“Happy Thanksgiving!”

As the final push for opportunities is upon us, we pause for a day of Thanksgiving. It is proper for us to take the time and reflect, share, and appreciate all we are truly thankful for.

This year I added my grandson Cameron to the family, and my son in law Michael returned safely from his deployment. Business is going really well for my clients, and I am about to launch a new program with Terri Murphy at Triple Play in Atlantic City December 5th. It has truly been a very productive year! Yes, I also turn 60 on Sunday, so there is that.

What I really want to share with all of you is that we need to reflect and be sure we are doing all we can to be the best we can be. Why wouldn’t we? Why not be better, faster, and more efficient? Why not get more done in less time? Why not be a greater value to all of those we connect with? Why not be the best?

Of all the professional things I am most thankful for was that my clients really excelled at mastering the loan process up front, and reduced the number of days from contract to clear to close. Now much of this was largely due to becoming more compliant and to deal with TRID; but the very work needed to get that done, now has an added benefit; closing loans faster now saves clients’ MONEY!

Think about it for a minute. Closing loans in thirty days or less means you can now lock a loan for thirty days or less. Your competition may require a forty-five or sixty day lock to get the job done. Take a quick look at your rate sheet. What is the dollar cost difference in a thirty to forty-five or sixty day loan lock? Do the math! It adds up to a great deal of money!

So I am very thankful! You should be very thankful! Your referral partners and your clients should be very thankful! You did the work, you mastered the process, you have made the process more efficient, and now all of that makes the process smoother, take less time, and now saves the client MONEY!

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

“Grow Up”

The election is over and for some reason, a small part of our country has made a choice to whine and complain how things didn’t go their way. SERIOUSLY? Never before in the history of the Republic did universities have to take a time out, cancel classes and exams because their students needed emotional support animals! As I have said for years, giving children participation trophies would lead to an entire generation that was weak and undisciplined. Well, here you have it. We have people crying because they lost an election and showing their displeasure by blocking traffic, assaulting people, and causing millions of dollars in property damage. Yes, I know the pain of losing. I also know that you get up and go back to work. You congratulate the other side for their efforts and work harder to do better. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening for a small minority of people; the people who have a really distorted view of the world. The election is over and a new administration will take over in January. We ALL have a need for the new group to succeed, because we ALL live in this country and want it to do well. Anyone that ever wished for any new administration to do poorly; only wishes harm to themselves.

The mortgage point to all of this is that I have to caution all the idiots who are screaming about the collapse of the mortgage and real estate industry! Are you all insane? What, interest rates go about 4% and that’s it? Are you kidding me? The country has had artificially low rates for years and all that has happened is a sluggish economy where people can’t find growth. Higher rates are being triggered by OPTIMISUM in the stock market that the economy is going to get BETTER!!!

A thriving economy can certainly cause our artificially low rates to NORMALIZE! In fact, higher rates are actually a GOOD thing. Higher rates provide better returns for those bond investors, likely those on fixed incomes. In fact, for many years traditional savings accounts hung around the 5% mark. Higher returns on cash isn’t all bad!

Yes, higher rates cause higher payments. But have you taken the time to get past the emotional trigger of higher rates and just done the math? Yes the payments are now a little higher, but will that slightly higher payment really prevent people from buying a house? Come on, get real with it. If payments going up $20 to $100 a month really stop someone from buying a home, how are they going to deal with RENTS GOING UP EVERY YEAR?

Anyone that is that tight on payment shouldn’t be borrowing that much money in the first place. A vast majority of borrowers don’t borrow anywhere near the amount of money they would be approved for. And besides, you think home prices and rates are going BACK DOWN? Guess again!

My career began in a 15% rate market. For many years I wrote loans that were double digit terms and there was no shortage of business. Rates broke below 10% and kept going down. People were happy as they got deals at 8, 7, and 6%! We also know an entire refinance industry was born. Now I get that for some people, refinances are a significant part of their business. I also understand that I have been telling people to be certain they had a business model with no less than 70% purchase business because at some point, refinances were going to go away.

So for all the experts out there, who are forecasting the end of our industry, just grow up! Yes, higher rates are not as pleasant as lower rates are, I get it; but it doesn’t mean people aren’t going to buy homes. In fact, given all the complaints about limited inventory and too many buyers chasing too few homes, maybe higher rates help settle the markets and help us find a more “normal” environment?

Interest rates were going to go higher at some point. Isn’t it better that they go up because the markets are expecting a stronger economy with great growth, than because we have a stagnant economy with runaway inflation? So everybody take a deep breath. Yes, rates are higher. Yes things will cost a little more. But as professionals we have to get clear about the real costs and provide solutions to the challenges at hand.

So do the real math. Brush up on you adjustable loan products. Remain calm and understand that sometime you win and sometimes you lose. If you won, congratulations and I hope you are happy and your team does well. If you lost, congratulate the other side and hope they do well. If you are part of the half of the country that didn’t bother to vote, shut up! You didn’t participate; you have nothing to add to the situation! The sun always rises in the morning. Be happy about that and make the best of it.

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

“Time to Focus!”

So how about that election? Great news for listing agents all over the country as a rush of new listings flood the market from all the people who promised to leave the country creates an inventory rich environment! Now obviously we all know that much of the threats were just political talk with no intention of actually leaving. But we need to realize that this election will have an impact on our business, much of which we will have to wait and see. That said, we need to focus on the conversations that will be productive for us.

It will take time before anyone knows for sure what will happen, but what we can focus on now are two dates; November 28th and December 5th. For most of my followers, November 28th will be the last day to take in a complete loan package that can close before Christmas. December 5th is likely the last day to take a complete file in that will close before the end of 2016. Plain and simple, focus on what you know you can do that has a direct impact on people TODAY!

Conversations are likely all over the place about rates and possible changes to regulations. While that is likely to be something we will have to deal with, don’t get caught in the trap of being a prognosticator! After all, we see how well professional predictors of elections have fallen all over themselves trying to explain this elections outcome. Don’t engage. Just focus day by day on two simple things:

  • Telling people how many days left to get their deal done.
  • Deal with today; if the deal is good for you today, take the deal!

There will be plenty of time to see how this election will change our business. I am certain that many things that are true today, will not be so months from now. Just like in the past, it will be how we handle and explain these coming changes to those who have questions, that will determine how well we do, and how many relationships we support.

Last year at this time we were dealing with TRID. Some did the work and were ready with a plan and a strategy that focused on getting better on our files upfront, so that we could still close out deals in less than 30 days. Many of you were prepared and have seen a huge increase in the quality and quantity of your referrals and referral partners because you were prepared and focused on the solution. However many were not prepared or focused on a solution and they are either already out of the business, or are falling off dramatically. The market wouldn’t accept 45-60 closings, so those that had a solution grew as others failed.

The solution to this change is focus on today. If the deal works for you today, take the deal. We have no idea what the future holds. We have no idea for sure what the next six months will look like. So don’t get trapped in the prediction game. Know the rules today, and be prepared to make adjustments tomorrow!

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

“Adjust your ACTIONS, not the RESULTS!”

As it often happens, the things I share with you come directly from the street, from the people I work with on a daily basis. Today is another one of those posts that was inspired by a coaching call.

You all know by now that October is the month I push hard at business planning. I want all of my people to reflect on the current year and collect the data needed to put forward a real set of projections for the coming year. You will note I said projections, not goals. Unfortunately, the word “goals” too many people has fallen victim to the same malaise as the word “resolution”! We see everyone making resolutions around the New Year, only to have watched them fall apart in a matter of days. Well, now people set goals the same way. Almost like making a wish! No real plan, no real conviction, and certainly no real schedule of actual actions and activities in place to reach the outcome desired!

So again this year my clients are planning and working to find the real numbers. They work to see where their business is actually coming from and what they are doing to attract the type of opportunities they want. During one call, I was trying to make a specific point about results driven activity. That is when the message came to me that I wanted to share with you today. We must change the way we look at results. We must change the way we approach our actions and activities. We must place the results in stone, and only adjust our actions and activities to support that result!

It has been my experience originators and managers set their actions in stone and accept the result derived from them. It should really be the other way around. We need to set the result in stone, then, adjust the actions and activities to support that outcome! It has become too easy to accept poor performance or outcomes with excuses. How many times have you heard, “I didn’t reach my goal because my best agent isn’t doing as much business?” Or, “The rates went up and I don’t have as many refinances!” Both of these are excuses for outcomes. Both of these are NOT reasons to fail; they are reasons to ADJUST!

So for 2017 set your projections for the number of transactions you are going to close. Project where that business will come from and set a course of action to achieve that result! Follow the math and track your results weekly and monthly to be sure you are on the correct path. If the numbers start to fall below expectations, make adjustments and get back on track! You don’t ever miss your projections in December; you miss them in January, February, and March. You miss them in July, August, and September! You failed to reach the outcome you desired only because you didn’t make adjustments to the actions and activities you were scheduling for yourself!

Falling short of the target is 100% your fault. 100% of the transactions you don’t close are your fault! Not earning the money you have committed to earning in 2017 will be because you chose not to make adjustments in your actions and activities and allowed yourself to accept less from yourself! You can adjust your actions, or you can just accept a result, it’s all within your control!

Thanks Bill! If not for you, these words are not possible!

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