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A business plan: A plan for success

National Mortgage Professional
Mar 28, 2007

Selling mortgages is not rocket science: The virtues of virtual coachingDave Hershmanorigination training, Internet, technology In my more than 25 years as an author, trainer and keynote speaker for the mortgage industry and the one who delivers one of the most intensive advanced schools in the nation, I am often asked whether I provide personal coaching services to managers and individuals. With a rate of several thousand dollars for a three-hour speech, individuals quickly figure out that it would be hard for me to do so economically. This has always been my conundrum. I know that my students need additional help, but with a client base in the thousands, there seems to be no solution short of cloning myself. . So, what I have done is produce hundreds of articles for mortgage publications, such as The Mortgage Press, and tried to get the word out as best I could. I even have published a free weekly e-mail newsletter that is distributed to almost 200,000 professionals in the industry and includes my "Ask The Expert" column so that loan officers can ask me questions and read their answers on a weekly basis. (If you would like to receive The OriginationPro Update on a weekly basis, e-mail me at mailto:dave@hershmangroup.com). But the issue of personal coaching has been set aside for many years. It is just too time-consuming for a high-level coach to spend one to four hours each month on the phone with a loan officer. A full coaching load would be 10-20 clients, and that would mean the elimination of all other activities, such as my OriginationPro Mortgage School. What would one do if he had thousands of clients? This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many loan officers have nowhere to go to obtain day-to-day supervision, mentoring and coaching. In this industry, we have grown to have an independent contractor mentality, much like real estate agents. It seems that many loan officers are on their own. And believe it or not, most managers have little origination training and even less management training or direction. So even if a manager wants to provide better support, he has nowhere to go. That is why I teach a national management conference every year and have published three management texts for the industry. Now, technology is helping us solve this problem for loan officers and managers. Through the Internet, we can provide first-class information, seminars, answers to questions, marketing materials and strategies, and more. From blogs to bulletin boards, the Internet is paving the way to bring valuable information right into the homes and offices of all mortgage employees. Do you want to listen to a seminar? You don't have to wait for one to be scheduled. It can be downloaded, and you can listen instantly. Do you want to ask a question? Post it on a bulletin board. You can work at your own pace and in accordance with your own schedule. You dont have to sit and listen to information that is not on target. Of course, with such a free-for-all, you will not likely know if the information you receive is of a high quality or even accurate. That is the one danger of virtual coaching. You must know the source of the information. You must know who you are listening to and taking directions from. Recently, I have teamed with Dave Bush to open a site called MyMortgageCommunity.com. This site includes OriginatorCommunity.com and MortgageManagerCommunity.com. This vehicle enables me to provide my expertise on a regular basis through articles and audio seminars, answering questions, providing marketing materials and strategies, and much more. Even more importantly, members are not limited to my information, but are exposed to the viewpoints of a variety of experts on a variety of topics. Using the bulletin boards, members can share ideas with others who share the same concerns and challenges. This is why the term "community" is utilized. I can think of no better way of delivering what has come to be known as virtual coaching. It makes sense that in one place, you can find just about everything one would need to manage or originate in this, the most important industry in America. Do you know what the best news of all is? Virtual coaching can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of a personal coach. I urge everyone who has the need to grow in this industry to use the tools easily reachable via the Internet. And if you are interested in viewing the information on MyMortgageCommunity.com, feel free to take it for a spin. Dave Hershman is a top speaker and leading author in the mortgage industry with eight booksincluding two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His mortgage school is the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information and articles by Dave, call (800) 581-5678, e-mail dave@hershmangroup.com or visit www.originationpro.com.
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