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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2017

Outselling the Competition

Get out of the office if you want a part of the hottest market in years

It seems like more and more originators are spending less and less time outside the office. The industry’s once great and powerful sales force is — at many companies — not doing a whole lot of selling. To find out if that could be happening to you, answer these five questions:

  1. How many face-to-face sales calls do you make in a typical week?
  2. How many solid business-referral relationships do you now own?
  3. How many industry associations are you actively involved with?
  4. How many business-networking events do you attend every month?
  5. How many hours are you spending in the office versus out of the office?

If you are happy with your answers, great. You likely have the results to show for it. It’s no secret that originators who spend more time looking for business always find more opportunities than those who do not.

Time to capitalize

We are in the middle of the biggest homebuying market we’ve seen in 10 years, with real estate demand stretching toward record highs and interest rates still hovering at historic lows. Across the country, top-producing originators are closing as many as 20 to 25 loans per month. How are they doing it? The answer is simple: They know how to sell and they are out there selling.

Right now, while some originators are sitting in their offices, reading e-mails, working on loan files or playing on the internet, top producers are putting their voices or faces in front of prospects. They know that with dozens — if not hundreds — of borrowers in their local market looking for mortgages every day, the originators most likely to find those borrowers are the ones who are out looking for them at the same time

Every moment you wait to pick up that phone, visit a referral client or show up at an event is another potential loan lost .

So, are you ready to get out and get selling? Do you want to find more of those thousands of people applying for home loans every day? Here are a handful of helpful hints to consider:

  • See selling as your job. Your primary responsibility is not to make copies, chase down conditions, read product guidelines, or follow what’s happening in the bond market. Your primary responsibility is to originate, to make mortgage loans. When that fact comes first in your mind, selling comes first in your day.
  • Shift your mindset. Re-order your daily priorities. Recognize that above all else, you are a salesperson, and every salesperson’s No. 1 priority is to find another borrower to help. Everything else comes second. Everything.
  • Make time for prospecting. Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “First Things First,” says we will always make time for the things that are important to us. If prospecting for new business is important to you, you will make time for it. If you don’t, it becomes a “leftover” activity and gets attention only when everything else is caught up, and perhaps never.
    Block out several hours each week on your calendar for prospecting activities like making phone calls, setting up meetings, holding appointments, attending events and delivering group presentations. Things that are planned most often get done. Things that go unplanned are most often forgotten.
  • Set contact goals. Successful loan originators are goal-driven people, and goal-driven people like specific goals to shoot for. That’s where the numbers come into play.
    One proven technique is the “2+2+2 Method,” which calls for making at least two outbound phone calls each day, holding a minimum of two face-to-face meetings with potential or existing referral clients each week, and attending no fewer than two industry-, community- or business-networking events every month.
    That adds up to 40 phone calls, eight one-on-one meetings and two events every month. In the course of a year, this method provides more than 600 pro- active, outbound sales contacts. If you are serious about selling and ready to hold yourself accountable to follow through, adopt this plan. You will find more business, guaranteed.
  • Lose your fear of selling. By and large, many originators don’t spend a lot of time selling because they are afraid. They are afraid of rejection, afraid of failure, and afraid of the possibility of hearing “no.” This fear is costing them countless opportunities and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars each year in lost commission income.
    Selling is inherently a game of risk and reward. Along with the rewards of being a successful originator — money, prestige, job security, etc. — comes an equal amount of risk. Some referral sources won’t be interested in what you can do for them. Some real estate agents will show preference to another originator. Some borrowers will go elsewhere for their home financing.
    That’s all part of the mortgage business and the way the game of selling is played. Get right with that, get over your ego, and go out and sell to somebody.
  • Get started now. The economy is strong, interest rates are incredible and houses are selling like hotcakes. Unemployment is at the lowest level in eight years and consumer confidence is trending at a 16-year high. It may not always be this good. Anyone remember the Great Recession, the collapse of the housing industry and the mortgage meltdown just a few years ago? The time to sell is now. Right now. This week. Today. 

Every moment you wait to pick up that phone, visit a referral client or show up at an event is another potential loan lost to some other originator. Never wait until you are all “caught up” or hold off for the perfect time to get out of the office; it’s never going to happen. The sooner you get started, the better. The business is out there and, as always, the bulk of that business is going to the originators who are out there going after it.

• • •

Many people think today’s top-producing originators are blessed with more loan programs, better rates or faster approval times than everyone else. Although these attributes will contribute positively to anyone’s success, the fact is that the majority of top producers will out-originate and out-earn their peers this year because they are outselling them every day.


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