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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   July 2015

Invest in Your Success

Top-producing originators are totally committed to their future

2015-07_Smith_spotThere are three types of mortgage originators in business today: One-third of originators are highly successful, one-third make average money and produce average results, and one-third fail altogether or struggle just to get by. In which group do you fall?

When you contrast highly successful mortgage originators against everyone else, it’s easy to spot what makes them different. Let’s face facts: Originators consistently producing 10 to 25 loans a month are clearly doing something different from those generating half that volume or significantly less. Although the recipe for success contains a number of ingredients, perhaps the most essential ingredient that sets high performers apart from the crowd is complete and total commitment to what they do.

Wally “Famous” Amos, a self-made success story and the founder of Famous Amos Cookies, once said: “The largest obstacle between you and your goal is a lack of total commitment.” Amos grew up in poverty, worked as a clerk in a mail room and as a stock boy, and endured more hardships than many people have ever seen. Yet he had an idea — a goal — and fully dedicated himself to what he believed was possible. Today, Amos is a multimillionaire, the author of 10 books and a highly sought-after keynote speaker on the world stage. He was then and is today totally committed to what he was doing.

What about you? Are you totally committed to what you are doing? Highly successful mortgage originators are, and they show that commitment by investing in themselves and their businesses in meaningful, measurable ways, including investing their time and money, taking risks and building relationships.

Invest your time

It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to become highly successful in the mortgage business while working part-time. Some originators arrive at work late, leave early, skip out at noon on Fridays and “work from home” a few days a week. Does this job allow for such marginal and flexible schedules? Yes. Can you be highly successful and make a lot of money with this arrangement? No.

Being totally committed to your career means investing your time — a lot of your time. Originators who put in more hours can see more people, follow up on more opportunities and get more done every day.

Some might argue that working smarter is more important than working harder. No, it is not. People who don’t like to work hard and are looking for excuses to work fewer hours often say things like that. Go out and interview any number of $25 million to $100 million producers and ask about their work ethic. You’ll see that nearly all of them work harder and smarter.

Invest your money

How much money do you spend every month on your business? When you are totally committed to what you are doing, you are more than willing to put some skin in the game.

Beyond everything else this is a people business, and people want to work with someone they know, like and trust.

Highly successful originators spend money throughout the year to attend sales seminars, buy good books, subscribe to industry publications and pay dues to belong to various real estate, builder and mortgage associations. They spend money to market to potential clients in their databases, to buy thank-you cards and closing gifts and to purchase the latest technology tools. For them, this is truly their own business, and they treat it as such by investing in it with their own money.

Take risks

Those who try more and do more will always get more than everyone else. Too many originators play this game too safe. They only do those things they are comfortable doing and rarely, if ever, step out of the box to try anything new. They call on the same people, sell the same loan programs, and have not made any significant improvements to how they run their businesses in years.

By comparison, top producers are more open and willing to experiment, try new things, and explore innovative ideas and newfound opportunities. They understand and accept the fact that nothing they try is guaranteed to work and that by taking risks they might fail. But it’s also clear to them that taking risks is just another part of the personal investment they must make to be totally committed to their success.

Building relationships

Many highly successful mortgage originators out there have been working in this business for 10, 20 or even 30 years. They are consistently among the top producers in their companies and in their markets. This success is not because they have the lowest rates, more loan products or fancier marketing materials to hand out to Realtors. These individuals fully understand that, beyond everything else, this is a people business and people want to work with someone they know, like and trust.

Highly successful originators work hard to stay in front of their key referral partners on a regular basis. They are well-networked in their communities and go beyond what is expected to make sure they “wow” borrowers from the beginning of the loan process to the end. They invest more time and more effort in their client relationships than other originators because they know that at its core, this business is about people, and good business-people will always put other people first.

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 When you’re trying to come up with new ways to reach your audience, don’t rule out using Internet videos. Videos can build trust with your current clients and show potential customers what your company is all about. The mortgage industry can seem daunting and dry to many consumers, and videos are a great way to keep things relatable and interesting. Videos also can be the differentiating factor that help you stand out in the mortgage industry. Don’t be afraid to put your company in the spotlight. 


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