“Devalued Relationships”

Email, text messages, and social media are a fact of life. They are all important tools and can be an effect part of your communication strategy. However, you must guard against devaluing your relationships through automation and pure electronic contact. Let’s face it; we are all guilty of devaluing relationships through automation and electronic communication. It’s easy to do. We set up autoresponders, use technology to leave messages instead of directly connecting. Many people have automated campaigns that take the person almost completely out of the process. While this may improve efficiency, it doesn’t do much in the way of showing people how much you value them and their business.

Think of it, in an effort to remain and keep connected, we are distancing ourselves. It’s not hard to see, go to any restaurant or coffee shop and look. Everyone is in their phone searching email, texting, looking online, but very few people are actually talking with the people they are with! It’s become crazy! We are devaluing the relationships we say we are serving by diluting ourselves and our message electronically!

I am a firm believer in automation. I think there are plenty of times that certain things can and should be automated. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are in a relationship business and that if we don’t personally engage, we don’t have much of a relationship! It is important in the world of electronic communication to be certain you integrate personal contact and maintain that personal connection!

So take a good look at your systems. A certain degree of automation is fine; but be sure you have a series of personal contacts built in to your system or be prepared to lose your relationships to someone who will! Absence does make the heart grow fonder; it grows fonder of someone else! If you want to maintain and nurture your relationships, you have to provide personal attention. You can’t be too busy to provide personal attention to your relationships!

Make it part of your business life to identify your critical relationships and build in that personal connection. Breakfast meetings, lunch & learns, coffees, happy hours, even a day at the movies or the ballpark can help provide time and that personal connection that many people are letting slip away.

Once again I am not anti-automation. I am strongly opposed to the lack of the personal connection! If we don’t place a priority on our personal relationships; if we aren’t prepared to invest our time in our people; if we are going to let automation and electronic communication replace the personal phone call, the hand written note, the handshake, the personal time we commit to those we are committed to serving, then we aren’t really committing ourselves to the relationship.

When it comes to relationships, there is no replacing personal attention! Schedule the personal touch in every relationship!

  • When do we speak live?
  • When was the last time we met?
  • When did we last share a meal?
  • Send a handwritten note instead of an email!
  • Schedule the time for each relationship!

You can’t take “YOU” out of “YOUR” relationships. If you do, that relationship will soon belong to someone else!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Visit us at http://imtcoaching.com

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“It works when you work it”

In speaking with a few of my clients this week I was reminded of the importance of working the plan. In Texas, one of my clients had a situation where her client had a low credit score and it was a result of a divorce situation. We all know that one of the unfortunate casualties of a divorce can be a credit score if not handled properly. In this case, a customer was looking that reality head on because of debts the former spouse failed to pay on time. I reminded my originator that this situation was an opportunity to educate the borrower and ask for an introduction to their divorce attorney.

He got a very pleasant introduction and a phone call led to a meeting over lunch. During lunch, the originator explained how in the future, this attorney could refer their clients to him for a review, following the procedures in the “Attorney Advantage® e-book” and help identify those accounts that may present a future issue. He also shared that a quit claim deed or a stipulation of responsibility in a divorce agreement was not enough protection, and that these account had to be settled or a release from the creditor to that borrower.

The attorney was very impressed and was very interested in working this plan with my originator. In the next few days my client received two referrals from the attorney, and both people were happy to know their options and one of which is going to buy out their spouse. This plan will work if you work it!

The other situation was an originator in Kansas City connecting with a local business that had experienced significant growth and was busy recruiting employees from all around the country. My originator followed up with the HR department from a loan she had in process to thank them for a quick reply to a request for information. When speaking to the HR person, they quickly realized that they had some common interests in making the process of relocation easier on their new employees. My originator followed up with a meeting and now they are the lender of record for this company and my originator not only gets in front of all their relocation business, but has put together a benefit package for the company to save them money!

Not only is this a win for everyone involved, my originator now has a number of Realtor® referrals to pass along to agents in the areas of need. Again, it works if you work it! Take a minute and connect with the website and all the support strategies, it can really help you improve your business! As always, we are focused on “Doing something today that improves your tomorrow!”

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTCoaching.com

Visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com

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“Message for the month”

Are you ready for July? As we enjoy the celebration of our independence, we also must prepare a strong message for our people to keep them energized and excited about buying that next home! The message of the month for July is all about the change in the DTI limits. For some of you this might not seem like much, but the move from 45% to 50% DTI can be a really big factor for some people, and needs to be shared with ALL your people.

Prepare yourself, your clients, and your referral partners for the rise in the DTI Limit! How much more purchasing power does 5% more income mean in your market? Let’s do the math! What is the monthly income boost?

  • $6,000 monthly in income = $300 more, or $60K
  • $7,500 = $375 more, or about $75K
  • $10,000 = $500 more, or about $100K more purchasing power!

Now obviously you have to work the real numbers with real rates and taxes in your area, but you can see where this is going. It also isn’t on all programs and for some of you, this may not be as big a part of your market as it is for others, but you need to share the information!

Have you or your referral partners had someone who couldn’t find a house they loved in the price range they were looking? Time to give them a call and share with them all the properties that now make it to their list! The summer is the perfect time to make your business: SIZZLE!

Using this powerful strategy to craft an effective message can make all the difference in your business! You need to reach out to everyone you may have talked to in the last 240 days that didn’t close with you. And I mean everyone! This is far too important to leave to someone else to share. You need to get working!

Make a short video explaining the change and email it to your database. Post it on Facebook®, LinkedIn®, put it on your YouTube® channel! Call all of your referral partners and get them engaged! Don’t miss your accountants, financial planners, and attorneys! Everyone needs to know about this change!

Use the tools on the website! Schedule your Summer Success Strategies! You can’t afford not to keep the momentum going! Watch for new changes in the website! The all new Coaches Playbook® tutorials are arriving soon! Have a happy, healthy, and SAFE holiday celebration!

Questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

By the way FAST START 180 is available in your area.  Check it out today!  Click Here.

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“Halfway there; are you living on a prayer?”

Here we are, the month of June almost completely in the books and the year is clearly half over from a production standpoint. So how do your numbers look? Time to break out the business plan and compare where we actually are to where we planned to be! How do the numbers look?

  • Are we at or ahead of projections?
  • If we are ahead, what is working better than planned?
  • If we are behind, what is failing to live up to expectations?
  • In either case, what are our adjustments?

Far too many people get stuck in their day to day work lives to step away and look at their business. This is often the cause of surprisingly bad numbers at the end of the year. So bad in fact, that many people just ignore the math and just call it a “bad year” and find a way to justify their failed performance. You can’t ignore the numbers! You need to get to the bottom of why your outcome isn’t what you projected?

Fundamentally speaking, finding where the “leak” is in your plan is the biggest part of your challenge. Once you have that information, you can set a path to correct. Use a very basic formula that I use with my clients:

  • Am I generating the number of opportunities I expected?
  • Are those opportunities coming from where I thought?
  • If I am below target, what is the correction?
  • If I am ahead, note the improvement for next year’s plan.
  • If opportunities are on track, then my conversion rates are off!

These five questions will help you reset your math. Once you get your math adjusted, it becomes a simple process to recalculate what you need to do to get back on the desired path. If necessary, you may need to add additional prospecting work, or change your follow-up procedures, but in either case, once you can see the area in question, you are on the way to the solution!

Remember, it’s all a matter of knowing how you go from contact to closing:

  • Do I generate the needed number of opportunities?
  • Are the opportunities I see the ones I want?
  • Are they converting into pre-approvals?
  • Do they enter into contract and close?
  • The numbers will help you adjust!

If you are ahead of projections, take a few minutes and see why?

  • What is working better than you thought?
  • Are there new referral partners we had not anticipated?
  • Are your pull-through rates higher?
  • Will I continue to grow and will I need more help?

June is a great month to get you in touch with your business plan! Review the numbers, do the math, and make the adjustments! If you need additional help, the website is here to assist you!

If you haven’t gone to the website and given a testimonial, please take a few minutes to do so, I would appreciate it! Also, the new FAST START 180” program is available on a limited basis this summer, so if you or anyone else needs some help, this might be the solution to the next level of performance!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“Level of Mastery”

In many areas of life it is pretty simple to see the different levels of mastery. In some areas the differences may seem small, but they can make all the difference in the world. In the 2016 Rio Olympic Games the gold medal 50 meter freestyle for men swimming, the difference between winning the gold and silver medals was .01 of a second! The difference between the two is beyond the human eye to see, but the difference in the medal is enormous.

My good friend Greg Frost used to say, “Originators who have been in the business for 8 years don’t have 8 years’ experience. They just celebrated the seventh anniversary of their first year in the business.” I have had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time in my career talking with Greg, and he is really clear that most originators don’t evolve. Their business looks the same as it did from when they got first established. That point hit home with me many years ago when I first heard him speak. He was so right! I was really no different in my approach to my business then when I first started. I did what I did and I got what I got!

As I moved from originations into coaching and training, I see that play out over and over again. Originators work what works, but don’t spend enough or any time at all, evolving their business. That is where the expression “you need to spend some of your time working on your business, not always in your business” comes to mind. What portion of our professional lives do we spend evolving? How are we measuring improvement? What time do we schedule each week to do this?

If you don’t think improving matters, think again! The “better” people do a vast majority of business. It’s not because they are lucky, it’s because they are mastering skills and systems that allow for a better result! Just like everything else in the world, being a mortgage professional is something you can get better at by understanding the fundamentals and increasing repetitions. The more people you talk too, the more opportunities you will generate. The better you handle each transaction, the more referrals you will see. The more value you bring to the table to your referral partners and you clients, the higher quality opportunities you will be exposed too over time.

So take some time and ask yourself these few questions:

  • Do I have a consistent process for prospecting?
  • Do I practice a file replacement strategy?
  • Do I communicate and thank all the associated professionals after the transaction and ask to work together again?
  • Have I mastered all the tools I currently use?
  • Are there tools I have yet to adopt that would help my business?
  • Have I scheduled time in my work week to work on my business?

Understanding the skills we need is a great first step. The real work comes down to mastering those skills over time and repetition. The more you do, the better you will become! Just be sure you understand that after you master one skill, it’s time to master that next skill. There is always something we can be better at. But be careful; make sure you are working on skills that clearly do one or more of these three things! These can be called your “Mastering Filters”:

  • Does this skill make the process faster?
  • Does this skill create more value for the customer/referral partner?
  • Does this skill improve the quality/quantity of opportunities?

Take some time and schedule an assessment. Ask yourself the six questions I asked you earlier. Then get your “Mastering Filters” working to help you evolve your business and improve your mastery levels one step at a time. The results over time are incredible!

If you need some help, look at our new “Fast Start 180” program! Visit http://www.imtcoaching.com/fast-start-180.html

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“Perspective improves production”

I have spent a great deal of time in these posts sharing information and strategies that have helped my originators and managers outperform the industry averages. Sometimes it’s doing something completely different than the others are doing, and other times it’s about adding one touch, or one contact, or one small additional step that changes the outcome dramatically. So much about what I share is about systems and procedures placed over a timeline that it really helps make the fundamental part of originations simple to follow and duplicate. The one area I spend less time talking about is what I am going to share today is perspective.

So many times we have people that have all the “tools” to be successful originators or managers, but there is just something missing that prevents that from happening at a higher level than they are. This is also true of those professionals that are doing better than average, but not as well as they could. I believe that the difference is largely due to perspective. How do they look at themselves, their team, their clients, their systems, and their business? In many cases, the differences are mostly about the way in which people view these things and how that affects their outcomes.

The old expression “Is the glass half empty or is it half full” comes to mind. Is the work we are doing proactive or reactive? Is it transactional or relational? Is each deal a simple transaction, or is it part of a long term strategy? Is our perspective influencing our outcome for the good or bad?

I like to think of this as a lesson learned from the movie “Groundhog Day”. If you have never seen the movie, go watch it. If you have seen it, go back and learn the valuable lesson of perspective. Circumstances are always linked to a positive or negative possibility. If something appears negative, look and see what you can do to change it to a positive. How is each person, situation, obstacle, or event put in front of us, actually an opportunity to improve ourselves or the fortunes of those around us?

Our business outcomes can be anything we want them to be. The clients I coach all make specific choices about how good they are, the processes they use, the quality of the customer and referral partner experience, and how much money they earn in the time they work. Not any one of them is the same. None of them do everything we talk about. However, a common thread appears over time, they all understand the value of having a really clear perspective of who they are and what they are trying to accomplish! Some start with that perspective, and others move toward it over time! Either way the results are the same, approaching your business with a really clear vision of what you are doing and how it connects to everything else around it can make all the difference. And sometimes that difference is HUGE!

Take some time to watch “Groundhog Day” this weekend. Pay attention to the evolution that takes place when the perspective changes. In the movie the change takes place seemingly overnight; but we all know that it wasn’t the case. Your business won’t change overnight; but it will change dramatically over time for the better. And after all, why not get a little better each day? You can’t change everything, but you can change enough to really matter!

Questions or comments: Visit us online at http://imtocoaching.com or email Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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Benefits & Consequences

I had a great vacation to Hawaii; I think all of you should plan a trip there and see the pure beauty of the islands. Being part of the Memorial Day celebration at Pearl Harbor was especially moving. This trip really brought to the forefront of my mind something I have stressed with my clients for a long time, and that is understanding that every process requires the distinction of the benefits and/or consequences of the action or inaction.

Just like Hawaii rising out of the ocean and growing from volcanic activities, there are benefits and consequences from the event. Every time the lava flows, there is both destruction and growth as a result. Just seeing lava flow is amazing, looking back and seeing trees and bushes growing out from the cracks in the once molten lava are the reality that what once was is now something different. The evolution is the only constant. As part of one island grows each day from the flow, other islands shrink from erosion! It’s incredible to see up close a process that has been taking place for millions of years in action.

Just like the Hawaiian Islands growing out of the ocean, your business is the same. It starts from literally nothing, then the first contact, the first referral, that first application, and that first closing. All part of the loan cycle. Each part of that cycle has benefits and consequences. Your job as a professional is to convey and understand the benefits of your system, and the consequences of not having your system evolve. If your system doesn’t evolve, it won’t survive!

We have to understand how our system benefits the client, the referral partner, and our future business. If you don’t fully understand how all three of these things are being dealt with, you will suffer the consequences of lost referrals, referral partners, and your very business future. So take the time and look at your business. Be sure you are clear as to what you are doing and how what you do benefits the three areas you need to provide for:

  • How does my system and process provide a great experience for my customer?
  • How do I make certain that it works as well for my referral partners?
  • At the end of the transaction, do I have a value based follow-up system that keeps my clients connected and nurtured so that I gather their repeat business and their referrals?

If you fail to cover all three points, your business will not evolve as it should, and you will be open to losing opportunities, referral partners, and future business! So be sure you get crystal clear! Are we communicating effectively to the client and the referral partners about the benefits of working within your system as well as the potential consequences if they don’t?

Nature has a plan and a structure to grow incredible beauty from molten lava right out of the ocean. While this plan had taken millions of years to evolve, the steps and the timeline are quite clear and the results are exceptional. You don’t have the luxury of millions of years to evolve your process. You just have weeks, months, and a few years to get these things done. The good news is you aren’t creating life from the ocean; you are just meeting people and helping them close on a mortgage loan in 30 days or less!

There is a real beauty when you already know all the elements needed for a perfect process. You already know the timeline of events needed to be sure you meet that 30 day or less closing. You already know what the client and referral partner want and how to deliver it. You already know how to nurture all of your past relationships with value. You already know what you need to do to create an exceptional experience. Your job now is to schedule the work, share the process, execute the plan, and make the adjustments needed for you to evolve into that mortgage professional you know you can be!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com

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Filed under coach mike white, Got Mortgage, imt coaching, loan coaching, loan originations, loan originator, mortgage banker, mortgage coach, Uncategorized