Business

One-stop mortgage shopping

Ten years ago, the concept was given more of a snicker than a thought.

But in today’s real estate market, getting to deal with one person who can serve as a loan officer and sales associate not only makes sense, it’s the best way to do business.

At least that is the thinking of Eric Kvinsland, president of Peninsula Brokers Real Estate, Inc. and Viking Mort-gage Service, Inc., both located just behind the South Park Village Shopping Cen-ter in Port Orchard.

“Ten years ago I was like the antichrist,” said Kvins-land, who has been in business since the late 1980s. “People told me that I couldn’t do both.”

But he has done both, and Kvinsland, a graduate of South Kitsap High School, has seen that side of his business grow in the past year as many of his loan officers from Viking Mortgage have be-come certified sales associates now working out of the Peninsula office.

In the past year, six people in his offices have been certified in real estate, including John Kelly, Bryan Petro, Stephanie Wilson, Anja Anaya and Leslie McAlister.

“These people are sales people and they are knowledgeable,” Kvinsland said. “We have people like Bryan and John that are just good with people. And people seem to like (dealing with just one person).”

Kelly and Petro were loan officers first and now play dual roles for their customers, as do others.

“There’s a big surge of real estate agents right now,” Kelly said. “When I took my classes (to become certified as a sales associate), there was room for 17 to 20. I know in past classes, there was only room for 10 or 11. So it’s growing.”

Kvinsland said it’s better to come from a mortgage background to real estate than the reverse.

“That’s because although most relators think they know everything about the business, most have never done a loan in the lives,” Kvinsland said. “They don’t know what the mortgage business is all about. So it’s been nice for us to do that first and go into real estate second.”

But Kelly and Petro do. Both have extensive backgrounds in mortgage.

“The nice thing about being able to do loans is that when you do have a customer that has their own needs,” Petro said, “you can take care of it yourself. You’re able to provide more service to the customer and that’s why I came to this office over any other office around.

“After selling in Kitsap County for over 30 years, I wanted to be able to take care of my customer in any way I can,” Petro said. “Here, my hands aren’t tied — I can take care of that need for them.”

Kelly added that coming from the money side first enables him to help his customers in a variety of ways.

“We now how far we can take our clients,” Kelly said. “I think that’s the big thing.”

Kelly explained that when he does a loan first, he then knows exactly what kind of house or property his client can afford and shows them what’s in their price range instead of getting a customer to see a property they want to buy only to find out later they can’t afford it.

Both Kelly and Petro said that although the numbers of brokers in the area is growing, there is a demand and business is good.

“In any sales business, 10 percent of the people are making 90 percent of the money,” Petro said. “They could put a million people in the real estate market and you’d still only have 10 percent of them making money.”

Both added that more and more people are looking into Kitsap County for both commercial and home real estate, making the county a good place to be right now as a broker.

“There is a resurgence now because of the stock market,” Kelly said. “Real estate is a sound, safe investment.”

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