“So how is your first quarter doing?”

It’s hard to believe, but it is very likely that your first quarter production is already in front of you. You are already working with or talking to the people, or have already closed or scheduled the closing for those that will make up your first quarter totals. With that said; how does your first quarter look? Based upon your projections, where are you compared to those numbers? Most of those I have talked with say they are trending ahead of projections in both purchase and refinance business. They are also higher than last year, but more importantly, they are ahead of first quarter production of two and three years ago. How about you?

 

It is critical to track your numbers so you can make adjustments if those numbers aren’t in line with your projections. You must track contacts, credit pulls, preapprovals, submissions, and your closings so you have the ability to adjust. Furthermore, you really need to be tracking WHERE the business is coming from to be certain you are getting business from where you expected to get business! You can’t wait until the end of the year to notice your referral partners’ activity. You must track it monthly and quarterly so if the numbers are off, you can do something about it.

Market volatility continues and you can’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in the drama of rising and falling rates. Rates are rates and in this current market they are all over the place on any given day. Explain that volatility to your clients and referral partners and prepare them for it by setting proper expectations. Share with your buyers a “range based” strategy that shows the difference in costs between a quarter or half point swing in rate. Also share with them a sample of how either paying points or accepting a lender credit can impact their transaction. It will be easier to have future conversations if they are prepared. And remember; don’t get into the business of forecasting rates! The interest rate market is not controlled by you, your bank, your company, or any one thing; it is market driven and sometimes the market isn’t sure where it wants to go!

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

Keeping Connected

Loan originators ask me all the time what I see are the biggest differences between those closing double digit loans each month and those who average less than four.  By far, the answer is keeping connected to opportunities, referral partners, and past clients.

Keeping connected to those you have worked so hard to get in front of sounds simple enough, but is often lacking. I know there are a number of CRM’s you can look at, as well as many companies have systems by which they try and stay connected, but the real truth is, if the originator doesn’t make an effort to remain personally connected to the client or referral partner, then it’s likely that even the best systems will not work as well as they should have or could have.

The best of the best have a clear follow-up plan. These plans ALL include personal phone calls. Emails are okay. Letters and cards are better. But NOTHING replaces getting on the phone and talking directly to the person you want to connect with.

So when you are looking at your systems and procedures, it is important that you diagram the path you need to follow.

 

*When do you want to talk to someone?

*What form of communication does it need to be?

*What is the content that needs to be delivered?

*How do I make sure it all happens?

 

In every organization the loan process can be slightly to completely different. One isn’t likely better than any other; the importance is you have thought about your message, your people, your market, and your timing! A great message delivered too late doesn’t help. The best marketing piece left unopened doesn’t improve the number of opportunities you see. So be thoughtful and clear about what you are trying to do and be certain you think about including a few follow-up phone calls to be sure and get feedback and comments from those you are trying to connect with.

As we have just seen with the reversal in the interest rate market, if you didn’t connect in time with the proper message, you and your customer missed the opportunity. Rates may come back to us, but what if they don’t? Did you miss out on five, ten, twenty, fifty or more loans? Did your failure to connect with your client who could have saved a significant amount of money over the life of their loan, or maybe even miss the chance to move into their “Forever Home” with the new value of their old payment; do they remain loyal to you? Do they have the opportunity to talk about what you did to their friends and relatives? Do you now miss out on a number of other possible opportunities because you didn’t connect?

Our industry is constantly changing. In many ways these changes have little to do or impact on our clients. But sometimes they do, and in a big way. You need to look at every aspect of your business and be sure you have a plan to keep connected with your people so they know you are there, and they know that you still care! The best of the best understand that keeping a client and gathering referrals and repeat business from them is just a matter of providing ongoing value through keeping connected.

Look at each process and procedure. Look at each type of referral partner and prospect. Look at every closed client in your database as someone that you need to treat with respect and to provide ongoing value through specific communication that helps keep you connected!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

More From The Street

I try to share strategies with you that you can take to the street and create opportunities to do deals and build relationships. I also ask you for comments on how a strategy works for you and if you had challenges, what we might be able to see and correct. I have talked a great deal about refinances and being sure you are doing the “right thing” for you clients, even if refinancing is NOT the best for the situation. We spoke about using “The Forever Home Strategy” when speaking to prospective clients. We also talked about making sure you shared the current value of the client’s current mortgage payment to see if that same exact payment might afford them a better house.

One of my clients, Karl Weiss who works out of Scottsdale Arizona for Fairway Independent Mortgage chose to use this approach and found and exceptional result. Here is Karl’s email to me regarding his success, as well as a copy of the Mortgage Coach® presentation he used. I hope you will find this helpful and as a source of encouragement and motivation!

 

Here is a copy of Karl’s email:

Hello Mike! 

Ok, so I drafted the following email after I created a scenario for a client on Mortgage coach.  I have attached the TCA report as well.  I then emailed it to an agent of mine, and asked her to please search her database on the last three years of sales she made.  I have only worked with her for one year, so most of those sales were ones I didn’t help her clients on.  I asked her to look at all FHA purchases, and to please send this out.  She knew of 5 off the top of her head and sent it out.  Within an hour I had two of her clients looking at numbers.  One is not in their forever home, and we are having the agent list their home next week and doing the purchase instead of a refi!  Two others are preparing paperwork to send me to get started on refinancing their homes!  She is thrilled to say the least! 

Then I printed out my case study and I’ll take it with me on my route this week to show agents! 

Thanks again Mike!!  It was a great idea of yours that spurred this, and it is working! 

Sincerely, 

Karl Weiss

 

From: Karl Weiss
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 3:49 AM
To: Karl Weiss
Subject: WOW!!!

 

REAL CASE STUDY!!!!

As I am sure you are aware, since you live and breathe all things Real Estate, mortgage insurance rates were lowered last Monday the 26th of January for FHA loans.  Since that happened I had the fortune to call a client who bought a home 15 months ago.  They paid 225,00 for the home and put 3.5% down.  They have a rate of 4.75% on a FHA 30 year fixed.  In addition to the lower mortgage insurance, interest rates are also WAY down! 

I was able to refinance them down to 4.00% on a new 25 year fixed, which chopped of 45 months of P&I payments, which for them was a savings of $1,149.88/month X 45 months…for a savings of $51,744.  In addition to that their new payment is also $45/month lower!  So, that is $45 x 300 months = $13,500 in payment savings.  So, their total savings over the life of the new loan is $65,244.  That represents saving these clients 29% of the purchase price of their home!  …imagine what the savings would be on a 300,000 or 450,000 home? 

If you have any clients who might benefit from the new all-time record setting LOW interest rates, or NEW lower Mortgage Insurance rates, OR if you have a client who is not in their “Forever Home”, now might be an excellent time to check with them to see if now is the perfect time to assist your clients.  I have found in a few instances that even better than saving a little bit of money every month is the idea that they could move into their forever home now.  They will qualify for more home now than what they currently have most likely, and stand a good chance of moving to a new home for much less than they think they could! 

I hope you have an amazing day! 

Sincerely, 

Karl Weiss

 

If you would like a copy of the Mortgage Coach® presentation, you can email me and I will be happy to send it to you. Karl does not use Mortgage Coach Edge® yet, but after seeing these results, he will likely be a user in short order so he could have shared the video link online through social media, or by simply texting the link!

 

When you look at all the options with your clients, you often are rewarded by finding the best possible solution for the client, even if it means NOT doing what they ask, but rather sharing a solution they didn’t know existed!

The other powerful point here was, Karl went to his Realtor® referral partner and shared a strategy. That strategy not only helped that agent serve her clients, but by doing so, opened up the door to a listing and a sale that she would never had thought of or found.

These strategies don’t work for everyone in all markets, but they can’t work if you don’t try! Please keep trying and sharing the results. We all do better when we share strategies and victories!

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

Stories from the Streets

January is in the books and it was likely the best month you have seen in a long time. When you compare it to last January, it is hard to even measure the two side by side. While we are certainly seeing a real positive beginning to the year, don’t get cocky and certainly don’t get complacent.  The work is just beginning and will be well worth it down the road.

I wanted to share a few stories from the street. These come directly from clients who are out there every day making it happen. First we deal with a new originator in Arizona who took the time to visit open houses and connect with the people. Three open houses attended, three new clients to preapprove, one new loan application with purchase contract. Just getting out there and doing the work and following the plan.

A second originator worked just one open house with a good Realtor® referral partner. The first time they worked together on and open house. They spent Friday knocking on doors and talking to the neighbors. Just casual conversations with 11 neighbors that where home, all happy to talk real estate. Seven of them came to the open house. Two of them brought friends or family members to view the property. Two preapprovals, two refinance applications, one very happy Realtor®!

The last story is about just one simple change that led to a big result. One originator just asked his Realtor® referral partners to check everyone they were showing property to, and see if their preapproval was issued before or after January 15th. One agent did review their client list and saw a few of her clients had not been recertified for new value since rates had gone down. One of those clients now qualified for enough of a loan to buy a particular house they could not make a large enough offer for and had to walk away. With lower rates, that house was now within reach, and an offer was accepted.

Three originators; three stories about how making an effort, can make a difference. We often don’t realize the impact we can have until we go out and execute a plan. Working open houses isn’t new. But working open houses well is special. Having a plan and a strategy to maximize the opportunity can make all the difference for the originator, the agent, and most of all, the very customers we are trying to serve!

While many originators have locked themselves in their offices and are pounding the phones in search of refinances, some are out on the streets keeping connected to the purchase community we all need to serve. I am not saying not to do refinances. I am saying that refinance opportunities should be viewed as overtime, something done in addition to your primary responsibility to serve those in the purchase arena. Remember, some day rates will rise and the vast majority of the business will rely on purchases!

Work on your purchase strategies. Work with your Realtor® referral partners to generate more listing and buy side opportunities. The harder you work together, the more opportunities you have to convert! Not every Realtor® will work with you. Many of them won’t make the effort to try any of your strategies. Some won’t do anything but hope opportunities come and find them. Some, however, will gladly engage in an effort to try. Some will work with you and really get after each strategy trying to make every minute worth your effort. Those are the agents you want to get out there and work with; the agents who want to make things happen. While they are sometimes hard to find, they are worth the effort. Besides, may Realtors® say the same thing about mortgage professionals! Both are true!

So get up and get out. Go connect and share the winning strategies! Your efforts will be rewarded when your actions and your efforts find their way into opportunities and outcomes!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com