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“Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.”—Vince Lombardi
Mortgage pros can learn a lot from nature. Take this fall for example. Did you see geese heading south for the winter in their typical V formation? Ever wonder why they use that shape?
When each bird flaps its wings, it creates a slight lift for the bird behind. So a flock can fly farther in a V shape than a single bird can on its own. When a goose falls out of the V, it can feel the drag and quickly rejoins the formation. And if one falls away, two geese will follow it and stay with it until it’s able to fly or it dies.
In my life as a coach, I’ve come to realize top producers also fly in a V. Oh sure, a top producer is a single person, but they know the real reason they’ve reached such great heights and flown so far: They have a team around them. Look at the so-called individual sports. Take tennis. Without fail, every time tennis pros win a tournament, they talk about their teams: their coach, their physio, their trainer, their parents, etc. They always have their V around them. And they know they wouldn’t be hoisting trophies without their team. They travel on the thrust of others.
Here are four tips to help you build a team to help you soar to new heights:
1. Know why you want a team
Consider your business as it is now and ask yourself what’s been the key to your current situation. Then ask yourself where you want to be in three months, half a year, a year and three to five years. Create your team based upon where you want to be. Ask yourself why you need someone: Do you have too much business? Do you need a transaction specialist for paperwork? Do you just want more time to enjoy life? There’s no right or wrong answer—the reasons just help you find the right group of folks to achieve your goals.
2. Start small
I’m not suggesting you go out and hire 10 people next week. Start small. For starters, consider a part-time assistant. See how that feels. After a few months, maybe you make your assistant full-time. Then look at adding a part-time lender. Many of the clients I’ve worked with over the years were individual lenders who were struggling. But by slowly adding the right number of team members, they moved on to become much more productive and padded their bank accounts, too.
3. Don’t forget the team you already have
You may not think of co-workers, real estate agents, attorneys and closing specialists, etc. as your team, but you couldn’t get your job done without them. Take time to nurture these existing relationships and brainstorm ways to help each other.
4. Hire slow, fire fast
The last thing you want is to hire someone who’s just doesn’t fit. It’s not fair to you or the job seeker and it’s a waste of time for both parties. Take all the time you need to decide who fits your team best. But if you do hire the wrong person, waste no time showing them the door. Their vibes can spread like cancer throughout your office and perhaps even worse, to your prospects.
This article originally appeared in the December 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.