“You get 100% of what you DON’T ask for!”

I just returned from a few trainings in Texas. It was nice to start the spring training season with originators in the great state of Texas. As with all trainings, it’s about sharing solutions and connecting the dots to the desired result. I always start by asking a series of questions about what the specific group I am talking with that day is experiencing, and where they are facing challenges. This past week was no different, but some of the answers were.

So many people were concerned by the fact that mortgage rates were rising. They almost all had bought into the belief that higher rates meant less business. While the main stream media may have the general public buying into that nonsense, Steve Harney of KCM put out a great post about how that it simply isn’t so. In fact, Steve’s chart shows that the last six times rates have moved up 1% or more in a year, housing prices went UP from 2% to 13% during the same time frame.

This is really important information, and mortgage professionals should be connected to solid sources of information. Steve Harney and The KCM Crew, do a great job. You should all be connected and following on Facebook®!

The other questions all seemed to center around generating new opportunities without buying leads. I shared that I never have my clients buy leads; I teach them how to generate opportunities from their day to day activities.

Start with the basics:

  • Collect 9s and 10s from everyone!
  • Connect with the listing agent on all of your deals.
  • Contact the seller on all of your purchase contracts.
  • Talk to the neighbors around each open house.
  • Engage the seller on each open house.
  • Connect with all your Realtors® by phone not email.
  • Talk to your database in person twice a year!

I know what you are thinking, most of these aren’t going to work, or that you already do a few of these things, but you need to do all of these things every time! You see, it isn’t about the deals you don’t get, it’s about the ones you do! Are you going to get all the sellers on your purchase contracts? Of course not; but you can get 3% on average. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot, but do the math. One thirty second phone call and stamp costs you fifty cents! What is the return in your market?

The neighbors around the open house and the seller of that home can result in as much as a 20% hit rate and possible listing opportunities for your agent. Is it worth spending the time and energy to do the work? You do the math!

We don’t build a real database and the people that do, often don’t engage personally with their closed clients. Why not? Statistically, one out of every 8 people is moving this year. How many of those will you get? How many of those in your database know someone moving? Will you get that referral? Not if you don’t ask!

You get 100% of what you don’t ask for! If you aren’t asking, you aren’t getting! You don’t need more leads; you need to convert the opportunities that are presented to you every day!

For strategies and solutions, visit www.IMTcoaching.com and take a look. If you are interested, we are running a Spring Special to get you ACCESS for just $19.99 per month! Just use the coupon code SPRING2018 at checkout and do something today that improves your tomorrow!

imt coaching spring special

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“It’s time for the TALK”

The time has come for all of us to have “THE TALK”. No, not the birds and bees talk, the talk about what you do and who you are as a mortgage professional. So much conversation, and quite frankly whining, about “margin compression” and how the big retailers and real estate companies are starting their own mortgage companies has got to stop. Step back and take a minute to look at what is really going on. There has always been a great deal of money to be made in the mortgage industry. So much so, that it had to be regulated down from criminal to just obscene. In the not to recent past, loan pricing was based on whatever you could get someone to agree to pay. I remember when high cost loans were first talked about and you could hear the complaining by people on how they couldn’t make 8 or 9 points on a deal anymore. L/O compensation drove more off the cliff when originators were “forced” to make the same money on every loan and not benefit from being able to generate more profit and commission based on the price and program you put the client in. Somehow, the industry survived. Yes, a large number of originators left the business, but I think we are better off without them.

Today you hear it again, but this time it’s, “margin compression is going to put me out of business”. Or Amazon, Costco, Quicken, or any number of other people is going to “steal” all the business!” Oh please! Technology has made for productivity and efficiencies in the mortgage business, which has great reduced the amount of people and time it takes to complete the loan process. So if there is less time and energy involved in actually closing a loan, why should that become reflective in the cost out to the street? I’m not saying everyone needs to prepare for call center commissions of 10 to 40bps; but we all know that there are originators out there still working on 200 basis points or more! That’s not the gross margin on the loan; it is just the originator’s commission!

There is always a price point at which no matter how great the service or speed, you price yourself out of the market. There is also the reality that if you sell price, you are going to lose business to those who will work cheaper than you, or lie better than you! Either way, it doesn’t work well.

We are in a fork in the road that leads to defining what and who you are in the business. You can be a price based call center provider, or you can be value based relationship focused provider. Pick! Either way, your choice! And before you say that millennials are only interested in what they can find online at the cheapest price, these are the same people who pay $5 for a cup of coffee!

You have to know your customer. You have to know your referral partners. You have to understand what you do and the relative value you bring to the table by way of the customer and referral partner experience. Just like the Starbuck’s® sitting across the street from the Dunkin Donuts®, both are in business and make a profit. Both have loyal customers and a great product. Both sell coffee. But the experience and the price of that experience is vastly different. They are completely different customers. While there may be some crossover from time to time, people find their own value proposition and make a choice. Dunkin Donuts® has to make a profit and so does Starbucks®. One sells coffee for $2 and the other $5. One can’t go lower and still be profitable, and the other can’t go higher because it will exceed its own value.

So each of us has to look at where we are, where our business comes from, the value and the experience we provide to our clients and referral partners. We have to determine what and who we are as providers, and determine who our client is and market ourselves to those who will find the value in what we do and how we do it. It’s almost never just about price; it’s almost always about the value. Nobody wins every deal and every customer. The good news is, you don’t have too! Are you going to be able to survive doing three loans a month? Not likely. But technology has given us so much more benefit; you can easily get to 5 or more with just a little more focus and a plan!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Ready to jump-start your productivity and closing rate?  Visit http://imtcoaching.com and get started today.

“Mornings aren’t mandatory”

Much has been made lately about getting up at 5am and pushing hard to get your plate clear as quickly as possible. As someone who is a morning person, I agree that getting up early and getting things accomplished is a great path to follow. But what if you aren’t a morning person? Are you doomed to failure? Is it not possible to be successful if you can’t get going at the crack of dawn? Of course it is. It is not only possible, but the mortgage industry makes it very simple to be successful work at any point on the clock!

The idea that the quality of work is somehow better in the morning is nonsense. The quality of work is determined by the skill of the worker and their attention to detail. While it is true that morning people like to get up and get going, it’s not mandatory to make your mornings count. While there are certain times of the day that specific tasks need to get done, nobody is hanging on your availability at 6am, nobody!

I have worked with very successful people who never got started before 10am. I myself often schedule my Wednesdays from noon to 8pm so I could accommodate clients that worked during the day and wanted an evening appointment. One top producer I have worked with worked a split day, a few hours in the morning until early afternoon, then back at it from 7pm to 9pm. The facts are pretty clear that if you schedule the work you need to get done, you can control your time pretty easily with a little practice.

Now I know that many of you will say “I need to get these things done before people interrupt me”. “I need to get these things done before I get busy”. Come on now! Do you not have a door you can close? Doesn’t your phone have an off button? Are you so mentally weak that you can’t remember to close the door and turn off the phone?

So schedule your way to success in the way that works best for you! You have voicemail, email, video, autoresponders, and the ability to set your schedule to handle the three things you have to accomplish each day:

  • Prospect for new business/relationships
  • Process the information received from prospecting
  • Manage the communications from the top two items.

Once you understand the tasks you have to complete and the time it takes to get them done, it becomes fairly simple to schedule your success at the times of the day that work best for YOU!

Yes, you can certainly “win the day by noon!” But you can also win the day in the afternoon and the evening if that part of the day works best for you! So morning people; go ahead and get out of the gate early. Late risers; know that it’s not how you start the day that matters, but how you finish it that matters.

Success scheduling; something else you can do today that will help improve your tomorrow!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com

“The Invisible Wall”

I had to dedicate this blog post to a man I never met, who did something before I was born, that gave me an example of life and the limitless possibilities of what can be done if you don’t listen to those who say it can’t be done!

Last week, Sir Roger Bannister died. You may not know who he is, but if you have ever heard me speak, or have been to one of my trainings, the odds are you know him well enough to know that he changed the world in 3:59.4! Roger was the first man in history to run a mile in less than four minutes. Why this was so special was because the entire world said it couldn’t be done. Doctors and scientists around the world said it was impossible. It was a medical “FACT” that the human being was incapable of doing this. It was said the heart would explode, or your muscles would knot up, and every other “PROVEN” reason that a human could run a mile in under four minutes. And it was true until May 6, 1954 when Roger Banister did what they say couldn’t be done. He ran a mile in 3:59.4 and changed the world!

Now why is this so important to me? Because when I was born, I was premature and the doctors said I wouldn’t survive. When I was six, I caught rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, and they said I wouldn’t survive. When I got into the loan business, those who worked there said you could only do a million dollars a month in business, until I did more; a lot more! The point is people will tell you things that they believe to be a fact, when it is really just a self-limiting belief! Look at Roger Bannister, he did what they say couldn’t be done, but within six weeks of him doing it, someone else ran a mile in under four minutes, and six weeks after that, someone else did it. Today, high school kids are running the mile in under four minutes. In fact, the current world record is 3:43.13.

The point is we often limit ourselves because of other people’s beliefs. We fail to accomplish all that we can because of what other people think, or because of what they have told us. We set such low expectations because other people around us help us limit what we can do by what they themselves expect from us; which is why in my coaching program I set the expectation at a minimum of 8 closed loans a month. Why eight loans a month? Because it is more than double the national average and a place where a single originator with no other support other than their processor, can easily close with a great customer experience, in fifty hours a week or less without any other outside help. By setting that expectation, it forces all of those in the program to expand what they think is possible, and certainly what they think is “normal”.

Just because the “average” originator closes less than four loans a month, doesn’t mean that is you! Now since 70% of the industry is below that in monthly production, just think about what the others must be doing? Well, about 21% find that 8 unit a month average. About 9% are doing even more! So imagine what can happen when those people in that lower 70% group remove those self-limiting beliefs? Well, in my experience, about a third of them go on to get to the 8 loan a month average. Better than that, about a third of that third keep going to do more than ten loans a month! All because they changed their beliefs enough to make the structural changes in their business to make it happen!

So thank you Sir Roger Bannister! You are my hero and the inspiration behind my thinking that anything is possible if you first believe that it is possible!

For the tools and strategies to help you go from where you are to where you would like to be, please visit www.IMTcoaching.com and see what you can do today to improve your tomorrow!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Want to book Mike to come out to your office for a private training and site visit that is sure to jump start the number of loans your office closes?  Visit:  http://www.imtcoaching.com/how-many-loans-do-you-want-to-close-in-2018.html

“Comes in like a Lion!”

Welcome to March, last month of the first quarter. You already have a great idea how your first quarter is going to close out, and how you are tracking your targets of your business plan. You certainly have a really strong idea of your closed units and volume, are we ahead, behind, tracking on course? All questions you need to be aware of! Go back and review your business plan and be sure you are in control of your business.

The old adage “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is in reference to the weather. The cold winter begins to transition into the spring, where things are more comfortable and enjoyable. That reminds me a little bit of our entire client process. When we are first contacted by a new client, there is a flurry of activity that drives us to the pre-approval. Once the client becomes pre-approved, it almost seems like most originators relax and become almost too comfortable with the fact that this client will find a house and use them for the financing.

The problem is, that many of the clients that loan officers pre-approve, gone on to close loans with other lenders! In fact, I have seen as much as 30% to 50% of some originator’s pre-approvals actually close with other lenders! Just think of that! An originator does all the work of pre-approving the client, only to not close the deal? At these numbers, how does that loss of business change their lives? Not only in lost income, but in lost referrals and referral partners? The true costs can be staggering!

I have spent some time actually working with managers calling people who were pre-approved but didn’t close with their originator. The results were pretty interesting. While some people wouldn’t tell us if they indeed actually closed a deal, those that would share with us the information had a pretty common response: “I didn’t think it mattered who I used?” and “I just used the lender the Realtor® said I should use” was the most common answers.

So imagine what would happen to those numbers if we kept personally connected to our pre-approvals AND our referral partners to be sure the client knew that it does matter who they use? The lesson is, you can’t stop communicating with your client once you have them pre-approved, there is too much to lose not to stay connected! And by connected I mean personally connected, not just a series of boiler plate emails from a CRM, but real live personal contact! It’s certainly within your ability to call each one of your pre-approvals by phone every Thursday to ask if they have been looking at property or if they are scheduled to see property in the coming weekend.

Since my average client has between 20 and 30 pre-approvals out looking at any one time, larger teams have team transaction coordinators making those calls, but those calls take less than an hour to make. One hour a week of effort to secure the people you lose to indifference? Is it worth the time? You bet it is. In fact, when managers and originators track their losses and follow-up regularly with their pre-approvals, we have seen dramatic reductions in those people who close with other lenders or use a different Realtor® than the one they were using! Imagine that? More closed units for you, and more returned transactions to the agent you work with because YOU stayed committed to keeping connected?

As we head toward spring you need to stay on top of your numbers. You also need to track the way in which you keep connected to your pre-approvals. You can spend a great deal of time and money to attract opportunity, only to lose it because you didn’t keep connected. So be a LION through the entire process. Protect your pre-approvals right through the entire process and beyond! Managers, track your originators and follow their numbers. You may be very surprised at what you find!

Tracking your numbers, something that you can do today that helps improve your tomorrow!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

mike white ad 1