Dear BrianBrian SacksAdvice,Marketing,Strategy,Time If you have a marketing question, please e-mail Brian Sacks at [email protected] Please include your name, city and state, and look in the next issue of The Mortgage Press for your response. If your question is chosen, you will receive a special informational guide, 35 Ways to Competition-Proof Your Business. Dear Brian: Most of your articles deal with marketing strategies. However, my biggest challenge is that I don't have the time to market at all. Do you have any ideas? --T. Kerchski, Pennsylvania The following was my response ... Dear T.: Your problem is very common to all loan officers: We head out, bring in a great deal of loans and then we spend the next three months trying to get them closed. Once we do close them, we look around and say, "Oh no! I better start bringing in some new loans," and we repeat the cycle all over again. There are many issues that contribute to this cycle that have simple solutions, such as pipeline management, but this column is a not long enough for an in-depth discussion. Another factor is letting your business control you, rather than you controlling your business. This can also be fixed when you put the right strategies in place. What I would like to cover in this column are two other critical pieces of the problem. As an industry, I think we have it all wrong. We are rewarded and praised based upon the volume of loans we close. The more we close, the better off we are, right? I operated this way for many years. But then I woke up. By becoming an expert in a particular niche, you actually close fewer loans and make more money per loan. My niche, of course, is working with buyers who have had a bankruptcy or other credit issue. By needing to close fewer loans, I am able to have more free time to spend on marketing. Each year, you should plan your marketing campaigns in advance. I usually do this in December. That way, marketing can be put on autopilot because you know the strategies and have put the systems in place to implement them. Finally, start working on your business, not just in it. Let me ask you a question: Let's say you have a loan application today at 4:00 p.m. for a $1 million loan application where your fee is two points. What would prevent you from taking that application? Well, every time you don't market your business, you are missing out on million-dollar applications just waiting to happen. My advice is to take out your planner and allot a minimum of two times each week to market your services. Wishing you success. Brian Sacks is a national loan officer success trainer and a national expert on working with buyers who have had bankruptcy or other credit issues. He has originated more than 5,000 loans over the last 20 years. His courses for loan officers, "How to Close More Loans, Make More Money and Have a Life" and "How to Increase Sales With Buyers Who Have Bankruptcy and Other Credit Issues," are being used by hundreds of loan officers across the country. You can sign up for his free loan officer success tips newsletter at www.loanofficersuccess.com. If you would like to increase sales and obtain hot leads at the same time, visit Brian's newest Web site at www.yesyoucangetamortgage.com and click on the "Earn Money" link.