The Mortgage Motivator: TomorrowRalph LoVuolo Sr., CMCMortgage sales,motivation When you get up to go to work tomorrow, what are you going to feel like? While you're driving to work tomorrow, what will you be thinking about and what emotions are you going to be feeling? Here's what I'm willing to bet: Most of you—the greater majority to be exact; well, maybe even more than that—will feel a combination of panic, worry, wonder, envy, fear and caring. Why all of these negative emotions? Why would people in the greatest business in the world—one that allows us to help our fellow man live a better life and make money while doing so—not be feeling good? Well, I'll tell you what I believe. I believe it's because I have observed you for more than 45 years. You have no sense of your goals, your plans and what to do with yourself every day of your life. You really, for the most part, don't set yourself up to win, you allow yourself to fail or at least be mediocre—at best. It has been my immense pleasure to spend my life in one business, one dream and one sense of who I am. This has been my profession. I have often told the story of when I went to my 20th high school reunion, where about 45 of my fellow graduates were in attendance (having come from a very small private school), and I felt just as professional as the men who were doctors, lawyers, college professors, priests and automobile salesmen. I was and am a professional in the mortgage business. I have worked every day of my life to improve my knowledge in this wonderful industry, and what am I surrounded by? Turkeys. Turkeys who wander into work every day, check their e-mails and voicemails, look over the day's rate sheets, palaver with the person in the cubicle next to them about the next football game or where they're going to go on Friday if they have the money. Don't you want to be a professional? Don't you want to eliminate from your life the quiet desperation that philosophers say most of us live with every day? Don't you want to be in control of your life, your income, your future, your family and your existence? You can be, you know. But all of those things can only be yours if you change, and do it quickly. Recently, I wrote about the perfect storm that has come upon the mortgage industry during the past few months. I wrote of just a couple of ways that can help you navigate out of the storm. But there is something bigger, something so immense that most of us can't even comprehend it. I've been doing training for more than 20 years now, mostly on a small scale. But it is time to take off the gloves and let my hair down. I read all of the wonderful things that most of my peers write. I see all of the Web sites with all of the information that is available to help you all make a life for yourself filled with riches beyond belief. So why don't you have those riches; why, oh why, are you so desperate every day to figure out where your next deal is coming from? I'll tell you again: It is because you won't change, won't take control and just want to roll with what's going on in your life because change and taking control are too hard. Well, I guarantee you this—if you don't take control, set up a plan and take your life by the horns, you're going to continue to be miserable. If I could be in front of most of you right now, I'd grab you by the shoulders and shake you silly. You know why? Because your success is right in front of you, right there for the taking, as available to every one of you as it is to the ones who have already achieved success. About 40 years ago, I was working as a new loan officer. I worked in an urban setting where sales prices were about $15,000 per unit. If I did a deal for more than $25,000, it was a home run. There was this real estate salesman who worked in an office that I called on. He was most unremarkable in appearance, dress, brainpower and sociability. But one day, when I went to visit the real estate office where he worked, he told me that he was going to open his own office and be his own boss. Little did I know what was happening behind the scenes. He'd been studying. He had decided to change, to make something of himself, and he knew that he had to change the way he acted in order to be able to achieve the dreams he had. He asked me to visit with him at the new office he was about to open and I did so gladly, hoping that any help I would give would eventually be rewarded by him giving me his prospective buyers. I found out on that visit that he had been studying how to set up an office; he had spent time studying how to be a manager by studying management books. He was ready to change. He was positioned to be the man he wanted to be. And he eventually did it. For a few years, we did a lot of business together, at least until I moved out of the area. I was thrilled at his success. He made a plan, took his life in his hands and became a success. Why do I tell you this? Because you can be that person; you can change the way you do things every day. But why don't you? Why don't you just decide to be what you want to be? What is stopping you? What the hell are you afraid of? Success? Is that what you're afraid of? Is that why you won't take control of your life? I don't buy that for a minute. I believe you are doing what you do because you like it. You're comfortable, and you feel that if you take yourself out of your comfort zone, you might not be able to get to where you want to be. You're afraid because someone in your life told you that you should not rock the boat, not try too hard and not put yourself out. Well thank God for those who don't listen to that crap. So what about you? What about your tomorrow? What are you destined to do? Will you take a step in the direction of your dreams, or will you just dream, fantasize and play make believe? Your dreams can only be realized if you take some steps in a different direction than you've been walking. Well, maybe you've been crawling. You need to get organized, establish a set of goals and put together a plan. Then actually work on the plan creatively, as if you mean it. And right here are the first solid steps for you to take: • What are your goals? • How much business do you want to do in the next 12 months? • How much money do you want to make in the next 12 months? And what are you going to do with the money; what dreams could you make happen if you had the money? Write down on one piece of paper exactly what I'm about to tell you to do. Do it just like I'm telling you. If you put it off, then you really don't want to change. Do the following now: Make a list of the next 12 months, one under the other. Next to each month, write down how many loan applications you will take that month. Next to the number of loan applications, write down how many closings you will have. Next to the number of closings, make an average of how much you make per deal and multiply it by the number of closings you will have. Total the final column and see if it adds up to the amount of money you say you want to make. If the numbers don't add up, then you need to adjust the number of loans you will write, the number of closings or the amount of commission you will earn. I hope you have noticed that I have not once written any of the following passive phraseology anywhere: expect to, hope to, want to, might or maybe. The goals you write down must be real; they must be attainable; they must be a bit beyond reasonable; but more than anything, they must be written down. You next need to come up with a minimum of four different marketing initiatives that will get you the number of loan applications you will write, close and get paid on. Here are some samples: • Apartment complex marketing. • Database marketing. Call every person in your database every quarter. • Real estate agent partnership. • Affinity marketing. • A weekly e-mail to every person you know. • Contact bank and credit mortgage officers to ask them for the loans they can't do. • Develop relationships with builders. • Develop relationships with financial planers, certified public accountants and insurance brokers. • Teach courses at real estate schools. OK, I'm about done. What you need to do now is write out a detailed plan of how you are going to actually put into play the minimum of four marketing initiatives that you've chosen. Specifically, how many, how often, who, when and why? Specifically, what are you going to say when you write, call or e-mail them? Any good marketing plan has as its basis the idea that you will do it over and over until you die. If you get lost in the details, ask someone who knows how to do this sort of thing to help you. Details and a plan; have you got them? Most salespeople fail because they give up too soon. Statistics show that 44 percent of all salespeople quit after the first call/mailing, 22 percent after the second, 14 percent after the third, 12 percent after the fourth and only eight percent persist until the fifth call back. Further statistics show that 60 percent of all buyers say no five times before they buy. So it is imperative that you become part of the eight percent who persevere. However, I'm betting that this is falling on deaf ears. I'm betting that you don't really want to change. Want to bet me? I'm betting that tomorrow will be the same as today. Make me wrong, go ahead. Ralph LoVuolo Sr., CMC is president of Mortgage Motivator, a mortgage industry training and coaching firm. He is a founder and past president of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers, a teacher accredited by the New York and New Jersey Real Estate Commission, a former associate professor at Atlantic College and New York University and a published author. He can be reached at (609) 652-6901, e-mail [email protected] or you can visit his blog at www.mortgagemotivator.blogspot.com.