Book Club

One of the things I get a great deal of satisfaction from is sharing and receiving good books. My choices tend to be business books, but also have been known to read many biographies and historical depictions of world events. I have friends as well as clients who will send me books to read on a fairly regular basis and offer an opinion on. I think reading is vital to everyone and physical books are preferred over a reader or audio versions. I cherish the feel of a book and the ability to mark it up and make notes. As a pure business booster, sharing books with referral partners and clients is one of the best value propositions I can think of.

This leads me to the concept I put together with some friends that was a special form of book club. We did it with 12 people but you can work with more or less depending on the type of books you want to read and how committed the people in the club are to reading. If you can muster up six participants in your first attempt, you might find it easier to get started than 12, but 12 is ideal and you will soon see why.

So my group contained 12 people. We first all proposed a list of books we thought would be good for the group to read. Everyone sent their list to the group leader (known as #1) and they then selected one book on each list that would be read and a color highlighter to use to highlight important features of the books.

The leader of the group then assigned numbers 2 through 12 to the rest of the group, along with the book they had to buy and read for their first book. Because we had 12 in the group, the timeline was to read the book was one month. They also would give you the mailing address of the next number on the list so you could mail your book to the next number once you were done, or by the end of the month.

Everyone now knew their first book to buy, the color highlighter they had to use, and to whom they would be mailing their highlighted book to once they were finished. Now came the time to buy your book and begin reading and highlighting the passages you found important. By the beginning of the next month you should have received a new book that had already been read and highlighted. You were to read the book, taking notice to highlight any passages you felt important that weren’t already highlighted by a previous reader. If you agreed that a highlighted passage was important, you would simple place a small “dot” in your color highlighter in the margin. If you didn’t think it important, you did nothing. At the end of the month you mail this book along and receive your next book, now highlighted by tworeaders. This goes on month after month following the same procedure.

By the end of the year, you get your original book BACK, this time; it has been read by eleven and highlighted by all of them! You can now reread your book and see what others agreed with you in highlighting. You also see what other people may have highlighted that you may have missed! In any case, you will have read twelve books that year!

Reading books is vanishing from our culture at an alarming rate. Many adults don’t manage to read even a single book in a year! If you want to expand your mind, learn how to relax and share thoughts without getting into a conflict or running the risk of being “unfriended” or even “bullied”, try book club and expand your thoughts and the group of people who can help you improve the way you think and approach your life and your business.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

The 4th Quarter!

 

So here we are; beginning the 4th quarter of 2018 and there are many choices to be

made. To some, it’s a time to relax and take it easy now that the summer real estate

rush is over. To others, it’s a time to look at the year and see where they stand in

relationship to their projected outcomes. For me, it’s a time to push my people not

to give up on the valuable momentum they have generated year to date. The sad

part in general is that so many people won’t even acknowledge that we are at a

critical point and therefore they do nothing!

 

For those that coach athletes in team sports the fourth quarter is a time were the

best step up and produce. It’s a time when even a less talented group outperform

those with more ability because they were in better shape and were able to execute

under the pressure! It’s the time when the training and your system all come

together and form a collective energy to accomplish great things. This is what

changes the numbers on the scoreboard and creates real accomplishment! In our

business, it also generates all the energy to start the next year off at full steam!

 

So let’s take a quick look at some key things we need to be doing right now.

• Check your math! What are your numbers?

• Who is hot and who is not?

• What does my calendar look like?

• Halloween?

• December?

• Prepare for Business Planning in October!

 

These are all small and simple steps that need to be done. No false images, no

hoping or guessing; just do the math and do the work! There are a ton of

opportunities coming your way and you can really benefit because others are

backing off and winding down.

 

Time to focus on the four “Bs”:

• Balance

• Birthday Calls

• Banker Calls

• Business Plan

You have to balance your prospecting to reflect your time and outcome verses the

actual relationship between opportunity and outcome.

 

You have to schedule and physically make your birthday calls every day!

 

You have to have make your ten to fifteen banker calls every month!

 

You have to set aside time to prepare your business plan for 2019!

 

The fourth quarter is here and you get to make some critical choices. If everything

is going well and you are exceeding all of your projections, make larger

projections for 2019! If not, what around you has to change?

 

The Business Planning Worksheet for 2019 is already on the website

(IMTCoaching.com). If you are a manager or owner and you are interested in the

one day business planning event, please email me and we can talk about the

details. For those of you who have been through this before, the Business Planning

coaching call and the worksheet we get you ready and prepared.

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

“People don’t pay for passion”

I want to share a quote that I think is the single most important quote a service provider can hear. It comes from a guy I respect more than anything. A man who has written a number of books that help people advance better than any single author I know. I have read every word of every one of his books, and most more than once. The man is Larry Winget, and here is his quote:

“No customer ever wrote a check for someone’s passion.

                   Customers buy value and solutions to their problems.”

Nothing I have read has ever been more plain and on point than those words. It captures the very essence of what I have been trying to coach since the very beginning. It is the whole point of all of it. All the work, all the effort, everything I have tried to convey, all wrapped up for me in 17 powerful words. Thanks Larry!

We are in a service business. We are facing challenges from all sides to step in and invade our space. The invasion is working. People are not connecting with people or caring about relationships. People are focused on leads, assistants, and transactions; not the value that they can bring to the customer, not the solution they can share with their referral partner, just generate a lead and churn the system and see what comes out the other end!

There is still a core group of mortgage professionals and Realtors® around who are experts. There are a few that understand that our core business needs to be about value, solutions, and relationships! For those few, take note that there are an increasing number of people who understand that position and want to with you to make that happen! It has to be about the quality of the experience. It has to be about providing exceptional value to the customer and the referral partner. It has to be about being the solutions provider to those that have issues and challenges in our area of expertise. It just has to!

We have talked a great deal about all of these things here in the past. When I saw Larry’s quote I just had to make the point. If you haven’t read any of Larry’s books I suggest you go buy a few and then read them. Then go and share them. Then go back and buy the rest of them and do the same thing. Once you read the first one, you will clearly see why I am a huge Larry Winget fan!

Thanks again Larry for your insight, your wisdom, and your courage to say the things other people won’t say, but everyone needs to hear!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Here are seven great books from Larry Winget:

“What’s wrong with damn near everything”

“Grow a pair”

“Shut up, stop whining and get a life”

“You are broke because you want to be”

“It’s called work for a reason”

“People are idiots and I can prove it”

“Your kids are your fault”

You can get any or all of these on Amazon. If you do, please use Amazon Smile and use the “Forever 19 Foundation” as your smile recipient. It costs you nothing and .5% goes directly to the foundation that is building memorials to our fallen soldiers. Thank You!

Use this link for Amazon Smile https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-1017031

“What is a deadline?”

I have been having a number of conversations lately about deadlines and how originators find themselves stressing over them. A specific case in point, I was just visiting one of my clients and their assistant, we were out to dinner. We were having a productive exchange about best practices when I began to notice the assistant looking at her phone every few minutes. When I inquired about the situation and why she kept focusing on her phone instead of the people she was with, she said she was waiting for disclosures to be acknowledged so a loan could close the following Monday. That if she didn’t get them back by midnight, the transaction would be delayed.

I asked her how she prepared the borrower to perform in this situation and she said she told him she had to have those disclosures back by midnight, or the loan couldn’t close on time. I asked her why she set the deadline at midnight. As expected, she said it was when the deadline was. I said “whose deadline, yours or the client’s? She said it was the same thing. That is when I explained to her that they weren’t the same at all. While legally she had an obligation to get those disclosures back by midnight to close the following Monday, I explained that if she had made the client’s deadline 4 p.m. that afternoon, she wouldn’t be checking her phone every five minutes looking to see if the client did indeed return the needed documents!

You see, deadlines are different for different people and circumstances. We often say things in general terms like “In order to close on Monday, I need your disclosures acknowledged by midnight.” The problem with that is, midnight is your deadline, and once it comes, you have no options. As a professional, your job is to set in place a timeline for the work to get done so that the closing happens as scheduled. Once midnight came and went, there were no options left. However, had she set the deadline at 4 p.m. that afternoon, she would have had time to reach out to the client and the referral partner and explain that the closing was now going to be delayed a few days because those disclosures weren’t executed by 4 p.m. as instructed.

Clearly this would have prompted a reaction from the customer and the referral partner asking if there was anything that could be done to keep the closing Monday as scheduled? This would have given you the opportunity to have that client execute those documents immediately, and she could have enjoyed her evening! Remember, we need to control the actions and the timeline or we are subject to other people setting it for us. Never set a deadline for anyone that doesn’t give you a chance to resolve the issue without harm!

Now most people are really good about understanding the timeline on the CD, but aren’t so connected to the LE. I have seen a number of occasions when the LE wasn’t executed properly and there were issues. You can’t allow that to happen. You need to set deadlines that work for you that give you a chance to save the customer from themselves! So set the deadlines at 4 p.m; this will give you time to engage in the process and resolve the issue, or at least connect with everyone and workout an extension.

Remember, it’s your job as a professional to set the rules and timeline for the transaction to insure a timely and smooth transaction. Giving a client a midnight deadline, only forces you to stay up all night waiting for something that might not happen. Setting a 4 p.m. deadline gets it done so you have time to save the client from themselves!

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

“Shifting Gears”

The production life of a loan originator can be filled with great reward or total frustration. The “rollercoaster” of inconsistent production numbers can be very frustration to all involved, as well as provide an inconsistent level of service to the client and referral partners. While I have maintained for a long time that consistency is currency, and that the path to a great customer and referral partner experience is the very consistency we really require maintaining solid production numbers.

For many originators the very reason they can’t provide a consistent level of service is because they themselves are not clear on what their system is; or they have different systems for different people. All of which, prohibits the very thing everyone desires, consistent performance and experiences. The path to success is paved with a clear understanding of what you are trying to do, and how and when it gets done!

The best way for me to explain why my clients grow and mature in the business is that they have understood the premise, “what got you here won’t get you there!” It’s like driving a car; if you had only one gear, the car could only do so much and be only so efficient. As cars developed, the need to look at the possibility of changing the way work by the engine was utilized, the transmission was invented. By changing the gearing ratios, the work by the engine could be utilized in multiple ways to better serve the driver; a very low gear to get started more easily, then shifting to another gear to make the engine work less hard at a higher speed.

As time went on and power and economy became more connected, we saw two speed transmissions grow to four, five, six, even the eight speed transmission I have in my car today. Shifting gears makes the optimal use of power and economy.

Today originators face the same challenges. If you have only one gear, you are limited to what you are capable of doing. Most originators never produce more than five loans in a given month, and when they do, they are likely exhausted, unhappy, and the people they are serving are often less than happy with the level of service. Oh yes, the likelihood that the following month will be worse because that loan officer was too “busy” to keep prospecting for the next wave of business.

We all have to look at our process, especially when we are feeling stressed or at capacity. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself or someone you manage, when in the middle of a “peak” production month.

  • Do I have a clear path and process to take a client from contact to closing?
  • Do I have a timeline for that process that I share with the client, referral partner, and my team to set the proper expectations?
  • Do I have a clear communication schedule to keep connected with the client and referral partner to keep them informed and find new business?
  • As you are finding yourself pressured for time, are you looking to see what tasks you can delegate, improve, or eliminate?
  • Am I mastering the tasks in front of me, or do I keep making the same mistakes and wasting more of my time?

What gets you to five loans a month won’t work at ten loans a month. What all worked well at ten loans a month may not function as well at fifteen or twenty loans a month? Being able to “shift gears” by improving your systems and mastering the work is the only path to a manageable process. It can’t all be delegation!!! Far too many originators and managers add “assistants” into the mix too early! Doing this actually prevents an originator from mastering a skill and fine tuning his or her process! I never suggest an assistant until production is eight to ten loans a month for six consecutive months. This allows that originator to develop needed skills, define a clear process, and create the tasks and timing needed to grow the volume well with a team that works the same plan the same way every time!

Learn how to shift gears and grow your business while providing a great experience for yourself, the customer, the referral partners, and your team!

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

“Excuses or Actions?”

We had another housing report come in that really wasn’t all that surprising, refinances are down, purchase applications are up, listed inventory fell another 22% from just six months ago. I am sure this isn’t a surprise to those in the field, but it sure seems like the main stream media is constantly surprised by the strength of the housing markets across the country?

The feedback I am getting from my clients is that they are very engaged in this market and that production numbers for them are considerably higher than this time last year. The number of transactions in contract and preapprovals out looking are significantly ahead of this time last year at the same time they are reporting the number of Realtors® complaining about inventory and multiple offer situations are increasing.

We have talked about this a great deal. When the market gets tight, the better people do better! More of the deals getting done are getting done by a smaller group of professionals. The example I think applies the best comes from the Denver market. In my opinion, there isn’t a tighter market in the country than the one in Denver! Yet, deals are coming together quickly when everyone is prepared! Yes, there are multiple offers on most properties, but for those people who have been well prepared; they are getting their offers accepted much more frequently.

So let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that the better people are closing a lion’s share of the deals:

  • Buyers have taken the time to be fully qualified for their loan needs by a trusted local professional!
  • Buyers are making competitive offers with quick closing dates!
  • Buyers are writing personal letters to the sellers detailing why they want to own their house and make it their new home.
  • Buyers agents have educated their buyers as to the real cost of property and what the market is.
  • Buyers are looking for better situations than they currently have, not a perfect house!
  • Selling agents know who the better lenders are and who they trust when it comes to a transaction timeline.
  • Selling agents know that the cost of what their sellers are buying can be going up faster than what they are selling, and financing costs rising could easily consume a few thousand dollars they are waiting on.
  • Selling agents are working their neighborhoods sharing with people in high demand areas the value of selling and moving on to their “Forever Home” to help generate new listings.

So instead of letting everyone around you just complain about inventory and multiple offer situations, share strategies that are working everyday across the country to acquire new properties for sale, generate better more qualified buyers; and put together real deals that will close quickly!

Some people are happy to sit and complain about how bad the market is! Just like those who complained about all the “short sales” or “foreclosures” just a few years ago. The media also warned about the next housing bubble because there was a giant number of bank owned homes that created this gigantic “shadow inventory” that was going to crush the housing market and start another “bubble”. Well news flash!!! If the banks had any kind of inventory at all, they would be on the market and SOLD by now!

You alone control the way you act and react in this market! You define the experience you provide and identify the people you want to surround yourself with to provide the best possible customer experience. You control if you complain about the situation you find yourself in; or take the actions necessary to establish yourself as the professional that gets the deals done! So you make the choice, complain about the market, or be the one who makes the market!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com