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“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”—Douglas Adams
Let’s start with a question: How long do you think Wal-Mart would stay in business if it began raising its prices?
What do you think? My guess is it would join the dinosaurs quicker than the Edsel, New Coke and all the other colossal blunders of business. Why? From the day Wal-Mart began, it was about price and it’s remained about price every day since. There’s nothing wrong with that. The company has cemented its place in the Hall of Fame of business based solely on that strategy. But here’s what all mortgage lenders need to remember: Wal-Mart can NEVER raise its prices. It will forever be in the business of cutting costs at every turn it ever takes from now to eternity.
So what does this have to do with you? Well, if you like your commissions on the higher side instead of the lower side, it has everything to do with you and your future in this industry.
How do you deal with a borrower who tells you they want you to lower your commission? The first thing you can do is do exactly as you were asked–you can lower your commission. You can become the Wal-Mart or K-Mart of mortgage lending. But just know this: You just jumped aboard the cost-cutting train and guess what? There’s not a ticket off that train. Happy travels through the land of offering limited services to your future clients.
Now, if you are more interested in not being a limited service provider, stick with me. Welcome aboard the train for professionals–where you distinguish yourself with your competence and unparalleled service. This is where, when a borrower asks you to lower your commission, you’re able to say, “Sorry, I’m not a limited-service provider. I give my clients 100 percent of myself because I believe they deserve it, and over the years, I’ve learned I’m worth every penny.”
Then back up your position with these tips:
1. Do the math: Prove to borrowers you are indeed worth every penny by showing your past performance.
2. Share everything: Share all (and I mean everything), you’ll be doing to earn your commission. A lot of borrowers simply don’t understand what mortgage lenders do. Educate them.
3. Illustrate your understanding of the market: If you say you’re worth the commission, prove it by sharing the intricate details of the current lending market with local economic insights.
4. Let others speak for you: For some people, you can talk all day long about the numbers and data and still not get the sale. Why? They want what in marketing is called “social proof.” In a word, that means testimonials. Always have them on hand.
I’ll close with this advice: Sell yourself, just don’t sell yourself cheap, because when you do, you stay cheap.
Bubba Mills is CEO of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. He may be reached by phone at (800) 957-8353 or visit CorcoranCoaching.com.
This article originally appeared in the August 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.