Important Information

We got some really important information yesterday from a number of sources. The MBA shared that purchase activity was up 8% year over year and refinances were up 116% in the same period. Clearly the desire to buy homes is not wavering in the least, and the appetite to save money, reduces loan terms, change programs, consolidate debt, or access equity remains strong! This wave of activity is largely being captured by those who kept working hard in the fourth quarter of last year, and given the rate of new applications and the preapproval numbers being reported back by those I have been speaking to, we are in for a very strong first quarter!

The FHFA reported that in November, property values of homes financed with a conforming loan were up 4.9%. Now, any number of properties could be financed with a conforming loan program, but this number is likely to put more weight in more typical homes and less in larger homes. Certainly you could use a conforming loan on a two million dollar house, but most of these homes are likely represent what is the hottest part of the market right now, which are homes of more average market values.

Existing home sales were reported higher this month by 3.6% and almost 11% higher than this time last year! When you couple this with NAR reporting that housing inventories are at the lowest levels ever reported, and they started keeping this data forty years ago, we are in a real purchase housing demand cycle that makes sense given the rise of household formations, rising wages, consumer confidence, and the high cost of renting!

As supply continues to struggle to meet demand, new construction can only help so much! It will be those agents who can generate listing activity that will see the greatest advantage. For those mortgage professionals out there looking for an opportunity to forge new relationships with the best of the best, knowing the strategies to help generate those listing opportunities are essential! Buying leads will not create the relationships, value, and quality of experience needed this year; being a successful strategic partner in listing opportunities will be GOLD!

The cost of waiting will be enormous for those who wait to buy, sell, refinance, or learn the strategies needed to help create listing opportunities in your market! So use the tools and strategies on the website to help you create opportunities and build the very relationships you will need to defeat the algorithm enemy!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

 

The Five Things You Must Do Before The End Of The Year!

It’s the day after Christmas and how many originators do you think are working today? You know, it might even be less than that! It’s also likely that many others aren’t working their jobs either. In fact, many people are not expected to really go back to work until after the New Year! So here are the five things you must do before the end of the year and everyone else starts to trickle back to work in January!

  1. Finish your business plan, marketing calendar, and schedule for 2020! Seems like something that would have been completed already, but we all know that some people never even bother to plan at all, and even fewer have a predetermined schedule of activities and tasks they plan to follow. Marketing calendar?
  2. Call every pre-approval you did in 2019 and didn’t close and figure out why! So many are carrying “dead” preapprovals just to fill out a number. Let’s be honest, fake numbers are just stupid.
  3. Connect with every Realtor® you know and see if they are active this weekend and if they have also completed their business plans. Offer to schedule an appointment to help them get it done. Use the outline on the website.
  4. Check all Open Houses in your area for this weekend and visit at least one of them and follow the complete Open House plan!
  5. Visit each small bank and credit union on your list! If you haven’t made that list up yet, do it NOW!

The last six days of 2019 could very well determine the success of 2020 for you! So how about we just get out and go do the work and have a great year?

Have a safe and Happy New Year! If you can’t get this all done or you just have realized you can’t do it yourself, HIRE A COACH! There are plenty of good ones out there!

For help, questions or comments: Mike@IMTCoaching.com

Do What The Others Won’t Do!

The last couple of weeks of the year can really define who we are as mortgage professionals. For those of you who are going out of town on vacation or taking off until the beginning of next year, enjoy your time off and have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! For those who are still engaged, you need to manage your work schedule to make the most of the opportunities left behind by those who will not do what you will; WORK!

Yes, there will be Open Houses this weekend. Find them. Visit a few. Connect with the agents, the seller, and the neighbors!

Yes, there will be people looking at houses this weekend. Be sure you are speaking to ALL of your active preapprovals. If you don’t know which ones are active, call every preapproval you issued in 2019 that you didn’t close yet and ask them!

Yes, you can find small banks and credit unions still open for business the next couple of weeks; go stop by for a visit!

Yes, accountants, financial planners, attorneys, and insurance professionals are working the next couple of weeks; pick up the phone and schedule an appointment!

Yes, there are people in your database that need to refinance or sell their home and buy a new one; call them in any order you like. Low hanging fruit first, every FHA loan needs to be refinanced, either streamlined or into a conventional loan to eliminate permanent MI.

Yes, there is work to do the next couple of weeks. Just two hours a day will help you take advantage of doing what the others won’t do and establish the base for a strong first quarter of 2020!

Have a Merry Christmas and I will speak with you again next week!

Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Working With Intention!

Welcome to the final countdown of 2019! We have less than 20 days until 2020 and even fewer work days to deal with. My clients and I talk about this and accept the fact that when we clearly define what is work and what isn’t, it makes life easier to be both productive and allow us the time and freedom to celebrate with our friends, family, co-workers, and all of our relationships.

When you face the facts that not everyone will have the same approach or schedule surrounding this time of year, you need to be very proactive and create your schedule of times and places; tasks and obligations, that work for you best this time of year!

My call is to understand that the personal side of things tends to be pretty obvious and are often a result of our traditions and culture, but our work side is much more jumbled. So here are a few tips:

  • Schedule your work time effectively.
  • Work with intention and focus.
  • Personal contact wins.
  • Understand the other guy’s schedule.
  • Know where you are taking each conversation.
  • Schedule the next personal conversation.
  • Share your stories and listen to theirs.
  • Have a message.

When you have limited time and resources, you need to make the most of it. If you are going to work, do so with attention and focus. Have a message to share and follow-up with.

For all parties, what is the winter strategy?

  • Realtors – Expired Listings, First time sellers, Rent to own?
  • Financial Planners & Accountants – Annual review, conversion of loan program or terms?
  • Insurance professionals – Renters policies to owner’s policies?
  • Small banks and Credit Unions – Sharing is caring, what do they offer and what can you help them with?
  • Past clients – Thank You
  • 2019 Pre approvals that haven’t closed with you!

All of these things are simple and obvious. However, those are the things we often miss. So take a minute and really plan out the rest of your work days of 2019 and get very clear on time, place, people, and message! Just a little planning and execution can keep your momentum rolling into 2020!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Winning The Race Against Time!

Every day the next few weeks we have lenders who can no longer accept loan applications that need to close this year. Each and every day another lender has to say no to a buyer, a seller, a listing agent, and a buyer’s agent. As we move into December, you need to seize the opportunity by getting yourself and your market prepared for what is possible as we all deal with the race against time to close transactions before this year is over!

I have talked before about looking at the calendar and understanding your clients and your market; your company and your support providers as to what is the real timeline to get deals done in your world, because the race against time is very real to those who need to buy, sell, close, and earn by the end of 2019!

The process is simple; here are a few questions you have to deal with:

  • What is your company timeline look like against the calendar and when are your people available?
  • Are your outside support people, title, closers, insurance, appraisers, inspectors, attorneys, HR people, and others going to be working the same days as you?
  • Once you have a clear understanding of the availability, what can you do? Are you closing loans on 12/31, and if so, how many?

Once you have these clear in your own mind, you need to connect with:

  • All of your current pre-approvals and share the possibilities.
  • All of your current referral partners
  • Message the managers of all the real estate offices, small banks, and credit unions about your ability to get loans closed and by when.
  • Connect with your database and share the story because you don’t know who they might know!
  • Social media and YouTube videos will help you count down the days to get these deals done!

Many of you have the ability to work through the end of the year and serve the people who may need your help the most if you just get out and look. I understand that for many, the focus is about the holiday parties and time off. I also have seen other coaches telling their clients that they have had a great year and they deserve to take some time off and enjoy the holidays! Well, I hope those clients listen to those coaches and take the time off. Coasting the last six weeks of the year will give my clients the opportunity to close more loans, serve more people, and open new doors to relationships they might not have had a chance to explore!

The last six weeks of the year is NOT the time to coast, it’s a time to serve and to build! There will be plenty of opportunities to have fun and party. Once you close out your pipeline for the year you can take a vacation in January or February, but now is the time to push hard right to the end of the year and take advantage of a market that needs your help!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

You Can’t Help Those Who Won’t Help Themselves!

It sounds like a very simple statement, but it’s true, you can’t help those who refuse to help themselves. As a coach and mentor, I know that all the direction and philosophy is wasted on those who won’t implement. In more than 20 years of managing, mentoring, and coaching mortgage professionals to the highest levels of success; I know all too often that many people will never invest their energy in improving their own outcomes. As my friend Steve Harney once said, “You can only pave the road in front of people; they have to drive the bus!”

You only need to look at the mortgage and real estate markets to see the proof. People are becoming more and more addicted to paying for opportunities than they are learning and mastering the skills required generating them on their own! This comes from the highest levels. Some coaches and trainers push the narrative. The very organizations who are supposed to grow and build these industries do nothing as the landscape shifts into a model the will push a vast majority of Realtors® and lenders into a low paying support role of a newly defined and automated industry!

Just like the companies who have reacted by putting in scanners in stores to take orders and check-out customers because of price pressure and the lack of people who feel that the quality of the customer experience is no longer required, those who no longer have those starting jobs now complain they have no opportunities to get a start! Well, this is being done to the mortgage and real estate communities. Loan originators and Realtors® don’t want to do the work and turn to automation to generate an opportunity, then don’t provide a great customer experience, the customer doesn’t see the value, then buys from an online company because it all became about the PRICE and not the total VALUE.

NAR and the MBA do nothing to warn, educate, support, or even bother to debate the issues at hand. When a CEO of a major lead seller, property marketer and buyer, and builder of the one stop shop to cover the entire transaction with the push of a button and not around qualified professionals; don’t be surprised when the consumer runs toward price and a lousy experience because that CEO know that Realtors and Lenders now need the lead provider MORE than the other way around!

So you get to choose; buy your leads and become dependent of the handouts, or learn the craft of being a quality professional that offers the consumer a choice of a quality experience. You can’t command top dollar for your efforts if you aren’t doing anything more than what an algorithm will do for far less money!

By 2025 more than 75% of those licensed in real estate and mortgage will be working in call centers, be in support of a lead person of a team, or out of the industry completely! Just watch! It’s becoming more about becoming a celebrity agent or originator, and NOT about being the local professional who provides a great customer experience. A handful of a few, supported by many, will become the new normal as nobody feels the need to do the WORK anymore!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Helping Them Level Up!

I spoke last week about paying attention to the calendar and how to set yourself up to create additional opportunities just by being aware of the timeline in front of us. One of those key points can become a significant strategy for those who work with Realtors® or would like to grow their group of Realtor® referral partners. That strategy begins with a simple understanding that many of your Realtor® referral partners work on a tiered commission schedule. This schedule determines the commission splits and often grows with the total volume of closed transactions in any given year.

While not all of the real estate professionals work under this arrangement, many do, and you should be aware that even just one or two more transaction sides can make a big difference in the commissions that are earned. In fact, one transaction at the end of the year can not only earn that professional more money on that particular deal; the jump in commission split tier is often the beginning base for the upcoming year! That said, one transaction more in 2019 could mean thousands of dollars in additional income for you referral partner in 2020!

So think about this. Did you know this information? If you were, have you ever discussed this with any of your referral partners? Have you asked them where they stand right now and what would it take for them to jump up to that next level? Wouldn’t that show your partner you had a real interest in their business? What would that partner think if you offered to spend the next few weeks helping them find the listing or that buyer that they needed, and then helped make sure the deal closed in time for them to level up? I think it would certainly help build a much more committed relationship!

The website has all the strategies you will ever need. Just pull up that section and become familiar with them again. Once that is done, it’s time to talk to your agents and see what you can do to help them make that next level happen by the end of the year! Just ask the questions and then log into the website and share the video clips with you agent! Once you choose the path, go execute the plan! Working together can make the process fun and even more rewarding!

So put together your list of Realtors® you need to speak with. Ask about where they stand on their commission levels and see if they are interested in making a run at another closed transaction or two by the end of the year! Even if they don’t work on a tiered system, an “extra” deal or two in the next six weeks wouldn’t be so bad would it?

Remember, pushing strong through the end of the year can help you start 2020 with momentum! There is plenty of time for special events and holiday parties, you can afford to spend a couple of hours a day helping put together deals that can close before this year is over!

Questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Watch and Share the Calendar

There is so much information becoming available at any given time that people often lose perspective of the mid-range and longer range timelines. Today is Halloween but the calendar for this year is a bit more different than usual. Thanksgiving is on the latest possible day it can fall. November 28th, so while we have 28 days from Halloween until Thanksgiving, the distance from Thanksgiving to Christmas is also the shortest it can possibly be, and as well as to the end of the year!

What will also complicate this is that given the dates and the likelihood that many won’t work a full day, or if at all, on November 27th, 28th, and 29th; and the 30th is a Saturday, we lose closing days at the end of November as well as Christmas week and with December 30th a Monday; what may very well become an “OFF” day for many other people and professionals.

I say this so you can be prepared. If you have awareness, you can remind your clients and referral partners that particular attention needs to be paid when navigating closing dates and measuring expectations!

So be very clear about the dates and what possible road blocks there might be. Just because you are willing to work, it doesn’t mean others are! Also bear in mind that it may become difficult to get verbal verifications if there are companywide closures or certain people are “off” for the holidays! You need to plan the dates carefully!

There are benefits to those who plan and share carefully! A few extra deals may find their way to you IF you are clear and share your timelines with all the parties involved. Maybe you get an offer accepted because YOU can get the deal closed by the end of the year? Maybe being the last lender still accepting contracts in December lands you that deal, client, referral, or referral partner?

All of these things are vitally important to pay attention too! So look and plan! Share the information. Know the last possible day you can accept a deal that you can close this year! It could mean both short term and long term rewards if you just pay attention to the calendar!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Success Is Everywhere!

Today I return to beautiful Louisville Kentucky for the last of four business planning events I am have scheduled in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky for the mortgage professionals at Ruoff Mortgage! There is a real reason this company is the #1 retail purchase mortgage company in the Midwest, is there commitment to provide an exceptional opportunity for their mortgage professionals to succeed.

Connecting live with managers and originators to help build success is a commitment in the quality of the experience. The quality of the experience for our clients and referral partners is almost as important as the commitment in the quality of the experience for the mortgage professionals themselves! A great work experience certainly translates into a great client and referral partner experience!

All of this continues to support my belief that we need to keep the person involved in the process. Technology is certainly important to the process, and having a state of the art originations platform is an important part of the client experience; people who connect with other people create the best experience and achieve the best results.

Not only are those at Ruoff Mortgage having their best years ever, many of my other clients across the country are setting personal production records month after month. Who would have thought that your best personal purchase loan closing month could have been in October? How many would believe that yearly origination targets would have been eclipsed by the end of the third quarter? It all proves that with a plan, quality strategies, accountability, and commitment, no target is out of range!

I also wanted to thank all of you that registered, attended, and viewed the Crossroads event on Tuesday the 22nd. It was the single largest event we have ever done online, and the volume of new people joining in is a direct result of our loyal clients sharing the message with their referral partners and coworkers! So thank you!

The survival of our industry will be dictated by those who make a real choice. Do you strive to provide a great customer experience for your clients and referral partners; or do you become an assistant or an order taker with a job? It’s a real choice and a real opportunity for all of us to make. Success in our industry still remains a choice we get to make for ourselves; for now!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

The Power of Planning!

There is no better way to achieve what you want in life than to have a plan. It’s not surprising, that successful people have such a plan more times than not. The sheer power of putting your objectives in writing stands alone as the number one thing that successful people have in common. There is a real reason that businesses require them, and most managers are required to build them.

In the mortgage arena, many managers have their originators set goals, but rarely are these well thought out and certainly not built with many specifics, schedules, tasks, and most importantly, an accountability partner to help hold people accountable to what they have said they were going to do. In fact, shortly after these so called “business plans” or “planning sessions” are complete, nobody ever sees that document again. Maybe an occasional reminder by a manager as to what your “goals” were, but certainly not a real accountability to achievement.

One of the things I have really focused on was to start business planning in October, so there was time to learn what needed to be learned. Adopted whatever changes needed to be made in scheduling and processes so we knew they would work. Then really begin to live the life according to what we said we were committed to, and the tasks associated with the projections made. I also selected October because it was at least two full months of practice and integration before other people even thought about creating a plan.

After working with thousands of managers and originators; many of whom are now coaches themselves, it is nice to see a few also using October as a starting off point and the benefit of the business planning process! So think of your business plan as your map on how to go from where you are to where you say you want to be! Make success a destination. Your plan is the map to this journey of success.

You need to write your plan as if you were your own boss. For most originators they fail to see that their success is theirs alone to control. Not your manager or your company; but your own journey where you get most of the benefit of doing the work! And you need to do the work! Think for a moment; if you aren’t doing as well as you would like, it’s up to you to make a change! Think of it this way, when you look in the mirror, you are a bad boss blaming a bad employee for underachieving; or you are a bad employee. Blaming the boss for not giving you the tools and support you need to succeed!

The reality is, you get exactly the result you should get based on your plan, schedule, effort, and adjustments. A plan, even a poor one, can be successful if executed well and on an appropriate schedule! Efforts over time equals outcome!

Creating a business plan, the task list, and the schedule of implementation; coupled with a good accountability partner and well thought out adjustments will take you to the heights you may have never thought possible!

  • The plan
  • The tasks
  • The schedule
  • The accountability partner
  • The proper adjustments
  • Equal your destination of success!

Only you control your commitment. Successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t do. 100% of your outcome is earned by you efforts. If you are happy getting what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing! If you aren’t happy with your current results, what changes are you prepared to make?

Business planning events in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky for next week are already booked full. The webinar for Business Planning 2020 is October 29th.

The free Crossroads Event on October 22nd is available to you simply by going to www.imtcoaching.com and registering for the event. The Business Planning webinar is only available to those subscribers to “ACCESS” or those attending a live event. If your company is interested in a live business planning event, please email Mike@IMTcoaching.com for details, there are only two dates left available this year, November 15th and November 22nd.