Schnurman's sales success: Follow the pattern of successMark Schnurmanattitude, commitment, relationships, prospect, hard work
Let's face it - the last 18 months have been tough for loan
officers. Interest rates have risen, home sales have fallen and
cost-conscious consumers, fighting for lower rates, are turning to
the Internet. All of this means many loan officers are making less
money. And yet there are some loan officers whose businesses have
flourished in these "bad" times. Your career as a loan officer is
the sum total of the decisions and choices you make. Your choices
result in habits or patterns of behavior. Some patterns of behavior
result in success, others result in failure. The patterns are quite
clear if you look for them. Let me share some patterns of behavior
that are leading loan officers to success in this difficult market.
I will also suggest several tasks to help you improve your
productivity and income.
It can be depressing to read all of the negative news on the
housing market, interest rates and mortgage applications, but only
if you let it be. Top loan officers see the weaker housing market
as an opportunity to grow market share as competition declines. In
addition, some loan officers let the events drive their behavior.
But top loan officers let their behavior drive their attitudes. So
instead of sitting around and complaining about the weak market,
they are visiting their real estate agents, Certified Public
Accountants, attorneys and other referral sources - and getting
results. Remember, if you believe you can or believe you cannot,
you are right!
Task: Start seeing the glass as half full.
Unfortunately, the mortgage business is very transient. In good
markets, people join, only to leave when the going gets tough. The
loan officers who maintain and grow their businesses in difficult
times are committed to the mortgage business and focus on the
activities that have helped them in the past. In addition, top
producers commit to building their knowledge base by learning about
new products, services and ways of helping their clients.
Task: Take the time to create a business plan for your
long-term success in the mortgage industry, and identify and learn
the areas where your knowledge is deficient.
Relationships are the lifeblood of the mortgage business. Top loan
officers cultivate and strengthen their relationships in all
markets, especially difficult ones. This relationship focus allows
them to quickly springboard to another income level when the market
expands. A weak housing market means referral sources and clients
become more critical. By maintaining contact and strong relations
with clients and referral sources, top performers do more business.
After all, you never know when another purchase, refi or referral
can be in the offing.
Task: Establish a system for staying in touch with both
referral sources and past clients.
In a down market, most loan officers market less at the precise
time that they should market more aggressively. This is because the
results of their efforts are less than they are accustomed to and
they tire of hearing that the market is slow and devoid of deals.
In contrast, top loan officers seize the opportunity to grow their
businesses. There has never been a better time for a loan officer
to build his business.
Task: Identify 10 potentially rewarding referral
sources and create a plan for building a relationship with
I am always amazed at the difference in work habits between
producers and pretenders. Nothing in life is gained without hard
work. In tough markets like today's, you need to work a little
Task: Create a schedule that lays out your regular
activities and stick to it.
Success is simple. Look at what top producers do and how they
behave, and imitate them. I hope this gets you off to a good
Mark Schnurman is the director of business development for
New York-based GFI
Mortgage Bankers. His writing draws upon his experience
recruiting, training, managing and coaching thousands of
salespeople. He may be contacted at (212) 837-4645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.