“Perspective improves production”

I have spent a great deal of time in these posts sharing information and strategies that have helped my originators and managers outperform the industry averages. Sometimes it’s doing something completely different than the others are doing, and other times it’s about adding one touch, or one contact, or one small additional step that changes the outcome dramatically. So much about what I share is about systems and procedures placed over a timeline that it really helps make the fundamental part of originations simple to follow and duplicate. The one area I spend less time talking about is what I am going to share today is perspective.

So many times we have people that have all the “tools” to be successful originators or managers, but there is just something missing that prevents that from happening at a higher level than they are. This is also true of those professionals that are doing better than average, but not as well as they could. I believe that the difference is largely due to perspective. How do they look at themselves, their team, their clients, their systems, and their business? In many cases, the differences are mostly about the way in which people view these things and how that affects their outcomes.

The old expression “Is the glass half empty or is it half full” comes to mind. Is the work we are doing proactive or reactive? Is it transactional or relational? Is each deal a simple transaction, or is it part of a long term strategy? Is our perspective influencing our outcome for the good or bad?

I like to think of this as a lesson learned from the movie “Groundhog Day”. If you have never seen the movie, go watch it. If you have seen it, go back and learn the valuable lesson of perspective. Circumstances are always linked to a positive or negative possibility. If something appears negative, look and see what you can do to change it to a positive. How is each person, situation, obstacle, or event put in front of us, actually an opportunity to improve ourselves or the fortunes of those around us?

Our business outcomes can be anything we want them to be. The clients I coach all make specific choices about how good they are, the processes they use, the quality of the customer and referral partner experience, and how much money they earn in the time they work. Not any one of them is the same. None of them do everything we talk about. However, a common thread appears over time, they all understand the value of having a really clear perspective of who they are and what they are trying to accomplish! Some start with that perspective, and others move toward it over time! Either way the results are the same, approaching your business with a really clear vision of what you are doing and how it connects to everything else around it can make all the difference. And sometimes that difference is HUGE!

Take some time to watch “Groundhog Day” this weekend. Pay attention to the evolution that takes place when the perspective changes. In the movie the change takes place seemingly overnight; but we all know that it wasn’t the case. Your business won’t change overnight; but it will change dramatically over time for the better. And after all, why not get a little better each day? You can’t change everything, but you can change enough to really matter!

Questions or comments: Visit us online at http://imtocoaching.com or email Mike@IMTcoaching.com


“Lack of Inventory isn’t the Problem!”

It certainly appears that everyone in the media and most in the real estate business are complaining about a lack of inventory. It seems everyone has become focused on this mantra for one reason of another. My opinion is that if there is a lack of inventory, then it’s the result of people failing to take specific action! Here are a few examples of what I mean:

If there are more buyers than sellers in your market and there is this lack of inventory, why aren’t people taking advantage of this new found “seller’s market” and selling? Clearly nobody has made the case for them to do so. So when people who could take advantage of an opportunity, don’t take advantage of the opportunity, they are either uninformed or uneducated. Both of those are solvable by effective and specific communication.

When current homeowners who could list their homes and buy another home and don’t; it’s because they weren’t aware of the cost and value differences of what they own verses what they would like to have. Once again the lack of effective communication and specific strategies are missing from the equation.

In most markets in this country there are specific price points where there is a large amount of inventory for those people looking to buy. The question is; do you know where that level is and how to work that market to draw attention to those who could buy? Sometimes the markets flow from the bottom and push their way up; but in other cases the market can be pulled up from the top! So are you identifying the void and using that opportunity to create activity?

Right now we are facing the end of the school year. Many people who would like to sell and buy, would sell and buy IF somebody shared with them a strategy to succeed! For those that have small children who will be starting school in the fall, moving closer to the school or a better school would be a great reason. Someone just needs to let them know it’s possible! How many families are sending their kids off to college in the fall and no longer need all the space they have? Those people would be a great target to work! Last but certainly not least are the teachers and administrators themselves. How many are changing jobs and moving to new schools? All of these are reasons to connect and communicate.

The lack of inventory in your market isn’t because the homes don’t exist; it’s because people don’t know that it makes sense for them to MOVE! If you aren’t going to be the one out on the streets sharing the message, then you are likely the one sitting around complaining that the reason you don’t do more business is that there is a lack of inventory. In reality, you don’t do enough business because you don’t talk to enough people!

So get out and use the success strategies we have shared here in the past to help create the movement in the market you need. If you wait for someone else to do the work, they aren’t likely to pay YOU!

All of the success strategies can be found at www.IMTcoaching.com or through www.RLPPNOW.com

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Just pick up the phone!”

What makes us faster makes us slower! Technology in all its advances has made it possible to get less done in more time! Our so called labor saving devices are now actually the biggest time suck in our lives. No longer are there traditional ‘business hours”. My kids deal with work issues well before 9am and certainly past 5pm Monday through Friday. In many ways, we are failing at the now 24/7 society we thought was so efficient. In fact we are becoming “blended people”. No longer are we transitioning from our private lives into our work lives each day, our lives are now a combination of both. Truthfully, that is a shame!

People are slaves to their technology. Addicted to instant gratification so badly, the very thought of working toward an outcome over time is foreign to most of those under 35. It’s all about what I can have NOW! The challenges are many with this way of thinking. Instant gratification dilutes patience and persistence. Without these qualities, we are finding more shallow people with increasingly shallow lives.

I am not saying all technology is bad, and the 24/7 need for connecting isn’t the end of the world; but the ability to manage and control the information is critical to anyone in the service arena. Clearly because we want to serve our clients and referral partners, not become a slave to them. We need to use our technologies in conjunction with logic to serve our needs while serving the needs of others. One of the ways to do that is to integrate expectations with your technology so everyone understands how to communicate effectively with each other.

A prime example of this is trying to engage in a running conversation in either email or text message. How many times do we get a question via email or text that seems to run on, message after message; entire chains of five, six, seven, or more messages trying to get a single question answered? We have all seen it. In fact, I am sure we are all victims of this process. My solution is, after the first time your reply is met with a secondary question or incorrect interpretation of what your answer is, do NOT send another email or text, pick up the phone and have a conversation!!! In most cases, a single thirty second call can eliminate dozens of back and forth texts or emails.

Just try it for one week. Explain to everyone that in the future, anytime there is the slightest confusion about anything, you are going to pick up the phone and have a short conversation to resolve the issue. This fits in well with setting certain times of the day when you return calls and emails. How nice would it be to turn your phone off for 21 hours of the day to inbound calls and emails? How much calmer would you be? How much more work could you get done? What would the quality of your life be?

Now I know that many of you are already suffering anxiety from just thinking about disconnecting like that. And yes, I do expect that some people in your life might have challenges with this new philosophy. But I am telling you, if you have a simple conversation, set specific parameters by which you will connect back with them; most people will not only appreciate having a clear communication plan, but they will also be rewarded by not getting caught up in an endless trail of emails and text messages.

Just try it! You can do it! Set the expectations and execute the plan. You will find your life will get better if you just pick up the phone can call! Resolve the issues, and put the damn phone or email away!

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

“There are THREE sides to a coin!”

Most of the time, people think of a coin as two sided. The story of flipping a coin and calling “Heads” or “Tails” to decide something goes back thousands of years. When it comes to making a one in two choice, a coin flip can certainly do the trick; but as any coin collector will tell you, there is a third side to every coin, and that is the edge! Look at your change. You can see different edge types on different coins. Some are smooth. Others have ridges. A smaller group of coins actually has images or engraving on the edge. That third side sometimes makes all the difference! And while flipping a coin generally ends up either heads or tails, it is possible for that coin to land on its edge!

I bring this up because I want you to think of all the possibilities, not just the obvious possibilities. In the mortgage and real estate industry we see situations that are as clear and as obvious as heads and tails; and for the most part, it is really the outcome. However, things are not always as they appear and that is where your deals can quickly go sideways in a big hurry! We always need to account for the edge! We always need to know what about our situation could happen, even if it isn’t likely to happen.

As a professional, you do these transactions every day. Your clients are involved a few times in a lifetime. Market conditions change; and as a professional you are aware of these changes and allow for them and educate those around you of them. But seem people aren’t aware of changes or are not working with people who have prepared them for all the possibilities. That is where you create your advantage. The very differentiation we should all be looking for; your competitive edge!

While most of the market works on the obvious, the real professionals account for, and master the edge! Some examples of the edge thinking:

  • Having your agents refer you all of their listings so you can save them up to 2% on their next purchase.
  • Having your agents refer you to potential listing opportunities so you as a lender can offer services, support, and an endorsement of that agent.
  • Originators working with their agents on The Forever Home Strategy® or the First Time Seller Strategy® to help generate listing and buy side opportunities.
  • Contacting every professional associated with the transaction to verify information and establish a new relationship after a successful closing.

These are just a few of the concepts I like to think of when we look at what the most professional people can, and are doing to explore every possible opportunity and outcome on each transaction!

While most of the country is struggling with a tight inventory market; some are out there setting records and serving their markets because they don’t just live with heads and tails; they live, work, and own the edge!

These concepts and more are all in the new Power Partnerships Program® that Terri Murphy and I have created to help loan originators and their Realtor® referral partners work together to generate and secure more opportunities. Take a look at www.RLPPNOW.com to see how we might be able to help you!

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

The difference between “Will” and “WANT”

As a coach, I become engaged in many conversations with people about the differences between lower level or average producers, and those that far outperform the industry. While many believe that the top producers have better rates and programs, other think that it comes down to being lucky. In the mortgage industry their certainly is a bit of luck at times in certain circumstances, but for the most part, the better people do better because they “WILL” do the work needed to succeed and the others just “WANT” to be successful.

Simple as that, if you just “WANT” to succeed, you won’t. If you “WILL” do the things needed to succeed, you WILL! It’s all about doing the work the other guy won’t do! 70% of the mortgage originators in this country do less than four transactions a month. 21% close between 5 and 9 units a month. The top 9% of the industry close ten or more units every month!

So let’s look at some “WILL” and “WANT” comparisons. Most originators say that they “WANT” to close more business but are “UNWILLING” to do the work to get there. Lower level performers “WANT” to have a business plan and a schedule; but are unwilling to write out the plan, schedule the work, and hold themselves accountable to adjust the plan if the outcome doesn’t equal the projections!

So many originators complain that they don’t have enough time to do the things they need to do and then complain they need an assistant to help them. While they “WANT” help to get things done, they are not “WILLING” to do the work writing out the process and placing it over a timeline to see where their time actually goes! Having an assistant without having a system, just means you have two people busy getting little done and no hope of ever getting better! By constructing a schedule of activities over a timeline, you have a clear understanding of what can get done and how long it takes to do! People waste time because they aren’t “WILLING” to track how their time is spent!

Another big issue with lower producing originators is consistency. I have always maintained that consistency is currency. Without becoming consistent in your actions, you never develop the critical task skills and speed you need to operate at a high level. Example, how many of you reading this post, actually know how much time it takes you to get a client from first contact to closing? What are the steps along the way, who does them, and how long does it take to do each one? Chances are you don’t know! Do you “WANT” to know this information, or are you “WILLING” to do the work to really know?

Not everyone can be a top 9% loan originator. Not everyone can originate and close ten or more units a month. However, everyone who is “WILLING” to do the work can certainly close between five and nine units a month, which is about double the average! Just think about it; you could double your business any time you like, if you are just “WILLING” to do the work it takes to get want you say you “WANT”! Are you “WILLING”, or just “WANTING”?

People get better when they make the choice to make change. The first thing that has to change is your “MIND”! What will you do differently so you have a different result? If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. If you are tired of getting what you are getting, then stop doing what you are doing!

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

“The Best Succeed”

The best succeed when times are challenging because they engage the situation and work toward a solution. OOPS! I used that four-letter word again, “WORK!” It’s true; the best succeed because they are willing to do the very things those that don’t succeed are not willing to do. Plain and simple, if you want a result, you have to do the work!

We are looking around the country and hearing from most markets that there is a challenge with inventory. One client of mine just told me that their borrower was told by their agent, that it might take a year or longer to find them a home! Can you imagine? What a great way to present the case for home ownership than to tell someone that it may take a year for them to find a home?

Let’s be clear, in some markets, there is certainly a lack of listed inventory. That said there is no shortage of homes, just a shortage of homeowners who don’t know that it’s time for them to sell and move on! Nobody has made the case and given them their “WHY”! Nobody has shared with them the value on moving to their next home. Yes, not everyone is currently living in the home they say is the home they plan on staying forever! So why not help them get there?

We all know home prices aren’t going down. Neither are interest rates. It makes perfect sense to make the move now! Not only because it saves money, but what do you think the market is going to look like at the height of the spring and summer markets?

It is time for lenders and their Realtor® referral partners to sit down and run the numbers. Look at the demand, the neighborhoods, current and past prices, and make the case for action! Remember, the best succeed because leaders lead! Take out your copy of the “Forever Home Strategy®” and review it carefully. Be sure you are clear to all the moving pieces and the timing of these actions and activities. Make use of your social media platform by using video to share your actions in specific neighborhoods! Create involvement and value by being consistent with the information and your actions!

Two hours once a week working directly in the field talking with the people who would benefit from making a change! Forty or fifty contacts a week for four to six weeks could very well make the difference between complaining about tight inventory, and closing a few transactions! After all, would you rather be sitting down complaining about the market, or would you like to be doing some work and closing some deals?

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

The “Forever Home Strategy®” is part of the IMT Coaching Program and Power Partnerships® at www.rlppnow.com  $59 a month can change your business for the better!