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Painters select their medium, their paint, their brushes and even their subject with infinite care. They prepare their space and their mind for the job. Then they use techniques they’ve refined over thousands of hours of labor to translate what is in their head to the canvas, so we can all see what they see.
There is such a thing as talent, but it is hugely overrated. The best of the best are those who put the time in to acquire the skills of the job.
Mortgage professionals are no different. There is a bewildering array of rules and regulations and a huge number of constantly changing loan programs, and every day brings a new marketing and sales tool to the industry. Professionals know they must do the work to master their craft, and that means knowing everything from how to analyze a tax return to how to present the Federal Housing Administration 203(k) loan program to a group of Realtors.
It takes practice, training and hard work. But those skills are absolutely reliable. Markets come and go. Companies rise and fall. Professionals have the skills to outlast them all.
Professionals work for a living. They are successful because they have created value and demand compensation for that creation. A person with a great attitude, excellent focus and outstanding skill who isn’t successful is a hobbyist.
Contrary to what you may have heard — and what you probably have experienced sometimes — success is necessary to professionalism. Professional loan officers close loans. Yes, they employ consultative selling, become trusted advisers, and deliver world-class service and advice to their clients. But if they are true professionals, they also close loans. They know their clients will be better off for all the wonderful service they’ve received only if they take action. Professionals earn the money before they get paid.
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Tens of thousands of mortgage personnel have left the industry in the past couple of years as the market and the government each have taken their pound of flesh. We remain.
Now, as the real estate market slogs through its fourth-straight trough year, we must refocus on being professionals, doing what it will take to continue to provide the best value to those out there who need our help. If we do, there are good things ahead.
Chris Jones, director of strategic partnerships and branch manager with City 1st Mortgage Services, is an eight-year industry professional in brokering and banking. A former chair of his local chamber of commerce, he also sponsors several business-development groups in the area. Raised outside Washington, D.C., he lives in Lehi, Utah, with his wife, Jeanette, and their eight children. He blogs for Zillow.com and City 1st’s FirstResponse blog. Find him at www.thechrisjonesgroup.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 850-3781.
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