen explained his retirement was scheduled a year from then and the purpose of the meeting was to offer Schertz the business. “Come work with me for a year, then give me a couple of months to help you get off on your own,” said Augustensen. Schertz weighed his options and chose the mortgage broker and mentorship.
Augustensen, a founder of his chapter, was a firm believer in the BNI mission, “In the old mortgage days, people would come in to get their mortgages, they’d come in with the documents and everything, Burt used to recommend people, if the client mentioned they needed something certain like a home inspector, Burt would refer someone,” Schertz recollects admiringly of his mentor. “Burt had this commanding presence, he’d recommend someone, and expand on it–do you have a painter and a mover?” Augustensen taught Schertz to listen to certain things, and that if you give referrals, they’ll come back to you. That stamp of integrity left its mark on Schertz and how he conducts himself within his chapter.
Schertz was a committed member of the BNI roster by 2007, While the personal touch will always be a staple in the networking space, the mortgage business hasn’t retained that. The vital factor of personal interaction is nearly nonexistent the industry. “The business has changed, nobody comes in anymore. It used to be about face to face and meetings. I’d say 10 people walk in the door a year. Almost everybody knows how to scan and email now.”
If your greatest selling point is a fast but impersonal connection, Schertz has little interest in your sales pitch. This is made clear by how highly he speaks of Jim Handy, who Schertz himself brought into the BNI fold. “He’s probably done twenty home repairs for me over the years. He has keys to both my houses, I trust him implicitly.”
Schertz appreciates the fidelity and wordless honor code of BNI. No member wants to ruin their reputation by referring any less than the best. The reliability and loyalty of this seasoned BNI chapter have created since its establishment supplies peace of mind for its members.
If the reputation of a specific industry isn’t precisely sparkling, somebody in your chapter will be or know someone who will be, the person right for the job.
Schertz also adopted Augustensen’s habit of steering newcomers toward triumph. He makes it a point to approach the new members during meetings. ”Be patient because you do get business.
“BNI members are all loyal to each other,” Not a shred of doubt laces Schertz’ proclamation. “One part of it is to look for opportunities for yourself, the other is to listen for an opportunity to get someone else a referral.”
BNI chapters are branches of goodwill and good business which are built over time, so it is fitting that it had a starring role in the story of Burt P. Augustensen Mortgages.
Burt Augustensen prepared a man to carry on his unique style of business, That man runs that business using the practices of generosity, and wisdom gained.
Indeed, any of us would welcome, as well as count ourselves fortunate, if mentors like Burt Augustensen or Phillip Schertz came into our lives. Luckily for us, those men strove to achieve BNI legacies that will continue to influence this chapter throughout time.