“Create Significance”

One of the key components in a successful business is having a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and how it makes you money. Far too often, people get wrapped up in being busy without any focus on what actions, activities, and relationships are actually productive. That contrast between being busy and being productive often get muddied and distorted. Often people think they are the same thing. They are not. I know plenty of really busy broke people!

One way to avoid being busy without becoming productive is to create significance. Using the filter of significance can help you avoid those tasks and even people in your life that caused you to be disproportionately busy compared to the results achieved. That is why during my annual business planning process for my clients which always begins in October, we look at where our business is coming from and the true cost in time, effort, and assets for each referral, pre-approval, and closing costs us to generate.

Just like every other successful business, you need to know the costs of your business so you can determine the proper value of each and every action, activity, and relationship, so you can see if you need to keep it, improve it, or eliminate it for the coming year! Business planning and an accountability partner can help you create a plan that creates significance in what you do, how you do it, and with whom you do it with!

I have completed the 2018 business plan worksheet as well as the monthly coaching webinar in support of business planning for 2018 and both of them are on the public website www.IMTcoaching.com for you to review and use to help guide you through that process. It is in support of the e-book “Business Planning for the Mortgage Professional”, which is in the e-book section of the client’s site or available to purchase for those who aren’t “Access” members.

If 2018 is going to be a year of change for you, then you really need to figure out what needs to change and when you will make those changes. Since our business is a business of constant flow; then you must consider that any changes you make today may take thirty to sixty days or more before you begin to experience the true changes. Now that doesn’t mean that some results won’t happen almost instantly, but realistically you need to allow for double the amount of time in your average gestation cycle (The time from pre-approval to closing or first contact to closing) before you assume the results are catching up to your efforts!

Last but not least, after you build your business plan and schedule the new actions and activities into your schedule; you will need to review your plan with your accountability partner. YES, you NEED an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER! Without someone else to hold you accountable to your own plan, it isn’t very likely you will hold steady to your plan. That is why people have coaches. That is why people belong to support groups. Having an accountability partner to help you along the path will improve your outcome significantly. In some cases, it makes the entire difference in success or failure of the plan.

So create significance in your professional life by creating your business plan for 2018. Do the work, create the schedule, the list of tasks, and the expectations you are planning to achieve. Note that I said “expectations you are planning to achieve” and not “setting goals”? I did that for a specific reason, goal setting allows for failure to achieve, whereas planning to achieve allows for adjustments. A minor detail to some; but a major difference just the same! If you want significant results, you will need to create a significant plan to succeed!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“Six Weeks”

We have right about six weeks left to put together deals that will close in 2017. Where ever you think you are, and whatever you thought this year was going to be for you, you have about six more weeks to get it done and closed to count for this year!

Final tasks to consider:

  • Status of every pre-approval issued this year?
  • Referral partner targets for the year status?
  • Halloween event should already be planned and in motion?
  • Client appreciation event scheduled?
  • Thanksgiving strategy. Pies or black Friday sale?
  • Holiday season, parties thrown and attended?
  • New tools and systems to integrate before the New Year?

These seven specific tasks are often overlooked and are very costly mistakes. Each task provides accountability toward your business plan and at the same time helps secure any final opportunities for this year. These actions also encourage contact with all of your clients and referral partners so you create important momentum going into 2018.

You need to remember that forcing short term productivity into 2017 may end up costing you in the beginning of 2018. So be aware that you can’t forget about generating new pre-approvals to fill you queue as you generate and close your year-end business.

We will be doing a business planning webinar Tuesday October 24th at 1pm eastern time. That webinar will be posted on IMTCoaching.com and the worksheet for that webinar is already available on the website to download if you want to get started this weekend. I am a firm believer in planning and accountability.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“Then Monday Comes”

This time of year we all seem to be heading out for one group event or another. A national training, a regional event, a company sponsored event, and even just doing or continuing education requirements has us out an about hearing new concepts and ideas. The so called “best of the best” or the most “successful” people up on stage sharing some of the things they have done to reach certain levels of “success”. Having taken part in many of these events on both sides of the stage, I fully understand the appeal and the power of these events. I actually encourage people to promote and attend these events but often, the opportunity to improve is lost once the music is off and the crowds are gone. All the promise and excitement of adding new things to our business that will help us reach new levels of performance heading into the weekend fill us; and then Monday comes!

Yes, Monday arrives and we fall back into the same set of experiences and circumstances we left a week ago. At first we have our notes and our intensions to make things better, but within a few days those notes are under a pile of other papers and the excitement of the new is buried by the reality of the past and present!

As a coach and mentor, this part of the job is the most challenging and difficult part of what I do. Clients have all of these new ideas and concepts they have learned that they want to add to their business, but can’t figure out how to incorporate those concepts into their current environment. Between the urgency of the immediate, and the normal demands of the present, most of those new ideas don’t find the time in the schedule to be incorporated. The new concepts are just “wishes” and “hopes”, not ever really given the chance to survive. Because “when Monday comes”, you see people falling back into the very systems and schedules that didn’t get them the result they wanted in the past!

Here are the five key questions you need to answer before making these new changes:

  • Do you fully understand what you saw and why do you think it works?
  • Have you done the math and is it really worth your time and money?
  • What “pain” in your current system does doing this resolve?
  • What does this new system replace or add to my workload, and how and when does it get done?
  • Who will keep me accountable to working this into my new system and schedule?

If you can answer all five of these questions clearly, you have a real chance to make the change you want and see the results intended. If you don’t, there is a pretty good chance that next year and the year after that you will say to yourself, “I saw that once and it didn’t work for me.” Or, “I know that is a great idea but I just don’t have the time to do any more work!”

Great ideas and concepts are all around us. New and exciting things can cause great emotion. The reality is that most of us would improve our businesses more by focusing on the basic fundamentals of our job and mastering the things we are already doing than adding something else to the mix! I know this because I have been there. I saw the shows, fell in love with the concepts, spent hours, days, and thousands of dollars trying to improve my outcome, only to find that by mastering the basics did I ever have the time to benefit from the new concepts put before me.

The show is soon over. The music goes away. The excitement of something new fades! Then Monday comes and reminds you that your current systems and procedures require too much of your attention to allow you to do anything new! If you don’t answer the important five questions, you will struggle to implement the vision you saw back when the music was loud and the promise of new and exciting held your attention. You head back home from the event and then Monday comes!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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“45 Day Burn”

Before I get started, I wanted to take a moment and pause for those lost, for those who were hurt, and those that have friends or family members touched by the events in Las Vegas. It is a tragedy. More will come out and be said about what lead up to this event, but we need to focus on how we respond. The make-up of a civilization isn’t found in their tragedies, it’s found in how they deal with them. Politics will be thrust into the middle of this and already has. Unfortunately, the instantaneous response always seems to be one of blame. We need awareness, compassion, support, and to understand that laws don’t stop hate and violence, education and awareness does. You can’t legislate morality, you teach values.

On a business note, we have about 45 days left to meet the people who will put together a deal; close, and get you paid by the end of the year. What are you going to do to finish the year strong and build momentum for 2018? Here are ten suggestions you can use to help make a final push! Each one can generate an opportunity for a referral or a referral partner!

  • Go back through your pipeline and pre-approvals and locate everyone and where they are in the process. There are likely a few that have closed someplace else, but there are also those who just needed you to reach out and help them move forward.
  • Call every accountant and financial planner that was involved in every transaction you had this year and work the “Tax Extension Strategy” to find a few deals.
  • Connect with every Listing Agent on all of your closed deals and ask to share a few listing generating strategies.
  • Work with one or two of your best referral partners to help them generate a new listing using the “Forever Home Strategy®”
  • Get your Halloween event planned and scheduled.
  • Start your client appreciation event, get it planned and scheduled.
  • Finish your video business card, FAQ’s, and Social Media pages.
  • Run a Facebook® raffle to grow your “likes” or “followers”.
  • Visit one Open House each weekend and connect with the agent, seller, and neighbors.
  • Complete a video coupon and share it with everyone in your database and on your social media outlets.

Focus on what you can do, not what you don’t control! You only control your actions, not the reactions of the people around you. So look at the opportunities and get going! If you work on just one thing each day for the next 45 days you can accomplish a great deal more than just sitting back and hoping things will come your way!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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