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Make sure that if your business is referral-based, you still seek new clients via cold-calling or marketing. Likewise, if you specialize in home-purchase loans, also devote some time to refinancing clients. Incidentally, obtaining new certifications through coursework is an excellent way to begin to diversify the products for which your clients and referral partners can count on you.
7. Do research: In terms of education, now is a great time to study market cycles and the history of mortgage lending. If you're unsure where to begin, ask a long-term industry veteran to teach you as much as possible about mortgage-rate histories, housing booms and slumps, and variables that play into the cycles the industry has experienced.
This insight won't let you predict with any certainty what the market will do, but it will give you a base of reference from which to draw your own conclusions about the current market status. And being able to relay the history of the markets to your clients and referral partners will demonstrate that you are committed to understanding current trends and putting them into historical context, as well.
8. Record your personal production: It's critical to keep track of your own volume and production. By updating this information in your files each month, you will be in a prime position to answer any questions your clients may have about your experience. For example, when clients are shopping for loans, you can let them know exactly how many transactions you closed in the previous months or years. It's also helpful to break down your production records into subcategories such as single family-residence-purchase loans, investment-property loans or refinances.
This practice also is a preventive measure in the unfortunate case that your company closes. If you need to find a new job, you'll have your exact success record available to provide on a moment's notice to potential employers.
9. Keep your résumé updated: When your career is flourishing, maintaining an up-to-date résumé may not seem vital. But it is much easier to update your résumé periodically with all your success, certifications and volume numbers than to have to start from scratch if you haven't maintained it.
You also can send your résumé to referral partners or clients as evidence of your continuing commitment to education and your proven track record of success. This practice also will ensure that you are ready for any promotions available within your current company or for an outside position, if you choose to leave.
10. Request client testimonials: When you complete a loan for clients, ask them if they would be willing to write a testimonial for you, assuming they were thrilled with your service. Keep a file of all client testimonials. You can use them to show referral partners your level of service. Or you can add them to your Web site and include them in information kits you give new clients. Third-party endorsements speak volumes. Although we're often satisfied with verbal acknowledgements from clients, written testimonials will serve us better in the long run.
By implementing these practices in your business strategy, you'll find that market swings won't thwart your success.
After all, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Lisa Alley is a
managing partner and mortgage broker with Five Star Capital in Huntington Beach, Calif. A 10-year veteran of the mortgage industry, Alley has built and maintained dozens of partnerships with top producing Realtors nationwide. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (714) 536-9500.
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