Skip to main content

MBA's Courson and Kittle react to mortgage cramdown deal

National Mortgage Professional
Jan 09, 2009

How to get more business without being too salesyBrian Hilliardqualifying the prospect, following up, networking, referral One of the biggest mistakes I see mortgage professionals make is coming across in an overly aggressive manner in an effort to win the deal. They call the prospect every other day, send e-mails when they don't hear back and sometimes stop by since they "happened to be in the neighborhood." No wonder most loan officers struggle to consistently get new business. No prospect wants to be around someone who's that aggressive. On the flip side, most professionals know that the early bird really does get the worm, especially in the post-refi boom. And if you're not following up on a consistent basis, you're going to lose deals simply because someone else was more persistent. So the question becomes, how can a smart, enterprising mortgage professional strike the balance between being Johnny-on-the-Spot—making calls, hustling along and moving the buying process forward, and Joe Isuzu—the used car salesman who would do anything to close a deal? Let's look at a couple of common sales situations and see how the more successful loan officer (we'll call him Johnny-on-the-Spot) is able to get more business from the same set of circumstances when compared to that of his less successful counterpart, Joe Isuzu. Qualifying the prospect Joe Isuzu (the used car salesman recently turned mortgage guy) goes to networking events thinking that everyone is a prospect, and it's just a matter of meeting the right ones (read: those who are ready to buy a house right now). He's busy working the room, passing out cards, and if you're not actively in the home buying process, then Joe doesn't have time to talk. Joe has started to notice that most of the people he does meet usually don't fall into that "ready to buy right away" category, but he figures he's just not networking at the right spots. In the unlikely event he does meet someone who's ready to buy right now, he calls that person every other day to follow up and "see how things are going." Sometimes that works, but most of the time it just turns the prospect off. Joe often complains about how all the rate shoppers are killing his book of business and stays up at night thinking if he could just meet more prospects, he'd be good to go. However, Johnny-on-the-Spot doesn't have those issues. Johnny doesn't step one foot into a networking event without knowing how it fits into his overall networking strategy. He has a target market in mind and puts himself in places where those prospects are most likely to be. If he's looking to get more referral business from real estate agents, then he's networking at the local state association event or meeting folks at the women's council of real estate agents. If he's looking for clients who haven't gotten a real estate agent or are just thinking about buying a home, then he goes to events where his target market is most likely to be. For example, he attends downtown networking events if he specializes in financing condos or other "in town" living areas, but he goes to events in the suburbs if it's the opposite. Either way, his networking strategy has him in the right spot. While networking, Johnny is comfortable in only making three to five new contacts, since he knows people aren't going to trust their largest personal asset to someone who just whisks in and out, dropping off a business card in between. He does his job by creating trust with the prospect and demonstrating expertise in the industry—usually through a phone call or follow-up meeting. Johnny sleeps like a baby knowing his pipeline is always full. Following up with a qualified prospect Joe Isuzu can't believe he ran into someone who's ready to buy right now! As a matter of fact, as soon as he gets home he starts pulling together all of the brochures he can get his hands on. He calls the prospect the very next day and wants to meet as soon as possible to start talking about the process. During the conversation, Joe talks about his years of experience and how he's been in the financing business since 1986. Sometimes he gets the client, other times he doesn't. But rarely does he get his full commission, since he often has to lower his rate in response to the prospect shopping his deal around. Johnny-on-the-Spot almost always gets his full commission. When he runs across a qualified prospect, he's not overly surprised, since his networking strategy puts him in front of those folks all the time. And while it's certainly nice to have someone who is ready to buy within the next few weeks, he's not going to overdo it by insisting on a meeting. Instead, Johnny contacts the prospect a couple of days later (allowing the deal to breathe a little), makes some small talk and asks a few good questions to learn more about their situation. What made them decide to move? What areas are they looking in and what's an absolute must have in their new home? This is all information Johnny can give to the real estate agents he chooses to refer his lead to. Johnny winds down the conversation with the following: "Boy, that sounds like some good stuff! I'll tell you what—why don't we sit down for a few minutes? I can jot down some more information and if you'd like, we can even get you pre-qualified for a loan. That way, depending on how quickly you want to get started, we could touch base next week." The prospect says that's a great idea (assuming he was serious about buying a home to begin with), and Johnny is well on his way toward closing another deal. In the cases where the prospect brings up rates, Johnny offers to answer any questions at their next meeting. He doesn't worry about losing the deal, because he knows that if the prospect was strictly focused on rates and wasn't willing to spend a few minutes at least talking about the pre-qualifying process, then he was probably the exact type of rate shopper Johnny doesn't like to deal with. Johnny always speaks in terms of benefits and clearly articulates his value proposition in context of how it could help the prospect. The bottom line is that everyone exhibits some of the qualities of either Johnny-on-the-Spot or Joe Isuzu. The real question is—what kind of loan officer do you want to be? Brian Hilliard is a motivational speaker and author of the book, Networking Like a Pro! He may be reached at (404) 434-2826 or e-mail bhilliard@agitoconsulting.com.
Published
Jan 09, 2009
Anchor Loans Hires Andrew Jewett As SVP, Enterprise Sales

Formerly lead lending at Sundae Inc.

Industry News
Aug 02, 2021
Pretium Adds 3 Execs With Residential Credit Expertise

New Hires Will Serve As Managing Directors

Industry News
Aug 02, 2021
loanDepot And mellohome Introduce Home Services Bundle

loanDepot, Inc. and its sister company mellohome are launching a proprietary bundle of home buying and selling services.

Industry News
Jul 30, 2021
Gateway Mortgage Surpasses 165 Mortgage Centers With 10 New Additions

Gateway Mortgage reported significant growth in the company, prompting it to open 10 new locations across Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Industry News
Jul 30, 2021
FHFA Requires 30-Day Notice Prior To Eviction

Wednesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that tenants of multi-family properties must be given 30 days notice to vacate before the tenant is required to leave the premise.

Industry News
Jul 29, 2021
Houston-Based Stewart Acquires Title First Agency

Ohio-Based Agency Has 20 Offices And Operates in 32 States

Industry News
Jul 28, 2021