“The Numbers Don’t Match Up?”

In a series of reports recently published, a series of numbers just don’t seem to add up. Year over year home purchases are up 2%. Home prices are up more than 6%. Then you hear that the average income for Realtors is down more than 10%. How does that work out?

I have been playing it through my mind over and over again and the only answers I seem to come up with are:

  • Realtors are reducing commissions?
  • Less people are using Realtors?
  • Realtors are making more financial concessions?
  • Realtors are spending more to find opportunities?

Maybe there are more answers than these, and I would like your thoughts on this because it seems like these things really don’t add up. It certainly makes for an interesting set of dialogs to drill down and find out what is the connection or reasons these numbers don’t seem to align.

In other news, Barry Habib of MBS Highway took Diana Olick to task on her report about now being the time to sell your house and rent. Barry does a masterful job of sharing FACTS on housing, not just isolating some pieces of information to make a case that suits Diana’s long standing negative view about home ownership. If you haven’t read or seen the video, you should really look at this piece and share the truth with your clients and referral partners.

Last piece of information, next Wednesday September the 12th, I will be at the Embassy Suites in West Palm Beach Florida for the first “Crossroads Event”. I will spend the morning sharing my view of the changing housing and mortgage industry with local mortgage and real estate professionals. If you would like to attend, you can get more information and register at www.imtcoaching.com and reserve your seat. We are booking this event around the country, and we have just a few open dates left in mid-November and early December if you are interested in hosting this event in your area. For more information, email me mike@IMTcoaching.com for dates and details.

“Just think a minute”

A few things to think about this week that caught my attention; either the entire world is trying to sell you solutions to problems that have been invented, or making excuses for why people don’t perform their fundamental functions.

Realtor income is down year over year and some would have you believe it’s an inventory problem. Yup, a lack of inventory is the reason. Lack of inventory; gee, why could there be a lack of inventory? Is it because all the homes have vanished, or is it because agents aren’t out on the streets making the case for why now is the time to move into forever homes?

Seriously, realtors have two jobs, list property for sale and sell listed properties. If there is a lack of listed properties to sell, why aren’t more agents becoming Listing Agents instead of all the new “TEAMS” of buyer’s agents handling leads lists? Could it be that the industry has converted too many agents and too many hours focusing on chasing leads lists that they forgot to get out on the street and actually go list property?

I also think another fun thing to look at is the topic of call reluctance. You know call reluctance is just a term for procrastination or success avoidance don’t you? Seriously, why would anyone be reluctant to make a call? Only two things can happen, you get what you want, which is good; or you don’t, which is exactly what you had before you made the call? So why not just make the call? And for those of you using sly dial, you know you are just making an excuse for not personally connecting with your people right?

And while we are on the subject of making calls, here is a story from one of my clients in Arizona. He was making annual connecting calls with his past clients when something happened that I have never seen or heard of in my 35+ years in the business. He called a past female client that he had closed a loan for a couple of years earlier. He was just checking in to see how things were going when a male voice answered the phone. It was a bit of a surprise to my L/O as the young lady he did the loan for was single when he did the loan, but anything is possible! So he asked for the young lady by name.

The man who answered the phone didn’t know the person he was looking for so he just asked if he had dialed the correct number. As it turns out, it was indeed the right number but not now the number of his former client. The L/O identified himself and his occupation, then went on to say that the lady he was looking for was a past client he was following up with that he had done a loan for in the past.

Just when the originator thought the call was about to end, the man on the other end said, “Are you really in the mortgage business? I have been renting a long time and my lease is about up for renewal and was thinking about buying a home, is that something you might be able to help me with?” Clearly surprised, the originator said he could and the two began to talk about what the process would look like and what information needed to be assembled to move forward. The new prospect made an appointment to come in and meet the L/O, he wanted to meet not complete an online application, and they met the next afternoon. Turns out, that the prospect was very capable of purchasing something that would suit him well, but needed a recommendation of a Realtor to go and see properties with! That is special!

One follow-up phone call, one lost contact, one new prospect, one new referral, and the ability to complete the purchase cycle. Just by being complete in following through with his process, what would have been a simple wrong number turned into a special opportunity! Yes, you just can’t make this stuff up!

So think about all you hear and the reasons people are giving for not succeeding. You may very well need new systems or tools or processes; but you may just need to go back and do the basic fundamental tasks that help keep the person in the profession! Just think about it for a minute. What is the work I am avoiding and why am I avoiding it?

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Huge Weekend Opportunity”

Happy July 5th! With a big holiday on a Wednesday, it isn’t uncommon for people to stretch it out into the weekend. That said, this opens the door for a great deal of real estate activity. Here are a few steps to take in order to maximize your opportunities this weekend!

  • Get out and be visible!
  • Leave documented material at offices!
  • Tell those that are there that you are available to help them if their regular person is unavailable to serve your people!
  • Call from the parking lots before you leave!
  • Get to as many Open Houses as you can!

Many people are off or are taking off, that goes for realtors and mortgage people as well. Get out and get in front of your market, let them know you are working!

Have something in writing in an envelope with each agents name on it to leave at their office so there is something physical for you to direct them too! Talk about the back to school count down and how many days there are left for you to accept a loan application and close before the kids go back to school!

I expect that most of the agents you are trying to get in front of won’t be in the office; it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you were in the office, had some information about an opportunity strategy in an envelope, with their name on it, so you can leave it for them to pick up later! It’s also important that the few other people in the office see that you were there! Let them know you can help them too should they be ready to look or move to make an offer on a property!

Calling from the parking lot before you go to your next stop is critical! Making that call and talking to that person to let them know you were at their office is a really big deal. Even if you get voice mail, leave a nice message about missing them and that you are available should they need you.

Last but not least is to hit every open house you can find and follow through with the open house strategy! Talk to everyone! Pick a key feature of the house or the property so you can write a note to the seller applying for the job of being their next loan officer or to offer a second opinion on their next transaction!

This weekend is a huge opportunity to make new relationships, solidify old relationships, and to generate a few opportunities to do a few deals you never would have seen if you just sat home!

Get up, get out, and connect!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“Wacky Wednesdays”

It’s time to share something that I often do with my clients who have appeared to plateau or get “stuck” in the same activities over and over again. I call it “Wacky Wednesdays”.

We are at the midway point of the year and heading into the summer season. As always, now is a good time to compare our first half numbers to our business plan and see how we are progressing. For those who are on or ahead of projections and enjoying the rhythm of your business, keep doing what you are doing and enjoy the results of a good plan coming together.

For those of you who are short of your projections or not really happy with your business flow, now is the time for a little fun and a few changes. First, take a look at where and why your numbers aren’t matching up. Address each shortfall with logic and with an idea of what you can do to correct that situation if possible. Often it’s just a matter of having a conversation with the referral partner, or looking at the message or how you are following up with the plan.

Schedule time to address all of the issues! If you don’t schedule a task, it won’t get done!

After you have made all the system corrections and had all of the conversations, it’s time for “Wacky Wednesday”! This is a very simple process.

  • Go into imtcoaching.com website and scroll through the “Coaches Playbook” and “Power Partnership” video clips and find a strategy or two you would like to incorporate into your business.
  • Have a discussion with your referral partners or your team to share the strategy and gain support and interest.
  • Schedule an hour or two on Wednesday morning or afternoon to prepare, implement, and use the strategy to create new opportunities.

It’s really just that simple. Just use the tools and schedule your time. It becomes more fun when you have your team and your referral partners to work with and help make a minor change in your work week that could have a major impact on your results!

It has been my experience that it isn’t the big changes in your business that produce the most significant results; it’s the tiny little things that often create the biggest impact. So if you’re not where you want to be, or you aren’t feeling that the business is fun anymore, then you have nothing to lose and everything to gain but committing one or two hours on Wednesday to have some fun, work with your people, and create some new opportunities!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Click here to register for my upcoming free seminar event – CROSSROADS

“Mid-year Check-up”

We began this conversation last week and I wanted to follow up with some of the comments and feedback I got from that post. Many of you had no issues with going back to the business plan and reviewing the numbers, but there were a few questions about “gestation period” and I wanted to address it quickly. When I talk about the gestation period of you loans, I am referring to the period of time from pre-approval to contract, or pre-approval to closing. Either one gives you an idea of the time consumed by the process, and gives you an idea of how many pre-approvals you need in your queue at any given time so you are going to close the number of loans you project to close. Example: If you want to close 8 loans a month, and your gestation period is 90 days, you will need to keep 24 active pre-approvals or more in your queue. If your gestation period is 120 days, you will need to keep 32. Keeping track is critical. You can read more about this in the May 17, 2018 blog post.

I was happy to see a significant number of you who are tracking at or ahead of your targets! Great job, and keep doing what you are doing because it is working! However, there were a few of you who wrote to say that you were behind the numbers and asked for some help getting caught up. So here are a few simple steps to getting back on the numbers.

  • Review your numbers every week! Visits, contact, credit pulls, pre-approvals, contracts, and additions to the database.
  • Drill down on your schedule. Are you prospecting a minimum of two hours every day following your business plan?
  • Who and what are not living up to your projections and find out why? Correct it, complete it, repeat it, or delete it!
  • Check the math. Your ratios from contact to closing may be off and need to be recalculated.
  • Why not Wednesday! Pick something out of the “Coaches Playbook” and do it on Wednesday. Take two hours and implement one new strategy you haven’t used and see what happens. Be committed to working the plan for at least eight to twelve weeks!
  • Review all your pre-approvals you have issued this year and see where they all are. You might have lost track of them, or they might have lost track of you. Some might just be sitting on the sidelines waiting for rates to go back to 3%! Share the cost of waiting with them. Buy now and refinance later if rates do go back, because they may not!
  • WORK the summer while others are on vacation! Opportunities are always available; the summer makes it simple because frustration factors and pressure to timelines go way up! Be the solution!

If you have a specific issue or challenge, please let me know and we are happy to work with you on a strategy or a solution for your specific challenge!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

You will not want to miss this upcoming event!  Don’t miss CROSSROADS….

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“Halfway Point”

It’s the middle of June and all of us should have a really solid view of our numbers for the halfway point of the year. It’s one of my biggest pressure points with my clients is to do, project, track, and follow the numbers in your business. Using our business plan from last October to project the work year 2018, we should be once again updating our information and really focusing on the adjustments we need to make to exceed our targets and projections.

The first point is to check our math. Has our basic formula held up? Are our ratios in line with projections?

  • Contacts per day to opportunities?
  • Opportunities to credit?
  • Credit to pre-approval?
  • Pre-approval to contract?
  • Contract to closing?
  • Weekly, monthly, and annual database growth?
  • New referral partner additions?
  • Actual referrals vs projected referrals per partner?

While we projected these numbers back in October, market conditions both nationally and locally may have put outside pressure on your projections and may require you to refocus your activities.

We discuss this now, because we all live in an industry that has a business flow to it and a gestation period attached to an outcome. We need to monitor that cycle because if that shifts, we could be doing everything we should be doing and all the other numbers align, yet your closed business isn’t what you thought. So the math is really important!

As we head full steam into the summer, our business shifts significantly as we deal with those in desperate need to move before school resumes; and those who may be absent from the market because of vacations! If you aren’t planning for is, you will certainly become a victim of it!

You also need to drill down on the fact that depending on your business cycle and your specific market, you may only have 120 days or less to meet the people who will become the client, who will close the transaction, who will get you paid, all by the end of the year! Yup, I said it; the middle of June begins the count down to the income you make by the end of the year!!!

So pick an evening and update your business plan and rerun your numbers. Get really clear and specific about where you are and what adjustments you may need to make. For some of you it will be a real eye opening event!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Don’t miss CrossRoads, my Mortgage Seminar event on Sept. 12, 2018 in West Palm Beach.  See below and register…First 100 to register will get in for FREE!white seminar