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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   August 2017

Become a Mega-Producer

Being the best year after year takes more than just hard work

Out hustling the competition is an obvious ingredient of being a successful mortgage originator, but to be a mega-producer — and stay a mega-producer — you have to do more than just work hard. You have to have the best, latest technology, and you must understand people.

This does not apply only to customers. Understanding customers is a matter of listening. Hitting nine figures in funded volume year after year also requires an impeccable team with a singular vision, and it requires that you personally engage the various people involved in the homebuying process.

In business and in sports, you can’t be reactive. NFL coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has a simple but effective message for his players: Put in the time to be prepared for every situation. The idea is to eliminate surprises and stay ahead of the game by staying prepared. Know the rules, know your products, know the market and know the people you’ll be working with in various stages of the process, including Realtors, builders and attorneys, among others.

Stay on top of the game

Belichick also preaches about having expertise in your role. Each member of the team has a specific job. If everyone is a true expert and can perform their role perfectly, the team will win every time. Versatility is generally a positive quality, and in case a teammate is gone, it’s good to have redundancy.

In the interest of offering customers the smoothest process, however, each role has to be performed at the highest level. Each teammate must be an expert because experts naturally take more pride in their roles and feel more accountable to the rest of the team for fear of letting people down.

In addition, because there are so many different people involved in the homebuying process — Realtors, builders, attorneys, etc. — when the deal gets done, if you don’t follow up with those people and ask for business, you’re missing the boat.

But that amount of networking is still not enough to reach the top. Even with the industry entering the digital age, face time is still important. Get involved with the Rotary Club, chamber of commerce, alumni associations, parent teacher associations, and so on. The point is to always be making face-to-face connections to drive in business.

You can’t just sit in a room and wait for the phone to ring. You have to get out there and get in front of people, even after the deal closes.

Educate and hire smart

It’s important for mortgage companies to constantly teach and train their staff as a way to get everyone on the same page, sharing the same vision. Create a culture of knowledge and preparedness so customers get the very best service, every time.

Everyone on the team has to know what they’re talking about and has to make the right decisions. To get the very best out of people and show them how to be the best versions of themselves, you have to show them how to get there.

It’s a familiar story: A mortgage company discovers an energetic mortgage professional who’s going to play a key role in growing the business. Six months later, that person is gone, the numbers are no better than last year and the originators wonder what happened.

It’s one thing to have really hard workers — that’s great — but they have to be coachable and buy into your system. Hard workers sometimes have hard heads, so when you’re building your team, look for qualities that suggest open minds and interest in learning.

Embrace tech and branding

The mortgage industry is currently in the midst of its version of the Industrial Revolution, with more and more stacks of paper being replaced by online forms. The digital mortgage makes everything faster, easier and more efficient for consumers, Realtors and originators alike.

Being a mega-producer means you have to be incredibly fast, and the paper-based mortgage process could never be associated with that word. With the game going digital, the production possibilities are endless.

And yet, as the process speeds up, you must still focus on the quality of everything you do. It doesn’t happen overnight, but once you start building a brand of quality, you’ll always have business. With every single deal you take, whether it’s incredibly tough or super easy, make sure to hit your deadlines. Don’t ask for extensions, and don’t make mistakes.

When you build a brand based on quality, opportunities will be there for the taking. And now with social media, you can promote that brand to big groups with minimal expense.

Respect time

Everything you do has to have a purpose. You can’t have wasted moments, wasted phone calls or wasted meetings during the day. Success is defined by balance. Being happy with life, work, family and your health — that’s what it’s all about.

If you can’t enjoy your life with the ones you love, there’s no point to any of it. Work is where you create the time for the more important things in life, so treat every second as gold. Stay on the phone, on the computer or in professional dialogue with a colleague at all times, and hammer home that mentality among your team, because sustained excellence depends on it.

•  •  •

Effective time management is important, but it’s not everything. You also must have fire in your belly. Whatever you do in life, try to be the best at it. It’s about setting a goal and knowing what you have to do to achieve it.

Once you reach that goal, it becomes the new baseline. Being a top producer is a great achievement, but staying a top producer means setting new goals and never being content with where you are.


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