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Danger Ahead in 2019

Brian Sacks
Aug 26, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/XtockImages

We are in a very dangerous time as originators. Rates are low and people who never thought they could ever refinance again are actually refinancing. Most originators are very busy right now. That’s good, but also very dangerous!
When we get this busy, it’s very easy to sit back and think it will just continue this way forever. Of course, I have been at this for almost 35 years now, so I know better. But the danger is getting fat and happy and ignoring the basics like continuing your marketing efforts and maintaining your relationships.
Have you ever killed someone with kindness?
During a recent refinance boom, I actually referred a number of refinances to one of my biggest competitors in my area. No … you read that correct.
This lender had made some major inroads with some of my bigger agents, and I wanted to get rid of him. So I simply referred a number of refinance leads and prospects to him. He couldn’t thank me enough, and I happily sat back and watched as he got fat and happy and ignored these agents. Most have returned and never left again because of my focus on purchase business.
Now let’s talk about you for a minute …
We are midway through the year 2019 and so far, it has been pretty darn good. But do you actually know where your business is coming from? Are you on track to accomplish your goals? Do you even know what your goal is and how to accomplish it?
Here are some questions to ask
You should sit down, take out a sheet of paper or open an Excel Spreadsheet, or even better, you can use the Top Originator Software I created at! Now, be honest and ask yourself:
1. What is your income goal for the year? Are you halfway there?
2. How many loans do you need to close in order to achieve your goal?
3. What is your average loan amount? Are there ways to raise that average?
4. Where is your business coming from? You need three or four “Pillars of Business” just like a chair with four legs.
In my case, I have the following Pillars:
1. Agent business and referrals.
2. Direct to consumer (turning renters into loans) and publicity (radio/TV/articles).
3. Niche buyers–Boomerang buyers and buyers going through a divorce.
4. Referrals from past clients and other professionals like attorneys and accountants.
What happens if you don’t know?
First, if you don’t have a goal and a plan for attaining it, you simply can’t succeed. If you have a plan and don’t track your progress, then your efforts are worthless. Each month, you should be evaluating your business. Think of it like being on a road trip and making sure you are still on the correct highway and knowing how much longer you have to travel until you reach your destination.
So, now you have your homework assignment … so get to work!

Brian Sacks is a branch manager with Homebridge Financial in Owings Mills, Md.Brian Sacks is a branch manager with Homebridge Financial in Owings Mills, Md. He has been originating for 35 years, with career closings of $1.5 billion-plus and 5,833 transactions. Brian is also the creator of the Top Originator Secrets Blog and has recently published an originator success manual on the 48 Proven Ways to Immediately Grow Your Production. You can learn more at
This article originally appeared in the July 2019 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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