Monthly Archives: June 2017

Is Your Business Truly Customer Centric?

By | Mortgage Business Tips | No Comments

customercentricMortgage Professionals must keep a keen focus on their customers at all times. If they don’t, the outcome has a direct and immediate effect on their pocket books.

The assurance of a regularly generated paycheck, is simply not part of the Loan Officer package. Every dollar derived is in direct correlation to the Loan Officer’s individual efforts with their customers.

Your answers to the following, highly-specific, customer related questions may be a tough pill to swallow if you’re not ready to tell yourself the 100% truth. However, I believe, if you’re up for the challenge, your answers to these questions will lead you to take actions that will surely have a positive impact on your pocket book in 2017 and beyond.

If you happen to be a Manager, this is a GREAT list of questions to share with your sales team and ask them to submit their answers anonymously (encourages more real, candid answers). The answers will help you to pin-point training, tools and other resource needs you can develop to help your team to improve their performance.

For example if you discover that the majority of your team could not adequately answer question #24, you could conduct a sales call or meeting on how to write a Unique Value Proposition.

  1. Do you do what you say your going to do BEFORE you say you are going to do it?
  2. Do you take a complete application, ask your clients the right questions and get the appropriate information/documentation up front?
  3. Do you know your program underwriting guidelines?
  4. Do your underwriters think you know your underwriting guidelines?
  5. Do your processors respect you?
  6. Do the processors in your office refer their family and friends to YOU?
  7. Do the title/escrow reps think highly of you?
  8. Do you go ahead and do a loan for a client even though you know it is not the best thing for them?
  9. Do you return ALL your phone calls?
  10. Do you return all your emails?
  11. Do you do the things you least want to do first?
  12. Do you complete your “things-to-do” list for the next day before going to sleep?
  13. Do you prioritize your tasks and work on them in their order of importance?
  14. Do you surf the web when you still have calls or tasks to complete?
  15. Do you complain about not having enough business?
  16. Do you keep in contact with all your clients?
  17. Do you have all your clients, prospects and referral partners in a database (ACT, etc…)?
  18. Do you make customer acquisition a priority?
  19. Do you have systems in place to optimize your clients’ mortgage experience?
  20. Do your clients always know where they stand and what they need to close their loan?
  21. Do you withhold information from your clients and let them know “the real story” towards the end of the transaction?
  22. Do you read at least one book a quarter on business development, communication, ethics or the mortgage industry?
  23. Do your clients refer people to you?
  24. Do you have a compelling reason for someone to do business with you?
  25. Do your referral partners and clients think of you as an expert?

Are You Sure You’re Hiring Sales-Capable Loan Officers?

By | Mortgage Business Tips | No Comments

Are you tired of filling the seats with warm bodies instead of filling the seats with actual topsalespersonSales-capable Loan Officers?

If you aren’t necessarily focused on recruiting top producers whose production is obvious but instead are willing to bring on individuals whose work history may show gaps of time where they weren’t originating, or who are not as seasoned or come from a different industry, than you need to make sure that you are asking questions that will unearth whether your candidates actually have what it takes to make it in Sales or not!

The fact is that charisma and charm or someone vivacious, honest and good natured cannot be the predominant reasons why you hire them to be a Loan Officer on your team.

Of course we want these positive characteristic in our employees, but my point is just because someone’s personality type seems to fits the mold of what most believe to be a, “good sales person,” does not mean they will succeed in Sales.

Succeeding in Sales has A LOT to do with the following:

  • Discipline
  • Communication
  • Creativity

To uncover if your candidates are actually disciplined in their work lives, communicate their needs and can identify and create opportunities, integrate the following set of open-ended questions into your interview process. You may even want to send these questions ahead of time in order to give your candidates a chance to really think through them prior to the interview.

Discipline questions:

  1. Describe your daily work routine and work schedule.
  2. Explain how you use your calendar and what type of calendar system you use.
  3. What other types of tools or systems or resources do you rely on to stay on task?
  4. Describe the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of this year or last year.
  5. What do you feel are your biggest challenges as a Loan Officer?

Communication questions:

  1. How do you entice new referral partners to meet with you?
  2. When and how do you ask for referrals from your clients?
  3. Describe what you said to a borrower the last time you had to communicate, “bad news.”
  4. Have you ever had to confront a referral partner or discontinue a working relationship with a referral partner? What did you say?
  5. What do you say to a customer who tells you they are going with another Lender?

Creativity questions:

  1. What types of marketing efforts have you engaged in with potential referral partners?
  2. Where and how often do you show up to meet new potential referral partners?
  3. What are some of the ways you have attempted to market yourself?
  4. What groups, associations, charities or organizations do you belong to?
  5. Describe how you go above and beyond for your customers after the transaction is closed.

What’s at the Root of Your Time Management Blues?

By | Mortgage Business Tips | No Comments

There’s a million excuses for why we don’t get stuff done, why we don’t start projects or timemanagementbluesfinish them, why we aren’t more productive with our work hours, but at the bottom of this bundled mass of uninspiring justifications lies nothing more than bad daily choices.

It’s not that we don’t necessarily know what to do to increase our chances of a more productive and balanced day, it’s more that we ignore the solutions nagging at us at the back of our minds.

Rolling back in our memories to investigate our choices throughout the day will illuminate those moments of poor decision and put you on a path to curing your time management blues for good!

Here’s the most common excuses for why stuff just doesn’t get done…

  1. I don’t have enough time.
  2. I have too many interruptions.
  3. I don’t have any help.

Here’s the most common daily choices you’re making which lead to the excuses above…

I don’t have enough time:

-You choose not to review your day’s to-dos and work load in order to PLAN out your following work day.

-You choose to go to bed late, which leads to waking up late and groggy and don’t get a real start at your work until 9am or later.

-You choose to let others set your appointment times, rather than reviewing your calendar and offering times that work best for YOU.

-You choose not to embrace new tools, methods and technologies.

I have too many interruptions:

-You choose not to communicate boundaries with your co-workers, referral partners and family.

-You choose to solve everybody else’s problems, instead of allowing them to learn from their own mistakes.

-You choose to answer emails and phone calls during the times you set aside for file work or other projects.

-You choose not to set up your home office properly.

-You choose to keep your Smart Phone nearby at all times where you hear the pings of incoming social media feed, texts, IMs, advertising emails, etc.

I don’t have any help:

-You choose not to take the risk and hire an Assistant.

-You choose not to task your Assistant with ALL of your low-pay off activities.

-You choose not to ask for help.

-You choose not to use the resources provided to you.

-You choose to attempt to be the expert on everything.

Remember, everyone struggles with time-management at some level, but that is because everyone struggles with being present in the moment and disciplined in making better choices that many times are tied to insecurities and fears.

Make the choice today to take a good hard look at what you are choosing to do with your time and attention so you can discover what your particular time management “hang-up” is really tethered to.

How to Respond Strategically When Getting Dumped for Another Lender

By | Mortgage Business Tips | No Comments

competitionGetting dumped for another lender happens, but responding strategically to the client’s reasons for making the switch is just as important as your script when engaging with the prospect for the very first time.

The majority of the population loathes change and feels quite insecure and hesitant when faced with switching gears for any reason. Once the change is made, the smallest glitch or bump in the road will cause most people to regret their decision and wish they hadn’t made the change at all.

In the case of obtaining a mortgage, there can be plenty of moments of uncertainty and insecurity for the borrower, so the likelihood is when you do get dumped for another lender, there’s a real possibility of wooing your prospect back if you just gracefully and strategically keep the door open and follow-up.

Just recently I helped a client of mine write the following email script to send to her straying customer. In this particular case, the loan officer had given advice, consistently checked-in and been an ear to this prospect’s personal challenges over a significant period of time, yet the prospect decided to go with her credit union based on, “convenience.”

Ouch! Right?

Of course, this is just one way to respond, BUT what I like to remind my clients when responding to rate shoppers or getting dumped for other reasons is…

1.    You are NOT desperate-Let ’em go gracefully and keep the door open.

2.    You are the BEST choice regardless of their reason.

3.    Remember, the prospect has NO idea what they should really be worried about, like actually making it to the closing table and CLOSING.

Feel free to adopt, edit and use the following script as you see fit.

“So happy to hear things in your personal life are just about wrapped up for you. Onward and upward, right? :-) Congrats!

Please do keep in mind that not all mortgage services are the same, so if for any reason things start to go sideways with the process or communication with your credit union, do not hesitate to contact me ASAP. Starting the loan process is easy, but getting to the finish line and closing your loan is where experience, solution-based thinking and perseverance is a must. I can honestly say I’ve saved dozens and dozens of deals from falling apart in my 20+ years of lending. 

I’d love the opportunity to help you into your bright future with a brand new home. Again, if anything changes, just call me immediately. I’ll make sure to check in on you in a few weeks to see how all is coming along.

Take care out there and stay in touch.”

What Creates Dysfunction in Teams?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

team dysfunctionWhether your team consists of 10 people or if your team is made-up of yourself and one Assistant, being aware of what will make your particular team effective and productive vs. dysfunctional is important to the overall success of your business.

Here are the five signs of a dysfunctional team, which includes behaviors that you, as the Team Leader, may be exhibiting as well:

  1. No Commitment-Lack of buy-in. Tendency to agree during meetings, but refuse to follow-through on actions items. Appears ambiguous about company initiatives, projects, and changes. Over-analyzing. Misses deadlines.
  2. Accountability-phobia-Low standards. Will not confront team members on counterproductive behaviors or actions. Lack of setting deadlines. Lack of follow-up and follow-through. No clear expectations. Easily distracted. Lack of growth.
  3. Inattention to Results: Status and Ego. Put their individual needs above the collective goals of the team. Unaware of production numbers. Lack of tracking. No communication regarding individual team member’s effectiveness and/or team accomplishments.
  4. Lack of Trust-Difficulty in sharing ideas or admitting to errors. Unwillingness to be vulnerable and open. Hesitates to offer help outside of their job description. Dislikes team meetings.
  5. Avoidance of Conflict-Pretending as if all is in harmony. No engagement in passionate debate. Lack of constructive criticism or suggestions. Veiled discussions and guarded comments. Meetings are unproductive and boring.

In order to begin, “righting the ship” so to speak, the first place to start is with a good ‘ole self-evaluation.

Becoming aware of and actively working on your own set of weaknesses and being transparent with your team about your journey on the road to self-improvement is a sign of a great, leader-in-the-making and will inspire your team members to follow suit. As the old saying goes, “It all starts from the top!”