Black-eyed peas are a tradition in the south to be eaten on New Years to bring good luck and prosperity into the new year. Take a can of beans and corn bread mix and wrap in cellophane with a Happy New Year message from you.
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:
Yourself. This is only going to work if you are pretty rigid in your time management and if you create systems to hold yourself accountable. Set specific tasks that you are required to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly. For example: ten phone calls a day, 2 lunches a week and two networking events each month. Create a system to track these tasks. Here is what one loan officer uses: Jeremy’s daily tracking form.
Team member. This could be your processor or another loan officer in your company. Meet often to discuss goals and tasks. If doing this with your processor, set goals together for both of you. Working to get loans completed quicker with less conditions and stress will help everyone on your team. If working with another loan officer then consider throwing in a book club as well where you discuss a few chapters from a business building book. Here are a few suggestions: Success Principles, The Ultimate Marketing Machine, The Slight Edge, any of Jeffrey Gitomers books.
Non-competing loan officer (Mastermind group). I have done this in a few formats over the years and found it to be very helpful. You can do it with just on other loan officer or several. This can be loan officers in other states that work for your company or you can browse around facebook to find someone that might be similar minded. The trick is to find other loan officers that are dedicated to their business and excited to work together with you.
Manager. Your manager wants you to succeed and is hopefully available to help with accountability. This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but does need to be a set appointment that you both take very seriously. Decide on what tasks, how often and your estimated results and then meet regularly to track your progress.
Coach. The above options are free. Free is good, but sometimes won’t produce the results you are looking for. An experienced coach can help you reach goals you are unable to do on your own. A good coach pushes you to try new things and stay consistent in your marketing and networking activities. The problem I see after 8 years of coaching is that many think just having a coach is the answer to higher production. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen without the loan officer being willing to work on tasks daily, weekly and monthly; even when they don’t see immediate results. A personal coach is on your team, but it is still a team and requires you to put in much effort before seeing return on investment.
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.
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.
Marv Loucks with Seven K Company recommended The Carpenter by Jon Gordon when I was looking for a book to gift to Realtors and my coaching clients.
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.
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your website and how I get lost in all the fun blogging and interesting articles. When people do a good job, as you do, I think it’s important to tell them. Thanks for encouraging me in these trying times.
Charles G. HauserHauser Financial
Your marketing blog, titled Great Example, featuring Sandra Scott was great. I found it very educational and inspirational, in fact so inspirational that I printed it out and hung it by my computer so I can read it every morning. Thank You very much for all your hard work and time you put into helping us become better Mortgage Planners.