How to Make a Record Month Your New Normal as a Loan Officer

Loan officer careers are flourishing right now with interest rates at an all-time low. A lot of our Freedom Club and Mortgage Marketing Animals members are doing 3x and 4x their usual number of loans. We’re hearing stories of people who normally close just 3 or 4 loans a month closing 10 or 15 or more.

If this is you, how can you ensure that a record month becomes a new normal instead of just a welcomed fluke? I sat down recently with my friend Scott Hudspeth to figure this out. He chatted with me from Sunset Beach, Missouri in front of his motor home where he does most of his work these days.

2020 Changed Everything for Loan Officers

One thing this past year has shown us in the mortgage industry is that we can do a lot more virtually than we ever thought possible. Think of everything we’ve done differently since the pandemic. 

  • Not driving to the office
  • Not going to the dry cleaner’s
  • No more lunch dates with people who don’t even give us business 

What could we do with this new freedom? We could use our extra time to cultivate and deepen relationships. We could get new referrals from our database. We could spend more time hanging out with friends. Some people have chosen to hit the road, homeschool their kids, travel, and see the world, like Scott and his family. 

Scott says this year has changed everything for him. He’s not going to work with anyone ever again who needs to meet with him face-to-face. If someone tells him they need to meet him, he’ll say, “I’m not your guy.” He’ll hand them off to a good friend of his who can take care of them in that way. Maybe you don’t want to go to that extreme, but freedom sure sounds great, right? 

Take Care of Your Realtor Partners

So, how can you set the bar at this new high, instead of preparing to go back down to where you were last year at this time?

One important thing that will assure you of continued success is taking care of your realtor partners. We’re obviously getting a ton of refi business right now, so some of us are neglecting our realtors. I know we’re busy, but we can’t do that. We need to stay focused on the bread and butter that will keep us busy well after the refi boom is over. It’s going to end. It’s a cycle. Do those refis, but keep strengthening, deepening, and building new realtor relationships. 

We also need to crack the code of how to get to the buyer before they go look for a home. When I go buy a car, I don’t look for the money first. I go look at cars. Same with a house. We need those relationships with realtors, so they’re sending us their clients as soon as they get them. If you invest in your referral partners during these crazy busy times, they will remember you when things get back to “normal.”

You can ignore your realtors for a week or two or a month, but 90 days from now, you’re going to feel the pressure of that. The refis will dry up, and it will be too late. The work you do today is what’s going to put food on the table 90 days from now. 

Keep Getting Referrals From Your Past Database

Money is the cheapest it’s ever been in the history of the mortgage industry right now. You have to let people know, have these conversations with clients, ask for referrals. This is one of the hottest loan officer tips I can give you right now. Ask for a referral in every single conversation. Don’t let any of them go to waste. One closed deal is no longer just one person. It’s the potential to close 10 more loans. Every single person you talk to has at least 9-10:

  • close family members
  • friends
  • neighbors
  • coworkers
  • Facebook friends

They care about these people, and they would love for them to take advantage of what’s going on right now. You’re not being salesy. You’re offering value.

You Have to Hire Help

If you feel like you’re drowning, putting in way too many loan officer hours each week, and can’t keep up with those relationships, you have to get that non-money making activity off your plate. You have to continue to fire yourself from everything that isn’t selling or building/deepening a relationship. 

Remember that 20% of your activity brings in 80% of your income. You have to hire people to do the work you don’t have time to do. People are afraid that, if they hire someone, things will slow down. Let me tell you a fact: if you don’t hire someone, things will slow down.

At our company, we offer people an opportunity to work at a wonderful place with a great boss. It’s my employees’ responsibility to seize that opportunity and help us grow. I don’t give my team job security. They give themselves job security by creating value and helping us bring in new customers. And that secures their job. If they can’t or won’t do that, this isn’t going to work out so well for them.

We attempt to conduct our business when we’re having these record months at 20, 40, 60 loans the same way we did when we were closing 2 or 3 loans a month. You can’t do that. You have to let go of more and more responsibility.

Your clients want the money, the house, the keys. They don’t need you at the closing table with your hand on their knee. We’ve found out that Zoom meetings are converting higher realtor relationships than face-to-face coffee meetings. You can let go.

What Huge Producers are Doing Differently 

Time is the one thing we all have an equal amount of. What are these huge producers doing differently? 

They let go.

Do you take applications by phone or send potential clients to an online application? You don’t need to hang on to that practice of taking applications by phone. It takes too much time. They can apply online over the weekend, and your assistant can grab it and get the process going.

Scott told me that, years ago, when he was doing all his loans himself, I told him to just let one thing go to someone on his team and see what happened. Nothing bad happened. Let another thing go. Nothing bad happened again. His clients were still happy, even happier actually, because the other person was more available than Scott was. 

Letting go is really hard at first. It gets easier. Trust me.

You Are Absolutely Worth It

I can’t stress enough how important it is that you see yourself as worthy of these new numbers, that it’s not just a lucky month. You’re having this success because you’re doing the right activities. You’re worthy. All of us are worthy of great and wondrous things. Your success didn’t happen because of luck. It happened by design. You’re leveraging your talents and other people’s talents. They’re leveraging your talents. It all works together. 

If you find yourself in a record month, embrace it. Consider it your new normal. Make sure you’re doing that proactive activity to keep that forward momentum going. Make sure that the loans you’re bringing in close, and you focus your time on building new (and old) relationships with referral partners. 

And just know that it’s not going to happen overnight. If you plant a seed today, it won’t be full-grown by tomorrow. It’s going to grow in 90 days, 120 days. Where you put in the effort today will yield itself three months from now. Just keep faithfully planting seed after seed.
If you need help planting those seeds and planning your figurative loan officer garden, we can help you with that. Today is the perfect day to schedule a FREE strategy session with us. This small step could lead to such big things, friend. Invest in yourself and your future today. You’re worth it.

How Loan Officers Can Overcome Call Reluctance

Loan officers will pay big money not to have to pick up the phone, but they’re just not getting results. If you want to be a top producer in the mortgage industry, you have to spend time on the phone, plain and simple.

Why do loan officers have call reluctance? Because they’re afraid of being a pest or bothering real estate agents when they call and ask for business. We all grew up with the mindset that salesmen are out to get us, to take advantage of us, that they only care about money.

But that’s not what we’re about in the mortgage business. We genuinely want to help people.

Loan Officers are the Best Thing to Happen to Realtors

What if a real estate agent had just won the lottery? Would you be willing to pick up the phone and tell them the good news? 

You are basically a winning lottery ticket for your realtors. You’re here to leverage each other’s talents and connections. You’re going to help them get more leads and convert more of their deals and ultimately make them more money. Just like a lotto ticket.

You’re also going to help them have a more peaceful experience during the loan process. You’re going to help by updating them and let them know what’s going on. You aren’t just helping them a little; you’re helping them significantly. And in a very cool way. When you have the confidence to see that, picking up that phone is so much easier.

A few years ago, thousands of realtors were surveyed and asked what they disliked about lenders. They said lender:

  1. don’t close on time. 
  2. don’t communicate every week.
  3. don’t follow up with their leads enough. 

If we can do those three things for them (which we do), they’ve hit the jackpot. Especially in times like these. 

Value Propositions for Your Realtor Referral Partners

Over the past few years of working with realtors, we’ve compiled a list of 29 value propositions that can help you earn your realtors’ trust, respect, gratitude, and appreciation—all without spending a dime. 

Once we’ve developed a relationship with an agent, do we invest in that relationship? Of course, but we don’t lead off dating somebody by writing a check. It’s just a bad way to start doing business. 

Whenever I’m talking to an agent, I work two or three of the value propositions into the conversation. You want to know these propositions like the back of your hand, so you can spit them out like your phone number or last name. I’m going to share just 3 of them in this post, and if you’d like a cheat sheet of all 29, we’ll hook you up at the end.

Value Proposition #1: We’re Experts in Guidelines and Program Fits

You don’t personally have to be an expert at everything. I run one of the largest teams in the mortgage industry, and I’m not an expert. I’m good at it, but not an expert. I’m convinced that not knowing the guidelines and program fits is what helps me close more loans, because I didn’t get caught up in that conversation. 

When I hit my first month of 10 loans, I decided to spend all my time getting new business to come in, then I’d refer them to Dave, a guy I was working for at the time, who knew all the guidelines. And I’ve never stopped doing that.

We have this phenomenal resource called Loan Officer Deal Desk. It’s a Facebook group with thousands of loan officers, along with processors and underwriters. It’s completely free. You describe your scenario, and there will be someone in there who can help you with guidelines and program fits. It’s amazing. You’ll ask a question and get 20-30 people giving you helpful answers immediately. So you don’t have to be the expert yourself, but you have to have access to an expert—a lot of experts.

Value Proposition #2: We Are the Last Stop Shop

We have the who and the what for all situations. We never tell a prospect no. We might say, yes, I can help you, and here’s what you need to do first. Maybe it’s “go get a job.” Or “work on getting your credit score up.” Even if they’re asking for a situation that I personally don’t do loans for, we’ll find somebody that does, and we’ll refer them to a buddy.

Basically, you want to be the Amazon.com of mortgages. You tell people: “You want something, come to me. If I can’t help you, I know who can.” You tell them they don’t have to call 15 different loan officers. I’ve got you covered. And even if it’s not with my company, it might be with a buddy of mine in the Freedom Club. That solves a huge problem for real estate agents. They don’t have to go shop around for loan officers. You’ll do it for them. 

It creates more trust in your expertise, and you become their advisor, their first point of contact. Whenever that agent has any questions, I want that conversation. And ultimately that will create more referrals. They trust me, and they know I have a circle of people they can also trust.

Value Proposition #7: We Help Agents Make More Money

Another reason my realtor referral partners want to refer their business needs to me is that I’ll help them make more money. There won’t be any loss leads. I tell them that I follow up with their leads on their behalf. We know most real estate agents aren’t following up with their leads. They send over a lead and work on it for a day or two, then it goes cold and off everybody’s radar. 

We follow up for them and help build their pipeline. And everybody that we pre-approve, we call them every Thursday with our pre-approved and looking script and ask them how the house hunting is going. Every single lead you send over to me is going to be nurtured. I’m going to help you make more money by converting more of the leads that you’re already getting.

We’re even getting referrals from those referrals. And we have a customer for life mentality. Every time a realtor refers someone to me, once we close on that person, we’re going to be calling them four times a year, snail mailing them once a month, emailing them once a week, and running Facebook ads to just our past database.

And, when one of your referrals sends me a referral, which they do, I’m going to make sure you’re the agent they choose to work with. My first conversation with them will be, do you have a realtor yet? If not, I’ll tell them about you. I’ll even call you for them. I bring the realtor up to speed on the client and get them set up for success.

Now Go Help Those Realtors Win the Lottery

So, you’re not being salesy. You’re offering incredible value to your realtor referral partners. When it’s time to pick up the phone and call those agents, it’s so much easier because you know you’re helping them by having experts in guidelines and programs, being the last stop, and making them more money.

And that’s just 3 of the 29 value propositions. Can you see how it’d be so much easier to pick up the phone and make these calls when you have 29 different ways to enhance your referral partner’s life?

Click here to schedule a strategy call TODAY and we’ll give you a FREE copy of these 29 value propositions. We’ll look at what you’re doing and pick out the best three or four to start with in your business. What have you got to lose?

4 Lead Measurements You Should Be Tracking as A Loan Officer

Your lead generation strategies can go either way, we all know that. They can bring in lots of big numbers, but are those numbers full of solid leads and if they are, are you following up when and how you should? Here, Carl White gives you a quick run down of why you need to be tracking these 4 things to measure your lead generation success for your mortgage business.

Sign up for your complimentary strategy call today

A Personal Holiday Message From Carl White

This time of year is always one that I cherish and while 2020 has certainly been one for the books, I believe it’s important that we keep in mind what is truly important…love, friendship, and support. Everyone’s journey is different, but I want you to know that I am here for you and I sincerely thank you for continuing to be here for me too.

Happy holidays, my friend! 

– Carl White