Residential Magazine

Build Your Mortgage Business by Developing Yourself

Establishing better habits, even reading and exercising more, will help your career

By Nathan Rufty

As a mortgage originator, you must develop yourself in many ways, from learning new loan programs and more effective ways to communicate to establishing good habits and daily discipline for such things as time management and personal growth.

Originators who truly work on these skills and implement these daily habits will see a steady stream of business. That’s the foundation that you can build on when it comes to sustaining a long and successful career.

Do not be the originator who has many traits and is a master of none. You want to be the local expert about a particular loan programs such as the Federal Housing Administration’s 203K Loan or the Home Renovation Loan.

You do not go to Subway and expect to order a cheeseburger. Understand what your company specializes in when it comes to loan programs. If it is traditional financing, then do not promote yourself as a jumbo lender.

Hone your skills

Communication skills are as simple as picking up the phone to call or text your client or real estate agent on the status of the loan. One of the biggest surveyed complaints that borrowers have about the loan process is poor communication by the mortgage originator. Communicating poorly with your borrower will not earn you a referral or repeat business.

With all the technology we have at our disposal with cells phones, computers and automation, there should be no reason why we cannot communicate with all parties on the process of the loan.

Writing skills is another area you should work to improve. Poor writing skills will reflect poorly on your attention to detail, even in texts and e-mails. Proof read your text messages and e-mails before hitting send to ensure proper grammar and sentence flow and that you are conveying what you hope to communicate.

As mortgage originators, we cannot control the interest rates or housing prices, but we can control how we treat our clients and how we relay positive or negative information. Consumers (even you) like to buy, not be sold.

So, instead of making a sales pitch, next time present options to your borrower and let them make an informed purchase. Having your borrower select the right loan option based on their goals will make for a better process for yourself and your client.

Build better habits

Developing good daily habits will set you on a course for success. Make it a point to be at your office and at your desk ready to work at 8 a.m. Send out morning updates by 9 a.m. Write five thank-you cards by 10 a.m. Work on marketing from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Eat lunch at your desk while reading a self-help book until 12 p.m. Spend the remaining work afternoon developing new contacts and connections. Don’t let anything interrupt your daily routine.

Imagine what your business would look like if you stuck to a daily habit for 30 days. Would you create more opportunities to close more loans?

Most originators are self-employed and have to generate their own business. So, manage your daily activities wisely. Working on unproductive activities will hinder your business plan.

There is a reason you wake up in the morning and get ready for work by dressing the part. Getting up and treating your business like a nine-to-five job (even though you are self-employed) will have positive outcomes and build that foundation for a sustainable business.

Once you are in the office, do not hang around negative co-workers who blame everything around them for why their numbers are not where they need to be. That will only take time away on positive projects you should be doing. Focus on you.

Habits that you can develop when it comes to personal growth include working out, eating better, reading more and dressing better. These habits will spill over to your business in a positive way. Working out and eating better will give you more energy, making it easier to get to the office early and start your day on the right foot. Your mind will be sharp, and you will be ready for the day’s challenges and prepared to face them head on.

Block some time throughout the day to read about a particular loan program, a book on self-improvement, an article on how to improve your time-management or presentation skills. Try to never close the day with-out learning something new. Your business will thank you for it.

Dressing the part of a mortgage professional is not that hard. It is easy to go into the office in a T-shirt and blue jeans. Go to the office ready to meet clients every day, even if you do not have an appointment set. Be prepared for an unexpected one. That means you need to skip casual Fridays. Measure your production for a week going into the office with how you currently dress and then step it up one or two notches and see which style produces more results.

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Developing relevant, productive skills and habits will grow and sustain your business for many years to come. There are many mortgage originators who have made this business a career, meaning 20-plus years. That’s the foundation that will help them weather the ups and downs of the economy, which comes with the territory.


  • Nathan Rufty

    Nathan Rufty is a mortgage coach and trainer with Mortgage Marketing Pros, a company that works with loan officers to develop marketing plans that increase leads and closed loans. Mortgage Marketing Pros was created by a producing loan officer and a master marketer to teach mortgage professionals how to create their own businesses without relying so much on one or two streams that can dry up without warning.

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