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Navigating the Origination Obstacle Course: Personal & Professional Development

Robert Ottone
Nov 22, 2013

Jeff Van Note is a leading financial expert in the New York area, with a decade-plus of experience in the mortgage industry. He prides himself on getting to the closing table within 30 days, as well as driving new business opportunities via innovative services. Van Note is also a recognized leader in the realm of customer service. Covering a variety of topics, Van Note was keen to shed some light on common issues that could affect businesses, as well ways to drive business in a difficult economy. Despite his youth, Van Note’s experience has been varied and has made him a top-earner for a good portion of his career in the mortgage industry. In this second part, we take a look at Jeff’s take on personal and personal development, and more. What are some of the things you do to overcome personal development obstacles? Jeff Van Note: Never get complacent. In every aspect of my life, I never get complacent. I always look for something to improve upon. In sports, I always relied on natural ability, but once people started working out and improving, they became better than me. Learning to deal with rejection is another key aspect. Always up your game. More sales training and psychology courses will help you in the long run. Learn how people think. Take writing courses to improve grammar. Professional development classes that help you learn how to conduct yourself are also key. Professionalism has really dropped off over the past decade or so, so it’s important to get back to the basics of professionalism. What are some things that can measure personal development? Van Note: How you feel based on rejection, I guess. You want to be able to combat every obstacle in your way. Through personal development, know what guidelines are, and close deals. Learn what it takes to seal the deal. Stay on top of regulations and changes in the industry, and don’t worry about dollar signs … focus on the industry. Arm yourself with information, as it’s all fresh ammunition. You’ll be unstoppable at that point. You have to have active role models in your life that hold you accountable for what you’re doing. Whether you like what the person has to say or not, it’s important to listen. Having someone to answer to that respects you and that you respect can only help improve you. Criticism can often be misinterpreted as an attack if you have no confidence. Getting an honest evaluation from a person you respect is important. Most in the industry don’t trust their source of information. The key is getting the right people. How do you find a mentor who doesn’t have a family member in the industry? Van Note: Very hard. Most people are only as good as their last sentence or their last word. Most people in the industry don’t have the time for a mentor-student relationship. You have to look at the reasons why a person wants to mentor you. You want to look at consistency … if they have been successful or not, and look closely at their last decade of business. Why emulate someone who hasn’t been successful over the past few years? Advice and experience do not come cheap. You want to find someone in whatever industry you are in who can teach you the values and morals of the industry you’re in. If I didn’t have my dad and my uncle around, I wouldn’t be anything. I certainly wouldn’t be at the level I have reached at such an early age. I think, more often than not, the right comments and the right insertions at the right times can have a tremendous impact on an individual. It goes a long way. I’ve done that for people, offer some friendly advice and they’ve gone a long way. You have to be open to advice. Everyone can go online and read about personal development, you know? You can get it for free. When it comes to routines and habits, how do you break bad habits and form new ones? Van Note: You have to work at it, it takes more work than anything else. Most bad habits come from being lazy and unaccountable. You have to want to break the bad habit. No one else can make you do it.” A good habit I have is working six or seven days a week. A bad habit is that I do not always answer my phone. I have too many people who need too many things. It comes down to what’s important for me. Is there anything I can do to help you close within six days? If not, you can wait. Texting is a bad habit. Technology enables my bad habits. When I go to bed, there’s still 400 things that are incomplete. While I may have tackled 2,000 things that day, I lose a little bit every day. Get into the habit of wearing a suit and tie every day. That’s your uniform. You don’t see a football player going out there without a helmet. Robert Ottone is senior editor at National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (516) 409-5555, ext. 314 or e-mail [email protected]
Nov 22, 2013