Loan officers are some of the most interesting, engaging, intelligent, creative and dynamic people I know… and that is exactly why these people can end up chasing success all over the place or, worse, never experience it.
Imagine seeing success as being a place across the river – a chaotic, rapids-filled, fast-paced river with a lot of people also trying to reach success ‘over there’. That success is about more pre-quals, more ideal client leads, more closings, more deals… it’s all just waiting for you, but you can’t get to it easily. First, you have to get across that river with challenges like fast-moving white water rapids, competition with other river-crossers in all kinds of boats and vehicles of their choice, eddies that can slow or even sink you with the distraction of trying to get out of them and maybe some alligators are in there too.
So what do smart loan officers do? They start building bridges.
For example, one bridge might be using Facebook marketing, so you get signed up and really get into the process – maybe even 80 % done with it – when you see there’s a new LinkedIn ad that promises success. So you jump straight into that, leaving the Facebook ‘bridge’ incomplete and, while you’re researching how to make the most of the LinkedIn ad, you learn about a new marketing technique from YouTube, so you get into that. You hop from one bridge to the other, never finishing the first one, and the result is that can’t reach the land of success across that river.
When you don’t finish a project (bridge), you won’t get the results you want. Then, 3–4 months down the line, you might think, “Geez, none of this works. I’ve tried everything and nothing works.” You’re still standing where you started because you never finished any of your bridges. The secret to success is focusing on one bridge at a time until you finish it, so you aren’t leaving your bridges half-built. Like my daddy used to say, “good bridges keep your boots dry.”
The 4-Part Formula You Can Use to Reach Success
I have a four-part formula I use to make sure I’m not starting a bunch of projects all at once. Maybe it can help you too.
The first thing I do is consider all the potential strategies available – I want to see my options. Then I decide which one is going to make me the first dollar or give me the first closing. At this point, it is important I not get greedy by choosing the one that’s going to make me the most closings or the most dollars. Instead, I choose the one that’s going to give me the first return the fastest. As in, I choose the bridge that will get me across to success island the soonest. Why? Because once I’ve crossed that bridge, I have income, which means I can start hiring assistants to help, and that changes everything. You are probably like me in thinking things just get easier with a little money in hand, right?
This next second step requires brutal honesty. You need to ask yourself, “How likely am I to complete this strategy (bridge)?” You have to think about your history, what you’ve achieved to this point, how much you’ve got to put into this strategy and rationalize whether it’s a strategy you are likely to complete. Does this mean you have to be able to complete every step and all the ins and outs of this project with the dotted I’s and crossed T’s? No. This means you need to be able to start with a simple project, finish it to get some cash in the door and hire people, let them flesh out the refinements, and you move on to something more complex.
For me, when I start a project and realize I’m not going to complete it on my own, after years of working with myself I have finally come to understand I need someone else to help me get through each step. This is not a pride thing! It’s a ‘gotta get it done’ thing. So be smart – get the help you need as you need it. Find a way – hire an intern, bribe your kid, go to a support group – to get enough help to get you through the bare minimum of building that bridge.
The third step is “Can I delegate it?” In other words, once you’ve made your first dollar with your completed bridge, is refining and maintaining the bridge something you can delegate to somebody else?
Remember, your biggest responsibility is to be the rainmaker – you need to make the phone ring and get the deals in the door. So when that bridge is built and you’re getting closings from it, you’re getting money to build your infrastructure. The money you’re bringing in is your tool to hire somebody to help you – so delegate that bridge and focus on doing what only you can do to build your business. That means you’re getting the benefits from getting this bridge (strategy) up and going, someone else is doing the work to keep it going and make it better, and then you can go back out to build your business. If you cannot (or will not) delegate that bridge, you have just created a job for yourself – and that’s not business-building, that’s a job.
The last step of this formula is “Does it look like fun?” In other words, is this strategy (bridge) something you will enjoy working, at least in the early stages? Let’s face it: people do what they like doing. If you don’t enjoy something, it’s going to feel like a chore and you’re not going to want to work it. Or, if you’re like me, you might even end up sabotaging it because you sideline it, or it somehow ends up on a reject pile no matter how much you want to get it done. Go with a strategy you’ll enjoy and the whole thing will be that much smoother – I guarantee it.
One last point – here’s a good way to keep track of all your bridges and ideas for bridges. You might be more high-tech than me, but I find it works to keep a little spiral notebook in the front left pocket of my jacket. I keep an ongoing list of good ideas I hear so I can refer to them whenever I’m ready later. Why? Because I want to keep going on my original project – my current bridge – so it gets done.
When I have finished that bridge, say No. 1, then I look in my notebook to determine my best options and start this process over again. I determine which is the fastest-producing strategy and start working it – let’s call that one No. 2. I do not even think about No. 3 until No. 2 is complete. But when I’m ready, I pull out my notebook and use this 4-part formula to help me choose the right strategy and stay focused on building and finishing my next bridge.
Building bridges, for me, means victory. I feel like a winner because I have reached success in the way I chose and built, I have money in my pocket, and I get to keep that success going by being a good delegator. All that means I am being a business-builder by having a team and systems in place, so I can delegate keeping that success going to one of my wonderful team members or hire someone new to join our team and help. The wins just keep coming at that point.
What half-built bridges do you need to finish? They say writing them down and making them public is a commitment that helps you make it happen.
Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn
#LoanOfficer #MortgageMarketing #MortgageExpert #LoanOfficers #LoanOriginators #Lenders #MortgagePro #MortgageBroker #FreedomSeeker #Branding #Mortgage #MortgageLoanOfficer #MortgageAdvisor #MortgageBanker #TheMortgageMarketingAnimals #CarlWhite #FreedomClub #LoanOfficerFreedom #MortgageLife #MortgageLifestyle #HomeLoans #LoanOfficerLife #LoanOfficerLifestyle #MortgageBoss #Entrepreneur #MortgageFinanceAdvisor #MortgageAdvisor