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
- 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.