The October Push

October is moving along and it’s time to be sure we are executing the plan we have talked about. By now, we should be wrapping up all of our accountant contacts using the “Tax Extension Strategy” and working on those refinances and purchase loans. This is also a good time to record a couple of joint videos!

We also need to continue working the “Refinance Strategies” with all of our closed clients, especially those in FHA loans and those who closed last November through February when rates were at recent high levels. Queue them up and make those calls, e-mail won’t do as well as the call! (Look for the new financial planner strategy inside the website this weekend)

Time has come to connect with our Realtor® referral partners and work on a joint connection with those they have closed in the past five years using the “Forever Home Strategy”. Be sure you also use this during your refinance conversations, nothing like finding a new listing/buyer for your agents!

With October being “Business Planning Month”, it’s time to start putting together your numbers year to date and projected totals for the year so when we do the business planning call, or you attend a live Business Planning 2020 event, you can get the most out of it and project your targets for next year with confidence!

We need to be finalizing all of the Halloween event plans in the next few days and get busy sharing the news with your clients and referral partners!

Last but not least, you need to be sure you have registered on the www.IMTcoaching.com website for you spot on the Crossroads Event Call on October 22nd 2019. This is a free event, open to everyone associated with real estate sales and finance!

As always, questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Part Three of the Six Efficiencies

I want to start out this week’s post by thanking all of you for the kind words and comments about the last couple of posts. It has been real fun for me to have the interaction with you and get to share some time with a few of you who are not clients, but followers of the posts. It’s always good to connect and share thoughts and ideas. This week we are going to talk about items four through six of the six efficiencies.

Item number four is your plan execution and service delivery. This is likely the place where it all comes down to really specific personalities, markets, and business make-up. This is where you have to drill down and understand your value to the client. What do you do? How do you do it? Do you connect through paper or in person? Is it email or text? Do you just pick up the phone and call? Will there be a face to face encounter? Having a great plan won’t yield the desired results if you can’t effectively communicate with your people!

Each step in your process has to incorporate the bigger picture of your overall connection plan. Database systems are nice, but a series of “canned” emails will not keep you connected to your client or referral partner as well as using all forms of communication will. In fact, email is the WORST way to stay connected. People are programmed to ignore email. People dump and block dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of emails a day, why run the risk that your ability to connect and communicate with your client and referral partners gets lost in that mix? What if you got into the habit of only using email to confirm or document some other form of communication? Use email as a support tool and not an engagement tool.

Item number five is so simple and effective it’s hard to believe I have to bring it up, but most originators don’t ever track results other than to see how many units they closed or their past dollar volume. This is the type of “rear view mirror” habit that helps support the “roller coaster” production that most originators fall victim to! Tracking your business by closed units and dollar volume after the fact only tells you where you have been and nothing to help you plan and project the future!

When you did your business plan, you set projections for referrals from all the potential sources of business. You list people and areas you were focusing your efforts on to attract the opportunities you needed to reach the performance targets you set for yourself and your referral partners. To not set aside time every month in the middle of the month to not only look at the prior months closings, but to look at new credit pulls, new referrals, size of your pre-approval pipeline, gestation period of those pre-approvals into closed loans, and the tracking of inbound referrals from all sources to be sure you are tracking the course you set is like leaving your map on the kitchen table when you head out on a trip! You need to schedule the time to track your results.

Number six follows all the others because you can’t make adjustments if you don’t do the first five things, and doing the first five things without making adjustments is a huge potential loss of time and money! Let’s be honest, sometimes we get things wrong! Sometimes things we thought would work don’t go as planned. Sometimes referral partners don’t refer as we thought. The other side to that coin is that sometimes things work BETTER than we thought, or that we find more opportunities and referrals than we ever thought possible!

The key is to look at the results and see what adjustments may need to take place. Sometimes the plan you have is fine and its outside forces like weather that get in the way. Sometimes things happen slower or faster than anticipated. And sometimes it all comes together! Being prepared to review the information and to make, or not to make, adjustments can really impact your bottom line. And remember, it isn’t always about the number of referrals, closings, or dollars closed that matters, it is also the balance of investments in time and money to be sure it is all worth the effort!

I hope you found this mini-series helpful. I look forward to your questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.co

Part Two of the 6 Efficiencies

In the March 28thpost I set the stage for the things I see that help originators optimize performance and enhance the customer experience. This week we will touch on the key points of items 1 through 3 on that list. Keep in mind, that all of these are gone into in great detail on the website: www.IMTcoaching.com

The first item to conquer is the plan! The biggest failure amongst those who don’t achieve what they want is because they have failed to take the time to create the business plan they intend to follow that takes them to that specific destination. And let’s not ever call it “goal setting”. Goal setting is like a New Year’s resolution, everyone talks a good game and less than 1% really stick to the plan and get the job done!

The creation of a written plan is essential to map your way to your destination; and success is a journey to a specific destination! Your business plan should be done in OCTOBER so you can take the time to incorporate all the tools, technology, and training you need to implement the systems you plan on bringing to the table in the coming year. The business plan is also the accountability partner and the adjustment tool you refer to on a monthly basis to track your results and make needed adjustments.

Step two of the six requires that you commit to paper ALL the details involved in your business. What specific tasks is part of your prospecting plan to attract opportunities? What do you do? When do you do it? What is the cost in time, effort, and dollars?

Once you have your prospecting efforts all mapped out, you have to clearly lay out the loan process experience from the time the customer makes first contact, to the specific details of your post-closing strategy. Every call, card, email, text, communication, alert, follow-up, warning, and contact needs to be identified, scheduled, implemented, and checked against your time line to be sure the quality of the experience remains in place over the test of time. The quality of that customer experience is the life blood of your future business and becomes your force of attraction for repeat business and future referrals! It is the very VALUE of your relationship with that client that keeps them connected to you!

Step three is critical if you are ever going to consistently perform at a high level without running the risk of becoming consumed by your business and risking “melting down” or as some would call it, “burn out”. This key step is the very success structure most people envy, but few achieve. The reason is, it’s too easy to ditch the structure and not see an instant penalty for aborting the process.

More and more we live in a less defined world. Everything is becoming 24/7/365 and people just except it as a fact. That’s too bad! For people to think they must be a slave to their business is just flat out wrong! You are a loan originator, not a trauma surgeon! Although, even trauma surgeons have days off and go on vacation and disconnect from their business! There are no mortgage emergencies! Nobody dies in our business! While some people may think they do, it’s not true!

By focusing yourself to your time, tasks, and schedule, you can use the tools you have already learned to become a great success in the mortgage industry. Face it, if you managed your class schedule in high school, you can become a great originator. Once you see the magic of your life when you schedule your own success, you will never go back to being reactive. It’s about your system working all the time, not you! Frequent and scheduled vacations help relieve stress, provide an opportunity to enjoy the rewards of your efforts, and keep you connected to the real reason you go to work!

Next week, items four through six! As always, questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaoching.com

 

The 6 Things Highly Efficient Originators Do!

This time of year we all see the reports of all the organizations and magazines that “rank” originators based on dollar closed performance or units closed. While this may bring some interest in the mortgage community, it often is nothing more than a list of names and numbers that lack real specific information. Example, you never know if this originator really did originate these loans or was it a series of “Team Members” or “Assistants” that were the ones that did a great deal of the work? You also never know the quality of the client and referral partner experience for all of these closed loans, and many people who have closed, may have never once met or spoke to the originator taking credit for the closed loan.

I don’t have an issue with teams or production partners, I have coached some of the most successful teams in the industry and really believe in that model, but to the average originator who closes less than 40 units a year and feels like they are working all the time, it’s very important to not ignore that the differences between average results and exceptional results is very small, and that some of the people they see on these lists take home less money, sometimes a LOT less money, than you think they do after all their expenses.

So over the next few weeks I am going to walk through my list of what I see are the six things that really stand out as the items that the really efficient originators address in their business that help make them out perform their competitors, but also provide a quality experience for their clients and referral partners. It is also an important point, that the standard I use for efficiency is 6 to 10 closed units per month average per member of the origination team. That includes everyone involved with:

  • Prospecting
  • Marketing
  • Consulting
  • Product and program determination
  • Communicating
  • Qualifying
  • Loan application
  • Set-up
  • File submission
  • Pipeline management
  • Clearing origination conditions
  • Closing preparation
  • Final review
  • Closing coordination
  • Post-closing communications
  • Database maintenance

Obviously we look at actual loan processing, underwriting, title, wiring, and some closing issues as “company” responsibilities, but it’s the originator that is obligated to oversee all of these and take responsibility for them.

The six areas that I plan on addressing over the next few weeks will be:

  1. The Business Plan
  2. The Complete process from prospecting to post closing
  3. Work schedule
  4. Plan execution and service delivery
  5. Tracking results against our projections
  6. Making the needed adjustments

When I look at the people in the industry that I admire and those that I have worked with and helped reach their higher potential, I see the importance in addressing all of these issues. I walk through these step by step and share with you the standards that I see help provide clarity, quality, performance, and profitability to originators, those who build production teams, and those managers who want to bring out the best in their people!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

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