The observant among you may have noticed a new picture to accompany this months article. And, since I had used the previous picture for more than five years, some of you may even be thinking, Its about time this guy begins to age! However, the reality is, most of you probably did not notice at all, but what the hell ... it's fun to speculate.
Whether you realized it or not, my picture now features Chairdog of the Board, Scotty, a nine-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Scotty accompanies me to work every day, and I would like to share some of the thoughts he has about the mortgage business. He is hoping that you get the message much quicker than I did ... (he says that I'm a very slow learner). First and foremost, Scotty believes that there is a time to play and a time to work. If it happens to be time to work, greet every client with a smile and a wagging tail. I told him that I dont have a tail to wag, but he only said, Just make every client feel like they are the most important thing in your life. Be completely present, and listen to the customer before you respond.
Scotty also advises against wasting time on people who do not appreciate your services. For example, every day FedEx, UPS and Airborne delivery persons come to the office. In the beginning, the UPS man would bring Scotty a dog bone along with my deliveries. A funny thing began to happenScotty would wake from a sound sleep and run to the door whenever the brown UPS truck arrived, even before the driver reached the door. In the beginning, he would sleep through the FedEx and Airborne deliveries, because they didnt offer him anything. Once I informed the FedEx courier about Scottys penchant for UPS deliveries, he began bringing Scotty a bone as well.
Scotty says that giving and making people happy is contagious, one bone at a time. Since he's a pack animal, Scotty makes the deliveryman fight with him over the bone before he will eat it, and every day, both men (who are both over 50) laugh like they were little boys again. There is something about playing that brings out the best in all of us, and Scotty has shown me to be more playful with my clients as well. Sure, its business, but there is no reason why we can't have fun at the same time. By putting your energy towards prosperity, before you know it, that prosperity will attract more prosperity. (By the way, he still does not make an effort to see the Airborne person, because no matter how hard he tried, they refused to bring him a bone.) As things are, I have now had to put Scotty on a diet; too many bones during the day. He should learn to save some bones for later, just as we Mortgage Brokers should be saving for tomorrow, as well as spending today.
Another of Scottys attributes is, when he picks up a scent, he is tenacioushe will stay with that scent until he finds the animal. In our business, a scent is a referralif the prospect has any potential at all, stick with them. How many times can we go back to our old databases and search for refinances? Something that I have not had the time to do, but hope to this year, is go back to all of those rejected deals and try to help them now. Our databases are our most important asset, but most of us utilize them in a very limited manner. Scotty really knows how to turn up the heat in order to find what he is looking fordo you?
Whenever I work too hard or too long, Scotty will not stop barking until I take some time out to playmaybe well go for a walk, or just play a silly game of tug of war. With Scotty's help, I have learned to take many breaks during the day. Amazingly, I usually get more work done, because I am more rejuvenated after a break than if I had plowed through the problem without stopping.
After years of me bringing Scotty to my office, the book dealer across the hall began bringing his Boxer, Winston, to work every day. At first, they fought (despite Scottys small stature), but after a while, Winston began to respect Scottys territory. Similarly, I am a single-person shop competing against all the big shops. Many of you can relateI protect my territory and my clients by providing them with more than they ask for and giving them the best service possible. But don't we all say that? You need to distinguish yourself from the big broker shopsfight for your territory, even if your competition towers over you.
One last thing that Scotty has observed: Fun is contagious. Once you start, everyone around you wants to get into the act. Always thank each and every client for their business, and make them feel welcome and relaxedtheyll want to come back again and again. I appreciate you reading my articles over the past seven years. As always, please let Scotty and I know what you think, and dont hesitate to send us any mortgage-related products that you would like to see reviewed.
John D. Svirsky is past Technology Chair of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers, a volunteer firefighter, avid cigar enthusiast, and has been in business for approximately 20 years. He may be reached by phone at (845) 424-3388 or e-mail [email protected].