The national sales manager of a big mortgage company and I were talking recently about the disparity among loan originators today. Why, we wondered, are some so busy right now, closing 10-15 loans a month and making fabulous money, while other originators are funding only one or two deals a month and struggling just to get by. What exactly is it successful originators have and do that makes the difference? My client summed up his observations about all successful originators in one simple sentence: "They just get it!"
What does it mean to "get it?" Here are some examples we both agreed on:
1. They dress the part of a top-notch professional. They look like someone you'd want to sit down with and talk about the largest and most important financial transaction of your life.
2. They show up on time. They are where they say they will be when they say they will be there. They are prompt for conference calls, webinars, meetings and appointments.
3. They put in a lot of hours. They come in early, keep busy and focused throughout the day, and stay well after most others in their office have gone home.
4. They get involved. Those who "get it" are actively involved in their Realtor, builder, lender and affiliated industry associations. They are plugged in to the organizations that support their chosen profession.
5. They invest in their businesses. They have no problem spending money to pay for their own marketing, advertising, database mailings, closing gifts, thank-you cards and other promotional efforts.
6. They read. They subscribe to mortgage and real estate industry publications and read good personal development books to help sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledge and expertise.
7. They make a lot of contacts. Successful loan originators realize they are essentially in sales, and that selling is a contact sport. They "get it" that more contacts create more prospects, and more prospects produce more lending opportunities.
8. They deliver on their promises. They have built a reputation for reliability. People can count on them to do what they say they will do — return phone calls the same day, meet contract closing dates, and follow up with referrals and leads promptly.
9. They are consistent. Those who are much more successful in this business are much more consistent in their client contacts, face-to-face visits, weekly loan status updates, and how they run their mortgage operations day-in and day-out.
This is what it means to "get it." There is clearly nothing groundbreaking about any of these behaviors or characteristics. These are the fundamentals of a solid mortgage lending practice, and they are the reasons why some originators succeed at any company, in any city, through any kind of market, year after year.
To further amplify this lesson, another client of mine (a regional manager of a large bank-owned mortgage company) recently attended her company's annual President’s Club Event. There they featured a panel of five top producers who each funded more than $40 million last year in personal production.
"Do you know what I came away with after I heard them speak?" she said to me. "These people are dedicated to the business, they work really, really hard, they make a lot of sales calls and contacts, and they keep their promises. That's it. They have the same products, the same pricing, and the same fulfillment process as the other 300 originators in our company, and yet they out-perform all of them every year."
If you are a loan originator, do you get it? (If you manage loan originators, do they get it?) Assess yourself honestly on each item below by answering YES or NO to these questions:
1. Do I dress like a top-notch professional?
2. Do I show up for things on time?
3. Am I putting in a lot of hours each week?
4. Am I actively involved in my industry associations?
5. Do I invest my own money in my business?
6. Do I read good books and industry publications?
7. Am I making a lot of sales calls and contacts?
8. Do I deliver on my promises?
9. Am I consistent in everything I do?
Your answers will tell you whether you are someone who truly "gets it" or not.
Doug Smith is a nationally known industry speaker, author and sales trainer. For more information, please visit www.DougSmithOnline.com or call Douglas Smith & Associates at 877-430-2329.