Here is almost the exact conversation that got me to leave the retail "direct" lending role that I had been doing for a little over 20 years.
Mortgage Broker called Edge Home Finance - Let's compare rates!
Me (slightly nervous): Uh... okay.
Mortgage Broker (shows me his screen so I know he isn't making it up): I'd be at 5.125% on that deal.
Me (starting to squirm): Oh... I'm at 5.375
Broker: And mine has ZERO lender fees.
Me (gulp): I have to sell over $1000 of "processing" and "underwriting" fees. Wow, I can't believe you are beating me by a quarter of a percent. I know we are competitive in the retail lending space.
Broker: That's nothing, let's compare a government loan (FHA or VA)....
Long story short, Edge Home Finance Corporation was beating me on government loans by A HALF OF A PERCENT!!! Meanwhile, I was doing a loan for a friend of mine who served our country and all I could think was, "Wow, your thanks for serving your country is that I have to charge you a half percent higher than I would if I worked for Edge. For what? So I could pay for a fancy office or upper management?" So after he showed me how quickly they were closing loans, I got smart and remembered the old adage, if you can't beat'em, join'em! So I did!