“The Re-valuation Situation!”

What a ride! The mortgage backed securities market has seen a great deal of price improvement since the “Brexit” vote. We have spent the past couple of blog posts pointing out a winning strategy to help you ignite your business! One piece of the puzzle you can’t afford to miss out on is being sure you revalue all of your pre-approvals to reflect the new purchasing power of lower rates! Yes, as rates go down, that same monthly payment qualifies for a bunch more money! Depending on where you were pricing, and how much they qualified for, it could be just the thing to help you get your buyers off the fence and into a home!

So here is what we do. Go back to ALL the pre-approvals you have issued in the last six to nine months that haven’t closed a loan with you yet. Look at each pre-approval and recalculate their loan size given today’s new lower rates. Create a short thirty second, to one minute video explaining the new letter and why you have issued it, sort of something like this:

“I am sure you have heard a lot about the “Brexit” vote and the reaction in the financial markets. While your 401K might have taken a hit, these very same market conditions have caused interest rates to fall dramatically! This means your monthly housing payment now affords you a great deal more money! I have taken the liberty to rework your numbers and I will be sending you your new pre-approval letter by email. Please understand that rates may again rise quickly, but right now you have an opportunity to get more home for the same monthly payment!”

Post the video, email the video, and then get to work reworking your re-approvals and get them out! Don’t forget to send the video to your Realtors®! Also be sure you send the Realtor® a copy of the new pre-approval! This may be just the thing your agent needs to get their borrowers in contract! But don’t stop there! You need to call every Realtor® you work with right now and make sure that everyone they are showing property too, calls you for a revaluation!

Refinances are great! But lower rates provide so much more in the way of opportunities! Revalue all your pre-approvals! Call all of your agents and let them know NOT to show property to anyone who hasn’t had their pre-approval redone in the last ten days! These are two simple steps that will really help you provide value to your clients and your referral partners!

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

“The result proves the theory”

I had an interesting coaching call this week with an originator who I have been working with for about a year, and just shortly after she got into the business. She works for a major lender and for a branch that is widely respected and diverse in the types and quality of originators working there. With all kinds of different styles and approaches to the business, with varied results that is pretty typical in our industry.

I have always pushed my clients to understand that my approach is built through systems, schedules, and the sharing of value. I hit hard on setting expectations and the understanding that we are looking to become the local expert on residential lending in our market, and that our systems, policies, and procedures will help us locate the very people we want to do business with. That by being clear and consistent with the message, and by the execution of a success plan, we can close transactions faster than our competition and with a much higher level of customer satisfaction because we set and exceeded the expectations for the process.

Like all new originators hitting the street, this newbie wanted to believe that she was that expert, she wanted to believe that all she had been taught would make her exceptional; she wanted to believe she could deliver on high expectations and that people would notice her when she did. All the things we say we want to accomplish but with a healthy dose of fear to keep passion from becoming cockiness or arrogant.

Going out into the world sharing these beliefs can be challenging for originators who are faced with an industry that thinks there is no such thing as a mortgage professional, or that the only thing of value an originator can bring to the table is a rate. But she went out trusting her training and that this was going to be a business for her based on relationships and value, not transactions and price.

As she shared her message, most ignored her but a few saw the opportunity to work with someone different. As transactions began to close, as one deal after another exceeded the expectations and the timeline set by contract, people began to see that there was a different way to do business, and that they liked working with a true professional!

So today on our coaching call she shared that a client she had just closed shared with her what a great experience it was to work with her. That she had heard all the horror stories about how tough it was to navigate the loan process and to get her deal closed on time. But that this was actually a good experience. She felt that she was informed and educated from the very beginning about what to expect and what was going to happen. And even while those around her told her that she would never close on time or that she was going to have to be prepared for the last minute price changes and fees, she believed that this experience was going to be different. It would be so because the person she chose to work with was different!

The loan went from contract to issuing the CD in 18 days. The loan could have closed a full week before the scheduled closing date if they wanted to do so; and all the charges were either the same or less than what she was told they would be. Imagine that?

The client called her to thank her again for all of her work. She said that it was truly an exceptional experience and she wonders why more people don’t do things the way she does. She shared her story with some friends and they have already made phone calls to start their own process. Oh yes, the listing agent on the deal was so impressed with the communication and the ease, in which the process took place, that she has begun referring her new business.

We can all make a difference if we choose to. Choose to!

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

“Simple reminders save stress”

You can’t remember everything. The good news is you don’t have too! One of the key coaching points I share is to have your process well defined, and then laid over a timeline specific to that transaction. Every market is different; sometimes loan programs have different requirements that can cause a different timeline from other transactions. As the lending expert, it is your job to be in control of the process and the timeline. Setting up simple timeline reminders can make your life and your business much more manageable.

When you set the expectations for each specific transaction, it is important that you set the transactional timeline for each step of the process. A step by step, day by day, deadline by deadline for you to manage and for you to share with everyone involved to be sure things flow as they should. And if they don’t, you are there to respond quickly to get things back on schedule.

TRID has been a hassle to many and a blessing to a few. Those that saw TRID as an opportunity to differentiate them from the rest of the market have now begun to see the rewards. More and more people are frustrated by the delays and extended timelines are seeking those professionals that are mastering the process and still closing in less than 30 days. This doesn’t happen by accident, it happens with planning and schedule discipline. That discipline can be simply accomplished by setting up timeline reminders so you are on top of your files. If something is delayed, your reminder lets you know and get you back on track. These reminders can be programmed into your electronic calendar, or simply written in your day planner. It doesn’t matter how you schedule your success, just that you do it!

Simple reminders to the client and referral partners can also save you stress. Reminding your Realtors® to have sales comps ready for the appraiser at the time of the appraisal to help justify the price, can help prevent short appraisals. Simple reminders also help keep your Title Company and Attorneys on track to have their final numbers to you at a predetermined time so your closer can have time to prepare the CD early for review and quick delivery to the client for approval.

Simple reminders to the client that keep them focused to not make any big purchases, not to apply for any new credit, don’t move any money around or make large cash deposits. These simple things can cause big problems or even the death of the deal in some cases, so why not be prepared with a series of simple reminders that help keep everyone on track, and focused on a successful transaction?

It won’t take long to look at your file flow process and set it up. Once you have them complete, it’s just a matter of scheduling them for delivery when you set the transactional timeline. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really resonates with me on this one. Take some time and get this done. The deals and stress you save will be your own!

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

Recruiting

Regardless if you are an originator or a manager, you must always have a place and a plan for recruiting. For originators it is recruiting new referral partners; for managers it is recruiting new originators. Depending on each set of needs, the process would appear different, but is really pretty much the same. It’s all about setting the targets and then scheduling the activities needed to execute the plan.

Recruiting for me has always been less about “selling” the company or the brand as much as it has been about problem solving. Instead of telling the world how great you or your company is; it often works much better to identify with a common challenge and provide the solution to that challenge.

When originators are looking to expand the number of referral partners they have, it is important to be sure they know what exactly they are looking for. Are you looking to expand with just anyone who might refer business, or do you have a specific set of needs for the types of referrals? It is simple enough to look at what you are trying to accomplish and create a realistic number of targets. An example I like to use is if you are looking for a referral partner that can send you one new transaction per month, you need to find someone who can send you two or three opportunities a month. You will also need to target three or four people so you end up with the one person you are looking for. It is also important to do a little bit of research into your targets to be sure the people you are targeting are really the people you want!

When targeting originators, you can’t just look for top producers to leave and come over to your side. While it would be great just to target the best two or three originators in your market, reality dictates you need to also look for more average originators that you can help grow into those top producers you need. Again, sometimes it is easier and faster to grow three or four originators with your better system than to pick off a top producer. Helping a 2-3 loan per month originators go to 5-7 loans a month will not only help your business, it will also give you a larger number of potential targets.

Now that we have looked at targeting, we do need to look at the final two pieces of the puzzle which are solving challenges and consistency of contact. Solving challenges is a pretty simple, ask what challenges people are seeing and resolve those issues. In today’s market we have a few issues that come right to the front that cover both areas, one is dealing with TRID. By now it has become pretty obvious the people and the companies that have a handle on TRID and can get deals closed in thirty days or less consistently. You either can or you can’t. If you can, find those that can’t and bring them over. Realtor® and originators alike are  finding that the public doesn’t care what the process is as long as they close on time. Those who can still close in thirty days or less have a huge competitive advantage; use that advantage to secure new relationships or acquire new originators.

Last but not least is being committed to the recruiting process. You must have a plan and schedule the time to act on that plan. For both originators and managers, it is important to create a consistent long term strategy for connecting. It may take, days, weeks, months, or years to get the attention of your target. You must not give up until that target tells you to leave them alone. Even then, calling them back once a year to see if they are still happy is a good idea, just remain consistent and courteous. Schedule regular days of the week and month to make recruiting calls or visits.

I will have much more on recruiting in this month’s coaching call. For those of you who are clients, you will get your invitation to that call shortly or you can just replay it from the website after January 27th. For those of you who are not clients, now may be a good time to think about investing into “ACCESS!” With “ACCESS” you enter the world of the client’s site that contains all the information. Every webinar, training, all the podcasts, e-books, scripts, fliers and support materials are always available 24/7. One small monthly fee with no long term contracts gets you all the ACCESS you will need to take your business to the highest level.

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

“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

“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