Being a loan originator can be tough. Staying on top of industry compliance and rules, learning new programs and keeping up to date on investor and loan guidelines are time consuming activities. Then there is the part of your business where you have to FIND new business. Marketing, relationships, networking; wash, rinse and repeat. If you don’t take care of this then you don’t get a paycheck. Puts a little pressure on, doesn’t it?
Managing your marketing and staying focused on these important tasks should be 50% of your day. The other 50% is file management and keeping up with industry and loan changes. The problem I see with most originators is that they don’t hold themselves accountable to make sure they are accomplishing this part of their business. We don’t punch a time clock and I would estimate 90% of loan officers are not accountable to anyone for their business-building activities.
There are a variety of ways to accomplish accountability and keep your business growing. Here are a few suggestions:
How often should you meet with an accountability partner or coach? I’ve experimented with weekly, twice monthly and monthly and have found the twice monthly seems to work best for one on one coaching. With a recent mastermind group I was involved with, we met monthly and one person was responsible for the meeting and agenda.
2015 is coming quickly and now is the best time to set up your accountability to help you reach your goals and excel. Working with others that have your best interest at heart is the best way to grow your business.
Rob Chrisman shared this in a recent commentary:
Most mortgage company videos are often a hit and miss affair. But I think this one from LoanStar Home Lending is very clever and well written and produced. The video shows off LoanStar's "awesome closing gift" - you gotta watch this and note what the pizza delivery guy does before he exits the scene. Oh, and the actors are a loan officer and the marketing staff at LoanStar - you'd never know they weren't paid thespians! According to LoanStar's CEO Mike Baldwin, the closing gift promotion is really making positive impressions with customers and referral partners. "This promotion is part of the marketing strategy that is making LoanStar stand out and has quickly become one of the big reasons loan officers are joining his fast growing mortgage bank throughout the country."
I had a chance to chat with Kenn Bartley, SVP Marketing/Business Development at LoanStar and was impressed with his enthusiasm and I love the creativity of their marketing. The cost for each move is $500 and about 85% of their clients use the service.
This is a great book in an easy to read story format. The story revolves around Michael and his struggle to save his business in the face adversity. He meets the "carpenter", who shares his success strategies. This book does have a Christian them to it, but uses that to teach business strategies. Something I highly agree with. Worth reading!
It's that time of year and there are a lot of articles floating around on the subject of goal setting and 2015 production. I try to skim as many as possible, hoping for a new nugget of information or at least some motivation for my personal origination business and to share with my coaching clients. Rarely do I find what I'm looking for.
Luckily, Doug Smith hit it out of the ball park with his recent article: Build a Plan, Reach Your Goal. Take the time to not only read the article, but also take the steps he spells out. Great way to start the planning season!
I just received notice of new FHA loan limit changes in my area for 2015 so I sent the following email blast out to my Realtor list:
It’s that time of year, and we are seeing positive changes in the mortgage world. That plus low interest rates will hopefully help make 2015 a fantastic year for all!
There are quite a few buyers coming out of bankruptcy, shortsales and foreclosures that need to use the FHA loan for their next purchase. Here are the new limits for FHA loans.
- Utah & Juab County: $293,250 (up from $271,050). This means you can have a sales price of $303,800 so after your 3.5% down payment your new base loan amount is $293,250
- SL County: $304,750 (not much change from $300,150, but every little bit helps). This means you can go up to a purchase price of $315,800
- Wasatch County: $349,600 (up from $331,200) Can go up to $362,200 on a sales price
These loan limits are for case numbers assigned after January 1, 2015. Let me know if you have any questions!
Have a great day!
You may not have loan limit changes, but there are other tid-bits of information you can send to your Realtor database that will help them in their business. Look at all the recent changes in overlays etc that might make for a timely email blast.
Rhonda Johnson of AlaskaUSA Mortgage was recently invited to a housewarming party by one of her clients. She wasn't able to make the party, but decided to drop off a few balloons. The client was so touched by the gesture, she will be singing Rhonda's praises to all.
I love this idea - so simple and inexpensive!
"Happy New Year! Wishing you great success both personally and professionally in 2015. Please let me know what I can do to help with your success."
I started in the mortgage business in 1991 and moved into originating in 1994. I realize that makes me old, I’m just hoping it has also made me wiser. Since we all learn from mistakes and challenges, I thought I would share with you what I wish I had known 20 years ago.
The past 20 years have flown by and I’m sure the next 20 will be a blur. My hope is that I continue to improve and be the best mortgage originator possible.
It's almost the end of the year and have you met your goals? Did you set goals? Have you looked at them lately??
I have a monthly appointment on my calendar to review and revise my sales plan. This only takes a few minutes, I basically update my ytd numbers and compare that to my goal. I then review all the marketing ideas I had at the beginning of the year to see if I am on track. There have been some changes in my marketing so I make notes in the file so that next years planning will be easy.
If you want to get started on your 2015 planning - here is a copy of the form I use.
Last year, I developed a one credit CE Class on marketing "Creating Momentum in your Real Estate Business" that I taught to agents in my area and Alaska. Here's the Course Statement:
Creating Momentum Through Incredible Credibility will help attendees learn how to utilize passion, branding and vision in their business. They will be given information on creating a stronger business through greater visibility and credibility in their market.
This year (with help from a coaching client) I put together a two credit CE Class on the nuts and bolts of mortgage financing. "Understanding the Mortgage Process" that I have started teaching through our local Realtor Board. The fun thing about teaching through the board office is they advertise the class and pay me $100 a credit. Bonus!!
Understanding the Mortgage Process – This course provides new and experienced Realtors a chance to learn what their clients go through as they obtaining mortgage financing for a home. After completing this course, Realtors will understand the prequalification process, different types of loans, what is involved during the loan process and how to best help their clients through the mortgage maze.
Teaching these classes has been a great way to be in front of Realtors that I don't have a strong relationship with or that are new in the industry. Being an instructor gives me greater credibility and has resulted in additional referrals. That's great marketing.
This does take a bit of time and money as you need to get approved as an instructor with your state and then each course has to be approved. But well worth it!
I am headed back to Mexico with Builders Without Borders December 26 - January 2. We are building nine homes and have a variety of other small projects on the schedule this year. Builders Without Borders ia a non-profit 501c3 that has ben serving the people of Mexico for over 10 years.
All labor and building materials are donated and WE NEED YOUR HELP! There are no paid positions within the charity so 100% of your donations go to supplies to build these homes.
As I am driving to and from work, I like to listen to the Dave Ramsey podcast. His financial advice is good, but his business advice is great and I appreciate the insight he has into small businesses. One of my favorite business books is his EntreLeadership. If you haven't read it yet -you should!
This morning a caller was asking about marketing (my favorite subject) and Dave said:
"Real marketing is serving."
BAM! There it is in four little words. It's the reason I've never wanted to purchase a list of leads or mass market. Serving and building relationships is what all successful marketing is about.
A few months ago I saw this video of a bank in Canada that changed their ATM into an "Automated Thanking Machine." (Have a tissue ready when you watch.) I was motivated! I talked to a couple of my Realtors about doing Random Acts of Thanks to clients that we have closed together. Well... we finally did it! Good intentions are like crying babies - they should be carried out.
Karla (awesome agent) and I went one evening to visit two families. This was especially fun for me since I rarely see the homes my clients purchase. The first visit was to the Caro family. They had just had their second child so we took a baby gift, pumpkin bread and a note. To the second family we took a nice wall clock, pumpkin bread and a note. Both families were amazed that we would take the time to visit and loved showing us their new homes.
I plan on carrying out Random Acts of Thanks one evening each month. Such a fun way to stay memorable to clients and strengthen referral relationships.
Karla and homeowner Rachel Hales
With the tragedy to Beverly Carter in Arkansas so fresh on everone's mind, Realtors are focusing on safety. Here's what I posted on my personal facebook page where I am friends with many, many Realtors:
Realtor friends - In light of the tragedy to Beverly Carter, let's work together for safety! Let me know if you need another body at an open house or even at a showing. I am happy to step in and be your second person!!
I also plan on putting the offer into my Friday emails to Realtors the next few weeks. I have great friends in our Real Estate community and I can't imagine the loss we would feel if something similar happened in our area. Safety in numbers!