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

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

I wanted to wish everyone who follows this post a very Happy Thanksgiving from me and my family, to you and yours! Many choose not to work this weekend and I don’t have an issue with that for those of you who are very far above expectations, so enjoy the time off! For those trying to reach their targets or further surpass their numbers, this weekend is a very powerful opportunity. Here are some things to pay attention to!

  • Get out and active on each and every day this weekend. Calling isn’t enough, get OUT AND VISIT!
  • Those of you with “Black Friday Sales” taking place remember the plan and execute! Don’t forget to be visible!
  • Open houses, neighbors, and those video coupons need to be visited and shared!
  • Facebook Live® and other social media can be a huge opportunity!
  • Remember your countdown to closing timeline! How many days left to get your deals done by the end of the year!

The people actually out and engaged in the home buying and selling process have a real need for your speed and expertise! If you aren’t keeping your people informed, you are missing out on opportunities!

Last but not least, you should be using your new weekly schedule based on your business plan for 2020 beginning next week. Working in that new schedule will likely show you some opportunities to make changes or connect your work sections more efficiently. That is why we plan in October, so you have this time to work through the material and make sure the plan works in reality as well as you thought it would on paper!

Enjoy the holiday!

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