As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2011.
In the past few years, the mortgage industry has been carved up like a Christmas ham, with regulations, dictates and rules. There has been an estimated nationwide attrition of 50 percent in our ranks, with the drop much deeper in some states. Loan volumes are down, incomes are down, and it sometimes appears that we will never get out of this trough.
But there are survivors out there, and by and large they have one thing in common: They’re professionals. They do their job — showing up every day and doing the hard work of taking care of their clients — and they are the ones who will make it out of any market, no matter how hard.
How can you tell a true professional apart? There are four things that make a mortgage professional:
Think of the professionals you know in other industries. Do you picture people like Tony Robbins, Derek Jeter and Oprah Winfrey? These are people who have reached the pinnacle of success. They work incredibly hard, but they always appear to be having the time of their lives. Their attitudes are so good that they pull others who associate with them to a higher level, inspiring them to perform better. This describes the best loan officers and mortgage people, as well.
It’s not an accident. Good attitude is as much a function of will as it is what side of the bed you get up on. We’ve all had those days when we just can’t miss, when everything seems made to go well. We also have had days when there seems to be a cloud over everything, and the world seems gray and dark.
We’re human. Physically, we will not be at our peak every day, and that can impact our attitudes negatively. At times like this, do the best you can. Present your best face. Smile anyway. Professionals have good attitudes all the time.
Think about Rocky in “Rocky IV,” training in the Russian snow. He had a precise focus on the task at hand and attention to the necessary detail to prepare properly. He worked fanatically, improvising where necessary, putting distractions to the side and doing what he knew it would take to be ready to do his job.
Even if you’re not a Rocky fan, the parallels are obvious. Professional loan officers know how to block distractions, create a clean space for work and power through the things that must be done.
A great deal of a loan officer’s work is tedious, but the tedious tasks are often necessary. All jobs have some of that in them. Professionals in every industry know how to cut the unnecessary tasks and focus on what it will take to do their job well.
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