Knowing The Numbers

What a great start to 2020! Everyone seems to be firing on all cylinders and both the purchase applications (highest number in 10 years) refinances (up 100% over last year and 60% of loan volume) have made this an exceptional beginning!

With loan rates just below 1% lower than this time last year, the opportunity for buyers to buy that home or make the cost of where they live more affordable is very real! The strategies for FHA and Jumbo loan conversions to conforming loans are really seeing favor with customers. Accountants and financial planners are also jumping into the mix to help their clients benefit from this market!

Another piece of information that came out was some data from Wakefield Research that showed that 60% of consumers felt their real estate agent went “above and beyond” the scope of their duties during their transaction; it also showed that 34% of people would not rehire that same agent!

This is disturbing to me because in the past few years, NAR has published that 78% of people would be happy to refer the agent they used to someone else. Now for those who want to split hairs, there is a difference in a real estate agent and a “Realtor®”. Not all real estate agents are Realtors®, I get it, but the numbers are at least important enough to take a good look at. It would be important to know and share this, at least from a conversational point of view.

With all the online competition for lenders, listings, and buyers, we need to be aware of how much quality of the experience matters in our world!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Actions That Payoff!

With the first full week of 2020 running along, it is really important to be focused on the actions and activities that really payoff. With your work schedule clearly defined and your marketing calendar in front of you, this is a good week to be sure you are up to date and have all of your people with you. Here are a few things you will want to be sure of taking care of this week.

  • Connect with every preapproval personally to be sure they are back in action.
  • Speak with every Realtor you expect to be working with this year and be certain they have already done the same!
  • Finalize your plans on your Valentine’s Day event or activity.
  • Complete your “Accountant video” and get it out by Friday so you can follow-up by phone next week.
  • First conversations of the new year with your banks and credit unions.
  • Set the first breakfast or lunch appointments with your financial planners, insurance professionals, and divorce attorneys!
  • Think about “Leap Day Saturday” potential event!
  • Girl Scout Cookie Season!

Momentum is critical and if you have it, you want to keep it going; if you don’t, then you need to generate it NOW! All the tools are on the website so there are no excuses! If you can’t find what you need, just email me!

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

2020 Isn’t Just A New Decade, It Means Perfect Vision!

Welcome to the first blog post of a new decade! Much gets put on a new year; even more thought around a new decade! Some look back to the “Roaring 20’s” of a century ago and wonder if there is any special meaning? While those 20’s were free and easy with what seemed to be growth, wealth, and an endless party; it ended with a stock market crash and the great depression!

The coming decade is full of promise and excitement, but I also urge caution. While things change, those jumping onboard some of those changes may be making a huge mistake! While change is inevitable, not all change is good! It is important to look at the future and examine the changes that are being presented to us and make good choices.

What I think will make a difference in 2020 verses 1920 is that we have awareness and the ability to understand history. What I also like to think is that 2020 in our minds also needs to be understood in a way that we already accept; the understanding that 2020 implies perfect vision! Adapting that meaning, I feel we can look down the road of change and be prepared to make choices and adjustments if we have perfect vision!

The obvious point is clearly planning. It will become more difficult to just “wing it” in the mortgage and real estate industries! You will need a plan, complete with strategies, schedules, and accountability toward a higher expectation! To be clear, overall performance will have to improve!

One of the choices we have to make is the path we will take. It becomes clearer every day that the battle in the industry will be around transactional verses relational business models. Simply put, leads verses opportunity; price verses value!

As more and more people chase leads, that market will become saturated with people focused on price and quantity! What will remain will be a smaller, but more individually profitable arena that some will enjoy. When the mortgage and real estate business becomes about the quality of the customer experience and the current and future value of that experience there will be unlimited potential.

The choices are clear and the competition will be significant. For those in the high volume, transaction based, low margin arena, the risk becomes dependence on outside resources beyond your control. For those taking the other path, the focus needs to be on consistency and value driven process. Both paths will yield results; what is the choice you will make?

Is your vision of the new decade 20/20?

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

Work Still To Be Done!

Welcome to December! What a glorious time of the year! The year is coming to a close, holidays to prepare for and enjoy, and many friends and family to spend time with. That said there is still work to be done in December!

We all must remember that the mortgage industry is a momentum and flow business. Just because the months and years change, nothing really ends. We will all look into 2020 with relationships, pre-approvals, applications, databases, and active files that will cross over into 2020; nobody really goes to zero but the scoreboard!

Completing the year requires quickly completing and clearing all files left to be closed this year and be certain all the supporting players are on task and schedule with your timeline! Make sure everyone is working on your plan; one misunderstanding can cause huge issues! Every file should be CTC no later than 12/20 with a clear understanding of closing dates and times for all parties!

Preparing your list of other professionals to connect with who are engaging their customer base as the year ends is also important! Opportunities are significant with low rates, refinances, trade up or down, program and guideline changes, rent to own, first time seller and expired listings are just a few conversations we need to be having!

All the parties are a great distraction and certainly fun; but don’t forget the rules!

  • Be certain to attend the events you need to attend
  • Work each room and speak with everyone
  • One drink maximum
  • Keep it fun but behave properly
  • You can destroy a relationship or put yourself out of business by breaking any of these rules!

Big shout out to those who worked hard through Thanksgiving weekend and found themselves with significant opportunities to show for it! Black Friday Sales went great, contracts were written and loans came in. We also saw new referrals for loans to close this year from people who never referred us before, just because the loans could close by the end of the year!

Agents who made offers, offers that were accepted, all based on the fact that the deal could get done by the end of the year! In fact, some of you are still accepting transactions through this weekend and stand-alone in your markets! GREAT JOB!

There is still work to be done! Opportunities to generate and convert! Do the work and get the reward of being the one still standing!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com