Think of success as something over there, across a fast-moving river. That success could be more closings, more pre-qualifications, more leads, more deals, but it is unattainable because the water prevents easy access to it. What creates access to success? The answer is deceptively simple — building bridges.
Mortgage professionals face a monumental task in that they need to guide their clients through one of the most significant purchases of their lifetimes while doing so in a chaotic economy, where competition is high and resources are never enough. That’s why the industry attracts some of the smartest, most creative and heartiest of people.
Those also are the same qualities that can cause these professionals to never experience success. Here’s why.
Originators know that a good business and marketing strategy builds bridges. Social media marketing, for example, is a strategy to attract new potential customers, so an originator might start implementing a social media marketing strategy.
Then, they hear from their mortgage brokers association that mining their database is perhaps an even better approach to generating leads. They drop the social media marketing strategy to start working on the database.
Then their friend says that video marketing has been working well, so the originator stops working on the database plan to learn about video marketing. That is, until they read an article that says they can really kill it by teaching classes or calling real estate agents or posting properties online.
Chasing new strategies like this can create a perpetual loop of busy activity that does not get the originator the desired results. Each strategy can get results, without question. Being an intelligent bunch, mortgage professionals recognize that fact.
Too often, the originator will stop building the bridge they are currently working on to start pursuing that new strategy and begin building a new bridge. Now they have put in a lot of work, time and resources but only have a bunch of half-built bridges to show for it.
How many trips can be made across a half-built bridge? Zero. Half a bridge does not allow money to cross it because it is impossible to cross a half-built bridge. Even a bridge that is 98 percent finished is still only an incomplete bridge, because it isn’t crossable.
Every originator has done this at some time in their career. It happens because this concept — finishing your bridges one at a time — does not get taught in loan-officer school. The hardest teacher is lived experience; ideally, learning about this one-bridge-at-a-time concept here will reduce time in the school of hard knocks.
Stay the course
More than that, the originator is risking their chance for business opportunities because of this stopping and starting on different strategies. It is far less productive to change focus than to simply stay the course on one consistent course of action until completion.
In fact, a person can lose up to 40 percent of their productivity when they multitask, according to the American Psychological Association. This behavior means people are slower when task-switching and can be more prone to making errors, especially when it comes to new or complex tasks.
So why do mortgage professionals believe that starting a new strategy is better than finishing a current one? In some cases, originators are looking for a greater perceived reward.
Others need the stimulation that comes from variety. Sometimes there is a challenge when it comes to having focus, while others simply believe they’re good at multitasking, which is a misperception, according to experts.
The other thing that can happen is FOMO, or the fear of missing out. That can be the fear of missing out on a new collaboration, a hot strategy or a something else that is attractive to an originator.
Someone may invite them to build a bridge through sponsoring a conference, for example, or by taking advantage of a new advertising strategy that has a time-limited incentive for participation. In that moment, it is vital to remember the importance of finishing the current bridge before switching to a new one.
When an originator finishes their first strategy, money starts flowing across the bridge and into their pockets. They start feeling good about their accomplishment and the results that are happening.
It provides an incentive to work on future strategies, because of the tangible benefits that come from that first success. It also reduces the overwhelming pressure that comes from having too many projects going at the same time.
Even more, now they have new assets and resources, which means they can hire someone to help them finish one of the other bridges while they might get to work on visualizing how to build a third bridge. So, Bridge One is in place, bringing results, while Bridge Two is outsourced for completion and Bridge Three is being planned. All that momentum is predicated on finishing one bridge at a time, especially the first bridge.
Frankly, it just gets to be more fun to build these bridges when one of these strategies is working. After a while, the originator has six (or more) bridges that are all producing results — leads, pre-quals, closings, deals, money, new loans, referrals and more.
This is what the super-rich do, the people who are at the top of the economic pile. They have deals working and get things in their pipeline that produce closings for them, and they have help doing it. They can get help because their bridges are all producing for them. As a result, their finished bridges are investments that work to bring them multiple strings of leads on an ongoing basis.
One of the biggest barriers to finishing a bridge is all the new bright, shiny strategies that show up to distract and seduce the originator. Carry a notebook or have a smartphone task list where those new ideas can be stored until it’s time to consider a new bridge project. Listing the idea there clears the mind, while creating a reference list of new potential bridge investments for when the time is right.
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The secret to success is finishing the bridge. Stop creating and then abandoning half-built bridges. Build one bridge, or strategy, to completion before going on to the next one.