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The hardest thing to teach a loan officer - without question, it's how to say no!

National Mortgage Professional
Jul 13, 2005

The hardest thing to teach a loan officer - without question, it's how to say no!Blair Hansonclosing loans, tips, strategy Learning how and when to say no will be as important to you as any other tip, tactic or technique you learn along the way. Saying "no" will make you more money than low interest rates. But if you are like me, "no" is a very difficult word to pronounce. In my case, it used to sound like this most of the time: "Sure! You betcha! No problem!" Lesson One: The Pooper Scooper "How about letting me take a crack at one that Kelly from the bank can't do?" Have you ever said that? Well, stop! It's a terrible way to start a relationship and here's why How many times do you get a second chance to make a first impression? If you answered "never," then you're correct. If all you're doing is picking up Kelly's dirty laundry, what kind of success rate are you likely to have? It's not likely to be very high. Instead of doing this, from now on just form the letter "L" with your thumb and forefinger, place it squarely in the middle of your forehead and excuse yourself from the conversation. I promise it will be just as effective. The reason most loan officers say this sort of thing is that the philosophy really looks good on paper. You assume that if you can take one of Kelly's rejects and turn it into a commission check for Trixie at Gold Nugget Realty, she'll be so impressed that she'll immediately realize her mistake and fire Kelly in favor of you. Sounds good on paper, right? So does socialism ("Let's share everything!"). And you saw how that turned out. Let me explain something to you When it's all said and done, Trixie will form her opinion of you by how well and how smoothly her very first transaction with you goes. All other transactions in the future will only serve to enhance whatever reputation you created during your very first deal. In other words, you will forever sleep in the bed you make for yourself today. What? How can this be? Why won't she appreciate you for delivering her a previously non-existent commission check on a silver platter? Here's why The really tough deals never go smoothly. So, what type of first experience have you left her with? Let's see how your "Sure! You betcha! No problem" strategy plays out at Gold Nugget Realty. "Hi Trixie, how're you doing?" asks Gary the Greenpea agent. "Now is not a good time, Gary," replies Trixie. Looking stressed, she's obviously perturbed about something. "What's wrong?" Don't fault Gary. He hasn't yet learned when to run away. "Oh, I gave a deal to Blair Hanson from M3. He's been relentless. He's been marketing to me for months. So, I referred some buyers to him that Kelly from the bank said she couldn't approve. I decided to give Blair a shot and it has turned into a nightmare." "Really? I thought that guy was a real pro," Gary replies. "Me too. He was really impressive, but it's just the same as always all bark and no bite." "What do you mean?" "At first, I was pleasantly surprised. He found a way to qualify the borrowers for a new program he has. That was great, but ever since then it's been a mess," says Trixie. "Gosh Trixie, I'm sorry to hear that." And he is, because Gary likes you. "Yeah, me too. I wasted two weekends with them and now they're so stressed out that they call me almost every day. I should have taken Kelly's advice and moved on." "You mean, it's not going to close?" The mortal sin of the mortgage guy! "I don't know, maybe, but it seems every time the phone rings it's Blair telling me about some new problem that's 'Just come up." "Well, problems do happen, Trixie." "Sure, but when I deal with Kelly things always go smoothly." Ouch! Fatal blow! "Well, at least if it closes, you'll have a commission check in your hands that you wouldn't have had before." Gary is a new guy and doesn't realize what he has just said is the essence of "new guy" naiveté. "That's true, but I bet I could have sold three houses in the time that I've spent on this one deal." Trixie understands the value of her time. Do you? "Man, that's tough," says Gary who's starting to see the light himself. "Let me know how it goes?" "Sure," says Trixie. And she will! And that's the last thing that you want. Did you see what just happened there? Not only is Trixie gone, but you've also endangered your reputation with the entire office. If this is your first deal with Gold Nugget Realty, you might as well start looking for another office to call on. You're dead there. Breaking into an office is tough and when all you're looking for is a chance to get your foot in the door, it's tough to say no. So, you walk in one day, start doing your thing and sure enough, that agent you've been targeting calls you over to his desk. Then he'll reach into his bottom drawer, way in the back, pulls out a file, blows an ancient cloud of dust off it and says, "Here you go kid. Knock yourself out." Most new guys will think you've gotten your first deal in that office. Possibly. But in my case, I found out the hard way that most of the time I had just gotten my last. Don't misunderstand me doing tough deals on a regular basis is part of the job. You'll see at least as many tough ones in your lifetime as you will easy ones. Maybe more. But that kind of deal should never be your first deal with an agent! If you have any doubt about the validity of my words of wisdom, try it yourself. You probably will anyway. I know I sure did. The truth is I lost more agents over loans that closed, than loans that didn't. So, don't become the local "Pooper Scooper." It's a tough way to make a living. Besides, there's a much better way to get your foot in the door. It's a professional way to ask for business from that agent who "already has a loan officer," without having to lower yourself to begging for anyone's rejects. Next time, just ask for a chance to compete fair and square. Try this ... "I already have a loan officer," says Trixie. "Of course you do, and I appreciate your loyalty. With all the time, effort and resources I'll be putting into building our business together, it's comforting to know that I can earn the same amount of loyalty from you as well." And now for the closer ... "I have an idea. Why don't we let the clients decide? From now on, instead of giving your clients just one card, why not hand them two? Give them one from Kelly and one from me. That way, you'll be giving your clients the chance to choose whom they like best. Since the cream always rises to the top, eventually you'll come to see which one of us is having the greatest impact on your success. And when that happens, your choice will be easy ... won't it?" As you're saying this, you're smiling brightly, nodding your head enthusiastically and holding out a few of your cards for Trixie to take. And more often than not, she will. See how much better that sounds? And, it works better too. In 15 seconds, you've made the kind of lasting impression that fat pipelines are made of, and best of all, you can put away your shovel No one would ever mistake a pro like you for a "Pooper Scooper." Blair Hanson is a national sales trainer with IndyMac Bank and the author of "The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Long-Term Real Estate Agent Relationships." He can be reached at (202) 295-6371 or e-mail "A HREF="mailto:blair.hanson@indymacbank.com">blair.hanson@indymacbank.com.
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