Take a quick study of any sales profession, and you will find that the top producers are experts in their field and the ones with the most referral relationships. You could be one of the best mortgage loan originators (MLOs) in the country, but without relationships that create a stream of potential clients, you are doomed to an ongoing struggle to stay in the business, fighting self-defeating thoughts and the feeling that you’re underachieving.
Zig Ziglar teaches that “you have to go out and see the people.” There were times in my career during which I would spend more time at the office than not, struggling to reach production goals. During those spells, Zig’s words would always ring in my ears. Going out and “seeing the people” is a habit that needs to be cultivated, nurtured and maintained. It needs to be a part of who you are as an MLO. It is, hands down, the best way to assure that you will always have clients.
As you enter the fourth quarter of 2011, you may be giving some thought to your business plan for 2012. Speaking from experience, it’s too easy for MLOs to get caught up in the process of planning. Planning and goal-setting is, without question, very important, if not critical. However, it’s important that you not get “paralysis of the analysis,” getting caught in a trap of procrastination, coupled with the delusion that you are doing something to bring in business while you pore over and perfect your “plans” … all the while, buyers are out there purchasing homes without you! As you plan new ways to attract business, remember that you will always need referral relationships to create a viable, long-term and meaningful business. While it’s true that there are MLOs that pay for Internet leads, and they can certainly do well if they have the capital invest, strong relationships are not developed from this business model.
So how does doing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans get you “in the door?” FHA is such a critical loan for real estate agents, and many guideline changes affect their business! Given this fact, you can provide educational FHA presentations to agents in real estate offices, making them aware of how FHA affects them and their clients. By educating the agents, you increase their professionalism and help them provide better service to their clients. One of the biggest challenges real estate brokers have is providing affordable and useful training to their agents. You can become the FHA resource for numerous offices in your area, thereby developing the relationships that will provide you with the loans you need to meet your production goals. Relationships help you win in any market.
Have you become pretty good at processing FHA loans, but wonder how to generate more FHA business? Been beaten up in underwriting enough to know how to put together the tough FHA deals? You know by now that if you want to become a serious FHA originator and get more FHA loans, then you need to first become an expert, and then brand yourself as an FHA expert. And you know that if FHA real estate agents don’t see you as an FHA expert, you will not be the one they think of when they have their next FHA buyer.
But expertise and branding alone won’t get you in the door. You need a plan to make that happen. I suggest you take The 360° Challenge. This is a way for you to turn your business around 360 degrees by committing to building relationships in a structured, deliberate way. Specifically, you are to devote three, 60-min. sessions each week to building new relationships (this includes scheduling FHA presentations for real estate offices) and rekindling agents you’ve worked with in the past. If that feels overwhelming, then start with one session a week, and before long, move to twice a week. Hold steady once you get to three times a week.
While it may be challenging at first, you will find that, before long, it will become second nature. Performing results-oriented actions is what helps you achieve your goals, and that’s the premise of the 360° Challenge. If you have the desire but not the material, TheFHAOriginator.com can help. This is a service I created for FHA loan specialists, providing access to ready-made, easy-to-use FHA presentations at an extremely affordable rate per office. If you seriously apply yourself to The 360° Challenge, you can significantly change your production levels and enjoy the fruits of your commitment! Don’t wait until January to implement this strategy … get a jump start on 2012 and start the 360° Challenge today!
Jeff Mifsud is founder of Michigan-based Mortgage Seminars LLC, a former FHA underwriter with 15-plus years of experience originating FHA loans, an FHA expert for LoanToolbox.com and creator of The FHA Originator, a monthly FHA newsletter. Jeff may be reached by phone at (248) 403-8181 or visit www.MortgageSeminars.com.