End of the Year Momentum

We have talked all fall about pushing hard to end the year and begin 2019 with momentum. Many of you have really done well and are seeing solid closing numbers for December and good pipelines for January and February closings, as well as a number of new referral partners; so job well done! The key here is not to let your momentum slip away by easing up this last weekend of 2018. Just finish the journey by making one last round of calls to your referral partners letting them know your availability this weekend. Connect with your pre-approvals and let them know that this coming weekend may bring a great value in home shopping before the January rush when those who wanted to wait until the holidays were over to begin shopping!

You also must be really clear within your own company about the rules you need to follow during the government shut down. Some of you may not be affected at all, and others may face significant challenges with certain loan products. Since too many possibilities exist from location to location and lender to lender, PLEASE get very clear on what your specific policies and procedures are before confirming or denying anyone. Remember, your rules maybe different than others. Avoid making statements about what may or may not be possible OUTSIDE your own company policy!

Check for open houses this weekend, there may be more than you think or none at all! You do have to look! Check any files still left to close this year and be sure all the little things are done because it may be a challenge finding help on Monday the 31st!

Last but not least, complete any loose ends on your business plan and schedule. Make any little adjustments or tweaks so that next Wednesday the 2ndyou can hit your mark and begin the year strong. 2019 is going to be a great year for you if you have done the work and are prepared!

Have a safe and Happy New Year! As always, any questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

It Works if You Work

What a great time of year and what fantastic results we are seeing from those executing the end of year plan. For many, December will be a record breaking month; one entire branch following the plan is setting a sales record by closing 50% more units in December than they did in October! Who said you can’t do business after Thanksgiving? So why are some mortgage professionals setting sales records while others are convinced that there was no business to be had? The answer is simple, there is always business to be had and you just have to get out in front of it!

One of the best parts of this is that it isn’t coming from any one activity or effort, its coming from all areas. New closings from those who said they couldn’t close in time. Deals from those people who didn’t know they could even buy a home. Deals are closing for people who are trading up and trading down to get into their new homes for Christmas, others are buying because now is a great time to buy a home

From the “Black Friday Home Sale” to the countdown to year end; from working hard with open houses to getting in front of the preapprovals who haven’t bought yet. From working with builders to reduce completed inventory, to moving renters into home ownership and more, the final push of activity has resulted in significant loan opportunities to close in 2018, but more importantly, established and identified new relationships that will produce opportunities in 2019 and beyond!

Our efforts and activities don’t disappear at the end of any month or year. Our business is a constant flow of activities and opportunities, some of which are almost instant results; others are deals that will close well into the future. One of my people closed a deal this week that was a man he began working with in March of 2016. They both stuck to the plan and the deal, and that buyer’s life, got to a result created by actions over time!

There are going to be buyers and sellers engaged in the process this weekend! There will be open houses just days before Christmas for sellers that need to sell and there will be buyers looking that are trying to buy! Do you have a plan for this weekend and the days between Christmas and New Year’s? Unless you are going on vacation, working just a few hours each day could help you land some new opportunities that you would have never had a chance at if you hadn’t!

2019 is just a few more days away. What kind of momentum do you have going into January? Is your business plan complete, your preapproval file full, does your pipeline have deals ready to close on time or early; have you run through your new prospecting schedule and prepared your marketing calendar for 2018? If you have, you are ready to go!

Finish the year strong with solid momentum and energy! Have a safe and Merry Christmas! Share kindness with those you love and those in need! We will be back next week!

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

“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

“The Balance of your Business”

October is Business Planning Month here at IMT Coaching and we continue that focus with looking deeply into where our business is coming from and comparing it to the reality of where purchase opportunities come from and how much time you spend prospecting and maintaining the relationships.

Like everything else, you should really know your numbers. I break it down for you in the “Business Planning Workbook 2019” which is on the home page of the website (www.IMTCoaching.com). Using the model of the “Referral Triangle”, you really need to understand the mechanics of all your purchase opportunities and how they get leveraged out to the other areas of your triangle. For the purposes of this post, we are going to leave everything in the major groups. Realtor®/Builder – Other Professional – Database, you will break it down further into the actual people and activities in your personal plan later.

So we look at the three sides and determine:

  • Who are the people or tasks involved?
  • What percentage of my time do I commit to this area?
  • What percentage of my budget does this consume?
  • What percentage of my closed business does it represent?
  • Do the efforts equal the outcomes?

The next questions have to deal with direction of focus. Where are we prospecting for opportunities and are they a realistic representation of the opportunities available? Generically speaking, each side of the “Referral Triangle” controls about an equal share of opportunity in the market. While newer people tend to rely heavily on the “Realtor/Builder” leg of the triangle to start, it’s less than a third of all purchase opportunities available. Many originators never allow their business models to mature and so they keep having repeat performances of their first years in the business.

This is a time of the year to look hard at what we are doing and understand that first we need to understand the triangle and then grow it! Building your business into a mature mortgage practice takes some time and some planning, but is really worth it in the long run, especially in light of all the new tools designed to replace the originator with an algorithm! You have to keep putting the person in the profession by constantly personally connecting with your people! You also need to be aware that your job is to grow your database and nurture it with value so you can benefit from the referrals and repeat opportunities it will generate.

Keeping your efforts and outcomes in balance is an important factor that even the best sometimes forget. While it is true that if you master any one area of the market you can achieve great results; you also open the door to losing your entire practice to someone or something that can work cheaper, faster, or just replace you! Remember, diversification and personal connection can’t be bought, it has to be earned!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

The 4th Quarter!

 

So here we are; beginning the 4th quarter of 2018 and there are many choices to be

made. To some, it’s a time to relax and take it easy now that the summer real estate

rush is over. To others, it’s a time to look at the year and see where they stand in

relationship to their projected outcomes. For me, it’s a time to push my people not

to give up on the valuable momentum they have generated year to date. The sad

part in general is that so many people won’t even acknowledge that we are at a

critical point and therefore they do nothing!

 

For those that coach athletes in team sports the fourth quarter is a time were the

best step up and produce. It’s a time when even a less talented group outperform

those with more ability because they were in better shape and were able to execute

under the pressure! It’s the time when the training and your system all come

together and form a collective energy to accomplish great things. This is what

changes the numbers on the scoreboard and creates real accomplishment! In our

business, it also generates all the energy to start the next year off at full steam!

 

So let’s take a quick look at some key things we need to be doing right now.

• Check your math! What are your numbers?

• Who is hot and who is not?

• What does my calendar look like?

• Halloween?

• December?

• Prepare for Business Planning in October!

 

These are all small and simple steps that need to be done. No false images, no

hoping or guessing; just do the math and do the work! There are a ton of

opportunities coming your way and you can really benefit because others are

backing off and winding down.

 

Time to focus on the four “Bs”:

• Balance

• Birthday Calls

• Banker Calls

• Business Plan

You have to balance your prospecting to reflect your time and outcome verses the

actual relationship between opportunity and outcome.

 

You have to schedule and physically make your birthday calls every day!

 

You have to have make your ten to fifteen banker calls every month!

 

You have to set aside time to prepare your business plan for 2019!

 

The fourth quarter is here and you get to make some critical choices. If everything

is going well and you are exceeding all of your projections, make larger

projections for 2019! If not, what around you has to change?

 

The Business Planning Worksheet for 2019 is already on the website

(IMTCoaching.com). If you are a manager or owner and you are interested in the

one day business planning event, please email me and we can talk about the

details. For those of you who have been through this before, the Business Planning

coaching call and the worksheet we get you ready and prepared.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com