As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2011.
Building your reputation isn’t easy, especially when it comes to the mortgage industry. But without a strong image, your company will suffer. The following basic business tips can help you establish yourself as the successful professional you want others to see you as.
Start your day the night before. The simple act of planning your next day’s attire by pulling it out of your closet and dresser can revolutionize your mornings.
Rather than devote morning brainpower to what you will wear, you can instead spend your creative juices planning for success.
Also, make a note to yourself that spells out what you want to accomplish and how you will set your priorities. We’re not talking about a to-do list here. To-do lists are reactive. Be proactive.
Put items on your list such as:
Meet five new real estate agents;
Check in with five clients from the past month; and
Read one in-depth article about current economic trends.
You should be able to complete all three of these tasks by noon the next day, allowing plenty of time to work on the files in your pipeline in the afternoon.
By planning your day the night before — right down to what you will wear — you put your subconscious to work while you sleep.
Wake up earlier than you normally do and exercise, if only for 30 minutes. It’s easier than you might think.
Stretch, go for a walk or do some other form of physical activity. This isn’t about getting fit. By getting your blood flowing, you can dramatically improve the way you feel and approach each day.
Exercise provides a natural lift and will boost your mental and physical well-being. Your approach to each day will improve if you make a point to exercise in the morning. The people you interact with will take notice.
Strive to impress
Don’t underestimate the importance of making a good impression. If you drive clients or referral partners anywhere, make sure your car is clean.
Work on your attire, too. Dress professionally from head to toe. Your image should exude success and professionalism.
Also, be on time or early.
When you show up somewhere early, you give yourself the opportunity to arrive unhurried and completely prepared.
Call and write
Don’t delay making phone calls, especially the calls to deliver bad news. The sooner your deliver the news, the sooner you can work out a solution.
Send thank-you cards to everyone you work with: clients, real estate agents, escrow offices, etc. When you take the time to thank others for their effort, you make a lasting impression. In the era of e-mail and social networks, handwritten notes have become rare.
Seek easy deals. It might seem valiant to spend your time helping hard-to-fund clients, but it’s not a great way to build your book of business or to grow your income.
Don’t be afraid to say no. The less drama you face, the better. Not only that, but the easier your deals are from the get-go, the easier things will be for all parties involved.
Jim Shubin has been in the mortgage industry since 1975. Currently, he is a loan originator with Evergreen Home Loans in Apple Valley,
Calif. Shubin has owned net branches, been a regional wholesale-banking vice president, and trained hundreds of loan officers and branch managers in the Southwestern U.S. Reach him at email@example.com.