As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2011.
By now, you realize our industry has gone through an evolution. The tough have survived. Thankfully, you’re one of them. But understand this: Your competition may have dwindled, but your fellow survivors are really good.
So how can you compete? More important, how can you win?
Become an expert
These three steps are simple, indeed. But they’re not easy.
Working hard doesn’t always mean working more hours. What it really means is working more effectively. This includes completing the important tasks of marketing and networking while balancing the rest of your workload.
Have you ever asked yourself why some loan originators consistently close 10 or more loans a month and others close only two while working the same number of hours?
The difference is time management, including choosing activities with the highest payoff.
Look at where you spend your time. Consistently make it a point to work on high-producing activities that improve your business. Stop doing the activities that waste time or accomplish little.
Highly successful loan originators work hard.
Become an expert
Most people value knowledge and want to associate with those who know more than they do. To stand out in the mortgage industry, you must never stop learning. Constant changes require constant education.
Know your loan guidelines and work on understanding what underwriters seek. Stay on top of market and interest-rate news.
Also, look for opportunities to share your knowledge with others. This can be as simple as sending e-mails about loan guidelines or market changes to real estate agents. Or it can be as involved as putting together first-time homebuyer seminars.
You must be active and aggressive in your marketing and networking.
What organizations do you belong to? Are you an active member? Do you seek leadership opportunities?
You may be involved with industry groups, but consider some other options as well. This includes Realtor associations and chambers of commerce. Both provide ways to increase your visibility and grow your network. The greater the number of people that know who you are and what you do, the greater your chances of continuing to succeed.
Be social every time you get the opportunity. This includes online and in person. Social media outlets have become an integral part of today’s business world. If you aren’t comfortable with this, consider hiring someone with social media savvy.
Introduce yourself to people whenever you can, and look for ways to help others be successful. When you become a connector and problem-solver, people will want to help you in return.
The more friends you have, the better off you are and the more likely you are to find business where you least expect it. Make friends and loans will follow.
As you continue your mortgage career, take a minute to enjoy being one of the survivors. Your efforts have paid off, but you shouldn’t count on the past to propel you forward. Remember, your competitors also have survived.
Stay ahead by working hard, maintaining your expertise, and strengthening and growing your relationships. The more you can do this, the more real estate agents will deliver you business and clients will suggest your services to others.
The competition is fierce, but the rewards are great.
Bliss Sawyer, president of Mortgage Marketing Strategies, is a nationally recognized coach, trainer and speaker. She specializes in relationship-based marketing strategies for mortgage professionals. Reach her at (806) 577-3937 or Bliss@BlissSawyer.com. Visit her website at BlissSawyer.com.