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1. Why am I in this business?
Most kids don't dream of becoming mortgage originators when they grow up. I've found that most loan originators fall into this business by accident. Maybe a friend or relative told us the money was good, or the hours were flexible. Maybe we saw someone else making a lot of money originating loans and we said, "Hey, I can do THAT!"
This business has a funny way of sneaking up on us in very unexpected ways … for better or for worse. That said, I've observed something really interesting about top producers in our industry. At some point, they stopped. They just stopped. They took a step back and asked themselves, "Why?" Why am I in this business? What am I really trying to achieve here?
Maybe you've already asked and answered that question for yourself in a meaningful way. Maybe you haven't. Either way, make some time this holiday season to just stop and ask yourself, "Why?" I think you may be surprised at how that one question may open up new ways of thinking about how you choose to spend your time and energy in 2015.
2. What value is nobody else creating right now for borrowers, real estate agents and financial advisors?
One key to business success is to create unique value for people. But how can you create value for someone when you don't know what the other person values? That's why it's important to continuously ask:
►What do borrowers want right now that they aren't getting from my competitors?
►What do real estate agents want right now that they aren't getting from my competitors?
►What do financial advisors want right now that they aren't getting from my competitors?
Your "Value Creation Plan" for 2015 can be based on the answer to these powerful questions.
3. What am I missing?
Top producers scour the Earth to find out what they're missing. Once they find out what they're missing, they do anything and everything to stop missing it. If you haven't cracked the code on financial planner business yet, stop doing what doesn't work. Start finding out how other top producers have already cracked the code, and start doing THAT.
If you haven't figured out a way to consistently convert rate shoppers or stand apart with real estate agents, stop thinking it can't be done. Start learning how other top producers have done it in the past, and what they're doing right now.
If you haven't nailed down the art and science of building a team or managing your time and activities, stop frustrating yourself and others. Start looking at other ways of doing things, and other models that top producers have perfected.
To that end, I'm excited to announce that I'll be right here, each month, sharing best practices from top producers all over the country. I'll also be interviewing them on video, and you can access these Top Producer Round Table weekly videos starting Dec. 16 at MortgageNewsNetwork.com.
Gibran Nicholas is the founder, chairman and CEO of CMPS Institute and Top Producer Round Table Series. Since 2005, he's helped more than 7,000 of America's top loan originators to grow sales and improve their relationships. He may be reached by phone at (888) 608-9800, e-mail [email protected] or visit CMPSInstitute.org.
This article originally appeared in the December 2014 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.