And what makes an employee worth saving, Fowler says, is a positive attitude and a willingness to be better. “If someone truly wants to help themselves they will make time,” he said.
Michael Hammond, president and founder of NexLevel Advisors, is a fellow coach and marketer in the industry. Hammond, like Fowler, is active in coaching LOs who want to market themselves as more than a number. “The number one mistake that a lot of LOs make as the market is shifting, whether they’re new or old [to the business], is focusing too much on their reviews and being all about themselves,” Hammond said. “They need to focus on what value they can bring to borrowers. And how they can do that is by telling anecdotes about how they helped people and showing that they’re relatable.”
Hammond also says that value needs to be tenfold when it comes to creating and maintaining a network of followers and referral partners. “It’s a purchase-heavy market, so LOs need to build relationships with real estate agents, and they need to do that by providing something of informational value,” he said. “I recommend sending realtors texts about tips about what’s happening in the market, how to help borrowers bid, etc. And they need to do it consistently so they know that you are reliable for them.”
Another way that reliability and value can be created is through social media, Hammond says. He advises LOs to select and focus on only one platform. “Pick one that is tailored to your target audience, whether that’s LinkedIn or Instagram or even TikTok,” he said. “Do video. A lot of internet traffic is video content. Talk about the questions that lenders and real estate agents are typically asking you. That establishes yourself as a thought leader, which hiring managers want to see. And it harnesses your referral relationships, too.”