Residential Magazine

A Change of Mindset Could Boost Your Bottom Line

Gain momentum by focusing on revenue-producing tasks like generating leads

By Ben Buckwalter

How many times have you found yourself interacting online with the hotshot Realtor every mortgage originator is after, the one that you keep hoping will send you referrals but doesn’t? Tasks like these make you feel like you’re doing something, but they’re not actually helping you.

You need to learn the difference between tasks that create momentum (such as prospecting) and tasks that dig holes (like mundane administrative work) if you want to increase your income. Prospecting is the lifeblood of your business, and if you make it a goal to talk to at least two Realtors and five to 10 prospects per day, you’re going to close more deals. 

Excuses will flood your mind and tell you all of the reasons why talking to two real estate agents and five to 10 prospects each day isn’t possible. You have to push through it because your mind is lying to you. It’s feeding you excuses to keep you where you’re comfortable and, if you give in, you’ll stay right where you are. 

Adjust outlook

You’ve probably heard or even said some of these common phrases: “Zillow and LendingTree are horrible.” “The economy is terrible.” “No one is looking for houses.” “My referral partners are letting me down.” You have to ask yourself whether these excuses are more important than your financial freedom. You must decide whether to live with limitations or be great.

It’s actually super simple to leave this mindset in the past. Follow the 80/20 rule. Loan officers should be spending 80% of their time doing the 20% of work that makes them the most money. The problem is that the majority of mortgage originators spend 80% of their time on monotonous tasks that could easily be delegated instead of focusing on money-making activities. 

If you’re spending time on tasks that someone else would gladly take care of for $10 to $15 an hour, then you are shooting yourself in the foot. Even early in your career, instead of having the mentality of, “I can’t afford to hire someone,” you need to shift your mentality to, “I can’t afford not to hire support.” You are not saving money by doing monotonous tasks yourself. You are losing money on anything that takes away the time you could spend prospecting or closing deals. 

If you’re thinking to yourself that you don’t have time to prospect, you aren’t properly prioritizing your day. If you can check your e-mail, you can prospect. If you can reply to grandma’s Facebook post at 10 a.m., then you can prospect. If you can watch Netflix, Hulu or “The Bachelor,” then you can prospect. 

The sooner you delegate the activities and tasks that aren’t related to actively closing deals, the more freedom you’ll have to prospect smarter. If you don’t have a lot of extra money to pay someone, then get on the phone, close a couple of deals and then hire someone. 

Generate leads

If you’re like most mortgage originators, you’ve been depending on others to bring your money to the table, and that’s a dangerous game. Utilizing others as your main strategy is risky and unreliable. It should not be your main strategy for leveraging and growing your income. 

You need your own system to generate qualified prospects. The most important piece of advice you can hear is, originators who can generate their own leads are the most powerful people in the business. 

Generating your own leads means that you control the gas pedal to your career and life. No more paying for overpriced, recycled Zillow leads or sharing LendingTree leads with 10 other loan officers who each contacted the lead before you even saw the notification. No more wasting thousands of dollars on retainers for agencies to generate not-so-great leads. 

Here are a few ways you can organically generate your own leads: cold calling, warm calling and creating content. Cold calling is a great way for you to immediately make connections with prospects. If you’re a little nervous about cold calling, try warm calling or ringless voicemail. Warm calling is when you get a prospect to give you their phone number first (usually by providing them some kind of gift or valuable information in exchange for their contact details), and then you follow up with a quick call to assess their interests and needs. 

If you’re a little intimidated to talk to people, don’t worry — ringless voicemail is a game changer. You can take a lead’s information and send a message straight to their voicemail. That way, when they call you back, you know they want to talk to you about moving forward in the process. 

Creating content is one of the best ways to generate your own leads because you get to capitalize on your personality and have fun. This method is all about educating your audience while you’re entertaining them. This can be done in video, livestream, podcast or written form — whichever medium works best for you to connect with your audience. 

You just want to be sure that whatever you create, it’s something that helps your audience, shows them you have the answers and has a call to action that makes sense for the next stage in your relationship. This allows your prospect to get to know you a little bit before you speak one on one.


If you can shift your mindset, focus on the money-making actions that move the needle, hire someone to do the mundane tasks and build a lead-generating system that keeps you independent and growing, then you will achieve the success you’re seeking. Are you willing to make the changes to get there?


  • Ben Buckwalter

    Ben Buckwalter is an award-winning sales strategist and co-founder of Loan Pro Nation, helping mortgage professionals close more deals with less effort in record time. Buckwalter has trained hundreds of loan officers, and his team turned $2 million-plus in ads into more than 100,000 leads and millions of dollars in closed loans last year alone.

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