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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   May 2014

Break Bad Habits to Improve Your Business

Honing in on what you do best is key to increasing your production

Every person’s day is defined by certain routines. Each morning, you wake up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and so forth. Your time at the office probably follows additional routines — you check your e-mail, voicemail, meet with an assistant, read market updates, check your pipeline of clients and prospects, etc.

Routines can be so habitual that many mortgage professionals fail to ask themselves a simple question: Am I using my time in the best way possible? It’s often the case that the superstars of the mortgage industry are the ones who are constantly looking for ways to get better. They are open to coaching and learning, and they are often flexible in their daily habits. If you’ve found your income or production at a plateau, it may be because of your habits — and time for a change.

This change should begin with a careful review of your routines. What habits do you follow every day? What’s your thought process or mindset as you begin each day? Are you energized, or are you merely going through the motions?

To break out of unproductive routines, try documenting your work day. Track the time you spend sending personal e-mails, checking the sports page or whatever other breaks you like to give yourself.

The next step is to review this list and see if your day is rigorous, fun and exciting. Many people do their best work when they’re engaged and passionate about their jobs. Positive energy is a remarkable power, and it can assist you when you’re addressing major issues in your company.

The third step toward improvement is to identify your most productive action — that is, the action that brings in the most business. Is it social media? Marketing e-mails? Meeting with referral groups? When you review your daily work load, how much time is truly spent on bringing in more originations?

These are all critical questions when you’re searching for ways to improve. Once you’ve taken note of your routines, try to focus on your most productive endeavors.

Managers and coaches can often observe mortgage professionals and quickly point out inefficiencies. You may not agree with their input, but simply being open to improvement will open new doors for you.

Regardless, focus on your best habits. Want to double your business? Find a way to double your most productive daily efforts. This may mean hiring a marketing or social media assistant, but the subsequent increase in business will probably offset this added cost.

When you review your daily list, there should be items that are obvious wastes of time that could be delegated or eliminated altogether. There are websites that can simplify many of your daily tasks. Even if you’re on a tight budget, rest assured that there are low-cost ways to improve your production.

The proof will be self-evident. You’ll likely speak with vendors and under-writers less frequently and instead spend much more time talking with clients and referral partners. The trick is to plan your day with the intent of focusing on doing what you do best.  


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