“How will YOU spend your New Year’s Weekend?”

For those of you who are taking off this weekend, have fun! When you think about it, it’s kind of silly to even say that because if they are taking off this weekend they aren’t likely to have read this post, and if they read it later, it won’t matter.

For those of you who want to continue growing your business then Saturday and Sunday represent a clear opportunity for you to be out and about with little or no competition! Why focus so much on this particular weekend? Well, a couple of reasons:

  • Most of your competition is gone.
  • With the long holiday week and most of the action on New Year’s Eve, bored people will hit the streets looking at possible new homes!

It has been my experience over the years that when New Year’s falls on a Friday, the real estate traffic is pretty robust if the weather cooperates. When there is a great deal of traffic, and only a few people working, the opportunities to capture business, even from people who have never referred you before increase dramatically.

So here is a fairly simple plan to engage this weekend without having to work all day but to take advantage of this unique situation. Take your normal two day Realtor® visitation schedule that you follow and work one route on Saturday and the other route on Sunday. If you are following our “normal” procedures, just take the “week one” of your visitation schedule or whichever one was “next” in your existing schedule, and run it Saturday and Sunday. You follow the same exact procedure, making sure your voicemail greeting reflects the times you can return calls:

  • Printed information in an envelope
  • Write the name of your target on the envelope
  • Put the envelopes in route delivery order
  • Go make your five to seven stops
  • Drop off the envelope at the assigned office
  • If the agent IS THERE, talk to them about your availability
  • If they are NOT there, call each agent you dropped envelopes for at that office from the parking lot to let them know you were there and that you are WORKING!
  • Complete your route and send an email to each person and make your normal post on your social media outlets!

Once you have completed your route you can go home and enjoy yourself. If you are a classic over achiever, or you want a more advanced plan, you could have also added:

  • Make a list of three or four Open Houses that are easy to go to from your route.
  • Prepare a Mortgage Coach Total Cost Analysis® and an Open House flier for each of the properties.
  • Visit the Open Houses and share the information with the agent, seller, the visitors, and the neighbors!
  • Place tour information on your social media outlets and be sure to tag each listing agent and provide the location of other helpful information you have like your website, YouTube® channel, or instructions on how to download your HBM® app on their phones!

You don’t have to work this weekend. I have plenty of clients who are taking this weekend off and will hit the ground running on January 4th 2016 executing the business plans we have been working on, refining, and scheduling since last October. They will be fine because they are established, prepared, and focused on what they need to do and are ready to execute. But some people are just anxious to get the jump on their competition, and for those people, here is one way to have some fun and get it done!

Have a Happy New Year and be safe!

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

If you are working, WORK!

Merry Christmas everyone! I wish you all a safe and very happy and healthy holiday! I know many of you are done with the year and plan on a relaxing time with friends and family. Please take the time to relax, reflect, and recharge yourself to get back at it on January 4th. For those of you who are working, here are a few ideas you might be able to use to help keep your momentum rolling along and help find a few opportunities to get the new year started off strong.

First and foremost, if you are going to work, then WORK! Set a plan and a schedule. It makes no sense to go to the office and sit there; you need to be out and VISABLE! If you need the office, then make it quick! Do what you have to do, meet who you have to meet and then get out on the streets where the people are! NOBODY IS GOING TO WALK IN YOUR OFFICE FROM OFF THE STREET AND ASK YOU TO DO THEIR LOAN!

Create a plan for each day containing office visits, phone calls, and hand written notes! So many articles, blog posts, and year end/first of the year ideas that you can print out and share! So have your routes planned out with the names and contact numbers of those you want to go visit. Drop something off, talk to anyone that is in the office for a few minutes, then before pulling out of the parking lot, call the people you were looking to see and who weren’t there on the phone to let them know you left them something at their office and remind them that you are available to help those who are working or looking! Do this BEFORE you go to the next stop on your list. Just a couple of hours out on the street each day can make all the difference!

Remember to talk about expired listings! I spent a good deal of time going over this plan in the past and you can see more details about this and other year-end strategies in the December monthly coaching call on the website! If you haven’t watched that webinar yet, it might be a good idea to watch that one and get your action plan together!

With Christmas being on a Friday, it is about 50/50 as to how busy it might be the 26th and 27th. But I am fairly certain that some people will be out looking and you know they are serious if they are active! You might also want to spend an hour or two over the weekend just dropping by and saying hello! Whatever your normal visitation schedule for Thursday and Friday, why not move those visits to Saturday and Sunday? Same holds true for the following weekend. Weekends after New Year’s Day are ALWAYS busy! So you may want to remind everyone you work with that if you plan on being available and working, that they KNOW it is good to call you over the holiday weekend!

2015 was a great year! 2016 will be even better for those who have made the commitment to be better and to do better! TRID has been a great blessing to all of those who treat this business as a profession! Those who have prepared are already seeing a HUGE boom in business as they are already being identified in their markets as professionals who can still get a loan closed in thirty days or less!

You did the work to prepare and now the benefits are yours to harvest! You did the W-O-R-K of your J-O-B and this is just the beginning of the rewards that are coming your way! So have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your family and friends. If you are going to take off, please enjoy every last minute of it. If you are planning on working, then make every minute count!

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

Rising Rates May Not Cause Rising Rates!

We have all heard the quote “Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Well, rather than just write a post that delivers some numbers and information you can quote back to referral partners and clients, I felt that in the spirit of giving, and from the position of coaching, I would write a blog post that would be informative as well as instructive so you could learn a few skills that will serve you into the future.

Much has been made about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Many are already reading and spouting information about rising interest rates. So instruction number one is:

  • What rates does the Federal Reserve control and why do you think that a rise in those rates have anything to do with mortgage rates?

What you will need to do is go to the internet a do some WORK and research what rates the Federal Reserve controls and locate a chart of those rates over the last twenty years. It is very important that you look at the big picture and see what rates were and when and how they have moved.

The next instructions you need to follow is:

  • Locate a chart of 30 year fixed rate mortgage loan rates over the last twenty years. Once you have both of these charts printed out, use a highlighter to mark specific points of highs, lows, and movement both up and down. Also take note of HOW MUCH each movement was.

Once you have these charts and the information you will quickly see that having the facts and the written data makes it much easier for not only you to understand the relationship, or maybe lack thereof a relationship, and have the knowledge that will help you engage in a much different conversation with clients and referral partners. This is a teachable moment, and you need to become a teacher.

Oh yes, one other thing, you will also note mortgage rates have moved significantly both up AND down over the last few years WITHOUT the Federal Reserve moving rates at all!

As mortgage professionals, you need to know the numbers and the relationship of what is perception and what is likely the reality! You must know where to locate information and how to keep yourself informed by multiple sources. No one person’s perspective, even mine, is always right! You need to formulate opinions based on securing the information. You also need to be able to show where your information comes from so that others can locate the source and come to their own conclusions.

Last but certainly not least, KEEP VISIBLE! You must keep up your visitation schedule. Not just attending office parties, but by going to offices and leaving information, talking to people, offering to help, and following up by phone of those who were not there when you stopped by! It is easy to put off prospecting this time of year. But be careful, you will NEVER get this time back! WORK through the finish line and push yourself to engage the public. The people you run into now are the serious people that need to get deals done and are the likely people that can refer you opportunities that will close in the first quarter of 2016!

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

“The Last Thirty Days – Part 2”

By now we have accepted the final few loans into our pipelines that will close by the end of the year. I know from the responses I have been getting, many agents, managers, and brokers were shocked that you were still able to get loans in that will close this year because they had been told by a number of people that it was “impossible” to take a TRID loan after Thanksgiving and close it before the end of the year. Imagine the surprise on their faces when the loans close as promised before the end of the year?

Differentiation is the key. Everything we do is designed to differentiate ourselves from what people have come to expect from the mortgage industry. That difference is all that it takes to set you apart. In this case, that difference isn’t a small one, it is a huge gap between those companies and originators that prepared for TRID and were ready for it in July (remember, it was supposed to start in August) and have taken loans by the thousands and closed them in thirty days or less, not 45 or 60 as most in the country have been out talking about!

We have just two more weeks before Christmas to be working hard and sharing the message that we are working if they are working. Now I know many have “packed it in” for the year and have focused on the party scene, but there are those who are still engaged and still working hard to put together deals that will close in January. We need to remain visible and available for those people. Referral partners and those referred clients need our help. With so many people already out of the market until next year, this opens the door for you to find those very dedicated people who are working and need to work. The very people you want and need to be in front of!

Terri Murphy and I put forward our Lunch & Learn this month that goes into great detail about working with our real estate referral partners on their business plans. While many can’t be bothered or will never take the time to actually generate a plan, many you will see working now will be very interested in how to put one together and be grateful for the tools to get this done. Terri is a proven leader in the real estate community and someone who listed and sold one hundred homes a year for more than twenty years! How many times do you think your agents get a chance to learn a fundamental piece of the real estate business from such a highly respected and proven Realtor®?

The webinar is on the website for you to use and share. Some people are doing these one on one, while others are putting together small groups. Either way, you have the 35 minute webinar and the PowerPoint® presentation already on the website to help you. No excuses, you just have to share the information and if anyone has any questions, you can just email us and we will walk you through it.

Nobody ever had a bad year with a great first quarter! Working right through the end of the year and keeping your momentum growing through December will help you generate the transactions and referral partners you will need for that fast start!

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

The Last Thirty Days – Part 1

This week our message on the street is making everyone aware of the last day and time you can accept complete loan applications that will close in 2015. It must be in writing and must be on paper and delivered in person!  That means getting up and out of your office and hitting the streets!

In December it is critical you are out and visible! You also must follow our visitation protocol, something in writing on paper hand delivered to the office! Then, if the person you are targeting is not there, and it is likely they won’t be, you MUST call them from the parking lot BEFORE you leave and let them know you left something for them at their office. DO NOT TRY TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT!!! Creating a visitation schedule on your terms allows you to cover many more people and visits on your schedule, not their schedule.

You have only a few days left to use your advantage. Most lenders stopped taking deals that needed to close in 2015 more than a week ago. Getting this point out is a key differentiation point and a HUGE competitive advantage! Don’t miss this key opportunity.

We also have posted the link to our last Lunch & Learn with Terri Murphy on the website. This webinar covers Business Planning for Real Estate Professionals and will be a great tool to share this month once you close the books on the year!

December is the most important month of the year to be seen and heard. Sure, many people have nothing on their minds but shopping and parties; but you need to be out in the streets talking with those people who are still working. They are the very people you can build your practice on!

All the support materials are on the website. If you don’t have ACCESS to the client’s portion of the website, you are missing out on taking your business to the next level. What a great stocking stuffer for any mortgage professional!

If you would like more information about our ACCESS Program, visit our website at IMTCoaching.com or email me Mike@IMTCoaching.com.

Looking at the CFPB’s “Toolkit”

First and foremost, have a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends! We all have a great deal to be thankful for, and please take a moment to reflect on those who won’t be home to celebrate as they serve us around the globe. I for one am very grateful for our men and women who serve our great nation.

The CFPB has published a workbook called “Your home loan toolkit” and everyone needs to take the time to review this and understand the issues and challenges presented when a government agency with no practical experience in the lending arena decides to tell people how to go about preparing to buy a home. The words “I am from the government and I am here to help” should scare the hell out of everyone!

This publication is 26 pages of just enough information to get the average consumer in real trouble. In fact, if you follow this plan, it is likely you will have a long, drawn out home buying process, full of setbacks, delays, and certainly you will never close on your home in less than thirty days. Clearly the CFPB didn’t bother to ask anyone how real life people go about buying a home, and how the very people who are there to serve them are now further handcuffed by silly regulations that clearly won’t improve the buyer experience!

If you go to my website, www.imtcoaching.com you will find a link to this publication, as well as my 45 minute webinar where I explain my issues with this publication. To be fair, there are some good things included in this publication, but the process given for people to follow is not only absurd, but when was the last time anyone had a loan rejected on a front ration above 28%? On what pricing sheets anywhere can you buy down a 30 year fixed rate loan for .375 points in cash for a .125% change in interest rate? It also contains one of the worst rate lock explanations I have ever seen.

The process given on how to go about getting a loan will certainly result in “The guess before the mess” and NOT “know before you owe”. Leaving the client to figure out how much they qualify for, finding the correct loan program to fit their needs, comparing product scenarios, determining pre-payment benefits, and certainly warning the public about pre-payment penalties and balloon payments are clearly best left to a licensed mortgage professional and not for a customer to go figure out for themselves.

I also don’t appreciate the “TIP” found on page 10 that warns the public “A loan officer is not necessarily shopping on your behalf or providing you with the best fit or lowest cost loan.” This is outrageous and the CFPB should be ashamed of itself for publishing such crap! The fundamental job of a loan officer is to work with the customer to find the balance between cost and comfort. In fact, if there are loan officers out there not doing this, why hasn’t the CFPB and the NMLS gotten  together to suspend, fine, and/or revoke the license of the offending loan officer?

The CFPB has really missed the mark here. In fact, TRID will not accomplish its intended goal of “know before you owe” because people aren’t going to do this work themselves, read all the disclosures, and yes, they will either lie about themselves or not really know the truth about their income, assets, employment, and credit history to make any of this possible. The fact is, had the CFPB sat down with real professionals and asked a few questions, they would have realized that it is the consumer that is its own worst enemy, and if they made a few simple changes to the process, everyone would have benefitted. Adding more paperwork and time doesn’t solve anything. People who want to borrow money will do or sign anything if they want the money bad enough!

If the CFPB is reading this, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to come to Washington and spend as much time as needed at my own expense to explain to you the realities of the mortgage industry and how to take a few steps that would change the market in a real fashion while providing the consumer with real information so they could make an informed choice.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Tracking Time in the TRID Era

TRID has brought us so many things it’s kind of the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, I called TRID a gift! For all practical purposes, TRID may not work as the authors had intended, but as the laws of unintended consequences play out, for some, TRID will become a goldmine! How do I see that? Well, TRID makes some requirements that will either be dealt with in a professional and competent manner, or it will be handled poorly with delays and a great deal of drama. TRID will also not care who is the “bad guy” for not doing their job properly; mortgage professionals, Realtors®, title companies, attorneys, builders, insurance professionals, and just about everyone that comes into contact with a residential transaction, including the buyer and seller, are likely to become the target of blame when a transaction fails to come together. And trust me on this; it won’t be long before each local community will know who can, and who can’t close on time!

I have spent the past year or so getting my people ready for TRID and speaking around the country to anyone who cared to listen that TRID requires a plan and the ability to execute that plan to a timeline. When you begin with the end in mind and back out the timeline necessary to meet that closing date, it allows the originator to orchestrate the process and keep everyone on track and on time! This key function can only happen if you have mastered the art of setting expectations and holding everyone accountable to their timeline.

As the first TRID loans are closing, or not closing, across the country, people are starting to already take notice that some seem to be operating flawlessly and efficiently, and others are struggling to get their deals done. I am happy to say that many of my people have already been acknowledged by their local markets as experts and have had people they have never worked with before calling them to find out how they can work together to get deals done on time. Remember, you either know how to get deals done in thirty days or less, or you don’t. You either can get a deal done or you can’t. Either way, your market will sort it out and people will know!

My point is it might be very beneficial for you to start tracking your numbers. How long does it take you in the post TRID era to go from contract to clear to close? How long from contract to CD? What are your turn times at each step of the process so you can do a better job setting expectations and managing the timeline?

I already have people tracking these numbers and the average has been 22 days from contract to clear to close. The average turn time on issuing the CD from clear to close has been less than two business days. I expect that those turn times will continue to improve as everyone gets more repetitions in and gets more comfortable with the new process. One of the key areas that we have found is to be certain that the client acknowledges the CD the day it is sent. A few borrowers had to be reminded to open that email and acknowledge receipt!

My feelings are that tracking these numbers will be a great benefit to the originator and their team. Tracking the time frames of what is happening and when it happens can not only help the process and refine procedures, it can serve as a great tool to differentiate you and your process from others who may be having challenges navigating TRID through a thirty day or less timeline. And believe me; people still want to close in thirty days or less! Nobody wants to hear that TRID requirements are now demanding forty-five or sixty days to close. It just isn’t true. Many originators working for different companies in different markets all across this country have already successfully closed in less than thirty days. You should be one of those, and everyone around you should know it!

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