There’s a challenge to being a mortgage broker. Your shops can be small with often just one or two folks. There’s no in-house coaching that helps you stay motivated, focused and upbeat.
Compound that with the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Networking events and educational programs you once would have attended – that help boost your enthusiasm and right your ship when you are floundering – suddenly vanished with the lock down. As psychologists know, without a support system, it’s easy to magnify minor issues and blow them out of proportion.
We know what it’s like. After all, National Mortgage Professional was almost entirely remote for three months, too.
That’s why we reached out to the mortgage industry’s top coaches and motivators to offer words of advice to help brokers through this period. And, we also sought the counsel of originators and brokers, too. After all, there’s some bad advice out there you might want to avoid so your career can keep moving forward and keep that cash flowing in.
It’s a great time to be in the business. Interest rates are at record lows, so originators are being inundated with refinance applications. Let’s keep you focused so you can handle the volume.
Why Are You In This Business?
I’m convinced that there is a psychological basis that needs to come before the “doing.” Are you doing what you really want to do? Is what you do just a series of actions because you have to do them, or are you doing what you do because you have a purpose? Do you believe in what you do? Is there a reason for what you do? In summary, do you know your “Why”?
Ralph LoVuolo Sr., Speaker/Coach/Author/ Mentor at Mortgage Godfather
The first thing we need to do is be crystal clear on what it is that we want. It’s a lot easier to stay psyched-up and zeroed-in when we have a well-defined objective. Vague objectives will not motivate us or help create focus.
Ski Swiatkowski, managing partner, BrokeredIn Academy
Don't Wait For Work
A motivated person is someone who, no matter what is happening around them, will get up, get out, and go to work. With the lowest interest rates ever, many of my colleagues are closing more loans than they have ever done in their lives. And yet there are also individuals who are trying to get another job to make ends meet.
What is the difference? The megastars are not order-takers waiting for borrowers to come to them. They are so particularly focused and driven they will find where the borrowers are and give them the attention they demand. In turn, borrowers feel that they must do business with these loan officers– today, right now!
These small few super performers, who make up just 20% of originators, look just like everyone else, with one notable difference: They are positive, upbeat, happy, prepared, ready to be there for the borrower. They expect to get the loan application.
David Luna, President and CEO, Mortgage Educators and Compliance
Study The Technology
In the mortgage industry, timing and teamwork are critical. Work efficiencies through technology and improved processes are essential. Improving your knowledge and skill set is not only rewarding, but the outcome for your customer is paramount to your success. And it can all be accomplished virtually!
Mary Kay Scully, director of customer education, Genworth Mortgage Insurance
Loan officers all over the country are asking me: What do I do now that I am home and I can’t see my real estate agents? Some are hiding. Some are just frozen with fear. Others are in difficult work circumstances because they may be home schooling their kids and don’t have a home office.
But others are taking the opportunity to learn new technologies and more. For example, I have some originators telling me that they are having more face time than ever with their agents using Zoom or other technologies. Others are telling me that they can make more calls without the distractions that an office delivers. Still others are ramping up their social media sites and postings and beefing up their database efforts.
Dave Hershman, founder, OriginationPro
Keep In Touch
This is still a relational business, so while you are not meeting in person with your current referral sources, you should still be staying in touch with them. In addition to that, you should be reaching out and connecting with new ones. People are starved for connection with others and most are open to having conversations with new people.
Get motivated and learn something new by tapping into the energy of others who are already doing well. Great attitudes and success are contagious and they have likely applied new ways to do the very things that make you feel stuck.
Paul Waldrop, head performance coach at XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy
Focus On Your [Work] Culture
There are a lot of mortgage brokers that are broker-owners doing it all on their own, or maybe with another originator and a small support staff. This environment, one that lacks a strong pulse or a loud heartbeat compared to big and populous offices, can be difficult for brokers to be constantly motivated, enthused, focused and positive.
The best piece of advice is to focus on your company’s and office’s culture. I am a mortgage broker-owner myself, in addition to being a coach, and only have another originator or two and support staff. But not only do we have a great time, we are motivated, focused and ultimately successful. We have no set schedule. Everyone knows to get their work done, whenever that may be. We have no dress code. We have pets and kids in the office all the time.
The mortgage business is stressful enough without adding on the things that impact your office culture and add to that stress. Make sure your culture breeds productivity, focus and success.
Adam Smith, president and founder, Just the Tips Coaching
Plan — And Then Plan Some More
Time management needs a reason. You need to know your “Why.” Then you’ll know your “What” and your “How.” You’ll see the things that are important and do them. You’ll stop wasting your time on wasteful, time-sucking actions. They might be fun, but they won’t produce the results you seek.
Ralph LoVuolo Sr.
Khai McBride taught me to look at my business in blocks. So,I split my day into thirds: working on my business, working in my business, and working for my business.
- The 1st third is CEO time: doing things a CEO would do.
- The 2nd third is sales time: prospecting for new loans.
- The 3rd third is working on loans. I do not touch a loan in progress until 3 p.m.
Jason John Sharon, broker/owner, Home Loans Inc.
If you’re struggling to remain motivated, try goal setting. Motivation and goal setting run hand in hand. Goal setting allows you to define personal and business objectives. Maybe we should look at “work-life balance” instead as “work-life alignment.”
Mary Kay Scully
I have found that motivation and attitude are powered by the lens with which we see the world. When we constantly strive to look through a grateful lens, we are better positioned to face challenges and overcome them quickly, as well as walk with compassion and understanding. Gratitude is an infusion that not only improves those aspects of our lives, but flows to how we show up each day. And the best part is, the more you look for things to be grateful for, the easier they will be to find! The benefits are immediate.
Kerry Wekelo, chief operating officer, Actualize Consulting
We must examine the beliefs we have relative to achieving what we want. If we have a limiting belief about our ability to accomplish a goal, we will continuously struggle, unaware that these underlying non-supportive beliefs are subverting our efforts. Develop strong beliefs about your ability to reach your goal.
Coaching May Not Always Work
Coaching works and coaching doesn’t work. In mortgages and life? It’s not the coach, it is the character that determine success in a stressful situation. What do I mean? Think about sports teams. There are superstars and there are bench warmers. They both have the same coach. It’s not the coach, it’s the person.
If you are thinking of hiring a coach, you have to ask yourself two questions: “What do you want out of a coach?” and “Are you ready to submit to the coach and do exactly what he/she tells you to do?” If you do not know what you want, you can not tell a coach to get you there. It’s like starting a trip without knowing the destination.
Jason John Sharon
Coaching can change your approach to just about anything, but it can’t add anything to any job that you don’t bring with you. Coaching is not about indoctrination. It is not about creating false loyalty to ideas that don’t serve customers. Any coaching that suggests good things can happen in your life without you taking personal responsibility is a false teaching.
John G. Stevens. chief marketing officer SRE Mortgage Alliance Inc.