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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   August 2018

Run to Daylight in a Competitive Mortgage Industry

Originators, like sports stars, need discipline and skill to reach their goals

­­Professional athletes must stick to a disciplined training regimen and develop skills to advance in the major leagues. Do you think anything is different in the mortgage industry?

Originators are the players on the field for their company, promoting its products and delivering its message. They must maintain a professional mindset in everything they do, from how they talk to clients to how they dress on the job. In this sense, the mortgage industry is like a sport — only the best mortgage professionals make the top 1 percent, 5 percent or 10 percent of producing originators.

The top-producing professionals take their careers seriously by learning new products, new ways to present that product (not selling), how they carry themselves (not going to the office in a tank top and shorts) and how to explain what to expect to first-time home-buyers who are nervous and stressed-out.

There is no offseason for top sport athletes. They continue to train all year long. Likewise, originators are always open for business and must continue to train and develop their skills on a daily basis. Taking down time will land you on a new team, if you find one that will hire you.

Drive for success

You must wake up with a purpose in mind to learn a loan program that will benefit your borrowers, develop a new lead that will drive more borrowers your way and meet with people who will advance your career to the major leagues.

Surround yourself with other professionals who have the drive to continue to improve themselves daily. Standing around low-producing originators will only drag you down to their level. Minor league loan officers complain about their company’s rates, processing, underwriting, fees and more. The list goes on and on. Top producers typically have tenure with their current company, they like their team, the products, process and underwriting flow.

Originators are the players on the field for their company, promoting its products and delivering its message. 

Want to become a top producer or add one to two more closed loans to your monthly numbers? Think and act like a top athlete. Go into the office and block some time for learning a new product, to understand how to originate a better loan, or to develop a new skill set that will help you earn more leads.

Training an hour a day on a new or existing skill will make you a better loan originator. You’re in the office anyway, why don’t you learn a new loan product like the Freddie Mac HomeOneSM home loan program, which allows for a 3 percent downpayment for first-time homebuyers. Be the first on the field with the HomeOneSM program in your local market.

Sign up for newsletters from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or the U.S. departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture or Veterans Affairs. That way, every time those organizations update a program or come out with a new one, you’ll be alerted.

Keep a folder on your desk so you can refer to a program that you need to continue training on, like the Federal Housing Administration’s 203K rehab loan, which allows homebuyers to finance up to $35,000 to repair or improve a home. Become the professional expert on FHA 203K loans in your market. That way local real estate agents, small builders, home remodelers, contractors, buyers and home-owners will know where to turn for answers.

Develop new ways to present a product like the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development home loan program. Maybe you can help a real estate agent realize that the loan can extend to one of their current listings or inform a buyer that they can purchase a home with no money down.

Look the part

As of late, it seems more and more transactions are completed online, over the phone or by e-mail. Still, originators do meet face to face with borrowers, especially if they focus their efforts close to the office. Dress for success in case your borrower stops by unexpectedly to drop something off. The last thing you want to happen is to meet them in the lobby of the office in shorts and flip flops.

There is no second chance to deliver that first impression. They just might think you do not take your career seriously.

Look at the top producers in your office or local market. More than likely, they dress every day for success and purpose. That is a mindset. You dress the way you work. Originators are dealing with one of the biggest — if not the biggest — financial decisions in their client’s lifetime. They want a professional to assist them and treat them as a valued client.

There is no offseason in this industry. Train and develop new skills that will have other companies fighting to have you on their team. Recruiters notice professional originators in a particular market and try to entice them to join their team. That is a good feeling, knowing you are in high demand.

•  •  •

The mortgage industry offers a great career for those looking to put in the work. There is the potential to fail or succeed, but it’s all up to you. The more an originator devotes to their development, the better chance they will have at a long career with a sustainable income.

Surround yourself with other top professionals who have the same goals as you do. Learn from them, maybe even ask to them to mentor you to jump start your career. Stop thinking and acting like you’re in the minor leagues. Work where the professionals are, in the majors.


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