Battle Plan Ending 2018

Thanksgiving was a week ago and yet we have still not reached December. It’s ironic how many people have already closed the books on 2018 while there is so much opportunity remaining in this year! That is why we are faced with a few choices;

  • Are we done for the year, or are we going to work?
  • Have we completed our business plan, or are we just going to wait around and see what happens?
  • Is everything working effectively, or do some changes need to be made?
  • Did everything I intended to accomplish in 2018 get done, or are there still things that need to get done?

Since my plan calls for your business plan to be complete and scheduled for a dry run the first week of December, you still have time to get on track. Go to the website, www.IMTcoaching.comand download the 2019 Business Planning Workbook and get going!

In addition to getting your business plan done this weekend, you need to keep talking for the next two weekends about still getting deals closed in 2018! The window is closing to box out your competition as they fall off the grid in their ability to still get a deal done. You have to reach the people and let them know that it is still possible!

In addition to this message, you have to look at your calendar and get in front of your small bankers and credit unions for a final push. Accountants and financial planners; attorneys and insurance professionals; they all need to hear your message about how you are closing out 2018 and preparing for 2019! If you fail to schedule and act on these things, they can’t possibly get done!

As we get closer to Christmas, it’s important to talk to a few Realtors® in your area about working the “Expired Listing Program”. In some markets there are more expired listings coming due the first of the year than others, but it only takes one listing for your Realtor® to be thrilled you offered to work with them!

The year isn’t over. In fact, there is still much to do! The fact that many of your competitors are already closing down only improves your visibility and ability to make those last few important deals and connections much more likely! So don’t waste any more time!

Get your plan done this weekend and start your dry run through your new work schedule next week! Get on the phone, get out on the street, go and talk to those you have worked with in the past as well as those you would like to work with in the future and make that connection!

You have time to make a big difference in your future if you take some time and act now!

Questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s the time of year we all need to pause and give thanks for what we have and be grateful for our blessings. This has been a very professionally successful year and I am grateful to those who have made that success possible. It was also personally a very challenging year for me personally as it was twenty years ago that my mother and son, Paul passed just a week apart, and then my son Eric passed at the age of 42. These are all things people have to deal with and a reminder that life can change quickly for both better and worse, so take the time to be grateful for what you have been blessed with.

It is also 55 years ago I sat in my class at Fern Place Elementary School in Plainview NY and saw the school day end early because John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. It was the first time I remember seeing grown people, both men and women, crying uncontrollably in public. Just 5 days away from my seventh birthday, I had to try and understand as a child some very adult circumstances.

In the mortgage and real estate communities, Thanksgiving also represents a series of choices and opportunities. Some make the choice to back off the process and enjoy the long series of parties and social events that the next six weeks will offer. For some, that is no choice at all, rather just a way of life. For many others, this time of year represents significant opportunities. While part of your competition removes itself from the business of closing transactions and creating new opportunities; some will take the time and benefit from engaging with the very people who NEED to get a transaction done!

Many Realtors® are just one or two transactions away from “leveling up” their commission tier. These one or two more transactions can represent thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in additional commissions! For originators, getting those last few deals closed in 2018 can also hold benefits for personal, team, branch, region, and even national honors! This also can be very important to many people and their incomes going forward.

Black Friday weekend is a huge opportunity to get in front of serious buyers and sellers. Some of you will be following my “Black Friday Plan” this week and I am looking forward to seeing how you all do, so please keep me posted! For those of you who have not prepared a Black Friday Sale, you still can find significant opportunities by getting out and visiting your real estate offices, open houses, builder models and let people know you are available to help, and when the last day you can accept completed contracts for units closing in 2018!

We have discussed this before, every company and market is different! You need to get really clear and specific about what you can do and what the obligations of all the players are to be sure you can get it done! Not everyone can close on 12/24 or 12/31! You need to know before you commit to closing!

It’s also not just your buyers agents that you need to get in front of. You bring special value to:

  • Listing Agents
  • Sellers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Planners
  • Attorneys
  • Small bands & Credit Unions

Any or all of these could be in need of your ability to get it done before 2019 comes! For some, 2018 is over! For others, there is much left to do! Pick your path and schedule your activities!

Happy Thanksgiving to all; I am always grateful to you for reading and responding to the things we discuss on this post!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Counting Down & Counting On

We are just a few weeks away from closing the books on new loans to close in 2018. In some cases there are lenders already shying away from loans that have to close in 2018. One of the key strategies is to NOT be that lender that states you can get it done, only to leave everyone in pain when they can’t get it done. That means doing the right thing by doing your job correctly. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never commit to closing if you aren’t 100% certain it can close.
  • Know when the last day is that you can accept completed applications that can close this year.
  • Be specific about your preapproval and all the surrounding players being on the same page and able to complete the tasks at hand by the date due.
  • Know the calendar! Christmas and New Year’s Day is a Tuesday this year. Are you open and available to close loans on 12/24 and 12/31? What about Title, Insurance, and others?

The key is to be very clear and specific about what you need and what is possible! Many Realtors® are pushing to get deals closed because it impacts their commission schedules. One deal not closing could cost them thousands in future commissions! The flip side to that is that many Realtors® may have a listing that has to sell by the end of the year, and they need to trust you at your word that you can get it done!

People are counting down the days to the end of the year. Those people need to know they can count on you to be the professional that can live up to your word and deliver the process that makes it possible. So as we count down the days, be very clear about your capabilities and that of your team. There are real people involved and success will reap rewards, but failure to deliver can be devastating to all involved. I have seen people make their reputations and destroy them in the last few weeks of the year!

So as your counting down the year, be certain that those who trust you can truly count on you to get done what you say will get done!

For questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“The Last Seven Weeks”

The elections are almost over, not sure how we still can’t figure out how to conduct an election and get the numbers in a few hours after the polls close, but I guess it’s more complicated because the process requires many people working in different systems with different tools and levels of training? The good news is no more political ads to listen to or read and we can all begin to focus on the fact that there are just seven more weekends until 2019!

Taking a look, we have to deal with Thanksgiving just two weeks away, and then we run into the big rush through Christmas and the New Year. By now, those of you planning special events for Thanksgiving are well along that process.

  • The Black Friday Sale
  • Pie giveaway
  • Food drive
  • Food kitchen service
  • Movie day/night

All really solid activities you can be engaged in with your clients, referral partners, team, as well as your family and friends to help share thanks for what we have. For those of you not executing a Thanksgiving strategy this year, it might be something to get in your business plan for 2019!

The next few things you need to address are:

  • Completing your 2019 business plan and being on your new schedule by December 3rd.
  • Preparing your count down videos sharing the total number of days left to get an application into your system to close in 2018.
  • Sitting down with your team and looking hard at your market conditions and knowing when the last day will be to get your loans in and closed?
  • Get really clear on the holiday schedule! With Christmas and New Year’s on a Tuesday this year, what does that mean to your work schedule? You need to know and SHARE that information.

Last but not least you need to get clear on what you are doing for the holidays and if and when you are taking time off, having celebrations, scheduling events, and being sure that you pay close attention to the schedule so you don’t miss an important referral partner event!

The last seven weeks can really set the tone for completing 2018 strong, and hitting the ground running in 2019! Remember, the year-end doesn’t really wipe the slate clean in our business. Our business doesn’t start and stop each month or each year, it’s just how we measure it. We all have past and current clients; personal and professional relationships that transcend the end of a month or moving into a new calendar year. It is important that we take the time and plan out these seven weeks so we can maximize the time and the enjoyment of the season!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

Time to look at MI

Now is the time of the year I have my people focused on their business plans and the tools and strategies they will be bringing into the new year. One of the things I am pressing my clients to look at is the use and all the options surrounding MI.

MI companies have been doing a great job listening to the market and evaluating how MI pricing can be used as a tool to really help originators provide options for their clients to reduce total costs and monthly payments. If you haven’t spent some time talking to ALL your MI representatives about how their products, programs, and pricing can really help the payment shock of rising interest rates.

Another important thing to think about is how to use these new MI programs with your Realtor® referral partners to help make stronger offers and help Listing Agents and Sellers move properties more effectively.

Price reductions are nice, but could sellers see a lower cost and provide a bigger benefit by providing for seller paid MI? Take a look at your local market and run some numbers, would a $5,000 or $10,000 price reduction be more beneficial to the buyer than that same money or LESS MONEY, paying for the buyer’s mortgage insurance? How would the numbers compare on monthly payments? If you don’t do the work, you won’t know.

Another important concept is to understand each MI Company’s rates on LTV as well as credit score. These two factors can become very helpful if you just look. We often help people improve their credit scores and down payments to help qualify for certain loan programs, why don’t we do the same thing to help our clients save really big money by reducing the cost of their MI?

Buyers and sellers have become price and rate conscious, but often focus on numbers that are large and abstract. As mortgage professionals, we must focus on the reality that rates are still historically low, and that payments are much more important than price! Remember, interest rates are going up, but in most parts of the country, rental rates are rising even faster!

So take some time and connect with your MI representatives and talk about how MI pricing and programs can really benefit your local market by helping reduce the overall costs and affordability of homeownership!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com