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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2016

Step Toward Success

Education and action are key to moving mortgage professionals toward their goals

Step Toward SuccessAs 2016 continues to unfold, people across the country are obsessed with getting in 10,000-plus steps each day to meet their fitness goals. That challenge is in front of them all day, displayed on their health-tracker smartwatches and wristbands, showing them just how far they are from reaching the mark. When their daily goal is far off, the effort level increases, and when they are closing in on the 10,000 steps, the effort goes through the roof.

Many of these 10,000-step devotees are young professionals, even mortgage originators, trying to grow successful businesses of their own. What if they realized the path to growing their business and reaching all of their goals was staring at them all day from their wrists? In their quest for good health, they already have learned the principles behind developing a successful business — which include perseverance, discipline and the motivation to move forward toward a goal, one step at a time.

People park farther away from destinations so they can squeeze in extra steps. Some seem to enjoy performing the monotonous act of walking in place while watching TV. Some have decided to go all in and have adopted a workout or jogging routine each day. They all have a different route to those 10,000 steps, but the results for those who succeed are the same: They reach their goal, and so can mortgage originators.

Do the homework

In the mortgage industry, there are many different paths to reaching objectives. Some originators buy leads or send mailers. Some may network heavily with real estate agents or other industry professionals.  Some originators get incredibly creative in their marketing and online strategies. All share one trait: They are not standing still. They are getting in their proverbial 10,000 steps.

To be successful in the mortgage industry, you can’t stand still. Business isn’t going to walk through your door just because you have a sign out front that reads: “Mortgage Originator.” Although some paths are better than others, nobody gets anywhere in the mortgage business until they invest some sweat equity.

What does the journey to success consist of? Largely, it boils down to education and action. Mortgage professionals must educate themselves on the path they want to take to achieve their goals, and then begin walking that path.

An originator may want to build a relationship with a financial adviser, for example, because such an alliance can be a tremendous generator of new business (both home refinances and purchases). To accomplish that objective, however, an originator must first do some homework to answer a few essential questions.

What value can the originator offer a financial adviser? How will advisers’ clients benefit if they team up with a mortgage originator? What goals does the adviser have that an originator can help with? Once you know how you can help, the rest involves taking action — acting on what you have learned to build the partnership. Even after doing the homework, however, many people are still afraid to take that first step (often because they fear failure), but you can’t reach the goal unless you get past the first step.

It's impossible to keep up with all of the changes, but the goal is to research and learn as much as you can, so the competition falls farther and farther behind you.

When pursuing sales leads, similar homework is necessary. As a mortgage originator, you have to know what type of lead it is, where it comes from and what platform (i.e., telephone, e-mail, social media) is best for approaching that lead. Once you are armed with that knowledge, it’s time to move forward: Education followed by action, one step at a time.

Producing results

Successful mortgage originators will find ways to squeeze extra action steps into every day. Are you going out to lunch? If you pass real estate or financial-planner offices on the way, maybe you can take time to schedule an introductory appointment. Do you have a short time window before your next meeting? Maybe you can use that time to make a phone call to follow up on a lead, to touch base with a past client, or to check in on a Realtor to discuss a new product offering. You should always be looking for ways to squeeze in those extra steps.

Loan originators work in an ever-changing environment. There is always a new program coming out, guideline revisions that will open the door to (or close the door on) potential business, new marketing systems, lead provid-ers and business avenues. It’s impossible to keep up with all of the changes, but the goal is to research and learn as much as you can, so the competition falls farther and farther behind you. To excel as a loan originator, you have to put in the time it takes to send out those extra e-mails and do product and lead research, regardless of how difficult it appears or how busy your life gets.

Many loans are closed by originators who know more than their competitors: niches, intricate product details, investor overlays and more. Understanding these subjects will net you more business. Letting everyone know that you know these things will help to grow business exponentially. Action based on knowledge produces results.

• • •

Do you strive to have more profits, higher volume or better customer service? Whatever your goals may be, educate yourself about what you need to do to achieve the objective, and then take action. The sooner you incorporate that philosophy into your work world, the better your results will be as an originator. You have to take those 10,000 steps, day in and day out, if you want to be successful, so why not take the first step now?


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