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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   April 2018

Cash in on the Homebuying Season

Prosperity happens when you execute plans to become successful

r_2018-04_smith_spot.jpgThe 2018 spring and summer homebuying season promises to be a prosperous one for the housing industry. Still relatively low interest rates and a booming economy are fueling an explosion in home sales and new housing starts across the country.

Thousands of people are applying for mortgage loans every day. Those originators who are positively positioned to capitalize on new business will find more customers, close more loans and make more money than everyone else.

If you plan to profit from this seasonal upswing in activity, there are some actions you should take to maximize your opportunities. It starts with making sure you get out of the office.

Don’t get bogged down

Spending your day sitting at your desk studying a guideline manual or reading and responding to e-mails is no way to find more buyers. Schedule coffee or lunch appointments with real estate agents. Meet with builders. Show up at community and industry events. Deliver homebuyer workshops. Attend area networking functions. Remember that in a purchase-loan market, the business doesn’t come to you. You must go out and find it.

Babysitting your loans in process is no way to grow your business this spring and summer. Pre-qualify your borrowers upfront, take a thorough loan application, order the documents you need and then focus the majority of your energy and effort on finding the next customer you can help. The less time you spend working on loans you’ve already originated, the more time you’ll have to go out and originate another loan.

Whether you spend two hours or two weeks working on a loan, in the end you get paid the same. That being said, the less time you spend on each file, the better. Extremely difficult transactions and high-maintenance clients can sap your time and energy, keep you stuck in the office and slow down your momentum in this busy buying season. In short: Originate good loans for quality buyers that you know will close.

Market your services

If you maintain a database of personal contacts (past customers, friends, neighbors, etc.) now is the time to remind them that they have a direct connection to the mortgage lending business. Send out a special letter or e-mail, share a recent success story of how you helped someone and offer your advice and expertise to those in your network who may be looking to buy a home this year.

You also should find and work with busy referral partners. Although the real estate industry employs many hard-working and successful people, it also is riddled with thousands of part-time hobbyists and low-volume agents who sell few houses every year and make almost no money. If one component of your business strategy for 2018 is to source more referrals from real estate agents, be sure you are talking with and calling on the busy, full-time, successful ones. All the others will only monopolize your time and hold you back.

Every day you delay executing your sales strategy opens the door for some other mortgage professional. 

The time to invest some money in consumer-direct advertising is during the busy homebuying season, when more buyers are in the market than any other time of the year. Consider putting an ad in your local homes-for-sale magazine, your community newspaper, or run a spot on a real estate cable-TV channel. Let people know about you and your services, and that you want to help them get qualified to purchase a home. For an outlay of just a few hundred dollars — or even less — you may generate several new leads and loans.

In addition, even in today’s high-tech world, coupon marketing continues to be an effective way to increase sales. Just look through your Sunday newspaper to see hundreds of examples of this. Print coupons offering $250 or $500 off a borrower’s closing costs through the end of the summer, and mail the coupons to your database.

You can send coupons to people you’ve pre-qualified, or give a few to your favorite real estate agents to pass along to their buyers. People love saving money, and although you may have to subtract the discount out of your commission check, these coupons may create additional loans you would have never received otherwise.

See the big picture

The housing market is hot, so this is no time to be coming in to work late, leaving early, or cutting out at noon on Friday. The amount of time you put into your job every day often correlates to your loan production results every month.

Work a full 40-hour week, maybe even more. Get to the office before everyone else to get a jump start on your to-do list. Stay late some days to make follow-up phone calls. Stop by open houses on Sundays. Time is money, and those who invest the most time in their careers are usually the ones who make the most money.

Also, it pays to realize that when you set your sights on closing three or four loans a month, that’s where you will likely end up. When you set your sights on closing eight to 10 loans a month, that’s likely where you’ll end up. This promises to be big year for home sales and new housing starts, and one that very well could be your best year ever — if that’s how you play it.

There are loan originators across the country right now funding $5 million to $10 million worth of mortgages every month. They play the game big. They think big, act big and take big risks to get big results. Follow their lead. Raise the bar, raise your expectations, and you’ll raise your results and your income at the same time.

•  •  •

Some loan originators are professional procrastinators. They have great ideas and ambitions, but they perpetually put off implementing. This year’s big buying season has already begun, and every day you delay executing your spring and summer sales strategy opens the door for some other mortgage professional to step in and steal your business.

Act now, right away, today. Don’t think any more about what you are going to do — just do it! Capitalize on one of the most promising mortgage markets we have seen in years. The sooner you get started, the better.


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