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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2017

Move Beyond the Headlines

In down times, look for solutions instead of excuses

Albert Einstein once said: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Over the last few months, numerous articles, graphs, analytical reports and economists’ blogs have focused on how the third and fourth quarters of 2017 are going to be nothing short of horrible. Maybe you’ve seen them.

The only rational response to all of this — what each of us should feel every morning when our feet hit the floor — can be narrowed down to one word: “solution.” What’s the solution?

Look, from the day we’re born until the day we die, life will always be fraught with difficulties — whether they’re real or perceived. We’ll never have a shortage of problems. That’s life. 

All of this information we have access to is fine. It helps us think about the future and, oftentimes, it helps us be better prepared for what may come.

But here’s the rub: You always have a choice about how you react to anything — bad news included. The top producers in the mortgage industry — or any industry for that matter — always choose to think about solutions over any other possible reaction to news. And the losers? They just see huge obstacles and excuses. Instead of being motivated by mountains, they are defeated by their own thoughts.

Embrace discomfort

Here’s a trick you can start using today. Every time you hear words like “problem,” “difficulty,” “hurdle,” “obstacle,” etc., replace them with the word “motivator.” Soon, it will be an automatic reaction that not only immediately starts you thinking about solutions, but also boosts your mood.

Navy Seals learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The more-colorful phrase they use for this process is “embrace the suck.” In one of their exercises, they link arms with their classmates and stand, sit, or lie in the frigid Pacific Ocean until early-stage hypothermia begins to set in. This is where they learn to embrace the suck.

Discomfort comes in many forms. When you embrace that as a reality you increase the size of your comfort zone. And who doesn’t want to be more comfortable? Embracing discomfort also can make you become more confident and gain momentum to face even larger challenges.

So, after you learn to embrace the suck and thrive no matter what the headlines say, what specifically can you do to improve your business during the rest of 2017? What are the solutions? Following are a few ideas.

Think multichannel

You need to keep your name in front of prospects. To do this, tap as many ways as possible to increase the number of people who can learn about you and your business.

All of these channels can provide future business:  Realtor referrals, past-client referrals, direct mailings, online marketing to promote your website, e-mailing, phoning, holding networking lunch-and-learn presentations and presenting first-time homebuyer presentations. Also, be sure to network at appropriate events, write articles for industry trade magazines, speak at industry conferences and volunteer at association events.

Focus on the money

Businesses related to the real estate industry can make it through recessions. How? Think back to 2008 during the Great Recession. People were still buying and selling houses in 2008, and refinancing, too. But many in the industry focused on all the foreclosures instead of the people who were actually still buying, selling, refinancing, investing and renting.

Keep your eyes on where the action is and where the money is going instead of getting caught up in the negatives. News can scare us or motivate us — how we interpret it is our choice. The headline “Home Sales Down for Third Quarter in a Row,” can also be read as: “Slower Home Sales Lead to More Refinances.”

Question past clients

You’ve heard this a million times, but to improve and grow your business, you must stay in touch with past clients. What you may not have heard is this particular reason why: to ask questions.

Your past clients are a gold mine of information about how you can be better at your job and grow your business. Ask questions and listen intently to learn what they were seeking in mortgage services. Then use that feedback to strengthen your sales presentations and better position your long-term efforts to get more customers.

Take care of yourself

Unfortunately, we all let tough times get the better of us sometimes. If you take time to take care of yourself regularly, you will make it through those trying times.

Keep your motivation high by setting a daily goal you can reach, and acknowledge the achievement. This creates momentum to reach higher goals. Learn to catch yourself when you’re thinking in negative ways and replace those unproductive feelings with positive thoughts.


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