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BankUnited expands residential lending line

Mar 01, 2007

Building a professional presenceNancy V. Bolt, CMC, CRMSIncreasing business You have become an adult and tried on jobs to determine what you really like to do. You probably joined the ranks of mortgage professionals because it appealed to you in various ways: the money is good once you build a pipeline, and you get to help people with an important financial decision that can affect the rest of their lives. If you don't experience the physical high that gives you, you haven't done your job to the best of your ability. But now that you have entered this field, building a professional presence is key to your overall success. You must constantly invest in yourself if your goal is to strengthen your business and personal life. Here are some suggestions that can be positive factors in reaching those goals. Knowledge and skill development Your knowledge and experience will grow your communication skills, which, in turn, will aid in your business presentations. If you don't continually increase knowledge in your business and personal development, you risk becoming stagnant and falling behind others in the industry. This could effectively place a ceiling between you and your ultimate success. How do you improve? Take continuing education classes from live instructors, who can immediately answer any questions you may have, especially in new fields or topics. On a personal level, you could read a book on selling by Jeffrey Gitomer, Todd Duncan or others who have fine-tuned the art of selling or negotiation. You could learn to be more productive by reading "Getting Things Done" by David Allen or taking time-management courses by astute instructors like Sid Weigner, CMC, CRMS. Hone your presentation skills by joining organizations such as Toastmasters International, or at least practicing in front of the mirror or video camera. Make a professional impression "You only get one chance to make a first impression." How many times have you heard this advice? But it remains true. Take a walk outside, if possible, to clear your mind. Then, enter your office as if it were the first time. What you see is what greets your clients. Your office, your personal appearance and your communications all convey a message to those who enter your domain. Your car, personal appearance and communication skills are foremost in your entrance in someone else's domain. Make sure your office and car are neat, clean and inviting. Add a few personal touches, especially something that could be associated with you, such as a signature color. Plants, even good artificial ones, look refreshing and calming. Also add a comforting scent. Cinnamon, vanilla and baby powder are very powerful and can often be more pleasing than strong cologne or perfume. Dress to impress with your professionalism and practice good grooming habits. That doesn't necessarily mean you should look like the local banker, but you should feel good enough about what you wear that if your most important client asked you to join him for lunch at a prominent restaurant, you would not have to run home and change. A good way to accomplish this is to keep nice jackets in several colors in the office closet. Be punctual and organized. Have forms, a pen, extra paper and calculators (or a laptop computer) readily available. Constantly improve your written and verbal communication skills so that your letters, e-mails, advertising pieces and verbal presentations are precise, impressive and effective. Health and physical fitness The foundation of your well-being is your health. Without it, growing personally and in your business might become a struggle, and you will undoubtedly not do as well. Mortgage professionals do a lot of interviewing, problem solving, presenting and consulting. These mental tasks come easier with a regular exercise program and good brain food. Joining a gym or investing in exercise equipment will pay off in many ways. If nothing else, start jogging or swimming. Take time for planned meals so that you eat regularly and as nutritiously as possible. Even fast food restaurants are now offering healthier choices. Good company can help you relax and make the most of each meal. Also, take time for family activities that bolster self-esteem and mental well-being. That's right - have a personal life that makes you a better person. Wake up early enough to have a few moments of quiet time every morning. This gives you a calm, peaceful perspective with which to face the day. Every evening, spend a few minutes reviewing what you need to do the next day, resolve to set it aside for the night and make sure to get enough sleep, so you can wake up refreshed and tackle that to-do list you reviewed the night before. Most of all, remember that happiness and success are a manner of traveling, not a station you arrive at somewhere down the road of life. Nancy V. Bolt, CMC, CRMS is president of Sun Mortgage of Southwest FL Inc., a licensed real estate broker and certified Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers and National Association of Mortgage Brokers instructor. She may be reached at (239) 437-2600 or e-mail [email protected].
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