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How He Made $100,000 More This Year

How would you like to make an additional $100k in personal W2 income?

That’s exactly what Taylor Briggs from Chesapeake, Virginia has done over the past two years. He and his business partner run a lending firm as part of their parent company, and their recent success has been noteworthy.

He recently sent me a message that said, “Thanks to the Mortgage Marketing Animals and the Freedom Club, I’m having the best income-earning year of my career. All while going from working 80 hours a week to now only working 30 hours a week.”

I wanted to know more, so we sat down for a chat. Taylor is a super humble guy, so I asked him to take off his humble hat for a little bit, so he can help and inspire other people.

So How Did He Do It?

Taylor has been in the industry for 10 years in various roles, but this is just his third full year of origination. When he started doing that full-time, the refinance boom was basically in full swing and he didn’t have past clients. So he leaned heavily into purchases and realtor turn-downs. There’s also a large VA market where he’s at, so he’s been focusing on that as well.

He and his partner really built out a book of business doing loans that other people can’t do, whether it’s guidelines, credit score, or whatever. But they don’t focus on that message as much anymore. Now their message is quality of service. Taylor has taken what he’s learned from MMA and the Freedom Club and really honed their systems and processes and raised their level of communication.

“Our ability to really just be incredibly communicative sets us apart,” he told me. “That’s the biggest thing that we noticed our competition wasn’t doing.” He saw that other loan officers had gotten complacent and weren’t really putting in the time and effort with their realtor partners like Taylor and his business partner do.

What Does that Time and Effort with Realtor Partners Look Like?

I asked him how he’s getting the message out to talk to these agents. He said that originally it was, “Hey, if you’ve got a no, maybe we can get a yes out of it.” At my branch, we call that the “Trash Can to Cash Can” approach.

He said that, in the beginning, he took the Focus 40 approach. He’d gather a list of realtors who he knew would have business to give and he met with them and stayed on top of them for 10-12 weeks. Then he ran with it. When they closed, he’d say, “I know you have some relationships with other lenders, but is there someone in your office that could benefit from having us as a second opinion?”

He has since pivoted to 45-50% past client referrals. When they close a client, they focus very hard on making them a client for life and asking for business quarterly. They reach out to them to do analyses for where the market is at currently vs. where their loan is at. It can be a timely opportunity for people to take out some cash and pay off debt.

Since they work with a lot of VA folks, they’re often on the move and relocating. They have a couple clients who are military recruiters and have given them a ton of business. This year alone, they’ve given back 26 closings to their referral agents. Just by following up with their database and referring them back to the agents they work with.

It’s a message to those realtors that, when they close with Taylor’s team, they’re not only closing a loan but getting future referrals.

It Helps to Know Your Stuff

In my experience, once you get in with a brotherhood or sisterhood, like a police department, fire department, a hospital system, the military, it’s a really good spot because they refer you to the rest of the people in the group. As long as you’re doing a good job and reaching out to them, they can be a really good source.

Taylor says he’s had loans he’s closed that any lender could have done, and maybe the loan officer just didn’t know the guidelines. Knowing the guidelines backward and forward and being a resource for agents is really important.

He also uses social media and has joined some realtor groups. He’s gotten deals just from answering their questions and being responsive. He’s really into being a true partner to realtors, showing them how they can grow their business, helping them with their pain points. He uses MMA scripts and has found that they really work.

People love to talk about themselves, so it’s not hard for Taylor to get them to tell him what’s working and what’s not. In the beginning, we often think we need a hook or a catch. Then, once we get business coming in, we can just say, you know what, I’m an awesome loan officer. I don’t need that hook. I feel confident just reaching out and asking for business. We have so much to offer them, just being ourselves.

Above All Else, Stick to the Daily Success Plan

Taylor religiously makes phone calls Monday through Thursday to agents, borrowers, following up, asking for referrals, asking for reviews after a loan closes. That’s been huge for him this year and has really helped him grow his business. He says it really comes down to making those phone calls, following up, and doing it consistently and systematically.

We have to get out there and hustle and talk to as many people as we can, he says. When he first started, he was calling close to 100 realtors a week as well as CPAs, divorce attorneys, anyone who would sit down with him that could potentially refer him business. Just pick up the phone and start taking action is his motto.

I asked him how he built credibility in the beginning. He said that luckily his parent company had a good reputation. When he first started originating for them, their name on a preapproval letter carried more weight. As time went on and he built relationships, now people recognize his name.

He’s also very active on social media. He posts multiple videos a week. He’s constantly following up with people across all platforms—LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram—to stay in front of them. He’s gotten so many clients through social media—probably 15% of his pipeline—whether it’s past clients or people in his sphere of influence from high school classmates to former coworkers.

I asked him to walk me through a typical Tuesday. He said he gets in the office and spends 30 minutes taking care of admin stuff like emails. Then from 9:00-11:00 am, he’s making calls about any loan that’s in process—to the title company, both agents, borrower and co-borrower—seeing if they have any questions and asking for referrals. Tuesdays are for following up with what’s in the pipe and what they may have in the pipeline in the future. Then, after 11:00, he’s reaching out to more realtors.

He prospects on Monday and Tuesday and tries to set up meetings for Wednesday through Friday. In addition to phone calls, he also sends direct messages on Facebook and has had a lot of success, especially with agents he hasn’t met yet. He shares client testimonial videos and that builds his reputation before they even meet. When they do meet, they’ll often mention his video, and it’s a warmer start to their conversation.

Before he started working with MMA and the Freedom Club, he was working 80+ hours a week, long into the evenings and on weekends, doing admin stuff. Now he has an assistant who’s an absolute rockstar. They’ve built out a really great team that has everything down to a science, and they average 18 days from contract to close. Because he learned how to hire good people and delegate, he now only works 30 hours a week.

What Roadblocks Has He Overcome?

Initially he didn’t have the volume to necessitate hiring an assistant, so he got together with a couple other LOs and they chipped in for an LOA together. That way they could share the cost and still get the help. That made a huge difference and freed up their time to go sell. Now the volume itself—and the team they’ve built—allows him to have his own LOA. She handles 20-30 loans a month. As they continue to grow into the next year, they’re going to hire 1-2 more assistants.

It’s hard to hire help when you feel like you can’t afford it. But I say this all the time. You can’t win the Super Bowl and then hire the great quarterback. You have to hire the quarterback first, then you can win the Super Bowl.

Taylor says the biggest thing right now that we’re looking to overcome is how much time they’re spending cold calling versus being more in front of clients and agents. They’d like to bring someone on to act as a realtor liaison to ensure the agents’ experience is the same from start to finish but allow them to go out and do more events. They want to do more lunch and learns, home buyer seminars, and more charity events in the community.

His biggest piece of advice to new loan officers is to embrace the no, look forward to it even. The more times you ask, the better your chances of getting a yes from agents, from clients, even from other LO’s. Call as many people as possible, and don’t worry about getting shot down. It’s all part of the learning curve. Get out there, deal with the embarrassment. You can do it, he says. Remember it’s a long game.

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