“A quick look in the mirror”

As we close out the month of July and roll into August, we have to take a moment to update our own status. With more than half the year in the books, and likely a real good view as to what the numbers through September are going to be, we need to take pause and look into the mirror!

First thing we need to check is our production numbers. Where are they in relationship to our projections? Are we ahead, behind; or are we on course to meet our projections? Total up the number of transactions and the dollar volume and see where you are.

While these numbers may or may not be an honest representation of the future, we can add in our current number of pre-approvals and those units in our pipeline to get a much more focused and accurate look at how we stand. There is never a good excuse for not knowing your numbers! So take some time and get it done, you will be glad you did!

Now that you know where you stand, it is time to take a good look at how you got here. Look at each transaction and referral partner. Where did each deal come from and who was the referral partner if it came by referral. Going back to your business plan where you listed each referral partner and the anticipated number of referrals they were going to send your way, and see how that measures up? Are you ahead or behind? Are the numbers you projected in line with the reality of the actual referrals received? Are there new referral partners in the mix?

  • Once we have gotten this picture, we need to then recalculate our own numbers.
  • Am I making the required number of visits?
  • Am I getting the right number of referrals?
  • What is my acceptable credit percentage?
  • What was my pre-approval percentage?
  • How many of my pre-approvals went into contract?
  • What was my closing percentage from contract to closing?
  • What was my closing percentage from Contact to Closing?

This will help you recognize where you are and make it simple to see where your projections may have been off. Don’t panic, there may be great reasons behind why the numbers don’t match up. In some cases the numbers may even be better than anticipated! But the information will be helpful in any case.

August is a great month to calculate where you are and make any adjustments you may need to make to reach the goals you have set for yourself. For those of you who are ahead of your projections; great job! DON’T LET UP! You have momentum on your side so ride the wave to beating the numbers! Remember, this has been a very good year for the mortgage industry. People are excited to buy homes and with lower rates, we have seen a huge number of refinance opportunities that really weren’t expected!

So take a quick look in the mirror and see where you are. Run your numbers and recognize how you got to the numbers you currently have. Double check your referrals and your referral partners to be sure all is well and on track to meet or beat your expectations. Be sure to review your own performance numbers and see where you are. The numbers are what the numbers are! It doesn’t matter if the numbers are good, bad, or exactly what you thought; knowing your numbers are always helpful in letting you know if you are on track or need to make some adjustments! August is a good time to get this done!

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

Quick Observations

After another strong week of activity, I wanted to share a few observations with you. First and foremost, please keep connected to your pre-approvals. Your failure to keep connected is like giving them permission to go to someone else! If you aren’t showing an interest in their search, you are likely losing your grasp on their transaction. So please; give your people a call at least every two weeks to ask how the search is going. Be supportive and optimistic. In many parts of the country low inventory of listed homes are making multiple offers more common, and your client may become frustrated. Now is the time for empathy. Encourage them and share possible strategies to help them, and their agent, find that next home.

Next, please mind your pipeline! It’s not anyone else’s problem but yours to manage! I don’t care if you have an assistant or a processor. It’s YOUR responsibility to make sure things are on schedule and making this a great experience for your client and referral partners! After all, this is how you earn future referrals, by setting proper expectations, timelines, and executing your plan! This is what you have to own. You can certainly delegate, but you can’t abdicate! You are the face of the transaction. Nobody cares if your assistant, your processor, your underwriter, your whoever made a mistake or forgot to do something! It’s YOUR transaction and YOUR reputation! So keep connected to your pipeline and your file flow! It takes only a few minutes a day, and it’s well worth it!

I know the “dog days of summer” are upon us! I know everyone is on vacation. Yes, I agree that nobody buys houses in the summer. Of course, there isn’t any inventory to sell! NOT TRUE! There are plenty of transactions to get in front of. There are plenty of people who are working or looking for a new home to buy or one to sell! And there are plenty of people who would list their homes for sale if they knew what they could get if they just sold their current home!

Work with your Realtors® using “The Forever Home Strategy®”. Get out there and talk to the people in the market who already own the homes you would like to be available to your clients. Share with them the information on how much home they can get for the same or slightly higher payment! Remember, they likely have been out of the market for a while. They might have a current payment based on a smaller loan amount but a much higher interest rate! The next step up for them may very well be about the same monthly payment!

So please remember to keep connected, do the work, and use your tools! There is no reason to take your foot off the gas right now! In fact, I think now is an excellent time to stomp the pedal to the floor and air it all out! There are plenty of transactions to get in front of right now! Just use the tools and follow your plan!

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

“Veteran Discrimination”

Unfortunately, discrimination comes in many forms. Like all forms of discrimination, a lack of clear and accurate information is made available to those who are generally guilty of discrimination. And with most forms of discrimination, education is the one true way to make change possible. The sad reality is, when it comes to those that discriminate, some are so deeply embedded into the wrong information they will never allow themselves to see a path out of it. However, for most adults, once educated with clear and accurate information, much of the discriminatory process and belief systems are eradicated.

I bring this up because of ongoing issues with our nations veterans. Those who have served this country and meet all the eligibility requirements of that service have a base entitlement to apply to use a VA loan when they purchase a home. One of the great issues with this is that many veterans and spouses think that the loan itself is the entitlement. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The only entitlement for those that meet the eligibility requirement is that they are eligible to apply for a VA loan! The VA guaranty only applies to the credit grantor, and the applicant must meet all the credit guidelines and restrictions! The veteran needs to do their homework. All lenders are certainly not the same. There is no one lender endorsed by the VA to do these loans, regardless of how many commercials they run on TV! So check with your local lenders. These are the very people who live and work in your own community. These are the professional men and women who know the product, the program, and local market conditions. Be sure you ask about their experience in doing VA loans as well as their timeline to get your loan closed! Remember, “The rate isn’t great if your closing is late!” Make certain you work with an experienced team of VA lenders!

The next issue is with sellers and Realtors® who discriminate against those who are using a VA loan to purchase a property. Let’s be honest, we all know it happens. It happens far too often that a great offer on a property isn’t accepted simply because the prospective buyer is using a VA loan to purchase. This silent form of discrimination is every bit as wrong as overt bigotry. While it may never be said out loud, many sellers have been coached by their agents not to entertain these offers due to misinformation and false beliefs. We have heard far too often that VA loans “take too long”, or “require too many repairs”, or “make the seller pay closing costs”. And while in reality, none of these things have to be true!

If a veteran is working with a true mortgage professional, that borrower has already gone through a certification of eligibility and likely already supplied some, if not all of the needed documentation to have the file approved. And yes, while in some markets, appraisal times can be a bit longer than those for other loans, a good mortgage professional will know those turn times and have made allowances for that in their closing timeline. As far as repairs go; it isn’t likely that anything noted for repair by the appraiser wouldn’t have come up in a traditional home inspection, so please let’s get serious about that sticking point!

Veterans have served their country and provide all of us the right to live our lives in freedom. That freedom allows some people to have false beliefs based on misinformation. Those people can often make discriminatory decisions based on that false information. So please, educate yourselves, your company, your referral partners, your agents, and those in your market that would be thinking about selling a home; there is no reason not to sell your home to a veteran using a VA loan. If you are working with the right professionals, who have taken their time to prepare the veteran for the purchase process, you are very likely not even going to know the difference from that loan or any other loan they might be using.

So let’s all take a moment and think. Do you really want to discriminate against a qualified borrower, just because they are a veteran who has earned the right to purchase with a VA loan? Is that who I really am as a seller? Is that the type of agent I want to be known as? As an originator/mortgage professional, am I doing all I can to inform, educate, and facilitate successful VA transactions?

Not only can we all do better; we should do better for those who have provided the very freedom we enjoy!

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

“The Re-valuation Situation!”

What a ride! The mortgage backed securities market has seen a great deal of price improvement since the “Brexit” vote. We have spent the past couple of blog posts pointing out a winning strategy to help you ignite your business! One piece of the puzzle you can’t afford to miss out on is being sure you revalue all of your pre-approvals to reflect the new purchasing power of lower rates! Yes, as rates go down, that same monthly payment qualifies for a bunch more money! Depending on where you were pricing, and how much they qualified for, it could be just the thing to help you get your buyers off the fence and into a home!

So here is what we do. Go back to ALL the pre-approvals you have issued in the last six to nine months that haven’t closed a loan with you yet. Look at each pre-approval and recalculate their loan size given today’s new lower rates. Create a short thirty second, to one minute video explaining the new letter and why you have issued it, sort of something like this:

“I am sure you have heard a lot about the “Brexit” vote and the reaction in the financial markets. While your 401K might have taken a hit, these very same market conditions have caused interest rates to fall dramatically! This means your monthly housing payment now affords you a great deal more money! I have taken the liberty to rework your numbers and I will be sending you your new pre-approval letter by email. Please understand that rates may again rise quickly, but right now you have an opportunity to get more home for the same monthly payment!”

Post the video, email the video, and then get to work reworking your re-approvals and get them out! Don’t forget to send the video to your Realtors®! Also be sure you send the Realtor® a copy of the new pre-approval! This may be just the thing your agent needs to get their borrowers in contract! But don’t stop there! You need to call every Realtor® you work with right now and make sure that everyone they are showing property too, calls you for a revaluation!

Refinances are great! But lower rates provide so much more in the way of opportunities! Revalue all your pre-approvals! Call all of your agents and let them know NOT to show property to anyone who hasn’t had their pre-approval redone in the last ten days! These are two simple steps that will really help you provide value to your clients and your referral partners!

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