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Nationwide Lending Support Services--How To Do It

National Mortgage Professional
Aug 08, 2001

Finally Getting to the Real You and Liking You When You Get ThereJohn D. Svirskyrefinance boom, goals, values As many of you read this article, drinking mai tais and coconut daiquiris at the NAMB 2001 Annual Convention and Showcase in Hawaii, I hope you are having a wonderful time relishing in what a financially great first half of the year it has been for the majority of Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Bankers. This month, instead of reviewing a product, I want to share some of my thoughts that will hopefully be thought provoking for you and for me as well. Between October and December of 2000, many mortgage operations were dying and ready to close up shop due to a lack of volume and business. Then, the miracle of low interest rates and a refinance boom were upon us yet again. All of the marketing techniques we had carefully learned and implemented took a back seat to simply picking up the phone and saying yes to our customers--we could refinance their mortgages at the lowest rate with no cost to them and plenty of profit for us. Where are we now? The pace has slowed down a bit, business is still good, but not as frantic as it was earlier in the year. Therefore, this is a great time to stand aside and perform a mental and written review of your operation in its entirety. For me, the process began not with looking at my business, but with looking at my thoughts and beliefs. I am a strong believer in the power of thought. Indulge me as I provide you with some questions that I have asked myself. I suggest that you write the answers to these questions, and if my questions provoke your own questions, than so much the better. Remember--this is your life. Invest the time in yourself--something I found to be the best investment I ever made. If you have trouble giving to yourself, ask yourself why, and for the moment, pretend you are being called in as a $300 an hour coach to help improve your business (nothing but the best for you!). Look at your life right now. Make a list of five items you like about your life and five items you would like to change or improve. For me, this is done with the following categories: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and business. If selecting five mental and five spiritual items is too much for you, then select three items. Give it a great deal of thought before writing anything on paper. Next, write down who your role models were growing up, beginning with your mother and father. What five traits did you observe from them that influenced your life? This means how they lived their lives, not what they told you to do. If you were like me, "Do what I say, not what I do" was important in my family. Look at how your role models and parents lived. What was important to them? What were their goals? What were their values? How did they relate to other people? Using the same role models, what messages did they give you? Did they reinforce that you are terrific and could accomplish anything you set your mind to (you are lucky if this was the case), or did they say "Whatever you touch turns bad," "Whatever Johnny does, do the opposite, for he is always wrong," or "I will show you the right way." Perhaps your role models left you on your own and never helped at all. Whatever your story, write down at least five conscious and subconscious messages you received from your early childhood. Select one or two adults who were your favorites while growing up--people you idolized or looked up to. Do you remember what attributes you liked about them? Write these attributes down. Enough of the past, let us move onto the present. In my opinion, it is great to be conscious of our past and see how it subconsciously influences our present. More important is that we live in the present and make conscious decisions that fulfill our current desires, as opposed to subconsciously fulfilling the unrealized expectations of those who were looked up to while growing up. The way to begin with the present is being honest about your life as it is right now. Are you happy with your married life, children and spiritual beliefs? Do these beliefs sustain you or are they simply words? Does your free time (do your have any?), hobbies, outside work interests and relationship to your business provide for you? Do you put in a great deal of time and energy and receive very little back? Does your business provide you with more money than you can spend, or does it take all of your time and energy and provide you with just enough to pay your bills each month? Be honest--no one needs to see this except for yourself. I do not want you lying to yourself! Look at how you spend your time in business. Do you find this time fulfilling? Sure, we all experience our daily frustrations, but do you like what you are doing, or are you doing it just because the money is good? Is there something else you would rather be doing? I have shared with many people that they should spend 50 percent of their time awake doing what they need in order to make money and the other 50 percent doing what the soul yearns to do, even if it does not produce money. For me, I am a volunteer fireman who loves driving the fire truck to a scene and rescuing people in accidents or dangerous situations. The child in me loves this. I also love to garden-- creating and working in my garden is a great source of relaxation removed from the pressures of being a Mortgage Broker. If these two were not enough, I also love to cook as much as I love to eat. So, I have found vehicles to balance my day as a Mortgage Broker. The operative word here is balance. Most of us fluctuate from one extreme to the other. It is difficult to find balance within the pressures of family, children, business and everything else trying to capture our attention. I found that having "me time" makes be a better person and far more productive. I actually make more money because I fulfill my other needs, such as cooking, gardening or pretending I am a real fireman (something I wanted to be when I was 5 or 6 years old). I have spent a great deal of time looking at my present life and asking myself what I want to change, what I have accomplished and want to take to the next level, and what have I accomplished and can now let go? Often times we do the same thing repeatedly, rather than saying it has been done and move onto something new. Many individuals are more comfortable staying with old patterns--even though they do not like the results--rather than taking risks and trying something new since the results are not guaranteed. An exercise that has changed my life is writing my own obituary. What I mean by this is, how do I want to be remembered? This exercise forced me to own up to what is important in my life. I guarantee you that closing the most mortgage loans was not on top of my list. If The New York Times or your local newspaper wrote a headline, what would it say about you? By looking at what was most important to me, I made a major shift in my life. Now I spend more of my time fulfilling what is important to me. I even found ways to incorporate what I like into my business life. In my case, helping people help themselves has been a primary principle in my life. Therefore, I shifted my business to help a percentage of clients who lack perfect credit and have low incomes. I help clients, who without my help or someone like me who is willing to step outside the box, would not have received a chance at homeownership. Although I do not make the same money on these deals, they have been very fulfilling for me. Another concept I want to share with you is that I do several deals a year for free. I do not charge a fee or yield spread premium. It is a wonderful feeling to help individuals who are spending their last nickel to buy their dream home. The expression on the client's face when I tell them that they do not have to pay a fee is worth any fee that I would normally charge. These are only a few personal examples. They may not be yours, but I challenge you to find what principles you want to be remembered for and live them now. Make them grow into a beautiful garden of accomplishment and happiness. After taking all the time you need to answer the above questions, look at your life impartially. Do nothing for awhile--just let it all sink in. It finally hit me that I am responsible for my life. My thoughts, emotional beliefs and actions (notice I did not say my spoken word since actions speak much louder than words) create my life, as well as the me I am becoming. I am the co-creator of my life and this is empowering, I will do everything that I can to make it a life I want to live and become the person I wish to be. I wish the same for you. So, instead of reviewing a product this month, I am encouraging each of you to review yourself. John D. Svirsky is Director and Technology Chair of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers, a volunteer firefighter, avid cigar enthusiast and has been in business for approximately 20 years. He may be reached at (845) 424-3388 or e-mail [email protected]
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