“Becoming the solution is your business evolution!”

Forget what anyone ever told you about the mortgage originator being a salesperson, it’s not the case! While basic sales techniques are certainly part of the business of an originator, you can’t “sell” your way to great relationships! You can try and sell rates and service, but who is going to believe you any more than the other fifty people they saw in the last month saying the same thing? I have argued in the past you might even be better off by telling people you didn’t have great rates or great service, at least they might see you as honest?

My thought process has always focused on being a solutions provider. Locate a challenge and provide a solution. Find a problem, and offer a solution! Build long term relationships by providing answers to questions and solutions to the issues found in your market! It’s as simple as that. Tight market and trouble with listed inventory for qualified buyers; get out and work with your Realtor® using any of the success strategies to generate new listings! Having an issue with lack of down payments; master USDA loans along with possible grant and down payment assistance programs. Not sure you know what the issues are in your market; go out and talk to the people and ask them!!!

One of my clients in Louisiana was new to the business and had no idea where to start. I told her to go out and share 50 business cards a day and just talk to people and see what they say. She found out that many people wanted to buy homes, but they lacked down payments. She looked at her area and saw most of it was eligible for USDA financing. She took some time, learned the program, and went out and shared the solution. At first, many people were cautious because prior lenders had issues getting these loans closed quickly. Working with her underwriter, she went deeper in the pre-approval stage so that once in contract, these files were quickly ready to underwrite! She also kept in close contact with her local USDA group to monitor turnaround times so she could keep everyone aware of the timing of each deal. In less than a year, she became the number 2 USDA lender in the country!

That same originator lived in an area that was overcome by a flood. Many of the homes were damaged or destroyed. Even her own house and office were flooded by more than four feet of water! Working from her assistant’s kitchen table, they closed the loans they had on the unaffected properties in their pipeline, and then went to work mastering rehab loans! Imagine learning new loan products, working from your assistant’s kitchen table, trying to supervise the rebuild of your office and your own home, while living in a trailer and the second floor of your flooded house? And close more than 175 loans in the process?

Our ability to solve problems is what humans are all about. See a problem, find a solution! To build lasting referral relationships, you need to show your people that you are more than a salesperson, you are a solutions provider! Use the tools and the strategies inside the website to help you identify and solve issues. If you need help working with your Realtors®, invite them into www.rlppnow.com and share the Power Partnerships modules and show them proven solutions to their challenges!

“Becoming the solution is your business evolution!” If we don’t evolve we die off! Use the tools and technology to help you in your professional evolution! If you need some help, look into the “Fast Start 180” program as a way to get started.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Ready to skyrocket your results?  Visit http://www.imtcoaching.com/fast-start-180.html


“Sharing Best Practices”

As a coach, you do what you can to share the best practices with your clients. Most of the time, you can convey the concepts pretty clearly, sometimes it’s best to just share that concept in motion. Well, that was exactly the case this past week when I brought two clients together so they could each see how the other was doing a specific part of their business, and both benefit from the time together.

My client Joe has more than twenty years in the mortgage business and is a master of communication and follow-up. My client Christy is beginning her fifth year in the business and has mastered the art of the initial filtering process and setting expectations for the clients and referral partners. Each of them could benefit from the other’s strengths, as well as the visualization of actually seeing the work in motion. So last week, Joe and I left Florida and went to Louisiana to visit with Christy and her team.

In just one business day, both Joe and Christy got to see and share information that will forever change how they do business. Both people got to see how exactly what they were trying to accomplish, executed by someone that has mastered the very part of the business they want to improve upon. I will tell you, as a coach, watching the student become the teacher was a priceless experience. To have your clients learning from each other, to see how the message and the mechanics were transferred so simply was about as good as it gets. Just one day that will change the way two teams of people provide an exceptional experience for their clients and their referral partners forever!

We are all busy. We all have a great number of things going on in our lives both personal and professional that it can make it hard to stop and either ask for help, or be the one that helps another. In this case, the timing wasn’t ideal for either one of my two clients, and certainly didn’t fit well into my schedule, but it was important enough to make it happen, and everyone involved learned something valuable and benefitted from the time together.

So think about what you do and how well you do it. There are some things I am sure you would like to make better, and some things you do as well or better than most. When you struggle to find a solution on your own, ask for some help! Ask your coach or mentor to connect you with someone that has mastered the things you struggle with. Also be open to help someone who struggles and has asked you for some help. I promise you, it’s worth it!

Our business suffers from the lack of mentorship. As the profession ages, we do a very poor job in our industry hiring, mentoring, and building that next generation of mortgage professionals to be better and more consumer centric than we were! The fact is we really need to elevate our profession as a whole. We can do this by building better systems to support a better client experience, and share that knowledge with the next generation of professionals that will follow us forward.

So with a great deal of pride in my two clients for making this past week happen, the two teams of people who will now change a few things in their lives to make the experience better and more productive, I challenge all who read this to make a commitment to learn one better way this year to serve your clients and referral partners; then share one way with someone that could use your help. I guarantee it’s worth the time and energy to do!

Thanks Joe & Christy! Thanks Team Solar and Team Farro! Thanks for caring enough to share this experience with each other and allowing me to be a part of it.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com

It’s the END of the First Quarter!

Wow! That was sure fast! The first quarter of 2017 has come and gone in a flash. As always, the end of the first quarter is the time to do some basic work and analyze some numbers. We need to get out our business plan and compare what actually happened, to what it was we projected to take place.

  • We need to look at our personal income for the first quarter and see if it was in-line with our forecast?
  • We need to look at our in process pipeline and check if we had any deals roll into the second quarter that might have been counted in the first?
  • We need to look at our preapproval que and see how many people we have 30 – 60 – 90 days into the home buying process and see if we are tracking properly?
  • We need to look at our referrals and where they came from. Are those people we thought would refer us business, referring the business we thought they would?
  • Are there any surprises in any of these areas?
  • What adjustments do we need to make based on the information we have just discovered?

It is really important to do this work. It confirms your thinking about this year, or it will allow you to rethink and refocus on areas or tasks that are now coming into view. You should also take the time to look at your first quarter closings and see how long it took for your people to go from being preapproved, to closing the loan. Knowing the gestation period of your preapprovals can help you manage expectations and understand your future numbers.

As we approach the spring buying season, it’s really important to take a moment and review your plan, track your results, see where you stand in relationship to your objectives, and then make whatever adjustments you need to make in order to make your projections come true. Wishing won’t ever make things come true; only WORK will make it happen!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Introducing Power Partnerships®!

The CFPB has made it very clear that it will be taking action against Realtors® and lenders that violate RESPA. While many on the lending side of the issue have been aware of the CFPB focus, the real estate market has been shaken by the fact that companies and individuals who violate the law are likely targets of interest by the CFPB.

The Realtor®/Lender relationship is one of the most fundamental pieces of purchase transactions. Many lenders have worked almost exclusively with Realtors® to generate their mortgage opportunities. Given how powerful and productive those relationships can be, some have gone beyond the rules governing those relationships, and those people are now coming into sharp focus of the CFPB. The CFPB has shown that it isn’t just worried about those who are giving the money against the rules, but those accepting the money are also open to investigation and penalties! Clearly those people involved really need to look at their business and be sure they are compliant!

There is so much that can be done within the scope of the rules that can generate opportunities and create value, that it is hard for me to see why anyone would risk their livelihood by not engaging in the strategies that are compliant? You can’t just buy your way into a relationship any longer! You have to establish and maintain relationships based on mutual benefit, mutual action and activities, and the willingness to work with those who see the value to the consumer by providing an exceptional experience! Besides, why does everyone need to be in everyone else’s pockets; why not just make and keep your own money?

Terri Murphy and I have created Power Partnerships® based on our years of experience working with the best Realtors® and loan originators in the country. We have spent a great deal of time refining the tools and the strategies that help provide significant listing and buyer interest. After all, purchase business requires someone to sell, and another willing to buy. Putting them together and providing a hassle free transaction is what the consumer wants, and what we should demand of ourselves.

Power Partnerships® is the only online training academy available produced by coaches, each with over 30 years of experience, who work in the arena every day. More importantly, the systems and strategies we bring to you are the very systems and strategies our own clients use on a daily basis! This system also provides the user with access to either coach by email if they have a specific challenge or question.

If you want more from your current relationships, if you are looking to identify and attract the best people in your market; if you want a compliant system that shares the actual step by step actions, activities, and schedules you will need to succeed, you need to take a look at Power Partnerships® and see if $59 a month can change your life? Realtors® and lenders are a natural combination. Here is the platform where both can come together and work toward finding new opportunities and converting those opportunities into closings!

So go to www.RLPPNOW.com and take a look around. See if what we are doing here is of interest to you and your team. We can offer discounts for multiple subscribers, and you may qualify to have Terri and I come to your town and present the program to your team and your referral partners!

The time has come to take the Realtor®/Lender relationship to the next level. See how we can help you make that move!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com


So by now you all have heard that the Trump administration has stopped the planned decrease in the FHA MIP by .25%. While it would have been nice to have had a decrease in the cost of an FHA loan, it certainly isn’t the end of the world as some would have you think.

Articles and conversations on various social media platforms would have you think somebody eliminated FHA all together! Seriously, the number of loan officers throwing themselves into a fit is quite shocking. In fact, it’s pretty disturbing behavior for a financial professional.

This was a REDUCTION, not a new fee. FHA MIP premiums weren’t raised, they were left alone and not reduced until the new administration could look at the data and make sure this proposed fee reduction was something that could be done comfortably and without potential issues for the fund that insures these loans.

The crying over how people are no longer going to be able to afford to buy a home is absolutely ridiculous! On a $200,000 loan, you are talking less than $42 a month! If $42 a month is what keeps someone from buying a house, then maybe they should rethink their situation. Clearly rent on an apartment or equivalent home would be going UP more than that each year! And again, this fee isn’t going up, it’s staying the same!

Now as a business coach, my job is to help my clients deal with certain challenges. So, while none of them have had any issues with this situation, how about we talk about how to deal with this for those who may have an issue?

  • You could always buy a house that is about $8,000 less expensive?
  • You could spend a few thousand dollars in points to buy the rate down on the loan by .25%
  • You could use money from your 401K to make a larger down payment.
  • You could negotiate a seller’s concession toward closing costs to pay down the rate.
  • You could look for assistance with the down payment or closing costs to make up the difference.
  • You could work a part-time job for a couple of months and use that money to buy down the rate.
  • You could look to other loan programs that may have lower fees or allow you to finance more money.
  • You could wait and see if they lower the fee in the months to come, and hope interest rates don’t move higher.
  • You could pray that interest rates go down.

All of these ideas and likely many more are all ways to deal with the fact that the FHA MIP was not reduced. However, the facts are, most people don’t use FHA loans to buy a home, and those that do are largely not now precluded from buying a home, or are even close to their maximum payment tolerance. For those that were; maybe they really need to rethink what they were going to do?

In any circumstance, it is your job as a financial expert to explain the situation, not inflame it! This really isn’t that big a deal, so don’t act like it is. Just explain the options and do the math! For those needing to use FHA to buy their homes, they are still getting a great deal. Don’t add to the drama by fueling the fire. Nobody is a victim here. Just be professional and share all the options!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com

“Don’t forget to measure!”

Hard to believe we are closing in on February already! How many of you are executing your 2017 plan consistently? My guess is that if you are reading this post, you are doing a really good job with your execution because we have talked about it a great deal. So the next most critical thing to master is to be certain you are measuring your efforts against your projections to be sure you are doing what you said you were going to do! Remember, first we plan, then we execute; finally, we measure! We measure the actions. We measure the time it took. We measure to see if we are really doing what we said we were going to do! It is important to measure because failing to measure your actions weakens your ability to make the proper adjustments to improve your results. Just like a computer, garbage in, garbage out!

With three weeks into the year, now is a good time to see if we have developed the habits of our new intentions! Twenty-one days to a habit, you should be well on your way to success! With those new habits established, we now must look forward to measuring the results of our actions and activities! Again, if you don’t measure, you can’t make the proper adjustments!  Failing to make the correct adjustments will hinder your ability to be as efficient as you could be.

Twelve key things we need to sure to measure:

  • Are we prospecting a minimum of two hours each day?
  • Are we receiving a minimum of 5 credit pull opportunities each week?
  • Are 70% or more of the credit reports we are pulling good enough to proceed further to document collection?
  • Are we growing toward, or maintaining twenty or more pre-approved clients out looking for a home at all times?
  • Do we connect with every agent, accountant, attorney, financial planner, and insurance professional involved in every deal?
  • Are we sending hand written thank you notes to our referral partners at the closing of each transaction, including those we just met?
  • Are we following up with those new referral partners ten days to two weeks after we send the note to set an appointment?
  • Are our referral partners sending the number of referrals in January that we projected they would?
  • Are we adding the number of new people to our database, Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, or other social media connections that we had scheduled to do?
  • Are we posting helpful and valuable information on our outlets to keep the people connected, looking, and sharing?
  • Am I adding the video frequently asked questions to my YouTube® channel that I said I was going to do?
  • How many times have my referral partners or past clients shared my video business card?

All the planning in the world won’t help you if you aren’t measuring against your projections and being prepared to track the results and make needed adjustments! Our business is all about being able to adjust quickly and effectively. Sometimes we don’t know what to measure? Sometimes we don’t make the correct adjustments? But failing to make projections, track the results, and make adjustments will only give you everything you have always gotten! So if you are already getting everything you want, then ignore this post and we will see you next week. But if you aren’t getting everything that you want, then project, execute, and measure, so you can learn how and when to make the adjustments you will always need to be making!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Focus on what matters”

We have spent a great deal of time this year focusing on details and specifics. In many cases, as a coach, that is what your job is, to be aware of the details and help your clients incorporate those details into actions that generate the results they are looking for. For many, the remaining days of this year will be spent looking for the next party to go too! While I think the parties are great, it is important to keep focused on your process and your schedule. Failing to do so will only cause a lag in your pipeline that may take months to correct!

What matters to people now are rising interest rates. The Fed moving the needle will undoubtedly cause some severe volatility and continue the overall trend of higher rates. It is important to focus on what matters! Rates are going up and certainly aren’t as low as they were just a few months ago. But that is the market we live in. Don’t allow the conversation to become negative. Focus on what matters! What matters is that rising rates are still less of a burden than rising rents!

Sure it costs more money each month with higher mortgage rates. But have you taken the time to do a rent vs own comparison? Rising home prices and higher rates make for a higher monthly payment, but that payment didn’t go up anywhere near as much as rents did year over year. So while the monthly payments are certainly higher than they would have been a few months ago; rents are moving much more quickly higher in most markets. Take this opportunity to share these thoughts with a few of your real estate referral partners. Look at properties and their rental equivalents, do the math and see what your market looks like. I am sure that owning still represents a significant value over renting!

The other area of focus is timing and speed. While some people would have you believe that you need to focus on the speed of the pre-approval process, I contend that the pre-approval process is exactly where you need to focus and spend the time to get everything right and in order! The speed in the transaction needs to be from contract to closing because that is where the value is for the consumer! Why do I say this? Well, look at your rate sheets and note the cost of extending a rate lock or a longer lock period. You will quickly note that using a shorter rate lock saves your customer money!

Get the numbers on paper. Show the customer and the referral partner the real dollars involved in having to extend a lock or lock for a longer period of time. Look at the real dollars and you can see that it isn’t the speed of the pre-approval that matters; it’s the speed in which you can take that deal from contract to closed!

So don’t be put into a position to quickly help someone into a bad choice or to lose money. Focus on getting the deal done correctly and being fast and efficient where it really matters, where the money matters, the time you lock to the time the deals closes is where you have the need for speed!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com or visit us online at http://imtcoaching.com