“The Power of Vacations”

Very few people look at all the benefits of taking vacations. In fact, many people will tell you that they are too busy to take vacations. I know this because I used to be one of those people!

As a coach and trainer to some pretty productive people, I will tell you that being “BUSY” is often a result of poor systems and workflow! I will also tell you, that I strongly recommend taking two to four vacations a year, and always have your next vacation scheduled!

Now I am not taking about calling going to Vegas to attend a business conference as a vacation. I mean the kind of vacation where you go away, turn off the phone, and let your team execute for you while you recharge yourself! Real down time!

I get that this seems tough for many of you, but it is time for you to look at your business and exactly why you can’t go away? What is going to happen that you can’t have someone cover for you while you are gone? Clearly if you think you can’t get away, even for a few days unplugged, you have some big issues.

The benefits to doing the work so you can go away are many. Here are a few:

  • You get to go away and spend some of the money you are making.
  • You get to recharge and relax.
  • Getting away from your business helps provide clarity.
  • Preparing to go away makes you look at your systems.
  • Going away helps you see what worked and what didn’t!
  • Preparing to go away causes efficiency in your efforts.
  • It always seems that when people are away, they see a spike in new business!
  • Unplugged vacations prevent expensive divorces!
  • Unplugged vacations help you learn about your kids and/or yourself!

If you don’t have the money, systems, or team to go away; work on the systems first! Getting your systems squared away will create efficiencies and more opportunities. These new opportunities will create new income, and then you will have the money to go away. You don’t have to plan a two week adventure. Start with a three day weekend. When you get back, plan a four day weekend and get it on your schedule. Work toward the outcome you desire helps motivate you to implementation! Implementation causes change! Change is what you need so you can get away unplugged for longer periods of time!

Everyone needs vacations. I am on a vacation! As this is being published on Thursday May 25th 2017, my wife and I are enjoying our 7th day in Hawaii. We will be in Kauai to be specific, part of a cruise around the islands that completes my 50 state experiences. I have now been in all 50 states! We will book our next vacation as soon as we get home, if we don’t book it while we are on this one.

Planning for and taking vacations can actually make you a better and productive professional. Once you understand how powerful it is to take unplugged vacations, you will always have one schedule on your calendar!

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

“What is a deadline?”

I have been having a number of conversations lately about deadlines and how originators find themselves stressing over them. A specific case in point, I was just visiting one of my clients and their assistant, we were out to dinner. We were having a productive exchange about best practices when I began to notice the assistant looking at her phone every few minutes. When I inquired about the situation and why she kept focusing on her phone instead of the people she was with, she said she was waiting for disclosures to be acknowledged so a loan could close the following Monday. That if she didn’t get them back by midnight, the transaction would be delayed.

I asked her how she prepared the borrower to perform in this situation and she said she told him she had to have those disclosures back by midnight, or the loan couldn’t close on time. I asked her why she set the deadline at midnight. As expected, she said it was when the deadline was. I said “whose deadline, yours or the client’s? She said it was the same thing. That is when I explained to her that they weren’t the same at all. While legally she had an obligation to get those disclosures back by midnight to close the following Monday, I explained that if she had made the client’s deadline 4 p.m. that afternoon, she wouldn’t be checking her phone every five minutes looking to see if the client did indeed return the needed documents!

You see, deadlines are different for different people and circumstances. We often say things in general terms like “In order to close on Monday, I need your disclosures acknowledged by midnight.” The problem with that is, midnight is your deadline, and once it comes, you have no options. As a professional, your job is to set in place a timeline for the work to get done so that the closing happens as scheduled. Once midnight came and went, there were no options left. However, had she set the deadline at 4 p.m. that afternoon, she would have had time to reach out to the client and the referral partner and explain that the closing was now going to be delayed a few days because those disclosures weren’t executed by 4 p.m. as instructed.

Clearly this would have prompted a reaction from the customer and the referral partner asking if there was anything that could be done to keep the closing Monday as scheduled? This would have given you the opportunity to have that client execute those documents immediately, and she could have enjoyed her evening! Remember, we need to control the actions and the timeline or we are subject to other people setting it for us. Never set a deadline for anyone that doesn’t give you a chance to resolve the issue without harm!

Now most people are really good about understanding the timeline on the CD, but aren’t so connected to the LE. I have seen a number of occasions when the LE wasn’t executed properly and there were issues. You can’t allow that to happen. You need to set deadlines that work for you that give you a chance to save the customer from themselves! So set the deadlines at 4 p.m; this will give you time to engage in the process and resolve the issue, or at least connect with everyone and workout an extension.

Remember, it’s your job as a professional to set the rules and timeline for the transaction to insure a timely and smooth transaction. Giving a client a midnight deadline, only forces you to stay up all night waiting for something that might not happen. Setting a 4 p.m. deadline gets it done so you have time to save the client from themselves!

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

“Lack of Inventory isn’t the Problem!”

It certainly appears that everyone in the media and most in the real estate business are complaining about a lack of inventory. It seems everyone has become focused on this mantra for one reason of another. My opinion is that if there is a lack of inventory, then it’s the result of people failing to take specific action! Here are a few examples of what I mean:

If there are more buyers than sellers in your market and there is this lack of inventory, why aren’t people taking advantage of this new found “seller’s market” and selling? Clearly nobody has made the case for them to do so. So when people who could take advantage of an opportunity, don’t take advantage of the opportunity, they are either uninformed or uneducated. Both of those are solvable by effective and specific communication.

When current homeowners who could list their homes and buy another home and don’t; it’s because they weren’t aware of the cost and value differences of what they own verses what they would like to have. Once again the lack of effective communication and specific strategies are missing from the equation.

In most markets in this country there are specific price points where there is a large amount of inventory for those people looking to buy. The question is; do you know where that level is and how to work that market to draw attention to those who could buy? Sometimes the markets flow from the bottom and push their way up; but in other cases the market can be pulled up from the top! So are you identifying the void and using that opportunity to create activity?

Right now we are facing the end of the school year. Many people who would like to sell and buy, would sell and buy IF somebody shared with them a strategy to succeed! For those that have small children who will be starting school in the fall, moving closer to the school or a better school would be a great reason. Someone just needs to let them know it’s possible! How many families are sending their kids off to college in the fall and no longer need all the space they have? Those people would be a great target to work! Last but certainly not least are the teachers and administrators themselves. How many are changing jobs and moving to new schools? All of these are reasons to connect and communicate.

The lack of inventory in your market isn’t because the homes don’t exist; it’s because people don’t know that it makes sense for them to MOVE! If you aren’t going to be the one out on the streets sharing the message, then you are likely the one sitting around complaining that the reason you don’t do more business is that there is a lack of inventory. In reality, you don’t do enough business because you don’t talk to enough people!

So get out and use the success strategies we have shared here in the past to help create the movement in the market you need. If you wait for someone else to do the work, they aren’t likely to pay YOU!

All of the success strategies can be found at www.IMTcoaching.com or through www.RLPPNOW.com

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“The Availability Myth”

Loan officers and managers continue to struggle with the issue of availability. People will preach that a loan originator needs to be available at all times or return phone calls, emails, and text messages almost instantly. I am here to tell you that’s severely flawed thinking, and completely impossible! Nobody can be available 24/7/365, NOBODY! Besides, why would you want too?

Now I know what you will say, “If I am not there to answer the phone, they are going to call someone else!” Well, if that is the case, you have one or more of the following challenges:

  • You haven’t created enough differentiation between you and your competition.
  • Your referral partners have not made the case why it is important to speak to you about financing.
  • That customer isn’t your customer!

I have loan originators all over the country who will gladly tell you that their business got better and much more consistent when they took the time to explain their process to their referral partners as well as their clients. Simply put, it’s impossible to answer every call, text, or email as soon as it hits. Well, you could if you only worked one loan at a time and never had a day off or went to sleep! So if we know it’s not possible to answer right away, we need a plan as to how we handle the calls and requests for information; and that plan needs to be communicated to each referral partner, and they can relay how and why that customer should follow that plan!

By now some of you are ready to fight and want to argue this point. Let me tell you, you can’t win. It isn’t possible. You have to make the case for your process, and why your process is worth it! If you can’t make that case, then you aren’t working with the right people! That agent who needs a pre-qual at 10pm on a Saturday night isn’t an agent you want on your team. Either they learn the value in getting people to you before they show them property, or don’t show them property! If that Realtor can’t make the case, then either share with them the benefits of getting themselves through your process before they go out, or find another referral partner!

Use the e-book “The Communications Advantage” to help set yourself and your referral partners up for success. You don’t need to be available 24/7/365. Your systems and information needs to be available, but you don’t!

  • Voicemail can be set to tell people when you are returning calls. If people can’t wait a couple of hours to talk with you, they have a problem, not you!
  • Video business cards can explain your process so the customer is informed and aware of your process, and see the value in following your system to a smooth and happy conclusion.
  • Video FAQs and online applications, calculators, and program information can often answer many questions, or at least satisfy the need until you can schedule an appointment.
  • Clear instructions as to how navigate your process can be all it takes for people to be comfortable with you and the process.
  • If after all of this the customer chooses to keep calling people until they find someone to answer the phone; then you dodged a bullet and are lucky to have passed that person off to someone who enjoys being a victim of not having a system.

You can’t put up the big numbers and answer the phone when it rings or respond instantly to every email when it comes in. It’s not possible! There isn’t a single top producer in the country who answers every call when it comes in, or responds to every email and text when it hits. It is possible to create a system that makes sense, and to respond professionally in a reasonable amount of time. Either you set the value of your time or you let your referral partners and clients set the value of your time. I guarantee that you won’t be happy at the price they give you!

Create the process that makes sense for you and your referral partners. Set your voicemail and explain to the prospect exactly how you will respond to them. Work with your referral partners on sharing WHY their referrals will benefit from your professional service, and don’t be afraid to lose a deal or a referral partner because you don’t answer your phone, because it’s an impossible expectation!

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