“Memorial Day Weekend Strategy”

This Memorial Day weekend, let’s be sure we remember those who have secured the gift of freedom for all of us. Millions of Americans have served this great country to be sure we have the ability to enjoy this weekend as we so choose Special thanks to my son in law, Michael Marez who is doing so right now, away from his family.

As with any holiday weekend, you must first choose if you are planning to work or taking off. If you are taking off, just be certain you have processes in place to handle the activity while you are gone, and then go enjoy yourself. But if you are working, please be sure to have a plan. There is no value in wasting time on a holiday weekend, so PLEASE; make a plan!!!

First things first, be certain you have established that all of your current pre-approvals have their paperwork and know the parameters of their possible transactions. Also, be certain that they know how to calculate payments or how to find your payment calculator so they don’t have to call you every time they want to run a few numbers.

Secondly, we must connect with our referral partners before the weekend to find out if they are working, and if not, the name of the agent that is covering for them. This can often be a great chance to become acquainted with an agent you don’t know all that well or at all! If they are working, run through your availability and best way to reach you. Also, be sure that you have already spoken to anyone they are planning on showing property.

Third, be sure if any of your agents are promoting an open house, that you have done all the preparation for that open house and be sure you know when and where you need to be!

Fourth, schedule time on all three days to just drop by some offices and say hello. You don’t have to spend all day doing it, just a couple of hours each day to drop off some information or some cards. Anything to let people know that you are there for them if they need your help!

Last but certainly not least, be sure to follow up strong with everyone on Tuesday to see how their weekend went and there is anyone they need you to connect with.

This is a fairly standard holiday weekend strategy. Memorial Day weekend is just a little more important because it is at the very peak of the spring buying season and can be a very active real estate weekend!

So enjoy your weekend if you are working or if you are not. But if you are working, be sure you have a plan and use your time wisely!

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


“The result proves the theory”

I had an interesting coaching call this week with an originator who I have been working with for about a year, and just shortly after she got into the business. She works for a major lender and for a branch that is widely respected and diverse in the types and quality of originators working there. With all kinds of different styles and approaches to the business, with varied results that is pretty typical in our industry.

I have always pushed my clients to understand that my approach is built through systems, schedules, and the sharing of value. I hit hard on setting expectations and the understanding that we are looking to become the local expert on residential lending in our market, and that our systems, policies, and procedures will help us locate the very people we want to do business with. That by being clear and consistent with the message, and by the execution of a success plan, we can close transactions faster than our competition and with a much higher level of customer satisfaction because we set and exceeded the expectations for the process.

Like all new originators hitting the street, this newbie wanted to believe that she was that expert, she wanted to believe that all she had been taught would make her exceptional; she wanted to believe she could deliver on high expectations and that people would notice her when she did. All the things we say we want to accomplish but with a healthy dose of fear to keep passion from becoming cockiness or arrogant.

Going out into the world sharing these beliefs can be challenging for originators who are faced with an industry that thinks there is no such thing as a mortgage professional, or that the only thing of value an originator can bring to the table is a rate. But she went out trusting her training and that this was going to be a business for her based on relationships and value, not transactions and price.

As she shared her message, most ignored her but a few saw the opportunity to work with someone different. As transactions began to close, as one deal after another exceeded the expectations and the timeline set by contract, people began to see that there was a different way to do business, and that they liked working with a true professional!

So today on our coaching call she shared that a client she had just closed shared with her what a great experience it was to work with her. That she had heard all the horror stories about how tough it was to navigate the loan process and to get her deal closed on time. But that this was actually a good experience. She felt that she was informed and educated from the very beginning about what to expect and what was going to happen. And even while those around her told her that she would never close on time or that she was going to have to be prepared for the last minute price changes and fees, she believed that this experience was going to be different. It would be so because the person she chose to work with was different!

The loan went from contract to issuing the CD in 18 days. The loan could have closed a full week before the scheduled closing date if they wanted to do so; and all the charges were either the same or less than what she was told they would be. Imagine that?

The client called her to thank her again for all of her work. She said that it was truly an exceptional experience and she wonders why more people don’t do things the way she does. She shared her story with some friends and they have already made phone calls to start their own process. Oh yes, the listing agent on the deal was so impressed with the communication and the ease, in which the process took place, that she has begun referring her new business.

We can all make a difference if we choose to. Choose to!

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

“Think About the Buffalo”

Mortgage origination is an opportunity business. You can’t originate a loan without having an opportunity. While doing a training in St Louis, I tried to explain to the group about taking advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves during each transaction using the story of the American Indians and their relationship with the buffalo.

In the 1800’s, the American Indian followed huge herds of buffalo across the Great Plains. Indian braves would go out in groups a hunt and bring buffalo back to the village. When they were successful, it was cause for great celebration. The buffalo was the source of so much to the tribe and nothing went to waste. The hide was used for tents and clothes. The meat was prepared and a prized staple. The bones were used for tools and the very sinew on their bows. Nothing went to waste, nothing!

As loan originators, we need to be thinking of our purchase transactions just like the Indians treated the buffalo, let no opportunity be wasted! It is not good enough to just do a great job closing the loan, each transaction needs to be looked at for all the potential referrals and referral partner opportunities that are contained inside. Here are some thoughts about what you may be overlooking.

Clearly the clients themselves are the first opportunity to be harvested. Have we collected their 9’s and 10’s?

Then we look at the file itself. Is there an accountant on the tax returns? Do we have a financial planner involved? Who is the insurance agent? Are we connecting to any of the Realtors involved? Did we remember to contact the seller?

Your transactions contain a wealth of opportunities. Just like the buffalo was to the Indians, your purchase transactions can be just as important to you as a source of opportunities!

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

“Price vs. Payment”

As we hit the peak of the home buying season, I wanted to share a point that many take for granted. Far too many originators work on qualifying or pre-approving a borrower or borrowers for a specific loan amount. In many cases, having to go back a number of times to write pre-approval letters or run specific loan scenarios multiple times for the same customer. This is fine if you have unlimited time and are always in a position to answer the call. However, as the activity level increases, it becomes impossible to be available 24/7 for all of the people you are working with to do property or transaction specific numbers. So instead of trying to manage the impossible, why not take a few minutes to educate and inform?

We all know that we don’t qualify people on a specific loan amount any way; we qualify them based on the payment on that property! If you take a few minutes to share the information on how to calculate the payment, your clients and referral partners will spend more time working on more deals, then wasting time on the same one!

We all know the items that we may or may not find in a monthly payment:

  • Principal and interest
  • 1/12 annual taxes
  • 1/12 homeowners insurance
  • 1/12 flood insurance if applicable
  • HOA if applicable
  • PMI if applicable
  • Any secondary financing if applicable

Educate the borrowers and your referral partners on how to do some simple math, and you can save hours in running one series of numbers after another! Many of my clients use Mortgage Coach® software to do a Total Cost Analysis on a property or a simulated transaction. The ability to compare numbers of several different possible terms is very valuable. But you don’t need specific software, you can use a simple spreadsheet to compare the numbers and show the calculations.

When you are sitting down with your clients to go over what their possibilities are, you should be walking them through the payment calculations because many times, they only think the payment is controlled by the loan interest rate, but as we all know, taxes, insurance, and other fees are often creating a bigger impact on the monthly payment than just the interest rate and term of the loan.

Many originators have mobile apps that they give their clients, or have mortgage calculators on their websites. If you have neither, then a simple printout of interest rates priced per thousand financed will work just fine. Just show them the steps!

Step #1) Total allowed monthly payment in dollars.

Step #2) Subtract 1/12 annual taxes

Step #3) Subtract 1/12 estimated homeowner’s insurance

Step #4) Subtract monthly HOA if applicable

Step #5) Subtract and other monthly charges like PMI etc.

This will leave you the amount of monthly payment that you can apply toward your principal and interest portion of your payment. To find out how that translates into dollars you can borrow; you just need to know the price per thousand cost of mortgage money. That is easily found on a mortgage calculator or you can simply give your clients the number to take with them.

Example: 30 year fixed rate loan price per thousand.

  • 75% is $4.63 per thousand
  • 875% is $4.70
  • 4% is $4.78
  • 125% is $4.85
  • 25% is 4.92

You can also do the same thing for different loan terms as well. In fact, when people start to understand how taxes, insurance, and the other factors contribute to the total payment, they see that small fluctuations in rates are just a small part of it. Changing the deductible on your insurance can represent a much bigger monthly savings than you think! Just show your client how to make the calculations and they can really understand what makes up the payment, other than just the loan interest rate.

Clearly this won’t work for everyone, but it will be helpful to most people. If you only save a few phone calls and calculations a week, what is that worth to you?

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