Monthly Archives: October 2016

5 Steps to Becoming a Top Producer

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Here are 5 business growth principles that all Mortgage Professionals need to embrace IF the goal is to move beyond closing just a handful of deals each month…

#1Know your numbers. If you don’t track your numbers (i.e. Leads, Closings, Marketing R.O.I, business expenses, relationship-building costs, etc.), you’re likely spending time on low pay-off activities, wasting time with the wrong people, throwing money at fruitless projects and spinning your wheels in a lot of busy-busy work. Knowing your numbers is part of the rule of working smarter, not harder.

2Develop your perfect loan process. Not only will this include the steps that help to see a loan through to closing, but also all of the database management, marketing and customer service “WOW” tasks that will help you to work more efficiently and to create leads and opportunities with each loan that rolls through your pipeline. In addition, this will create a seamless experience for every borrower and Agent throughout the process and after the close, increasing your survey rankings, as well as, separating you from your competition.

3#Plan out your week ahead of time. Taking 20min every Sunday morning or evening to organize files, clean up your email, develop your to-do list, take a peek at your goals and/or business plan and enter time-blocks into your calendar for purposeful, sales/lead-generating type activities will increase your focus and effectiveness 10-fold!


4#Develop an annual business plan. As a Mortgage Professional, you are the captain of your own ship and it either sinks or sails depending on YOU. A business plan is like a treasure map, if you don’t have one, how do you ever expect to arrive at your desired destination and reap all the rewards?


Find a mentor/hire a Coach. Most Mortgage Professionals find that they feel isolated at times, like a man or woman all alone on an island. They lack partnership, collaboration, accountability and access to alternate perspectives. No one person has all of the experience and all of the answers. Partnering with someone you trust and respect, and who has more experience and knowledge regarding the aspects of your business that you find most challenging, will catapult you over your hurdles and past your road blocks, MUCH faster (and with a lot less agony) than going at it alone.5#

Maintaining your Realtor Partnerships in 2017

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This natural partnership between a Realtor and Loan Officer does not always come easy, but to ignore this sector of your business entirely when developing your business plan could make your path toward a steady pipeline that much longer.

Here are some excellent thought-prompter questions that I use with my own coaching clients to aid them in developing their goals and specific action steps regarding their current Realtor book of business.

1. What do ALL of my Realtors receive from me on a regular basis? List what it is and the frequency.

For example: Auto-generated newsletter: Monthly, Invites to Company-sponsored events: Annually, Check-in phone calls: weekly

2. Is there anything else I would like to make sure that ALL my Realtors receive from me in 2017, other than the items listed above and what do I want the frequency to be?

3. What do I want to provide of value to my A and B Realtors in 2017 and at what frequency?

For example: CE courses: Quarterly and/or Realtor appreciation gatherings: 2xs per year, Mortgage educational flyers: Monthly, Content for their Blogs: Weekly, etc.

4. How many face to face appointments do I want to attempt to schedule with my B Realtors each month? What is my agenda for each meeting?

5. How many face to face appointments do I want to attempt to schedule with my A Realtors each month? What is my agenda for each meeting?

6. List out ALL of the Realtor-specific activities that I want to continue to be engaged in or offer to assist with in 2017?

For example: Sponsoring Broker Opens, Co-sitting Open Houses, Sponsoring RE office Training Events, Attending RE Office Sales Meetings, etc.

7. Is there anything that I’d like to do for my Realtors with respect to Social Media like LinkedIn and/or Facebook?

For example: Help to promote listings, Post pictures with borrowers & Realtor from closings, Comment on Realtor pages more, Provide recommendations on their LinkedIn pages, etc.

8. What systems do I use that could be of help to my Realtors?

For example: Co-branded email drip campaign systems, Mutual client birthday notifications, Market update alerts, Open house flyer generation, Mortgage-related smartphone applications, etc.

9. How frequently do I want to review my entire Realtor list to make sure that they are appropriately categorized as an A, B or C Realtor? (Obviously, as time and relationships and circumstances change, so should their category)

10. What else do I want to consider as it relates to the maintenance of my Realtor partnerships as part of my 2017 Business Plan that I feel was not touched-upon in the above questions?

Business Planning Season Part I-Keep it Simple!

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There are plenty of excuses for why things don’t get done in our businesses. The best tool in combating those uninspiring justifications is a personalized business plan that fills us with purpose, gives us direction, and most importantly, motivates us to take action.

Ya Gotta Keep it Simple!

Start your business planning process by considering the following ten foundations, which are critical to the growth of your mortgage business.

  1. Time Management
  2. Sales scripts and presentation
  3. Marketing/Lead Generation
  4. Database Management
  5. Customer “Wow” Service
  6. Tracking/Metrics
  7. Building Referral Partnerships
  8. Standard Operating Procedures
  9. Team Building

10. Specialized Knowledge

Select those foundations that you feel will make the biggest impact on your business next year. Once you have decided on the foundations that you will include in your business plan, then, simply write five goals for each foundation.

But, don’t stop there!

Under each of your 5 Goals for every Foundation you selected, you must then give yourself 5 specific Action Steps to take that will help you achieve each goal.

Here’s an example:

Foundation: Building Referral Partnerships

Goal: Add 20 new Realtors into my database who are actively sending me leads by the end of 2017.

Action Step #1: Select 3 networking events that I can attend every month in which I will be around Realtors and enter into my calendar.

Action Step #2: Ask my current “raving fan” Realtors to provide me with a warm introduction to 1 or 2 of their peers.

Action Step #3: Schedule one weekend per month to pop-in at open houses.


You can have as many goals and action items as you like, but a good number to start with is either 3 or 5. If you’ve got some support from an Assistant, then go with 5. Otherwise, start with 3 so that your Business Plan is manageable.

Remember…Goals without Action Steps, is like a buried treasure without a map-If you don’t know how to get to it, you’ll likely just give up on it.

Be on the look-out next Thursday for Business Planning Season Part II-Why Having a, “Why” Matters!

Four Great Activities to Meet New Realtors

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You’ve likely heard it a million times…”You’ve got to build a relationship!” But, where do you start? How do you even get that first chance to start a relationship with a Realtor you’ve never met or done business with before?

Here are four great ways to get in front of Realtors, that are all easy, budget-friendly and offer the most direct path to success:

Play Leap-Frog-Ask each of your closest Realtor partners to introduce you to two of their peers, perhaps a new Realtor at their office or a Realtor who’s been grumbling about their current Lender or someone who they feel would be an excellent personality match to you.

And, don’t stress yourself out with all of the “what ifs”…What if my Realtors don’t respond? What if the other Realtor doesn’t want to meet with me? What if…?

Just do the first step, which is simply to ask the question.

Beginning the relationship building process is always easiest and fastest when initiated by a trusted peer who is already singing your praises-Social proof has a HUGE impact on gaining more, yes’s to your requests for networking meetings.

Tap into your Refi Database-Here’s an easy one that most folks don’t think about. Send out a mass email to your past refi clients, those for whom you did NOT process their original home loan, and ask them for an introduction to their favorite Realtor. Be transparent in your approach. Most people understand that Realtors are your natural partners, but they certainly do have to be reminded that your continued success depends on all types of referrals, not just to other direct consumers, but to possible Referral Partners, too.

Customers have a lot of power and pull. Think about it, if one of your own past customers emailed you and suggested that you really should reach out and connect with an Insurance Agent they adored, you certainly would not disappoint, would you? Neither will their Realtors!

Tag Along-Commit to tagging along with a Title Rep or other Industry Professional to Broker Opens, “Going on Tour,” and/or popping into Open Houses a few times a month. This approach works especially well for folks who don’t have a database to tap into or who are on the shyer side or simply feel rusty at getting out and in front of Realtors. Leaning on another Professional to break the ice can certainly help you to stretch out of your comfort zones. The trick to this approach is to tag-along regularly and even change-up who you tag-along with in order to mix up the chemistry.

Social Snooping-Research Realtors in your area via LinkedIn or Facebook. Reach out and suggest a networking/coffee date to brainstorm and share business growth strategies. Another great on-line snooping resource is, a Realtor-specific forum.  In fact, in some areas of the country, there are live Active Rain meet-up groups and generally you will be the ONLY Mortgage Professional in attendance! Truth is, very similar to how the general public has embraced online dating methods, Professionals of all types are getting much more comfortable with meeting potential referral partners initially encountered via social media avenues, like LinkedIn and Facebook.

When reaching out to Realtors via these avenues, it’s always a good idea to snoop into their profile to uncover a particular niche, passion or general interest that the two of you share and use that common thread within your message.

Setting Boundaries to Build a Better Business

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Here’s the top three scenarios where drawing your line in the sand is imperative to the growth of your business.

#1-Referral partners who abuse your relationship. You know the ones who throw you under the bus with your mutual clients, call to complain and offer no solutions or support, ask for favors but don’t return them, blow-up your phone, email and text (at the same time) who behave unprofessionally, use profanity and/or raise their voice at you.

The only reason you are putting up with this abusive behavior is due to feeling desperate about your current business situation. However, the fact is that these types of people will never actually help you to grow your business. Instead their abuse will sour your outlook on your business and will also negatively impact your customers.

Letting them go sooner rather than later will help you to make room for better, more mutually-respectful and beneficial relationships. As in any relationship in your life…NEVER settle!

#2-Team members with bad attitudes. This could be an Assistant, a Processor, a fellow Loan Officer or even your, Manager. The last thing anyone needs is to listen to a team member’s complaints, negative rants, passive aggressive quips or personal problems, especially when you are held captive due to the fact that you must rely on them at some point to get your borrowers to the close.

It is never a pleasant feeling to be forced to confront folks, but not doing so will simply lead to more of the same and a seed of resentment will grow inside you and dampen your work experience, as well as your own attitude.

When approaching your, “negative Nelly,” remember these helpful tips:

  • Don’t approach them with the topic while in the heat of the moment. Give it a day or two and then ask to speak to them privately or schedule a time to speak on the phone if the two of you do not share an office.
  • Nobody comes into work thinking, ‘I’m going to do my best to really disappoint my customers and co-workers today.’ So, assume that the root of the problem has nothing to do with you personally and start off by making an observation like, “Hey, Sally, you know I’ve noticed you really seem especially stressed right now and I’m concerned. Is there anything I can do differently that could help you in any way?” This is how you can bring light to the issue without putting someone instantly on the defense.
  • Make sure to be prepared with very specific instances of how and when their attitude has negatively impacted your productivity, work flow, or yours or your customer’s feelings.
  • If all of your best efforts to work out the attitude problem fail, escalate the issue to their direct report and if that person happens to be you, then you need to make the decision if there is any way you can manage them up or if it’s time to manage them out. Whatever you do, don’t delay as the old cliché holds true…One bad apple does spoil the bunch!

#3-Family members, friends or peers who interrupt your work day. Many folks assume that because you are not on a 9am-5pm punch clock that somehow that means you are freer and more available than most.

If you find that your peers are lingering in your office doorway longer than is productive or that your sister or brother call during the middle of the day asking for favors or your teenage children call with a variety of complaints and requests, it’s time to draw that line and set those boundaries.

Giving away 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there adds up quick! Plus, each interruption derails you from maintaining your focus and remaining productive and that just leads to longer work hours. Protect your most productive work hours. Ask your peers to respect your, “Please do not interrupt” signs. Communicate, “Open times” to friends and family and most importantly, stick with it! If YOU don’t, nobody else will.

Enjoy this Sunday like a Saturday

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Have you ever been sipping your Sunday morning cup of coffee and instead of simply enjoying the aroma, the peace and the quiet, you’re already thinking about work on Monday and worrying about files?

The best way to combat your sweet cappuccino turning into a bitter cup of Joe is to immediately grab a pen and a notebook and take the first 15-20 minutes of your Sunday morning and empty all of those work thoughts out of your head and dump them onto the page.

Free-up your mind, knowing that your to-dos have been captured, your files prioritized and your goals jotted down.

This list doesn’t have to be pretty, nor does it have to be a list at all. It could be a stream of consciousness journal entry, a mind map, calendar entries, reminders in your mobile phone.

The medium you select doesn’t matter. However, allowing your mind to release its grip on the work week ahead by engaging in this quick exercise means the world to your loved ones who are eagerly awaiting your full and happy presence on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Is Your Attitude Attracting or Repelling Opportunity?

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On several occasions I have had this dialogue or very similar with new coaching clients:

Client: I’d like to grow my purchase business by developing more worthwhile Realtor relationships.

Coach: Great goal! What are you willing to do to make this happen?

Client: I’m willing to do anything! I’m just not sure what I should do.

Coach : Ok, are you open to some suggestions?

Client: Yes.

Coach: How about looking up listings of top producing Realtors in your area and popping in on their open houses to introduce yourself?

Client:Hmmm, I don’t know. It didn’t work for me in the past and I really don’t want to spend a Sunday going into open houses when the Realtors don’t want me there, anyway.

Coach:Ok. How about scheduling yourself to attend some Realtor Association events or Chamber mixers?

Client: No, because there are always other loan officers around trying to get the attention of the Realtors. Too much competition.

Coach: Well, what if you partnered up with your Title Rep. and put together a presentation on recent changes in the industry and resources that Realtors should be aware of to help them stay abreast of these changes?

Client: I just don’t think that will work. Every loan officer out there is trying to get into Realtor offices and most of them aren’t even interested in what’s going on. All they care about is whether you can give them a referral or not.

Notice any patterns here?

Now if you’re wondering, if I, as a Business Coach, would simply force them to do these things anyway, the answer is HECK NO!

Regardless if something has worked for others, and that could be hundreds of others, asking someone to do something that they have a negative attitude about, will NOT bring about the desired results. In fact, it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e. “It won’t work.” “They won’t talk to me.” “Nobody will care.”

The good news is that after some attitude re-tooling (yes, attitude is a tool) ANYONE can create new opportunities and successes for themselves, even out of what once was seen as a bag of old tricks.

Brian Tracy, entrepreneur, sales guru and motivational coach says this about attitude:

This attitude of looking for the good in every situation, of looking for the advantage or benefit in any problem or difficulty, is the way that the most successful people think most of the time. Superior people, leaders in all areas, face the inevitable ups and downs of daily life on the way to their destinations by taking complete control of their thinking and their emotions. They do this by choosing the words they use to describe a situation, their tone of voice, and their behavior in dealing with problems.

So, what’s YOUR attitude about getting out there and creating new business for yourself?

Tips to Re-tooling Your Attitude

Here are 3 re-tooling techniques that can adjust your attitude and help you succeed!

A Morning Dose of Positivity How long has it been since you listened to a motivational series on the drive into work? Download your favorite positivity guru and use your commute, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, to accelerate your attitude.

Check Your Attitude at the Door-Every day, before going home from work, take two minutes to complete the following sentence in your journal or notebook: “Because of my positive and willing attitude, today I was able to………” 

Partner-up with a Positivity Pal-Ask a teammate or peer to engage in 30 consecutive days of positivity with you. Agree to send each other one email each day where you communicate one positive experience from your day and a specific wish of positivity to your partner.  It could look something like this:

Dear Daniel: Today I made it a point to get out of my office. I had a very productive lunch with a Realtor partner of mine. It was well worth my time and effort and so much more pleasant than I thought it was going to be. I wish that you have a surprise encounter with someone tomorrow that leaves you feeling GREAT!

Remember, everything starts from the inside – out. Giving yourself the gift of a positive attitude today will directly influence whether opportunity knocks once, twice, three times or ever knocks at all.

A Positive Perspective on Networking with Newly Licensed Realtors

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I have been told by many Mortgage Professionals that they, “don’t want to waste their time on, “green” Real Estate Agents, but rather focus on the veterans doing all of the business.”

Now, I’m not one to ever hold someone back from a goal and when you are finally able to get in with a few BIG Agents, it can be great for biz, BUT I do want to share some positive perspectives on the, “New Agent Frontier”…

I have coached many newbie Real Estate Agents and here’s what’s great about being new:

1. You’re open to training, suggestions & ideas.

2. You’re not jaded, resistant, or feel there’s only one way to do business. (That ole, ‘been there, done that’ attitude is non-existent)

3. You’ve got that new career buzz and excitement, which is infectious and draws people to you.

4. In the first year, new Agents are hyper-focused on reaching out to their direct sphere of influence, that is, all of their friends and family, service providers, local businesses, neighbors, etc., in an effort to grow their databases and shake down deals.

PLUS, in choosing to co-market with new Agents, you will get your face out in front of freshly formed databases.

PLUS, PLUS, how you do business together will be more in your control!

Becoming part of a new Agent training curriculum or sponsoring the New Agent Orientation Breakfast Meetings at your Realtor Association on a regular basis are golden opportunities for growing your purchase business.

I say, don’t be afraid to Go Green!

Three Telltale Signs of Success

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I have been coaching mortgage professionals for over 10 years now and I can tell you there are 3 telltale signs of a person which indicate to me a very strong probability that they will hit their stated goals and then-some…

They are…

  1. Self disciplined
  2. Action-oriented
  3. Risk takers

Self discipline is at the top of the list because without it, the rest just never seems to truly gel.

Some characteristics of a self disciplined mortgage professional:

  • Writes and reviews goals
  • Adheres to positive habits and when they fall off the wagon, they’re fast at getting back on it
  • Plans out their weeks ahead of time
  • Creates systems
  • Gets fueled-up by completing task lists

Some characteristics of action-oriented mortgage professionals:

  • Asks a lot of questions about how to get things done
  • Engages in a fair amount of networking
  • Doesn’t have a tendency to get caught up in details
  • Rallies others to help them implement tasks
  • Produces a variety of opportunities from week to week

Some characteristics of risk-taker mortgage professionals:

  • Significant income growth
  • Creates various streams of income
  • Involved in community/strong public identity
  • Speaker/Presentations
  • Manages a significant support staff

Why does it feel as if my borrowers are behaving like bad children?

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When your borrowers seem to be challenging your every word, not doing as they are told and kick and scream throughout the process, it’s not because of some genetic disorder, like you may think. Rather, the likelihood is that their challenging demeanor is rooted in and stemming from a fear. Fear can be paralyzing and it can also cause us to behave combative and dare I say, “bratty” at times.

Here are two techniques to help you to help your customers move past their fears so you can get them to their end goal and ultimately secure a client for life. Plus, possibly save yourself some migraines along the way.

Name the Fear

As soon as you feel someone is having a tough time moving forward, instead of asking your customer what might be holding them back and inadvertently putting them in a defensive position, suggest a few reasons why some of your past customers have experienced cold feet or reservations at one point or another during the process.

Explain how you were able to help them through that fear so they could meet their ultimate goals. Basically, you are sharing a case study, a cure and most importantly, empathy!

People respond to real-life examples, ones that mirror their own set of similar circumstances.

Show Me Don’t Tell Me

Be ready to present your case as to why and how your customer should move forward with your requests in a professional and visual manner. I’ve seen some wonderful examples of this with my own mortgage coaching clients who combine loan comparison presentation tools from various sources like, with various media applications like Jing Project, Camtasia, Go To Meeting, and You Tube.

Using quick instructional-type or friendly reminder-type videos regarding the most common sticking points for customers while going through the loan process is another terrific way to get ahead of the fear and snuff it out before it even has a chance to rear its ugly head.

Statistics show that 65% of the population consists of visual learners. This is more proof why you simply can’t afford to assume that your customers, “got it” when you told them the 1st time, the 2nd time or even the 3rd time.

We are a nation of voyeurs who feel most comfortable and less fearful, when we can see our options, rather than just being told or sold-on our options.