What is the real cost of a mortgage?

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Make Your Commission Income Predictable

biz-imageWhen you are in a commission-only sales career, there are some things we have to understand:

  • You cannot control the results.
  • You cannot control when a client will finally find that dream home.
  • You cannot control when a prospective client will say “yes”.

There are so many things in our business that we don’t actually control when you think about it. We can influence these things at times, or work on having better timing when talking to prospective clients, but in the end, it is the client’s decision to make when it is right for them.

So let go and focus on what you CAN control – your activities.

I held some one-on-one coaching sessions last week with a few Loan Officers. As they look ahead to the new quarter, they shared concerns about an uncertain future, and unpredictable income, in the business.

So what did I tell them? Focus on what you CAN control. Focus on your habits and your daily activities that you are confident will lead to a successful business, and income, in the future.

The reality is, most commission-based sales professionals (especially in the mortgage and real estate worlds) have an income that, on paper, appears like the scariest roller coaster imaginable. But when you think about it, it makes sense. You work really hard to market, prospect, and connect with potential clients, opportunities arise from those efforts, and your business has a nice, but temporary spike. Then, you take your foot off the marketing and prospecting “gas pedal” to SERVICE those new clients, and your future business slows down again. Wash, rinse, and repeat throughout the course of the year, and for many, over an entire career, and you have a completely unpredictable, stressful income model.

What a maddening way to run a business, right?

No, in a commission-only income world, your income is never the same month to month. That’s the risk/reward trade-off you signed up for with having no limit to your income potential and enjoying the freedom of time.

Focus On Marketing and Prospecting Efforts     

At the end of the day, what you can control is what you decide to do with your time each day at work. And nothing trumps time spent talking to potential clients who may at some point, need your services.

The formula I shared with my coaching clients last week was a simple, weekly scorecard of the top money-making activities:

  • 50-100 calls and emails
  • 25 actual conversations (so you cannot just leave 50-100 emails and voice messages.)
  • 5-10 face-to-face meetings
  • 1 group email (item of value) on a specific day and time each week

Simple, but takes time and effort. With the ranges given above, choose a number that fits where your business is. If you are barely surviving, then commit to 100 calls and 10 face-to-face meetings per week to get the snowball rolling. It may seem like a lot, but in reality, the above activities may make up 2-3 hours of your day, at most. Assuming you work an eight-hour day, my response is, what ELSE are you let filling your day that you don’t have 2-3 hours to do the very activities that ensure more consistent income for you and your family? Everyone then always asks, “But, who am I calling and emailing?”

Simply put – everyone who has done business with you in the past and everyone who may want to do more business with you in the future. Dedicate time every Friday creating your prospecting list.

I can tell you what I have learned – NOT staying in touch with people and creating value in their lives regularly leads to no business and definitely UN-predictable income.

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Managing Stress

Great reminder on how to manage stress by setting proper expectations for yourself, clients, or partners.

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Top 10 Lessons I Learned in July 2017

journal

What a year of learning, growing, and implementing!  Every month this year, I have been journaling the greatest insights and reminders I learn each day.  Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in July 2017.  Let me know which ones resonate with you the most in the comments below.  *Special thanks to Todd Duncan, who I had the joy of spending a week with in Mexico in July…so much wisdom shared.

I hope one or more can help you in some way move forward.

  1. How you handle even minor adversity reveals a ton about you.  (This has been a biggie for helping me in helping to manage people UP or OUT lately.)
  2. Practice being more interested in what the other person has to say than making sure you are heard.  (Kind of goes with the mantra…we have one mouth and two ears.)
  3. We get more accomplished when focusing on fewer things.  (Amen!)
  4. Leadership doesn’t happen in a day; it happens daily. – Todd Duncan
  5. Connect first, convert second. – Todd Duncan (I’ve been really making a shift in this.)
  6. Stop doing what you don’t want more of! – Todd Duncan (Let this sink in a bit…packs a punch!)
  7. It’s easy to lose touch with the human side of our business.  (A powerful line from the book, The Connector’s Way by Patrick Galvin)
  8. Don’t expect anything from others until you’ve first created value for others.  (I live by this.)
  9. The power of completely unplugging from all work-related activities and thinking cannot be over-stated.  (Vacations and time with family are just not the same when still “connected” a little.)
  10. If I can accomplish just three important things each day at work, 15 per week, I will accomplish more than most. (A new focus I’m working on to improve what I say YES to and what I say NO to…and not feeling like my to-do list is cluttered with the un-important.)

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And please share this with others to give value and help THEM grow.

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Losing Touch With Human Aspect of the Mortgage Business

 

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Stop Being Busy and Be Present

multitask2

If you are familiar with even some business development concepts, you may have heard people discuss the difference between being busy and being productive. It can be described as doing lots of things versus doing fewer of the right things.

I’ve also heard it said that people who are constantly “busy” really are just pointing out their lack of organization and control over their time and priorities. In fact, whenever people constantly tell me in an exasperated manner, “I can’t believe how busy I am!” I find myself just wanting to say, “then get organized! You’re just telling me you are unorganized and that you have no idea how to control your day and say “no” sometimes.” I hate to sound like a grumpy old man, but it seems like people are constantly attempting to validate themselves by acting busy. I have much respect for those who get so much accomplished with an air of peacefulness and confidence as they move through their days and weeks.

I have committed to becoming more and more productive for many years now. At this point, I can’t stand the word “busy” and see no need for it unless we are describing a marketing piece with too much crammed into too little space.

But what about being “present”? This is an interesting comparison I have recently been thinking about.

Here is one personal example. One night each week my wife and I park ourselves on the couch to catch up on The Bachelor. It’s mind-numbing, yes. And I’ll admit it isn’t only her that enjoys it. But regularly she will call me out on having my iPad open at the same time, catching up on Facebook or the latest news. She gets frustrated when I can’t seem to just be “present” with her watching the show. For some reason, I am keeping myself overly “busy” but I am missing an opportunity to be present.

Here is an annoying work example that we all can relate to. How many times have you been sitting in a meeting with someone and they have their phone out on the table? While you are attempting to engage in a conversation, the texts, alerts, and calls keep their phone buzzing throughout your lunch appointment. Even worse, the person stops in mid-sentence to look down at the phone, gauge who the message is from, and then put it back down. This is the essence of being so “busy” you can’t take the time to be “present” with the person you have blocked out time for. And let’s be real – how often is this person I’m describing…you?

Looking back over the past week or so, how many times can you think of that you have not been fully present with your kids, your spouse, your friends, your employees, your team, your clients, etc.?

Consider that every time you or I check our phone while in a meeting, we are telling the other person that they are less important than whoever might be interrupting our conversation.

In this day of being constantly connected with our devices everywhere we go, it is up to us to make a conscious decision to be present with others. Stop telling people how busy you are. Think of ways you can be more productive, getting more of the right things done with less chaos and stress. Say “no” to more things so you can say “yes” to the right things. This isn’t easy for you or me, but I am committed to improving dramatically going forward! How about you?

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Top 10 Lessons I Learned in June 2017

freelancing-writing

Every month since January, I have been journaling the greatest insights and reminders I learn each day.  I can report, now that we are half way through 2017, I am very thankful I started this experiment.  It’s given me a tool (my journal) that I can easily reference at any time for pages and pages of inspiring quotes and reminders on how to enjoy success…both personally and professionally.  And sharing with all of you has been fun!

Here are the Top 10 lessons I learned in June 2017.  Let me know which ones resonate with you the most in the comments below. (*one thing to note…these are never listed in any particular order, other than the order in which I “learned” them.)

  1. You don’t always get what you want, but you do get what you expect.
  2. All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like, and trust. But I never gamble on “all things being equal”.
  3. Give, give, give…not as a strategy, but as a way of life. When you do, the money will follow.
  4. Being broke and being rich are both decisions you make.
  5. The fear of one upset client or referral partner keeps you from building the one thing you desire most – a self-managing team and business.
  6. I am a financial educator who happens to be an expert in mortgage advice.
  7. Some things can be done “good enough”. Let go…and focus on what you need to do.
  8. If someone questions your price, it means you did not communicate enough (perceived) value.
  9. Character is greater than intellect. Character is what you do; intellect is what you know.  Thus, close the gap between what you know and what you do.
  10. The most valuable gift you have to offer is YOU. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is YOU.

Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And please share this with others to give value and help THEM grow.

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