Before he became a senior mortgage banker, Michael Bencks sold spinal and orthopedic surgical implants. The work took him inside operating rooms, where he guided surgeons and their staff through complex spinal, cranial and orthopedic procedures. “The timing of my orthopedic company getting bought out made the decision to go back into mortgages easy, especially since math always came very easy to me.”
Many of Bencks’ clients are first-time homebuyers in the Chicago area, referred to him by friends, family and Realtors he works with on a regular basis. His client list also includes luxury homebuyers and investors who build their portfolios by adding a property or two each year.
“I approach every client as if they were my sister or mother or best friend, to ensure they get the best possible result,” he says. “I’ve talked clients out of buying a home even though I would have profited from it because it was the right thing to do. I view my career as long-term, not a quick fix to make a buck, and I think clients can sense that.”
His ability to communicate with clients and everyone involved in the homebuying process has contributed to his success. “We’re talking about borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “I give people the truth so they can make the most informed decisions possible. You can’t return your house if you don’t like it. This isn’t Amazon Prime!”
In the past year, his biggest accomplishment has been building a team of support staff. It’s nearly doubled his productivity in less than 10 months, resulting in more units and higher volume, all while allowing him more family time. “Before having a team, my work-life balance was unsustainable,” he says. “Now I am able to drop off my girls at daycare every day, be home at night for family dinner, attend soccer games, ballet rehearsals, gymnastics and swim practice. Those are my happiest moments in life, being with my family.”
For fun, Bencks snowboards, plays golf and travels around the world. He also volunteers with Wounded Warrior Project, Empowered Poor — a micro-lending program that helps people in India overcome poverty — and serves as a board member for Chicago’s Young Professionals Network.