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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   August 2018

Follow These Footsteps to Origination Success

There are many readily available, free training options that can provide you with a competitive edge

Follow These Footsteps to Origination Success

With constant changes in our industry, how can you be sure that your team is up to date with all the new regulations and programs? As a mortgage professional, you have several no-cost options available. True, it will take time to research; however, the tools available will assist you and your company in educating your team.

Income training, marketing strategies and a variety of programs as well as available down-payment resources can all be located online. Most lenders provide monthly training on everything from marketing to current products. The path to succeed at training your team is already there. It’s just a matter of finding the right footprints to follow. 

The first step is sending out a survey to your staff. It is important to ask detailed questions about the training your team needs and measure their strengths and areas to improve. Several survey programs can be found online to generate the test. 

Once you create and send out the test, you will have the ability to create courses to train in areas where your team is lacking experience. Mortgage-insurance companies also provide no-cost online training. An especially useful training area might focus on evaluating and calculating income. All mortgage originators have felt the sting of calculating income incorrectly only to lose face with a borrower who gets approved somewhere else.

Other than income, you also can find training in marketing strategies to promote your business. There is training available for almost every part of the mortgage process. 

Make a plan

Do your mortgage loan officers know Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines like the back of their own hand? Do they know what the basics are? Product knowledge is critical when trying to qualify borrowers. Try to generate a library of product training within your proprietary online learning system. This system would be great to have available online 24 hours a day and accessible on any device, including a cell phone or a tablet. 

Another way to help originators succeed is to create sales goals and establish an accountability partner, such as a manager or fellow team member. It is all about the tools of success. With a colleague who holds their team accountable with positivity and genuine compassion, your sales team will excel to the top. By learning more about your goals and structuring good habits, you are providing a skill set for future aspirations. The goals can be both career and personal, but the key is getting the goals down on paper along with a timeline.

Something that a company or an originator should do is create a detailed one-year business plan. Too often, the strategy is haphazard. It takes self-discipline to plan over a year. Think of it this way: You are going on vacation and you have no plan, no travel guides or a map of where you are going. Yep, you are lost. Do not let yourself as a mortgage originator get lost, or worse, lose a new client to another broker or lender. 

By creating a business plan, you are essentially providing a detailed map of your goals. Too often, loan officers hit the road with no plan of action. Set out with a business plan and watch how far you will go. 

Time management 

One of the biggest obstacles for originators is to be able to come up with the time needed to do all that is required to succeed at the job. Approach it this way: Each week includes 168 hours. A full-time job accounts for 40 of those hours, leaving 128 hours a week. Assume people sleep eight hours a night or 56 hours a week. That leaves 72 open hours a week. 

What do you do with that time? Most people with a family say the same thing. After dinner, there is homework, laundry and preparing for the next busy day. There’s little time for anything else. Here is the kicker: You do have time. It’s just the challenge of pulling yourself away from less-productive pastimes, such as YouTube cat videos, Instagram or Facebook. 

Sit down, either individually or as a team, and log the time and various activities on your current weekly schedule. Once you have the activity log, start by replacing activities that are essentially wasting time with productive activities that will assist you in reaching your business goals. The great thing about this approach is you are developing time awareness. Everybody is guilty of losing hours to online static. 

Next on the list is a client database that incorporates great contact-management software. Many mortgage originators can use another tool to assist in reaching out to clients while they are working on other business-building activities. With a great contact-management system in place, mortgage originators will never miss a birthday, anniversary or a special date, and their clients will notice these small touches. 

The last piece of advice: A consumer will select a mortgage professional based on their perception of that person’s experience and diligence. Originators will have more success if they are trained on how to create a presentation, speak and provide details of the products available. The presentation should be recorded and viewed by the presenter and the manager. The great thing about viewing a recording of yourself is you learn where you would like to improve. 

Once the above is put into place, review the progress regularly individually or as a team. Are you struggling to keep to the schedule? How many calls, face-to-face meetings and open houses are you making or attending? Consistency is key. This is what you hear and see daily with originators. 

•  •  •  

The mortgage originator needs to focus and not listen to outside static. Rates are high, housing inventory is tight and the competition is fierce. Every morning, start your day off with a positive video. TED Talks, YouTube and other online platforms offer motivational videos at no cost. It is the drive that will create your future success.


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