End of the Year Momentum

We have talked all fall about pushing hard to end the year and begin 2019 with momentum. Many of you have really done well and are seeing solid closing numbers for December and good pipelines for January and February closings, as well as a number of new referral partners; so job well done! The key here is not to let your momentum slip away by easing up this last weekend of 2018. Just finish the journey by making one last round of calls to your referral partners letting them know your availability this weekend. Connect with your pre-approvals and let them know that this coming weekend may bring a great value in home shopping before the January rush when those who wanted to wait until the holidays were over to begin shopping!

You also must be really clear within your own company about the rules you need to follow during the government shut down. Some of you may not be affected at all, and others may face significant challenges with certain loan products. Since too many possibilities exist from location to location and lender to lender, PLEASE get very clear on what your specific policies and procedures are before confirming or denying anyone. Remember, your rules maybe different than others. Avoid making statements about what may or may not be possible OUTSIDE your own company policy!

Check for open houses this weekend, there may be more than you think or none at all! You do have to look! Check any files still left to close this year and be sure all the little things are done because it may be a challenge finding help on Monday the 31st!

Last but not least, complete any loose ends on your business plan and schedule. Make any little adjustments or tweaks so that next Wednesday the 2ndyou can hit your mark and begin the year strong. 2019 is going to be a great year for you if you have done the work and are prepared!

Have a safe and Happy New Year! As always, any questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

It Works if You Work

What a great time of year and what fantastic results we are seeing from those executing the end of year plan. For many, December will be a record breaking month; one entire branch following the plan is setting a sales record by closing 50% more units in December than they did in October! Who said you can’t do business after Thanksgiving? So why are some mortgage professionals setting sales records while others are convinced that there was no business to be had? The answer is simple, there is always business to be had and you just have to get out in front of it!

One of the best parts of this is that it isn’t coming from any one activity or effort, its coming from all areas. New closings from those who said they couldn’t close in time. Deals from those people who didn’t know they could even buy a home. Deals are closing for people who are trading up and trading down to get into their new homes for Christmas, others are buying because now is a great time to buy a home

From the “Black Friday Home Sale” to the countdown to year end; from working hard with open houses to getting in front of the preapprovals who haven’t bought yet. From working with builders to reduce completed inventory, to moving renters into home ownership and more, the final push of activity has resulted in significant loan opportunities to close in 2018, but more importantly, established and identified new relationships that will produce opportunities in 2019 and beyond!

Our efforts and activities don’t disappear at the end of any month or year. Our business is a constant flow of activities and opportunities, some of which are almost instant results; others are deals that will close well into the future. One of my people closed a deal this week that was a man he began working with in March of 2016. They both stuck to the plan and the deal, and that buyer’s life, got to a result created by actions over time!

There are going to be buyers and sellers engaged in the process this weekend! There will be open houses just days before Christmas for sellers that need to sell and there will be buyers looking that are trying to buy! Do you have a plan for this weekend and the days between Christmas and New Year’s? Unless you are going on vacation, working just a few hours each day could help you land some new opportunities that you would have never had a chance at if you hadn’t!

2019 is just a few more days away. What kind of momentum do you have going into January? Is your business plan complete, your preapproval file full, does your pipeline have deals ready to close on time or early; have you run through your new prospecting schedule and prepared your marketing calendar for 2018? If you have, you are ready to go!

Finish the year strong with solid momentum and energy! Have a safe and Merry Christmas! Share kindness with those you love and those in need! We will be back next week!

Here Is What Is Working

As we are wrapping up 2018 and looking at what is working for those committed to improving their business, here are the three things I am finding that are working best for those who have improved the most.

  • Use of video. For 7 years I have been pushing for mortgage professionals to incorporate video in their business to better connect and communicate. Video works for you 24/7/365. Putting together your video business cards, FAQs, short tutorials, and especially the use of video coupons.
  • Birthday calls. The simple act of calling your clients and referral partners on their birthday has been a huge boost in opportunities for those making the call. This one simple act that takes less than 10 minutes a day can help grow your business by more than 30%!
  • File replacement. Mining your files for potential new opportunities to do loans or find new referral partners has proven to do just that, create new opportunities while working on current ones.

There are many other tools and techniques out there you can use and many things that will work well or better than others. The important thing is to take a good look at your business and see the one or two things that take less than ten or fifteen minutes a day to do that will substantially change your business!

One other point I wanted to bring to your attention this week is the value of the note. A simple hand written note can really change the perception and the level of connection between a person and a product or service provider. A simple case in point is my recent trip to Ohio last week. I left Florida where it was 82 degrees and arrived in Columbus to find in to be 21! On the drive to my hotel, it was windy and then it began to snow. When I got to the hotel and got by bags out of the car, the cold, wind, and snow was really putting a damper on my mood for sure!

I checked in and got to my room just wanting to get my clothes put away and warm up when I spotted a note on the desk. It read:

“Mr. White,

Welcome to our hotel! Thank you so much for choosing us for your stay! We are so excited to host you, especially as a valued Gold Hilton Honors member! If there is anything we can do for you while you are here, please let us know!

-yours in hospitality,

Front Desk Team

Needless to say, this really helped change my mood and reset my focus for this trip. It also confirmed to me the power of the handwritten note! I have this note and will keep it as a reminder that personal attention to detail in the form of a simple note is still a very powerful tool in providing an exceptional customer experience!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

One Weekend Left

Most of us only have one weekend left to secure new business to close in 2018. Some of you may be able to stretch it out a bit further, but realistically we are looking at the last weekend this weekend. With that in mind, what are you plans? A few simple steps might help:

  • Record a video about this being the last weekend to bring in files to close in 2018.
  • Share the video on YouTube®, Facebook®, Twitter®, LinkedIn®, and with every real estate office and referral partner you have.
  • Target every small bank and credit union either with the video or just a flier brought to each office on Friday.
  • Locate every Open House this weekend and share the same information via video and flier with each agent and prospective buyer.
  • Call every pre-approval you have currently, and go back and look at every pre-approval you lost touch with and share this information!

It won’t take that much energy and the rewards can be enormous. Besides, what else do you have to do? Even if you don’t find a loan, you will get practice at doing a video, sharing important information, and contacting people who need to hear from you because they might NEED you!

The next things I need to talk about this week are holiday parties. Holiday parties can make or maybe break your career. Holiday celebrations are important. Just be sure you do a good job of making good choices! Attend the ones important to you and your business, but avoid too much holiday cheer; and by that I mean don’t drink! Nothing can ruin you faster that a DUI or being drunk at a party. In fact, you might consider being the designated driver for those who drink too much and don’t have Uber yet!

On the success story side of things, some of you worked the “Black Friday Sale” and made a few people’s holiday by helping them into their first home. Others found new business by using the “Pie Giveaway”. Others remained committed to working Open Houses and found people in need of your help. And last but not least, we had one group already put together eight transactions to close this year for a builder’s inventory homes. All of this is very cool and I am sure there are a few new success stories still to come this holiday season!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Battle Plan Ending 2018

Thanksgiving was a week ago and yet we have still not reached December. It’s ironic how many people have already closed the books on 2018 while there is so much opportunity remaining in this year! That is why we are faced with a few choices;

  • Are we done for the year, or are we going to work?
  • Have we completed our business plan, or are we just going to wait around and see what happens?
  • Is everything working effectively, or do some changes need to be made?
  • Did everything I intended to accomplish in 2018 get done, or are there still things that need to get done?

Since my plan calls for your business plan to be complete and scheduled for a dry run the first week of December, you still have time to get on track. Go to the website, www.IMTcoaching.comand download the 2019 Business Planning Workbook and get going!

In addition to getting your business plan done this weekend, you need to keep talking for the next two weekends about still getting deals closed in 2018! The window is closing to box out your competition as they fall off the grid in their ability to still get a deal done. You have to reach the people and let them know that it is still possible!

In addition to this message, you have to look at your calendar and get in front of your small bankers and credit unions for a final push. Accountants and financial planners; attorneys and insurance professionals; they all need to hear your message about how you are closing out 2018 and preparing for 2019! If you fail to schedule and act on these things, they can’t possibly get done!

As we get closer to Christmas, it’s important to talk to a few Realtors® in your area about working the “Expired Listing Program”. In some markets there are more expired listings coming due the first of the year than others, but it only takes one listing for your Realtor® to be thrilled you offered to work with them!

The year isn’t over. In fact, there is still much to do! The fact that many of your competitors are already closing down only improves your visibility and ability to make those last few important deals and connections much more likely! So don’t waste any more time!

Get your plan done this weekend and start your dry run through your new work schedule next week! Get on the phone, get out on the street, go and talk to those you have worked with in the past as well as those you would like to work with in the future and make that connection!

You have time to make a big difference in your future if you take some time and act now!

Questions and comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s the time of year we all need to pause and give thanks for what we have and be grateful for our blessings. This has been a very professionally successful year and I am grateful to those who have made that success possible. It was also personally a very challenging year for me personally as it was twenty years ago that my mother and son, Paul passed just a week apart, and then my son Eric passed at the age of 42. These are all things people have to deal with and a reminder that life can change quickly for both better and worse, so take the time to be grateful for what you have been blessed with.

It is also 55 years ago I sat in my class at Fern Place Elementary School in Plainview NY and saw the school day end early because John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. It was the first time I remember seeing grown people, both men and women, crying uncontrollably in public. Just 5 days away from my seventh birthday, I had to try and understand as a child some very adult circumstances.

In the mortgage and real estate communities, Thanksgiving also represents a series of choices and opportunities. Some make the choice to back off the process and enjoy the long series of parties and social events that the next six weeks will offer. For some, that is no choice at all, rather just a way of life. For many others, this time of year represents significant opportunities. While part of your competition removes itself from the business of closing transactions and creating new opportunities; some will take the time and benefit from engaging with the very people who NEED to get a transaction done!

Many Realtors® are just one or two transactions away from “leveling up” their commission tier. These one or two more transactions can represent thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in additional commissions! For originators, getting those last few deals closed in 2018 can also hold benefits for personal, team, branch, region, and even national honors! This also can be very important to many people and their incomes going forward.

Black Friday weekend is a huge opportunity to get in front of serious buyers and sellers. Some of you will be following my “Black Friday Plan” this week and I am looking forward to seeing how you all do, so please keep me posted! For those of you who have not prepared a Black Friday Sale, you still can find significant opportunities by getting out and visiting your real estate offices, open houses, builder models and let people know you are available to help, and when the last day you can accept completed contracts for units closing in 2018!

We have discussed this before, every company and market is different! You need to get really clear and specific about what you can do and what the obligations of all the players are to be sure you can get it done! Not everyone can close on 12/24 or 12/31! You need to know before you commit to closing!

It’s also not just your buyers agents that you need to get in front of. You bring special value to:

  • Listing Agents
  • Sellers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Planners
  • Attorneys
  • Small bands & Credit Unions

Any or all of these could be in need of your ability to get it done before 2019 comes! For some, 2018 is over! For others, there is much left to do! Pick your path and schedule your activities!

Happy Thanksgiving to all; I am always grateful to you for reading and responding to the things we discuss on this post!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Counting Down & Counting On

We are just a few weeks away from closing the books on new loans to close in 2018. In some cases there are lenders already shying away from loans that have to close in 2018. One of the key strategies is to NOT be that lender that states you can get it done, only to leave everyone in pain when they can’t get it done. That means doing the right thing by doing your job correctly. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never commit to closing if you aren’t 100% certain it can close.
  • Know when the last day is that you can accept completed applications that can close this year.
  • Be specific about your preapproval and all the surrounding players being on the same page and able to complete the tasks at hand by the date due.
  • Know the calendar! Christmas and New Year’s Day is a Tuesday this year. Are you open and available to close loans on 12/24 and 12/31? What about Title, Insurance, and others?

The key is to be very clear and specific about what you need and what is possible! Many Realtors® are pushing to get deals closed because it impacts their commission schedules. One deal not closing could cost them thousands in future commissions! The flip side to that is that many Realtors® may have a listing that has to sell by the end of the year, and they need to trust you at your word that you can get it done!

People are counting down the days to the end of the year. Those people need to know they can count on you to be the professional that can live up to your word and deliver the process that makes it possible. So as we count down the days, be very clear about your capabilities and that of your team. There are real people involved and success will reap rewards, but failure to deliver can be devastating to all involved. I have seen people make their reputations and destroy them in the last few weeks of the year!

So as your counting down the year, be certain that those who trust you can truly count on you to get done what you say will get done!

For questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com