How to Succeed in Challenging Markets “Challenge” is an understatement regarding the markets today. Credit is tight, Wall Street flops up and down like a fish out of water and the mortgage industry is still reeling from recent regulations and changes. Difficult? Yes. Challenging? Definitely. Impossible? No Way! Wall Street, the mortgage industry and all business runs in cycles. Sometimes the cycles will run simultaneously, as now, and more often each segment will run independently of other business cycles. What ever the cycle, the time is now to take stock of your business, analyze where you are at and determine what you must do to keep pace with the changing business world. Who’s in charge of your business? Top originators look at themselves as the CEO of their company, no matter who writes their check, who they work for or what the economic environment offers. They continue to be resourceful; always looking to improve their systems, skills, tools, techniques, and strategies. Success demands responsibility; take responsibility for your business to ensure success. Be a student of learning. Spend time learning about market changes and how economic factors influence interest rates. Keep abreast of underwriting and program changes. Study how others around you do business…..what systems work, how do they connect with co-workers and clients. Talk to the top producers in your company as they are the best when it comes to knowledge in the industry. Above all, take time to READ. Read books from the library, read industry reports, read magazines, read newspapers….read everything you can get your hands on to know what is happening in your local area and around the nation. You never can have too much information. Information is knowledge and knowledge will keep you ahead of your competitors. Believe in yourself. Study ways to create new business, observe the current conditions and how they may lead to a new niche. Repackage old marketing ideas and create new ones with a different twist. If you wait at your desk waiting for the phone to ring, or business to walk in the door you will be the last one to close the deal. They say that there are three types of people: those that ask what’s happening, those who talk about what just happened and those who say I’m going to make it happen!! Top producers live in the present and work towards the future. They don’t regress backwards and think about the “good ole days”. They know the past is gone and look at the current mortgage market as a time to create new frontiers and opportunities to create new relationships. Realizing that there are many “orphaned Realtors® and clients” out in the market place, they will prospect to find the great ones. Top loan originators work hard year around. Fall is the time when many of their competitors are taking the last quarter of the year off. By the time vacations, holidays, and year end sneaks up, there seems to be little incentive to keep pushing the envelope in a slow housing market. The last 90 days of the year is the best time to accelerate your opportunities, cement your salesmanship and guarantee a successful end of year as well as an incredible start for the New Year. Develop relationship selling. Relationship selling means partnering with complimentary professionals that may be used as referral sources. Look for a professional referral partner that you know well, that you truly like and can trust that they will handle your clients (and referrals) with the same integrity and professionalism that you do. When it comes to clients, both you and the referral partner should believe in the golden rule; treating customers in a way that they would want to be treated by providing accurate information, communicating regularly and returning calls promptly. Top producers create loyalty with their clients after closing. A study by the Mortgage Bankers Association reflected some interesting statistics. Only 16% of clients who purchased their current home or refinanced last year went back to their original lender. 89% responded that if the loan officer would have stayed in touch with them, they most likely would have used them the next time they had mortgage needs. Top originators understand the importance of staying in touch with their clients after closing. They have systems in place that touch the client regularly through mail/email, phone calls and have created opportunities to see their clients face to face on a regular basis. They’ve earned the right to receive referrals by creating raving fans with those that they’ve done business with in the past. Are you a top producer or a struggling loan officer? In this kind of market, the top producer thrives and in many cases will have the best year ever in their career. Business cycles will continue to flow, but will not deter a successful top producer. Take a close, hard look at your business performance, close the gaps and you too will join the ranks of being the best of the best in your industry. Tom Ninness is Vice President/Regional Production Manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Denver, CO. He is also the President of Summit Champions, Inc. and creator of the “The 90 Day Journey to Your Sales Success”, a powerful 90 day action plan for the sales professional. To learn more about The 90 Day Journey and Summit Champions, visit www.summitchampions.com or contact Tom at [email protected] Office: 303-840-0753.