There are a whole lot of things that we need to keep track of these days. From e-mails to text messages, networking groups to affiliations, sometimes it seems impossible to get everything done that needs to get done, let alone find time to generate new business. How many times have you started a day with a to-do list that you’re bound and determined to accomplish, only to find the day is over and you haven’t done anything to earn referrals or generate repeat or new business? You’re not alone.
The reality is … things have heated up in the mortgage industry over the past two years. That doesn’t mean, though, that any of us can afford to rest on the loans we currently have in the works. We need to always remain consistent in our efforts to secure future opportunities.
Fortunately, by dedicating just an hour and an half in the morning to practicing simple disciplines, we can rest comfortably knowing that we’re always working towards earning new business. Here are five disciplines to incorporate in your morning routine to keep your business flourishing.
1. Schedule a lunch or coffee meeting with a referral partner every day
Before you even open your e-mail in the morning, get on the phone. Call an existing referral partner or a potential referral partner and ask for a quick coffee or lunch meeting. Make it a point to let them know that you’re interested in helping them to grow their business. It should only take a few phone calls in order to secure a meeting for later in the week as long as you make the focus about them. Avoid asking for referrals, instead focusing on their growth and nurturing the rapport between the two of you. This needs to be a daily discipline. Meet with a referral partner every day.
2. Call five clients to say “thank you”
Last year was a very good year for most mortgage professionals. As such, we owe it to our clients and/or our referral partners to say thank you. Let them know how much you sincerely appreciate their business or referral. This isn’t a call to solicit new business, but instead, is a show of genuine gratitude. You are likely to be surprised by how happy people are to hear from you and, often, how many may know someone who could also use your expertise. But don’t make that the goal of the call. Your goal should be simply to let them know that you appreciate their past business and you’re available to serve them, their family and their friends in the future.
3. Send five e-mails recognizing a special date
E-mails recognizing special days show that you care about your client or referral partner’s well-being and not just the business they can send you. Send five e-mails to clients wishing them a happy birthday or to acknowledge an anniversary, such as the one, two, three year anniversary of moving into their new home. People will be pleasantly surprised that you have remembered and you may be shocked at how quickly these e-mails turn into opportunities for new business. Clients may remember that they have a family member who wants to refinance or you may jog a referral partners’ mind who had been meaning to call you. This quick, easy and thoughtful action on your part is a surefire way to keep yourself positioned favorably in your clients’ minds.
4. Spend 20 minutes sharpening your skills
After completing your daily disciplines as outlined above in steps one through three, but before diving into your daily tasks, remember that you have a responsibility to your clients and referral partners to be at the top of your game. Taking 20 minutes each morning to read educational articles (such as NAMB’s Daily Information Update or NatonalMortgageProfessional.com) will help you to stay ahead of notable industry events and will remind you of valuable business practices that may have slipped by the wayside. Articles written by colleagues can illuminate areas where you can improve as well as introduce you to new strategies and business growth tactics.
5. Get moving
Before doing anything in the morning, get your endorphins going. The importance of clearing the clutter from your mind cannot be underscored and exercise is a surefire way to do it. Take time every morning before sitting down at your desk to get a bit of exercise. You will energize both your body and your mind, so that when you sit down to work, you have the momentum you will need to make the necessary phone calls, send the necessary e-mails and have a productive day.
By refusing to allow yourself to be distracted by the items that come up day-to-day and, instead, adhering to simple disciplines, you’ll ensure that you’re always working to grow your business. Implementing these five disciplines into your daily routine will immediately pay off in terms of helping you to stay focused, all the while, keeping you in touch with clients and partners, which will pay off for the future.
Fred Arnold is a Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC), past president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers, is a mortgage professional at American Family Funding, a branch of American Pacific Mortgage in Southern California. Fred hosts the radio show, “SCV Chamber and Business Spotlight,” on AM 1220 KHTS, as well as the televised program “Out of The Rough” on SCVTV.com, Channel 20. He can be reached by phone at (661) 284-1150, ext. 109 or e-mail [email protected]