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The Real Opportunity That Loan Officers Miss

I see it all the time – the loan officers who are working too hard, at crazy hours of the day and night, running themselves ragged trying to do it all. And then I see the hard-core producers who are just gunning their accelerators in terms of networking and cranking out numbers. Ironically, both ends of the spectrum are missing the real opportunity to be successful in business.

Let me back up a minute… is it important to have and then hit your production numbers? Absolutely. Is a key strategy to generating business leads networking? Yep – no doubt about it. Does it take hard work and going the extra mile to be a successful loan officer? For sure. Hard work is always rewarded, in my opinion… good ol’ fashion “Elbow Grease”.

So yes, all those things need to happen in your business. And, if you’ve been in my world for any amount of time, you know there are ways to make it easier to handle your leads, cultivate relationships and process applications. But that’s not what I want to highlight here because there is a much more significant opportunity that loan officers miss all the time.

Here is a recent conversation I had with a loan officer so you can see what I’m talking about.

LO: I have been using everything you teach in the Freedom Club – from the phone systems (PhoneBurnerFreedom.com) to the automated follow-up systems (AgentLegendLO.com and CRMs). I have a team helping me handle the applications now. And that freaks me out – how am I going to consistently cover all these expenses?

MeHow many people are you talking with each week?

LO: I make 50 phone calls every Monday. I send out weekly texts to all my agents. I have at least two face-to-face meetings and I go to a weekly business networking meeting. I’m posting stuff on my Facebook page.

MeI heard only two conversations in all that activity. So how many people are you TALKING with each week?

LOWell, I usually get about 15 people on the phone. But I feel like they’re busy and I don’t want to bother them, so I keep it pretty brief. And I meet a lot of people at the networking event…

Do you see where this is going?

This loan officer is so busy following the system that actually having meaningful conversations with people just don’t make the schedule!

The REAL opportunity for success in the mortgage business is having authentic connections and actual conversations with people and then, secondarily, empowering those people to have a great story to tell about your conversation!

People smell B.S. from a mile away. If you’re so busy being the big networker and just following a system because you heard it works, they’ll know they are just a checkmark on your list. They will know that they are an obligatory part of your day and they will either run away or marginalize the time you do spend with them because they’ll figure you’re just watching the clock to get to the next person.

If this is ringing as a possibility with you at all, consider this your opportunity to get a little deeper with your conversations. Let people know that you care about them and that you WANT to talk with them. The scripts we include in our program are conversation starters – but the secret sauce is really letting your personality show.

When you think about it, it’s the oddities and quirks in people that get our attention. If everyone was the same ‘color’ or ‘flavor’, it would be a really dull world (even if it was all Harley orange and black). What stands out is the unusual. You remember the person who throws salt over their shoulder or who refuses to pay for parking or can’t say the word ‘aluminum’, right?

So be yourself, take the time to care about people, have real conversations, and give your people something to share with their friends (who, by the way, are potential leads for you in the future). You’ll still be working hard but, ideally, you’ll be building solid relationships that stand the test of time and be having a lot more fun at the same time.

 

If you have questions about this topic, set up a free strategy call with one of our coaches at loanofficerfreedom.com/strategycallrequest

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Published on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #LoanOfficerFreedom #LoanOfficerFreedomPodcast #LOFPodcast #LOFBlog #LoanOfficerFreedomBlog #TheMarketingAnimals #AgentMastermind #MortgageMarketing #MortgageMarketingAnimals #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #FreedomClubFriday #LOFreedomClub #FreedomIs #MastermindRetreats #ThorsHammer #AxeOfFreedom #CallReluctance #CrushingCallReluctance #ChiefOfficerOfCoolness #WorkWithWetPants #BeMoreFootbally #LORollerCoaster #StopTheRollercoaster #GreenOnAPickle #AlwaysBeClosing #MortgageIndustryGoingStrong #MortgageCoaching #LoanOfficerCoaching #HighEndCoaching #LifeCoach #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #LoanOriginator #LoanOriginators #LOCoaching #Mortgage #MortgageAdvisors #MortgageBanker #MortgageBanking #MortgageBroker #MortgageCoach #MortgageConsultants #MortgageExperts #MortgageGuru #MortgageIndustry #MortgageIndustrySpecialist #MortgageLender #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageLoanOfficers #MortgageLoanOriginator #MortgageLoans #MortgageOriginator #MortgagePro #MortgageProfessionals

Don’t Mistake Urgent for Important

One of the mistakes that many people make is to think that the really urgent things, like putting out ‘fires’, answering emails, going to the post office and anything else that screams NOW, are the priorities. And with good reason! We are conditioned to react. We are socialized to be polite. We truly believe that if something is stamped URGENT that it is… but at what price?

I’m not saying some of these things aren’t important, but the truly important things quietly wait for you to get to them. Reaching out to say hi to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, going to your child’s after school activity, taking time to decompress and restore yourself… those are the things that will matter in 10 years, not the run-around crisis-type stuff that keeps you busy all day.

There’s a balance between what needs to get done TODAY and what should be done to make a better TOMORROW for you and your family. Every URGENCY takes time away from what’s really important in the bigger picture. So how do you know what to focus on?

Following are strategies that a few very successful people use to make sure they’re doing what’s important every day. (If you don’t know who these people are, do a little research because we don’t have time to tell how amazing they are in their fields.)

  • Richard Branson: At the end of each day, Richard Branson lists his top 3 priorities for the next day. And the next day, he works until he accomplishes those three things. Nothing else gets his attention until those three priorities are complete.
  • Tim Ferriss: Take the first hour of the day and make it your Golden First Hour, where you focus only on important priorities. Avoid exposure to things you’ll need to react to, like emails, texts, Slack messages, etc. Identify at least one milestone of an important priority that you will reach and accomplishing during this hour. You may want to tackle your hardest priority first to create project momentum.
  • Ariana Huffington: Take 20 minute ‘pauses’ in your day to refresh your energy. Then focus on what you want to achieve with clarity.
  • Warren Buffett: List your top 25 priorities, then circle your top 5 priorities. Where other experts would say schedule in the others as you can, Warren Buffett says the other 20 become your ‘Avoid At All Costs’ list, because they will divert your attention away from your true priorities.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet the people above have accomplished big things in their time. And if they can make the time to address what’s really important, instead of only reacting to urgencies, so can you.

Here are a few more tips that I think are pretty good…

  • Take time to think about your life. Even if it’s 5 minutes in the shower, reflect on what’s good in your life and give thanks.
  • Give yourself a bedtime. As an adult, going to bed early is the same thing as sleeping in. So often we stay up to watch that last show or do that last thing when, really, it’s costing us valuable energy that we could have for the next day. So just go to bed already.
  • Take 20 minutes on Fridays to plan your next week’s priorities. Try to front-load the week. Know where you’re going to invest your time on what’s really important and create some breathing room daily.
  • Put a time limit on urgencies, errands and chores. These are the time-suck things that can keep you on the move while the really important things wait for you to have the time that you’ll never have if you keep doing everything else.

These might sound basic but even one of them can change everything for you.

The most important thing for you to get out of all this is to not confuse urgency with importance. Know what’s important to you and your family and make that your urgency.

If you have questions about this topic, set up a free strategy call with one of our coaches at loanofficerfreedom.com/strategycallrequest

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Published on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #LoanOfficerFreedom #LoanOfficerFreedomPodcast #LOFPodcast #LOFBlog #LoanOfficerFreedomBlog #TheMarketingAnimals #AgentMastermind #MortgageMarketing #MortgageMarketingAnimals #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #FreedomClubFriday #LOFreedomClub #FreedomIs #MastermindRetreats #ThorsHammer #AxeOfFreedom #CallReluctance #CrushingCallReluctance #ChiefOfficerOfCoolness #WorkWithWetPants #BeMoreFootbally #LORollerCoaster #StopTheRollercoaster #GreenOnAPickle #AlwaysBeClosing #MortgageIndustryGoingStrong #MortgageCoaching #LoanOfficerCoaching #HighEndCoaching #LifeCoach #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #LoanOriginator #LoanOriginators #LOCoaching #Mortgage #MortgageAdvisors #MortgageBanker #MortgageBanking #MortgageBroker #MortgageCoach #MortgageConsultants #MortgageExperts #MortgageGuru #MortgageIndustry #MortgageIndustrySpecialist #MortgageLender #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageLoanOfficers #MortgageLoanOriginator #MortgageLoans #MortgageOriginator #MortgagePro #MortgageProfessionals

Think You Need More Leads? Probably Not.

There is a beautiful thing about numbers. An old philosopher named Pythagoras summed it up with “number rules the universe”. Basically, numbers can tell you what you need to know about your business. But what numbers should you track? There are only four numbers you need to know. The question is what to do about what they show you.

So I was talking with a loan officer who said he needed more leads. I asked him to show me how many leads he had coming in – that’s the first number you need to know. If you aren’t bringing in enough leads, then it’s all about lead generation activities. (Read Crushing Call Reluctance to learn more about that.)

For example, we’ll say he was bringing in 100 leads / month. Out of those 100 leads, my next question was how many leads were turning into applications – that’s the second number you need to know. Let’s say his answer was 50 leads were turning into applications. That is a soft spot in his business because he should be getting about 90 out of those 100 leads turning into applications. If that number of conversions isn’t happening (anything below 60% of your leads is an indicator something is wrong), there are only two things that could be the cause:

  1. There’s a bad source of leads. I’ll share a personal example with you. I once bought a spot and set up a table at a flea market. Did I get a boatload of leads? Yes. Did they convert? Well, let’s just say that was the last flea market I did with my business.
  2. The follow-up from leads to application is too long. If people have to wait, they’ll go somewhere else because it’s more convenient and they’re ready to get rolling. So if they get your voicemail, or you’re in a closing and they wait 3 – 4 hours before you can get to them, that’s a problem. You need systems to help you turn those leads into apps – somebody to answer your phone or handle your voicemails immediately, or even an online system.

So for this loan officer, he doesn’t need more leads – he needs to increase his conversions to applications. That right there will make a big difference in his business. But let’s keep going.

Once we have the 90 applications a month, the next number to track is how many of those are pre-approvable. Ideally, you want 45-50% of those applications to be pre-approvable. If that pre-approvable number is low, it means you’re fishing in muddy water (aka, flea markets). I once had a referral partner, a real estate agent, who I thought was the best because I was getting TONS of leads – until I figured out that they weren’t converting to apps, much less being pre-approvable. Your numbers will tell you what you need to know about your business. In this case, you need a good lead source.

Moving on… once you have your 100 leads a month, of which about 90 turn into applications, of which about 40 become pre-approvable, then it’s about how many are going to close. That’s the fourth number you want to track. About 50% of your pre-approvables should go to close. If you have pre-approvable apps that aren’t closing, there is only one issue – follow-up.

So you can see that having enough leads is not always the issue; instead, it can be about what you’re doing with the leads you already have coming into your business. You need good lead sources, systems for quick and convenient follow-up, and then to continue that follow-up through the close.

Now, getting leads in the door, converting them to applications, getting those to be pre-approved – all those happen immediately. But your closes will lag behind your pre-approvables by about 90 days because people don’t always buy right away.

Frankly, I talk with loan officers all over the U.S. every day. From what I see, 25% of loan officers have issues in each area – leads, apps, pre-approvables and closes. So 25% of loan officers think they need more leads, 25% of loan officers aren’t getting enough apps from their leads, 25% aren’t getting enough pre-approvables and 25% of loan officers aren’t getting the closes they should from their business.

Do you need a big fancy system to track these numbers? No. (Now, I do have to say my team does because you know I am transparent with you – but you don’t need it.) Just get out paper and a pen and make chicken scratches next to each of the four numbers: leads, apps, pre-approvables, closes. Then watch your percentages – if you aren’t getting a 90% conversion to apps, a 45-50% conversion from apps to pre-approvables, and a 50% conversion from pre-approvables to closes, you have a lead source issue or a follow-up issue.

The good news is that you might be getting plenty of leads to be successful in your business. The uh-oh news is that you might not be giving them what they need to stick with you. But that’s where me and my team can help. If you want a 1:1 strategy session to help sort out what’s happening in your business, reply to this post and let me know. We’ll be in touch.

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Published on LinkedIn

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P.S.! Come hang out with me for 3 Days in beautiful Clearwater Beach!
Mastermind Retreat

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#LoanOfficer #LoanOfficerFreedom #LoanOfficerFreedomPodcast #LOFPodcast #LOFBlog #LoanOfficerFreedomBlog #TheMarketingAnimals #AgentMastermind #MortgageMarketing #MortgageMarketingAnimals #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #FreedomClubFriday #LOFreedomClub #FreedomIs #MastermindRetreats #ThorsHammer #AxeOfFreedom #CallReluctance #CrushingCallReluctance #ChiefOfficerOfCoolness #WorkWithWetPants #BeMoreFootbally #LORollerCoaster #StopTheRollercoaster #GreenOnAPickle #AlwaysBeClosing #MortgageIndustryGoingStrong #MortgageCoaching #LoanOfficerCoaching #HighEndCoaching #LifeCoach #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #LoanOriginator #LoanOriginators #LOCoaching #Mortgage #MortgageAdvisors #MortgageBanker #MortgageBanking #MortgageBroker #MortgageCoach #MortgageConsultants #MortgageExperts #MortgageGuru #MortgageIndustry #MortgageIndustrySpecialist #MortgageLender #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageLoanOfficers #MortgageLoanOriginator #MortgageLoans #MortgageOriginator #MortgagePro #MortgageProfessionals

The Old Ways Are New Again In Business

Life happens fast. Maybe it always has been but there was a time when people had real conversations with each other. People took the time to learn about each other’s lives and thought about how to help them get what they wanted in life. Maybe then it looked like harvesting crops or raising a barn but it’s not so different today, really. People still want to harvest the good things they have coming in life and they still need a roof over their heads. That’s where you come in, right?

Let’s talk about what our grandparents just ‘knew’ in their bones about handling business with compassion, courtesy and competency.

Know that community is important. We aren’t designed to live without our community, our tribe, our people. Take the time to participate in your community – from Boy Scout pancake breakfasts to volunteering at the local soup kitchen. You might be surprised at who you meet along the way.

Invest in people. Your interest in and making time for someone else’s experience makes your world bigger. This isn’t about a ‘transactional’ relationship – it’s about a mutual investment that gives you (both) a sense of belonging as well as access to more resources. And yes, that might turn into business opportunities too.

Help when people need it. Back in the day when people fell on hard times, it wasn’t a judgment on their character, but an acknowledgment of how hard life can be sometimes. Other times, people just need an extra hand to help walk their dog or drive their kids after school or get an introduction to someone they want to meet. In ways large and small, do what you can with what you got to help someone else.

Be respectful. It’s an oldie but it holds true today. Call people at normal hours of the day, unless you have advance permission to call on evenings or weekends. Care enough to make sure the other person understands what you just said. When someone says they need to go, break off your conversation. Forgive them when they rush or don’t do what you expect or want them to do. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Make sure the deal is fair. Nobody likes to feel taken advantage of, especially in business. The goal is for each side to feel like they got the better end of the deal. Sometimes this is simply a language thing in how something is said, while other times it’s about how much compromise is needed to make a deal work. Whatever the case, do what you can to make sure the deal is fair for everybody.

There is a lot of talk about how the customer should be the focus of business – from customer-oriented to customer-centricity, like this is somehow a new concept. The reality is that business has always been about people, especially in the mortgage loan business. And you have the power to do the right thing through your business by taking care of your people, your community and your deals with transparency and integrity. Do what your grandparents would have done and your business will take care of itself.

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Published on LinkedIn
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P.S.! Come hang out with me for 3 Days in beautiful Clearwater Beach!
Mastermind Retreat

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The Evolved Loan Officer: What You Need to Know to Be Successful

I sit around and think about stuff… like, what stops people from being their best? How do the most brilliant people I know sometimes struggle in their business? What would it take for people to really fire up their inner greatness and go for it?

And then I remember that somebody somewhere along the way said something that became their reality. Maybe they were told they would never be good enough, or that they would never amount to anything or that they should just settle for what they could get. Those are the voices that get inside a person’s head, especially if they hear them when they were kids. (Ask me, I know…)

Anyway, I’ve come to learn that one of the sorry / not sorry things that life does is it brings us what we need to become our best self. Challenges and mistakes and “failures” only happen when we don’t know something – yet. We do our best to avoid those things but the reality is that they help shape who we are over time. They make us stronger, smarter, better.

I read somewhere that personal evolution is about stripping away what isn’t you, shattering the myths that hold you small and taking apart the belief systems that you never questioned before until you know what you really, authentically stand for in life. That doesn’t sound like much fun.

But if you think about it, growth inherently means discomfort because you are going past what you know into places you don’t know. And, really, personal growth means you’re always going to the unknown so you’re going to be uncomfortable until you figure it out. That’s probably one of the secrets to business success right there – get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

To get back to the subject, what does all my thinking mean for your business?

In my mind, there is such a thing as ‘desirable discomfort’. I mean, you’re going to have some discomfort along the way but, for me, if I can choose what it is and when I’m going to experience it, it somehow makes it a little easier to get through it. And I think that’s what it means to be an evolved loan officer – you know it’s not always going to be easy and you show up anyway.

I don’t think that being ‘evolved’ means you sit on a bed of lotus flowers with a gong bell every day. Instead, I think ‘evolved’ means that you got the experience and the commitment and the courage to keep going in the face of what could be daunting odds. An ‘evolved’ loan officer is someone who understands that people are behind the deals… that the deal is not about the property but the family whose life will be changed by living there. An ‘evolved’ loan officer gets out of their own head enough to say yes to being the best self they can be that day, to being greater through service to others, to making the calls and having the meetings and working with their team to get the deals done because it’s all about helping people with every deal.

The evolved loan officer has the responsibility, and the capability, to bring together all the elements needed to drive deals to help people get what they want – the family who is buying the home, the realtor who is making commission to feed their family, the team member who gets paid for their contribution. It’s a whole system – and the evolved loan officer puts it together and makes it happen.

9 Things You Can Do to Be an Evolved Loan Officer

1. Stop making it about you and focus on others. If you don’t show up, a lot of people will miss out on the opportunities you would generate by finding deals and making them happen.

2. Make sure you are current in your knowledge and credentials. If you need to upgrade your skills or licensing or credentials, just do it. Anything less means you are out of integrity.

3. Revisit your business plan to see how you’re doing. Be honest with yourself. Make sure that what’s on your to-do list really matters. If you’re off-track, catch it and course-correct it now.

4. Stop listening to the voices and start acting on what you know to be true. I guarantee you that each and every one of those critics in your head are dead wrong! Every time one of them squeaks, take immediate action. Just like darkness cannot live in the light, those voices don’t matter when you’re doing the right thing.

5. Get out of perfection and get on with it. Today is it – this is all we ever get, really. The only moment that matters is right now. Good is good enough. That’s it. Imperfect action is better than perfection that never happens. Just go make that call or see that client or celebrate a victory with your team – that matters more than waiting for the perfect circumstances to take action.

6. Automate routine tasks. You need to focus on high-yield activities – the ones that only you can do. If a task can be automated, or delegated, that’s the right way to handle it. Nobody else can do what you do. Your team, your family, your clients, your realtors are all depending on you to do what only you can do. So figure out how to get everything else handled and go do what you are uniquely qualified to do.

7. Teach people. People don’t like to be changed – but they like to learn. More educated realtors means more deals. More educated clients means cleaner, faster-closing deals. More educated team members means less hands-on work for you. Invest in the people around you with your knowledge and it will pay off big-time.

8. Create a business culture that puts people first. Putting people first means your customer service will be excellent, you will be more creative in solving problems, your team will have their GPS on how to make decisions and your company will be a good place for people to contribute their time, energy and expertise. That creates teams, loyalty and good ‘feels’ (which can help carry you through the tough times too).

9. Live your values. When you are aligned with and act from what you know and believe, you are congruent. Relationships, conversations and activities become simpler. You have transparency and authenticity and clarity when you know and live your values. You make business decisions from that deep place within where you know what’s right for you (or not). Your values are like a GPS that help you walk away from deals that aren’t a fit. And you can make the most of opportunities that come your way because you just *know* when they’re right for you.

So being evolved is an everyday, right-here, right-now way of living and working. It’s a philosophy and a way of operating in the world. It’s a way to create next-level success that can exceed any of your wildest dreams.

And, just in case you do happen to get a big gong bell in your office, let me know. I’ve always wanted to ring one of those…

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Published on LinkedIn

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#LoanOfficer #LoanOfficerFreedom #LoanOfficerFreedomPodcast #LOFPodcast #LOFBlog #LoanOfficerFreedomBlog #TheMarketingAnimals #AgentMastermind #MortgageMarketing #MortgageMarketingAnimals #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #FreedomClubFriday #LOFreedomClub #FreedomIs #MastermindRetreats #ThorsHammer #AxeOfFreedom #CallReluctance #CrushingCallReluctance #ChiefOfficerOfCoolness #WorkWithWetPants #BeMoreFootbally #LORollerCoaster #StopTheRollercoaster #GreenOnAPickle #AlwaysBeClosing #MortgageIndustryGoingStrong #MortgageCoaching #LoanOfficerCoaching #HighEndCoaching #LifeCoach #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #LoanOriginator #LoanOriginators #LOCoaching #Mortgage #MortgageAdvisors #MortgageBanker #MortgageBanking #MortgageBroker #MortgageCoach #MortgageConsultants #MortgageExperts #MortgageGuru #MortgageIndustry #MortgageIndustrySpecialist #MortgageLender #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageLoanOfficers #MortgageLoanOriginator #MortgageLoans #MortgageOriginator #MortgagePro #MortgageProfessionals