Wealth creation via the Mortgage Market GuideJohn D. SvirskyWealth creation I have been a subscriber of the Mortgage Market Guide (MMG) for at least six years—maybe more. So, when I enthusiastically recommend all mortgage professionals to subscribe to the MMG and its many affiliated programs, such as the Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS)—which should be required for every mortgage professional to attend—it is because I use it daily and it has helped me make money while giving better service to my clients. I have watched Barry Habib at seminars all over the country over the years. I have learned from Habib. I have made thousands of dollars by following his market advice. My clients have benefited from knowledge that I have learned from him and passed onto them. One of the keys to Habib's success is that, all along the way, he believed (and still does) that to be a successful mortgage professional (he cringes at limiting oneself to being just a mortgage broker), you must offer information, education and value to your clients. In so doing, your clients will come back deal after deal, year after year, because you have become their trusted adviser. Each of us must earn that trust on an ongoing basis, to the point that whenever a client has a financial decision to make—mortgage related or not—he will call you, his trusted adviser, first, and you can then direct him within your circle of referral partners. Through this system of client education, you can teach your customers about the velocity of money. When the Federal Reserve changes its rate, you can explain why the mortgage bond rate may do the exact opposite. You can show how you can financially protect your clients and their families by determining retirement strategies regardless of their present ages (the younger the better), and how you can help your clients prepare for college expenses now. Habib has practiced this and more with his clients. It must work, because he has written more than $1 billion in loans in his 20-year career. This is part of what he shares with all of us in the MMG. Before I talk about the MMG Web site (www.mortgagemarketguide.com), I would like to share with you a new direction in which Habib, Sue Woodard, Jim McMahan, Gibran Nichols and the whole MMG team are moving. Many of us are familiar with Douglas R. Andrew's book, "Missed Fortune 101: A Starter Kit to Becoming a Millionaire." In its simplistic terms (there is so much more in the book, so please take the time to read it), it teaches how take to the equity out of houses and show the clients how, by investing it in other investment vehicles, they can end up, five to 20 years later, with much more money than if they just paid down or accelerated the pay-down of their mortgages. Wonderful programs, such as Mortgage Coach, help show the calculations. CMPS is so much more now (and quite frankly, so much better) than when the program first came out. I reviewed it and found it overwhelming, for it was just on DVDs at that point. Now Nichols, head of the CMPS Institute, has repackaged it into a three-day seminar. It will completely transform one from order-taker mortgage broker to someone who is seen in the industry as a planning specialist—someone who can and does command top dollar for his services, because it takes a mortgage from a commodity to a service that will help the client plan for their rest of his life. Many states offer continuing education credits for taking the course, and they usually sell out. Details about the course can be found at www.mortgagemarketguide.com. Everyone I know who has taken the course raves about it, and several shared with me how they noticed their clients and referral partners relate to them differently. Another great thing for graduates of the CMPS Institute is that you can go out and start teaching seminars on your own—a great way to build up business. MMG has a link to PointPro, which offers 30 different PowerPoint presentations to help even the most inexperienced speakers make a powerful presentation. Habib's take on wealth creation is based on knowledge, education and training. I know that American Brokers Conduit sponsors education seminars all around the country, where Habib, Woodard and McMahan talk. If you haven't been to one, definitely go. I still do, and just when I think I know it all, wham!—I learn something new. The MMG Web site describes the Wealth Creation Kit this way: "Your clients want you to ask about their assets, debt, retirement, estate and tax planning ... or lack thereof. They clearly need your help. That's why MMG is introducing a new set of tools, knowledge and techniques, known as the Wealth Creation Kit." I heard Habib share this new presentation at the Encompass seminar in March, and I was blown away. He was right on target, and I have already put some of the techniques into practice with my clients and financial planners. I have found that my accountant and financial planners get it immediately. Once they see that I am a mortgage broker who has the best interests of their clients in mind for the long term and is not just out to write one deal, they introduce more and more of their clients to me. I am not usually one to be so emphatic in my recommendations, but I use MMG every business day—sometimes many times a day. Considering I get between 10 and 20 mortgage-related newsletters and promotional e-mails a day from various companies, nothing speaks louder than, "I personally use MMG every day." Every morning, usually between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, MMG sends out the Daily Market Update, which talks about what will be happening economically, what issues are driving the market and the direction the market might be taking for the day, specifically suggesting locking, floating, cautiously floating, etc., and the current price of the Fannie Mae bond. This becomes a talking point with my referral partners and clients during the course of my day. If anything changes during the day, MMG will send out e-mail, text message and voicemail alerts, giving commentary on the market and recommended actions. This alone has made me thousands of dollars by helping me to correctly float or lock for my clients. Another service that I use, worth the price of the subscription in itself, is the weekly newsletter that summarizes the week's economic events. It shows where the markets might be headed and shares some useful financial tidbits, all with your letterhead, which you can send directly to everyone in your database each week. You can even subscribe to MMG's free service that sends the newsletter out on your behalf. Staying in front of your clients each week—how professional is that? It's very professional. Just make sure you read the newsletter as well, because clients like to ask questions about it. There are so many services provided by MMG, I don't have time to go into them all. The Web site is easy to use, and there is a 90-minute video tour that you can take in segments, at your leisure. The funny thing is that I did the tour in preparation for this article and found so many features that I did not know about and will now start to use. My favorite section is the conference call section (I always listen to them the day they come out), especially when Habib interviews Frank Nothaft regarding his incredibly accurate six-month financial forecasts. Another favorite segment was with Dr. Edward Gramlich, a former member of the Federal Reserve, who talked about what happens inside the Fed meetings. Other conference calls talked about the secrets of database marketing, increasing your profits with simple e-marketing steps and the power of presenting. And, like with many of the other services out there, you can download them and listen to them on your iPod later. That is what I do. I play them in my car, while driving—education on wheels. Well, here's the deal if, after reading this review, you don't go to the Web site: You will be missing a valuable tool to add to your arsenal. Habib has become my trusted adviser over the years. I have grown from his teachings and learned that success comes from teaching others and helping others to find their own level of success. You can do this by educating yourself so that you, too, can be a trusted adviser to others. In so doing, rates are not the most important issue, because you are now helping clients plan their futures and lives. You're a trusted and knowledgeable adviser. John D. Svirsky has been a mortgage broker for 24 years, doing both commercial and residential mortgages. He is also a volunteer firefighter, avid cigar enthusiast and cook. He may be reached by phone at (845) 424-3388 or e-mail [email protected] Product summary Product name: Mortgage Market Guide Web site: www.mortgagemarketguide.com What is it: MMG is a source of financial and informational tools that will help you transform your business and how you present yourself to others. By becoming a trusted adviser, being the purveyor of financial information and interest rate directions and being able to explain economic patterns, you shine above the countless order-takers. Price: Check the Web site for exact pricing. It is fully refundable, if you don't benefit or gain at least two new clients by using the technique taught (see the MMG Challenge). Recommendation: I have been a subscriber for more than six years. I personally use it every business day. I emphatically recommend all mortgage professionals subscribe to the MMG.