It's never too early to start your planning for next year. For many loan officers, 2015 was a record-setting year and it will be interesting to see how 2015 plays out with interest rates, TRID and local market strength. I say "interesting" because those things do not have to define your production.... though I predict many loan officers will use them as excuses for lower production and not meeting goals.
Here are my tips for business planning:
- Look back. I carefully track my referrals, applications and of course closings. Each month I record where each referral came from so it is easy to work up numbers at the end of the year. I know how many referrals and closings have come from each Realtor, past client referrals and past client loans. I can tell the exact percentage of referrals turn into closed loans for the past three years. This helps me to decide what marketing I want to focus on for the next year.
- Talk with other loan officers. This is part of why I love coaching. We share numbers, ideas and projections. I also have 6 loan officers in my company that share their referral and closed numbers with me. We use this data to see how we compare with each other and also spend time discussing what we plan to do differently the next year.
- Plan for the next year. I have used the same form for years now. You can find it here. There are a variety of ways to plan, and in the end I don't think it really matters as long as you DO IT. And then refer back to it at least once a month.
- Stop making excuses. You can always find a reason for not being successful, not meeting your goals, or not doing the marketing you know you should be doing. That might make you feel better temporarily; having a reprieve from what you should be doing. But the long-term results will be disappointing and who wants that? Hard work rewards abundantly. Be committed to executing your business plan.