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The Mortgage Godfather: The Challenge of Being in Charge of Salespeople

Ralph Lovuolo
Mar 02, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/Olivier Le Moal

Just this morning, I was discussing the various duties that a potential client of mine has recently taken on, and it is obvious that by taking on these responsibilities, he is weighed down much more than he was prepared for. The demands of his time are enormous. The responsibilities he has taken on are challenging, to say the least.
Ralph LoVuolo Sr. has nearly 60 years history in the mortgage businessHe’s a producing sales manager and now with a number of loan officers reporting to him, he is looking for a way to maximize his effectiveness. His MLOs, especially the new ones, seek him out for advice concerning the most mundane circumstances on a daily basis.
His time is demanded by salespeople throughout the more than 15 company offices spread all over the East Coast, but concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic region. All told, there are more than 120 MLOs originating loans from Miami to Boston. Truth telling discovers some of the branch managers are so busy, they have almost no time to help the people they share office space with, and that forces many new hires, whether or not they have experience, to appeal to the corporate sales manager, the person whom I am discussing my coaching services with. What do they appeal for? What do they need? And how many times a day do they reach out to their corporate sales manager? All good questions, answered by … everything … everything … often, sometimes more than five times a day. Sometimes from the same slightly inquisitive, knowledge lacking salesperson. Of course, if they were really inquisitive, they’d look up the answer for themselves. In my mind, they are just lazy.
Imagine yourself as a producing sales manager in this position. Your phone is ringing relentlessly. Your own past clients, at least most of them, were happy when they closed the mortgage that you had obtained for them. With very little marketing on your part, you wrote 10 deals every month this past June, July, August and September. Some of them can be a modified type of streamline refinance, but most of them need some additional paperwork and if there is even the slightest need for any additional work on the file, your processor and you will be forced to pull your respective hair out of your respective heads.
The time spent on refinancing a New York property, is immense and intense. New York is where you are located and have developed a following that almost anyone would envy. Then there are the purchases, the new business that is being referred to you because of two outstanding things. You have a number of great real estate partners who regularly say these magic words to their clients: “Call ‘so-and-so’ and don’t call anyone else and they will get you the best deal possible for someone in your unique situation.”
As I write this, I discover a hidden gem of a thought that I must deposit in the inbox of your brain … those are the words (the ones above in italics) you want every single referral source to say to every single prospect that they ever meet, anywhere, any time. Those are the words you want them all to say all the time because it is true and you’ve proven it over and over. You might want them to also say, “Don’t make the mistake of shopping for a mortgage anywhere else because you’ll be putting the purchase of your dream home at risk.”
But I equivocate. Here you are with all this business and all the newly-minted MLOs want to do is call you every chance they get with the most mundane inquiries. You cannot get them to stop.
I’ve spent enough time explaining the challenge that some of you have. Now is the time for solutions. There are many things most of you could do, and I’m asking you, no matter how hard it is to do this, but to protect your sanity, you MUST do one of the following:
1. Say “NO” loudly and clearly. By that, I mean, tell your callers that they should not ask you to solve their issues, but to first devise two or three self-discovered alternative solutions, and then pick the one that best fits the need and call you with that idea. The power of “NO” is so far reaching, I could spend well over an hour and write many more words than would fit in this publication. Suffice it to say, that in the words of a very good an old friend, no longer here on Earth who left me with the following phrase that I’m passing on to you. Saying “NO” to someone is saying “YES” to yourself. Ponder that.
2. Ask them if they discussed their issue with their processor. Give them permission to ask the processor and then call you with the solutions that have been devised of those combined brains.
3. Let them call each other and try to solve the issue between themselves. Peers teaching peers.
If they are forced, regularly, to do one of these, they will learn how to discover solutions that will surely be an occurrence tomorrow, and the day after that and on and on.
All of these ideas fit your needs? Want to discuss them further? Reach out to me at (917) 576-1230 or e-mail [email protected].

Ralph LoVuolo Sr. has nearly 60 years history in the mortgage business. He was a co-founder/president of the NYAMB and a long-term member of the Board of Directors of NAMB. The Mortgage Godfather is available to help your salespeople do more business. He does sales rallies, Webinars, personal coaching. Call, text or e-mail (917) 576-1230 or e-mail [email protected].
This article originally appeared in the December 2019 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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