“Plenty to think about”

It has been a pretty interesting week; some of the fallout from the announcement from Zillow about them entering the mortgage arena has been pretty significant. I have heard from some of my clients that they have been approached by agents to assume the fees from other lenders who have, or are cancelling contracts to buy the leads from a new competitor.

I think it’s pretty ironic the progression of that process. It’s almost like people didn’t see it coming. First, agents turn over their listing information to Zillow so those listing have more exposure. It’s odd to me because NAR had that business once and sold it because it wasn’t worth investing money in. So, along comes Zillow invests in a better customer friendly site and then begins to sell the leads back to the very agents who gave the information away for FREE!

Then a whole new business of coaching agents to subscribe to buying these leads and get weaker agents to work for them as buyers agents for a reduced fee; at the same time, find multiple lenders to pay for the cost of those leads. Interesting thought process and often a process used in violation of a number of different laws, but that is a completely different story. So now everything is moving along until Zillow starts looking at listing property and competing directly with the same people providing the information and paying them for the leads! While a few agents begin to see the writing on the wall, many are spending money to go to trainings that promote this very process!

So last week the game changed again. Zillow engaging in the mortgage business is of no surprise, but I admit I was a bit surprised at how quickly many originators on a number of social media platforms engaged in a “mutiny” if you will, against paying money to a company that is becoming a direct competitor! Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see it, but I really didn’t think the reaction was going to be as strong as it was.

All of this goes back to my point over the years that this is a people business. If you take the people out of the process, you lose the profession! Realtors are beginning to identify the “Algorithm Enemy” much the same way mortgage people are beginning to see it. If you remove the personal and professional connection, you lose the MONEY associated with that of a professional.

Now I know that I am old school. I know I am one of the few people who believe that mortgage people should train, act, and dress like professionals. I get it, I am old! But the point remains, if you are going to work like a call center person, you can’t expect to be paid as a professional!

I would be very interested in hearing from all of you on this topic. You can respond on the Facebook post, the LinkedIn post, or just email me: mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

The 60 day end of summer BURN!

Would you commit to two hours a day of focused activity if it would help you push your production higher by 50% or more? It’s really pretty simple, “You don’t have enough business because you don’t talk to enough people!” We all know that if we don’t like our results, we need to change what actions we are taking. Without the work, there is no change in the result!

Here are a few things you can add to your schedule to improve your outcomes. Just two hours of focused activity can make all the difference!

“OPEN HOUSES” – 1 Realtor connection – 1 Seller – 40 neighbors – THOUSANDS on social media! Have conversations about what you do and how you can help!

Hit and grow your database! – Add 25 people per week – Birthday Calls – Annual Review Calls – Reconnect with older pre-approvals. Connect them to your social media outlets to improve connectivity.

Identify every accountant you have ever worked with and talk to them about the tax extension strategy! October 18th 2018 is when all of those who filed for extensions need to file. Important for the accountant to ask if they are planning to buy or sell a home in the next two years – filing in October 2018 and again in February 2019 gives that client TWO YEARS of documented income!

Find 20 small banks and credit unions in your area, 5 north – 5 south – 5 east – 5 west – run a route each week in one of these directions. Talk to each manager and ask what kind of business you can refer them, and what you do that they don’t!

Use the “Back to School Rule” to improve sales and opportunities for your realtors to find more listings! Within a few weeks of the kids going back to school, parents find that their homes are now either physically or functionally inadequate. Some kids are starting school. Some children are changing schools; some kids are no longer going to school! In many cases, the solution is to sell the current home and find one that works better to support the new family dynamic!

These are very simple and measured steps. They don’t take long to do. They easily integrate into your current schedule or are a minor addition to things you are already doing.

The next sixty days will set you up for a strong finish to your work year. Yes, by the middle of October you will have thirty days or less to begin a transaction that will close and get you paid in 2018! These next sixty days are days you cannot afford to waste, they are vital to your year and the moment you bring into the end of your production cycle!

As always, we are here to help! Just email us with your questions and comments, we appreciate them all!

Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Keep it Personal”

One of the great reminders in our business is the application of personal connection to the results we experience. Nothing better than this past week where a few of my clients, some of them people I have been working with for more than a year, and a couple who have just begun their journey with me shared personal success stories from following a simple direction; “You don’t have all the business you want, because you don’t speak to enough people.”.

As much as coaching is about sharing new ideas and strategies, it’s often much more about repeating the fundamental concepts of relational opportunities, just talk to people! You see, we create nothing in the mortgage business. We provide strategies and solutions, we manage expectations, we share a system in which we execute the transactional process, but ultimately, we are a service business where the product is the person and the quality of that personal connection!

I have shared in the last few weeks my concept of “The Crossroads”. This next year I will be traveling the country sharing the story and the strategies of where I believe the mortgage and real estate business is going, and how originators and realtors are either going to scale up, scale down, or get out of their respective industries. It is already happening; people aren’t paying attention to it!

So this past week I was talking to a few of my people just trying to reinforce the fact that they needed to be more personal in their activities. That some of them have become too reliant of automation and less personal in their connection to their referral partners. This week, just one week later, I have had both experienced and new people share with me how well received they were and the volume of activity just from getting out and being visible, or picking up the phone and talking directly to their clients and referral partners!

New referral partner referrals, new referrals from past clients, even a few pre-approvals from past clients who now want to make a move. All because they were PERSONAL in there communications!

Here are a few simple reminders of specific tasks:

  • Are you making your birthday calls?
  • Are you making your AMFCITS calls?
  • Are you running your routes?
  • Are you calling your in file connections?
  • Are you making your pre-approval follow-up calls?
  • Are you sending your personal thank you notes?

If you aren’t going to personally connect, then you aren’t a trusted advisor. You aren’t that local professional. You won’t be that personal referral magnet in your community!

The business is changing. You and automate but you can’t abdicate! You must make and keep your business personal or lose your business to an algorithm!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Want more from Mike White and his strategic partners?  Are you ready to take your business to the next level?  Now you can…for FREE.  Join Mike at the Embassy Suite in West Palm Beach, Florida on September 12th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, for a free Mortgage Originator/Realtor Seminar called CROSSROADS.  This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get the strategies, tips and tools you need to increase your business by as much as 30% over the next year.  This event is free for the first 100 who register.  $99 at the door.

Visit http://www.imtcoaching.com/register-for-the-crossroads-event.html

“Options”

The sheer number of “experts” out in the market trying to sell products and services to originators and realtors is really amazing. Social media would be a wonderful thing if even half the “information” you could find there was true and verifiable. Technology is wonderful, but many would have you believe that if you don’t have this tool or that system, you are doomed! The reality is that there isn’t just one way, or just one best tool, system, or strategy to follow that will get you where you want to go.

I have many highly successful originators all across the country and no two of them are exactly the same. Some are in small markets, others in large. Some work first time buyers, others live in the jumbo arena. While some maintain a number of significant realtor relationships, others have very few. The key to being successful isn’t about the tool or the system, it’s about knowing what you will commit to doing and just do it!

You have a huge number of options in our business. I have gone through my client list and looked at the main sources of business for the top people in both dollars and units and here is a list of where their business is coming from, in order of closed business: (all closed more than 100 units a year)

  • Financial Planner – Attorney – Realtor
  • Realtor – Database – Small local banks
  • Database – consumer direct – Realtor
  • Attorneys – Networking Group – Database
  • Renters – consumer direct – builder
  • Database – Realtor – Attorney
  • Accountants – Financial Planners – Database
  • Open Houses – database – Realtors

There are duplicates using the same order, and some are weighted more heavily at the top of the list, others are much more balanced across the board, but nobody has just one way to do things and they like it that way!

So when you see ads all about “lead generation” and how to meet the top “X” number of “BEST REFERRAL PARTNERS” in your market, be careful. Pay attention. Think about what YOU want to do and the type of business you want to have.

You also have to take into consideration your own personal situation. If you don’t want to work weekends, then Open Houses aren’t a really solid option. If you don’t like meeting with clients face to face, renters and first time buyers may become a challenge. The good news is, there are dozens of activities and areas of focus you can work and tools you can use to generate 100+ closed transactions a year. Your job is to look at all the options and try different things until you find the list of tasks that you enjoy doing, that create the number of closed loans you want to close.

  • People will always need to borrow money to buy homes.
  • People will always need help getting loans and understanding their options.
  • People will always be creating new households, trading up, trading down, and unfortunately, they will die.
  • There will always be a place for a local mortgage professional to help these people. Your job is to be that professional!

So when you are looking into systems and services that you are thinking about investing your time and money in; get a list of professional references or research the testimonials. Connect with a few people and ask about their experience.

Remember, generating leads or appointments is NOT how you get paid! You get paid to Close Loans! It’s never about leads; it’s always about conversion from contact to closing!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Know The Truth!

Okay, time for a rant! I was looking at a very popular feed on Facebook that thousands of loan officers connect to. I won’t mention the name because it’s not important to single that out. A question came up about meeting and getting in front of top producing real estate agents. Now this is a pretty typical question and there are a number of excellent answers. However, some of the replies were astounding!

First, you have to know your target and what the real number of targets is in your market. One response was to ask if they wanted to get in front of hundreds of top producing agents in their market? Seriously; are there really hundreds of top producing agents in your market? Are there hundreds of top producing agents in ANY market? And if there were, how would you handle it? Just another example of social media nonsense!

Next there were all kinds of posts telling people how to call and make appointments for meetings. So we are just going to call agents and meet with them? Why? How come? What are we meeting for? You are much more likely to cold call people selling their houses and getting their loan opportunity than you are cold calling agents, asking for appointments, getting an appointment, and having that agent be someone that there is value working with that will refer you!

If you as a loan originator, or worse, a loan officer’s assistant making these calls, what do you think the likelihood of a real top producing agent is going to take the meeting, show up for the meeting, and then begin referring you opportunities?

Have you ever asked these people what the actual results of cold calling agents were? The agents that agree to meet you for coffee are likely the agents who have no business and can’t afford to buy their own coffee! And by the way, what is your definition of a “top producing agent?”

People, you really need a better plan than this. Managers, you really need to have a much more focused connection with your production team’s activities so they are not wasting their time and money on things that have little to no chance of really working!

Originators, there is no magic pill. There is WORK! There isn’t a trick to going out and earning referrals. You have to know your target. You have to know your value to that target; and great rates and service isn’t it! You need a plan, you need a process, and you need to show why people will benefit from associating with you!

Stop selling and start sharing. If you don’t know your value to the market and why your referral partners and prospective clients benefit from associating with you, then you are likely irrelevant and soon to be someone else’s assistant, moving to a call center, calling leads lists, or maybe looking for a new career!

Do the math, do the work, pay attention, know your value, and stop thinking that this business is easy because it’s not! You don’t provide value by providing coffee, you do it through providing opportunities, strategies, and systems that create value and opportunity!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Have you heard about CROSSROADS.  As a Blog Follower you are cordially invited to attend this upcoming event featuring Mortgage Guru, Mike White on September 12, 2018 in West Palm Beach.  You will not want to miss this event which is sure to help you propel your business to the next level!  Click here to register.

“Huge Weekend Opportunity”

Happy July 5th! With a big holiday on a Wednesday, it isn’t uncommon for people to stretch it out into the weekend. That said, this opens the door for a great deal of real estate activity. Here are a few steps to take in order to maximize your opportunities this weekend!

  • Get out and be visible!
  • Leave documented material at offices!
  • Tell those that are there that you are available to help them if their regular person is unavailable to serve your people!
  • Call from the parking lots before you leave!
  • Get to as many Open Houses as you can!

Many people are off or are taking off, that goes for realtors and mortgage people as well. Get out and get in front of your market, let them know you are working!

Have something in writing in an envelope with each agents name on it to leave at their office so there is something physical for you to direct them too! Talk about the back to school count down and how many days there are left for you to accept a loan application and close before the kids go back to school!

I expect that most of the agents you are trying to get in front of won’t be in the office; it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you were in the office, had some information about an opportunity strategy in an envelope, with their name on it, so you can leave it for them to pick up later! It’s also important that the few other people in the office see that you were there! Let them know you can help them too should they be ready to look or move to make an offer on a property!

Calling from the parking lot before you go to your next stop is critical! Making that call and talking to that person to let them know you were at their office is a really big deal. Even if you get voice mail, leave a nice message about missing them and that you are available should they need you.

Last but not least is to hit every open house you can find and follow through with the open house strategy! Talk to everyone! Pick a key feature of the house or the property so you can write a note to the seller applying for the job of being their next loan officer or to offer a second opinion on their next transaction!

This weekend is a huge opportunity to make new relationships, solidify old relationships, and to generate a few opportunities to do a few deals you never would have seen if you just sat home!

Get up, get out, and connect!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Wacky Wednesdays”

It’s time to share something that I often do with my clients who have appeared to plateau or get “stuck” in the same activities over and over again. I call it “Wacky Wednesdays”.

We are at the midway point of the year and heading into the summer season. As always, now is a good time to compare our first half numbers to our business plan and see how we are progressing. For those who are on or ahead of projections and enjoying the rhythm of your business, keep doing what you are doing and enjoy the results of a good plan coming together.

For those of you who are short of your projections or not really happy with your business flow, now is the time for a little fun and a few changes. First, take a look at where and why your numbers aren’t matching up. Address each shortfall with logic and with an idea of what you can do to correct that situation if possible. Often it’s just a matter of having a conversation with the referral partner, or looking at the message or how you are following up with the plan.

Schedule time to address all of the issues! If you don’t schedule a task, it won’t get done!

After you have made all the system corrections and had all of the conversations, it’s time for “Wacky Wednesday”! This is a very simple process.

  • Go into imtcoaching.com website and scroll through the “Coaches Playbook” and “Power Partnership” video clips and find a strategy or two you would like to incorporate into your business.
  • Have a discussion with your referral partners or your team to share the strategy and gain support and interest.
  • Schedule an hour or two on Wednesday morning or afternoon to prepare, implement, and use the strategy to create new opportunities.

It’s really just that simple. Just use the tools and schedule your time. It becomes more fun when you have your team and your referral partners to work with and help make a minor change in your work week that could have a major impact on your results!

It has been my experience that it isn’t the big changes in your business that produce the most significant results; it’s the tiny little things that often create the biggest impact. So if you’re not where you want to be, or you aren’t feeling that the business is fun anymore, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain but committing one or two hours on Wednesday to have some fun, work with your people, and create some new opportunities!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Click here to register for my upcoming free seminar event – CROSSROADS