“Spending or Earning?”

We all have a finite amount of time. We all use this time differently and place completely different value on it. When I coach, I find it helpful to show my clients where their time is going, and how much of it goes unaccounted for! One thing for sure, if we aren’t using our time to earn money, we are going to be spending money! It’s just a fact, life costs money. Every minute has a price. Every action has a cost. Far too often we don’t take the time to understand what those costs are. We just go out and try to earn more money than we spend; and for the most part, that system isn’t very effective!

Part of the strategy to gain control of the time we lose is to identify it. I know it sounds silly, but far too many people have no real idea how long things take to do. They also don’t place a specific value on their time. Think about it this way, if you had to bill for everything you did, wouldn’t you have a much better idea how much time you spent doing things? Why does it take some loan officers five hours to take a contact all the way to closing, and some use ten hours or more? Could there really be twice as much work from one file to another? Or is it more likely that one originator has a better understanding of the process and spends less time wasting time on the file?

Part of the problem as I see it is that we don’t set specific hours of specific work. We also don’t set expectations of how long things will take to get done. In fact, I just had a call today with a client who was upset because she had a file that is supposed to close next Monday and the CD hasn’t been sent yet. The file was cleared more than ten days ago! The loan officer asked when the CD would be done and was told it didn’t need to be done yet! Ten days sitting doing nothing and my originator sits everyday looking to see if the CD was issued or not? What a complete waste of time! When I asked her why she didn’t say something sooner, she said because it wasn’t urgent! Well, it’s urgent now! So get in front of the issues and schedule task completion from the time you turn it over, not just to get it done under the wire!

A wise man once said that each task takes either the time it takes to do, or the time you allow it to take! You have to know. You have to understand that there is no reason to waste your time. There is no reason to work longer hours than needed, and there is no reason not to develop efficiencies so that you are doing the best possible job in the shortest period of time. Everything else is missed opportunity. Missed opportunity to do more business and earn more money; or an opportunity to spend the money we have earned with the people we love spending our time with! Think of the words: “Spending your time!” Just like money you spend time and spend money and it’s gone! Unlike money, you can’t go out and earn more time!

So think about it. Know where your time is going and how you are spending it! What is the value of each minute, day, week, month, or year once it has passed? Did you get what it was worth? Are you earning the most you can in the time you have committed to working? Only you can answer that question for yourself! If you need help, we have the systems and the tools to help you get to where you want to be! The beginning to your new life could be as simple as the “Fast Start 180!”

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTCoaching.com

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“Sometimes less IS more”

I get reminded on a regular basis by people in our industry how simple it can be to fall into bad habits and end up expending more energy to get less and less accomplished. We often blame our clients, referral partners, and even our own team members for dragging us down, but it is our responsibility to conduct our business and keep focused on our system. The failures to have and to maintain your system is the major reason people under achieve; at least that has been my experience!

Some of the key triggers for system failure other than not having a clear process on how you do what you do are the lack of a timed structure of accomplishment. It is not just good enough to assign a task to someone; it’s equally important to have a deadline as to when it will be completed. That is how you manage; set an expectation, assign responsibility and a deadline! You manage to the task and the deadline. Other than that, get out of the task until it’s time to check!

Falling into bad habits is easy to do. It often starts by losing minutes on each task. It may not sound like much, but losing just a few minutes on each task can add hours to you work week and weeks to your work year! This results in a loss of productivity, stress, and the feeling that your business is out of control.

The time is always right to know what you do and how long it takes to do it. While this sounds pretty obvious, you would be surprised how many people don’t have their process written down, timed, and checked! Again, minutes on each task add up to hours each week! So be sure you are following some simple steps:

  • Know what you need to do and how long it takes to do it!
  • Understand you can delegate a task but can’t abdicate responsibility that that task gets done properly and on time!
  • Your job is to check the steps so you and everyone on the team are clear of the objective and the timeline!
  • Always have scheduled the next time you need to engage!
  • Supervising your own time and outcomes are just as important as those working with you!

Bad habits creep into our lives five or ten seconds at a time or one or two 99% completed tasks at a time. And while 99% is just fine most of the time, that missing 1% can come back to haunt you! In fact, think about all the times in your life that 1% can be the difference?

  • What if your ration was just 1% lower or higher?
  • What if your available cash to close was 1% different?
  • What if your gross loan revenue was just 1% more or less?
  • Think about 1%, 2%, and skim milk???
  • What could 1% mean on your licensing test???

Small losses of time and effort add up. You must remain aware of your system and your structure being certain we are staying on track and on schedule. While it really doesn’t matter if you are doing just a few loans a month, but if you ever want your job to become a profession, you need to realize your time is finite and small issues add up!

So be aware. Know your process and the timing of the work. Keep track of how long things take and always schedule what’s next! Seconds lead to minutes. Minutes roll into hours. Those hours become either the stress or opportunity of your life! If you are having challenges, please use the website or email us for help. Turning stress into opportunities is what we do! Fast Start 180 may be what you need?

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“Devalued Relationships”

Email, text messages, and social media are a fact of life. They are all important tools and can be an effect part of your communication strategy. However, you must guard against devaluing your relationships through automation and pure electronic contact. Let’s face it; we are all guilty of devaluing relationships through automation and electronic communication. It’s easy to do. We set up autoresponders, use technology to leave messages instead of directly connecting. Many people have automated campaigns that take the person almost completely out of the process. While this may improve efficiency, it doesn’t do much in the way of showing people how much you value them and their business.

Think of it, in an effort to remain and keep connected, we are distancing ourselves. It’s not hard to see, go to any restaurant or coffee shop and look. Everyone is in their phone searching email, texting, looking online, but very few people are actually talking with the people they are with! It’s become crazy! We are devaluing the relationships we say we are serving by diluting ourselves and our message electronically!

I am a firm believer in automation. I think there are plenty of times that certain things can and should be automated. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are in a relationship business and that if we don’t personally engage, we don’t have much of a relationship! It is important in the world of electronic communication to be certain you integrate personal contact and maintain that personal connection!

So take a good look at your systems. A certain degree of automation is fine; but be sure you have a series of personal contacts built in to your system or be prepared to lose your relationships to someone who will! Absence does make the heart grow fonder; it grows fonder of someone else! If you want to maintain and nurture your relationships, you have to provide personal attention. You can’t be too busy to provide personal attention to your relationships!

Make it part of your business life to identify your critical relationships and build in that personal connection. Breakfast meetings, lunch & learns, coffees, happy hours, even a day at the movies or the ballpark can help provide time and that personal connection that many people are letting slip away.

Once again I am not anti-automation. I am strongly opposed to the lack of the personal connection! If we don’t place a priority on our personal relationships; if we aren’t prepared to invest our time in our people; if we are going to let automation and electronic communication replace the personal phone call, the hand written note, the handshake, the personal time we commit to those we are committed to serving, then we aren’t really committing ourselves to the relationship.

When it comes to relationships, there is no replacing personal attention! Schedule the personal touch in every relationship!

  • When do we speak live?
  • When was the last time we met?
  • When did we last share a meal?
  • Send a handwritten note instead of an email!
  • Schedule the time for each relationship!

You can’t take “YOU” out of “YOUR” relationships. If you do, that relationship will soon belong to someone else!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Visit us at http://imtcoaching.com

“It works when you work it”

In speaking with a few of my clients this week I was reminded of the importance of working the plan. In Texas, one of my clients had a situation where her client had a low credit score and it was a result of a divorce situation. We all know that one of the unfortunate casualties of a divorce can be a credit score if not handled properly. In this case, a customer was looking that reality head on because of debts the former spouse failed to pay on time. I reminded my originator that this situation was an opportunity to educate the borrower and ask for an introduction to their divorce attorney.

He got a very pleasant introduction and a phone call led to a meeting over lunch. During lunch, the originator explained how in the future, this attorney could refer their clients to him for a review, following the procedures in the “Attorney Advantage® e-book” and help identify those accounts that may present a future issue. He also shared that a quit claim deed or a stipulation of responsibility in a divorce agreement was not enough protection, and that these account had to be settled or a release from the creditor to that borrower.

The attorney was very impressed and was very interested in working this plan with my originator. In the next few days my client received two referrals from the attorney, and both people were happy to know their options and one of which is going to buy out their spouse. This plan will work if you work it!

The other situation was an originator in Kansas City connecting with a local business that had experienced significant growth and was busy recruiting employees from all around the country. My originator followed up with the HR department from a loan she had in process to thank them for a quick reply to a request for information. When speaking to the HR person, they quickly realized that they had some common interests in making the process of relocation easier on their new employees. My originator followed up with a meeting and now they are the lender of record for this company and my originator not only gets in front of all their relocation business, but has put together a benefit package for the company to save them money!

Not only is this a win for everyone involved, my originator now has a number of Realtor® referrals to pass along to agents in the areas of need. Again, it works if you work it! Take a minute and connect with the website and all the support strategies, it can really help you improve your business! As always, we are focused on “Doing something today that improves your tomorrow!”

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTCoaching.com

Visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com