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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   January 2017

Take Control of Your Future

You can make this year your best yet, no matter who is president

President Theodore Roosevelt once said: “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

With that quote in mind, let’s talk about you and what you want for 2017. What will make you happy and most fulfilled for 2017 at work? Offering more loans, or at least more than you did in 2016?

Pretend it is January 2018 and look back over the coming year. Be specific, with lots of imagery and specific numbers. In January 2018, what will your life at work be like? What are you enjoying as you look back over 2017? How are you feeling? What are your family members, co-workers, customers and others saying about you?

Go ahead and write down your answers. Then come back.

Now here’s the real test: How bad do you want it? Anything truly worth having is worth working for — and that means really working hard.

Here’s the thing. We live in a push-button society. Whatever you want, you just push a button and voila — it appears like magic. Type a word or two into Google, press Enter and a world of answers appears in front of you — literally within one second. Want light? Flip the switch. Want to drive? Turn the key.

This is important because when it comes to making true life changes, we can easily forget that not everything in life is push-button easy. If you want a better 2017, you’re going to have to work for it. There are no buttons to push or knobs to turn for more success in the mortgage industry. If there were, everyone would be in the business.

We’ve all heard the excuses. This past fall many excuses centered on who would win the White House. “If Candidate X wins, we’re doomed.” “If Candidate X doesn’t win, we’re history.” Then there are the standard excuses: “The economy stinks.” “Nobody’s buying.” “The mortgage rates are too high.” They go on and on. Cue the violin. Oh, poor snowflake, do you need a little break to take in everything that is working against you?

If you’re not where you want to be in life, visit the nearest mirror for some one-on-one time with the source of that problem. Remember this: Mortgages are a necessary part of life. Think about it. Humans need food first and then shelter. It’s been that way since the beginning of time. It remains true today, and it will stay that way tomorrow. Your service is absolutely essential, no matter what the economy looks like, so never focus on outside factors like who gets elected president.

 So before going any further, you need to make this pledge: “I and I alone will take full responsibility for my life and what I achieve and don’t achieve in the mortgage industry in 2017 and every year thereafter.”

You in? Good. Let’s keep going. Once you accept these two items in your toolbox — realizing hard work is ahead and accepting responsibility — you’re well on your way to a much better 2017.

The rest is simple:

  • Get focused on your potential customers. They pay the bills, so examine where your client base came from in 2016 and earlier. Was it a specific marketing tool? From referrals? From your website? Social media? Find out and continue doing what gave you those clients. This is one of the best pieces of advice ever: “Find what works and do more of that.” It’s simple, but wise.
  • Actively network for referrals and reviews. Referrals are imperative in the mortgage industry. Top mortgage originators understand this because a large percentage of their clients come from referrals. To encourage more referrals, it is always important to keep a client-first mentality and constantly seek to improve every borrower’s experience through world-class service.
  • Keep your online presence sizzling. Learn and use search-engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Actively seek out positive online reviews from sites like Yelp, Zillow, Angie’s List and others. Treat social media — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ — like a business tool by posting regularly and responding quickly.
  • Learn and use the letters MIT. This stands for Most Important Tasks. You must do them daily to make a difference. Everyone in this industry knows how many distractions you can find instantly without even trying. Outline your MITs, and live by them. More importantly, complete them every day.

Finally, remain resilient. One thing is certain in life: Things won’t go as planned. You’ll hit walls. You’ll hear “no” a lot. That’s OK. They’re called learning experiences. Take them and keep moving. Heed the words often attributed to Winston Churchill: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”


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