“Just think a minute”

A few things to think about this week that caught my attention; either the entire world is trying to sell you solutions to problems that have been invented, or making excuses for why people don’t perform their fundamental functions.

Realtor income is down year over year and some would have you believe it’s an inventory problem. Yup, a lack of inventory is the reason. Lack of inventory; gee, why could there be a lack of inventory? Is it because all the homes have vanished, or is it because agents aren’t out on the streets making the case for why now is the time to move into forever homes?

Seriously, realtors have two jobs, list property for sale and sell listed properties. If there is a lack of listed properties to sell, why aren’t more agents becoming Listing Agents instead of all the new “TEAMS” of buyer’s agents handling leads lists? Could it be that the industry has converted too many agents and too many hours focusing on chasing leads lists that they forgot to get out on the street and actually go list property?

I also think another fun thing to look at is the topic of call reluctance. You know call reluctance is just a term for procrastination or success avoidance don’t you? Seriously, why would anyone be reluctant to make a call? Only two things can happen, you get what you want, which is good; or you don’t, which is exactly what you had before you made the call? So why not just make the call? And for those of you using sly dial, you know you are just making an excuse for not personally connecting with your people right?

And while we are on the subject of making calls, here is a story from one of my clients in Arizona. He was making annual connecting calls with his past clients when something happened that I have never seen or heard of in my 35+ years in the business. He called a past female client that he had closed a loan for a couple of years earlier. He was just checking in to see how things were going when a male voice answered the phone. It was a bit of a surprise to my L/O as the young lady he did the loan for was single when he did the loan, but anything is possible! So he asked for the young lady by name.

The man who answered the phone didn’t know the person he was looking for so he just asked if he had dialed the correct number. As it turns out, it was indeed the right number but not now the number of his former client. The L/O identified himself and his occupation, then went on to say that the lady he was looking for was a past client he was following up with that he had done a loan for in the past.

Just when the originator thought the call was about to end, the man on the other end said, “Are you really in the mortgage business? I have been renting a long time and my lease is about up for renewal and was thinking about buying a home, is that something you might be able to help me with?” Clearly surprised, the originator said he could and the two began to talk about what the process would look like and what information needed to be assembled to move forward. The new prospect made an appointment to come in and meet the L/O, he wanted to meet not complete an online application, and they met the next afternoon. Turns out, that the prospect was very capable of purchasing something that would suit him well, but needed a recommendation of a Realtor to go and see properties with! That is special!

One follow-up phone call, one lost contact, one new prospect, one new referral, and the ability to complete the purchase cycle. Just by being complete in following through with his process, what would have been a simple wrong number turned into a special opportunity! Yes, you just can’t make this stuff up!

So think about all you hear and the reasons people are giving for not succeeding. You may very well need new systems or tools or processes; but you may just need to go back and do the basic fundamental tasks that help keep the person in the profession! Just think about it for a minute. What is the work I am avoiding and why am I avoiding it?

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com


“Plenty to think about”

It has been a pretty interesting week; some of the fallout from the announcement from Zillow about them entering the mortgage arena has been pretty significant. I have heard from some of my clients that they have been approached by agents to assume the fees from other lenders who have, or are cancelling contracts to buy the leads from a new competitor.

I think it’s pretty ironic the progression of that process. It’s almost like people didn’t see it coming. First, agents turn over their listing information to Zillow so those listing have more exposure. It’s odd to me because NAR had that business once and sold it because it wasn’t worth investing money in. So, along comes Zillow invests in a better customer friendly site and then begins to sell the leads back to the very agents who gave the information away for FREE!

Then a whole new business of coaching agents to subscribe to buying these leads and get weaker agents to work for them as buyers agents for a reduced fee; at the same time, find multiple lenders to pay for the cost of those leads. Interesting thought process and often a process used in violation of a number of different laws, but that is a completely different story. So now everything is moving along until Zillow starts looking at listing property and competing directly with the same people providing the information and paying them for the leads! While a few agents begin to see the writing on the wall, many are spending money to go to trainings that promote this very process!

So last week the game changed again. Zillow engaging in the mortgage business is of no surprise, but I admit I was a bit surprised at how quickly many originators on a number of social media platforms engaged in a “mutiny” if you will, against paying money to a company that is becoming a direct competitor! Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see it, but I really didn’t think the reaction was going to be as strong as it was.

All of this goes back to my point over the years that this is a people business. If you take the people out of the process, you lose the profession! Realtors are beginning to identify the “Algorithm Enemy” much the same way mortgage people are beginning to see it. If you remove the personal and professional connection, you lose the MONEY associated with that of a professional.

Now I know that I am old school. I know I am one of the few people who believe that mortgage people should train, act, and dress like professionals. I get it, I am old! But the point remains, if you are going to work like a call center person, you can’t expect to be paid as a professional!

I would be very interested in hearing from all of you on this topic. You can respond on the Facebook post, the LinkedIn post, or just email me: mike@IMTcoaching.com


The 60 day end of summer BURN!

Would you commit to two hours a day of focused activity if it would help you push your production higher by 50% or more? It’s really pretty simple, “You don’t have enough business because you don’t talk to enough people!” We all know that if we don’t like our results, we need to change what actions we are taking. Without the work, there is no change in the result!

Here are a few things you can add to your schedule to improve your outcomes. Just two hours of focused activity can make all the difference!

“OPEN HOUSES” – 1 Realtor connection – 1 Seller – 40 neighbors – THOUSANDS on social media! Have conversations about what you do and how you can help!

Hit and grow your database! – Add 25 people per week – Birthday Calls – Annual Review Calls – Reconnect with older pre-approvals. Connect them to your social media outlets to improve connectivity.

Identify every accountant you have ever worked with and talk to them about the tax extension strategy! October 18th 2018 is when all of those who filed for extensions need to file. Important for the accountant to ask if they are planning to buy or sell a home in the next two years – filing in October 2018 and again in February 2019 gives that client TWO YEARS of documented income!

Find 20 small banks and credit unions in your area, 5 north – 5 south – 5 east – 5 west – run a route each week in one of these directions. Talk to each manager and ask what kind of business you can refer them, and what you do that they don’t!

Use the “Back to School Rule” to improve sales and opportunities for your realtors to find more listings! Within a few weeks of the kids going back to school, parents find that their homes are now either physically or functionally inadequate. Some kids are starting school. Some children are changing schools; some kids are no longer going to school! In many cases, the solution is to sell the current home and find one that works better to support the new family dynamic!

These are very simple and measured steps. They don’t take long to do. They easily integrate into your current schedule or are a minor addition to things you are already doing.

The next sixty days will set you up for a strong finish to your work year. Yes, by the middle of October you will have thirty days or less to begin a transaction that will close and get you paid in 2018! These next sixty days are days you cannot afford to waste, they are vital to your year and the moment you bring into the end of your production cycle!

As always, we are here to help! Just email us with your questions and comments, we appreciate them all!


“Keep it Personal”

One of the great reminders in our business is the application of personal connection to the results we experience. Nothing better than this past week where a few of my clients, some of them people I have been working with for more than a year, and a couple who have just begun their journey with me shared personal success stories from following a simple direction; “You don’t have all the business you want, because you don’t speak to enough people.”.

As much as coaching is about sharing new ideas and strategies, it’s often much more about repeating the fundamental concepts of relational opportunities, just talk to people! You see, we create nothing in the mortgage business. We provide strategies and solutions, we manage expectations, we share a system in which we execute the transactional process, but ultimately, we are a service business where the product is the person and the quality of that personal connection!

I have shared in the last few weeks my concept of “The Crossroads”. This next year I will be traveling the country sharing the story and the strategies of where I believe the mortgage and real estate business is going, and how originators and realtors are either going to scale up, scale down, or get out of their respective industries. It is already happening; people aren’t paying attention to it!

So this past week I was talking to a few of my people just trying to reinforce the fact that they needed to be more personal in their activities. That some of them have become too reliant of automation and less personal in their connection to their referral partners. This week, just one week later, I have had both experienced and new people share with me how well received they were and the volume of activity just from getting out and being visible, or picking up the phone and talking directly to their clients and referral partners!

New referral partner referrals, new referrals from past clients, even a few pre-approvals from past clients who now want to make a move. All because they were PERSONAL in there communications!

Here are a few simple reminders of specific tasks:

  • Are you making your birthday calls?
  • Are you making your AMFCITS calls?
  • Are you running your routes?
  • Are you calling your in file connections?
  • Are you making your pre-approval follow-up calls?
  • Are you sending your personal thank you notes?

If you aren’t going to personally connect, then you aren’t a trusted advisor. You aren’t that local professional. You won’t be that personal referral magnet in your community!

The business is changing. You and automate but you can’t abdicate! You must make and keep your business personal or lose your business to an algorithm!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Want more from Mike White and his strategic partners?  Are you ready to take your business to the next level?  Now you can…for FREE.  Join Mike at the Embassy Suite in West Palm Beach, Florida on September 12th from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, for a free Mortgage Originator/Realtor Seminar called CROSSROADS.  This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get the strategies, tips and tools you need to increase your business by as much as 30% over the next year.  This event is free for the first 100 who register.  $99 at the door.

Visit http://www.imtcoaching.com/register-for-the-crossroads-event.html