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Two Veteran Mortgage Branch Managers Challenge Each Other to a Duel

What happens when you get two veteran loan officers together to battle it out in the virtual arena?

Some really cool stuff happens, that’s what. 

Paul Dolan is a very dear friend of mine, one of our Freedom Club coaches, and a very successful branch manager. He’s been a great inspiration to me—and so many others—over the years. I reached out to Paul recently and challenged him to a duel. 

“Challenge accepted,” Paul said. 

We decided to throw some questions at each other and just see where it went. And, by the way, we took our humble hats off for this one. Screw the humbleness, right? We know you want inspiration and instruction, so that’s what we’re going to give you.

I started us off with the first question.

“Paul, What Unique Skill Has Helped You Be Successful?”

Paul didn’t hesitate for a second. He’s been working on this exact thing. “My unique ability is inspiring others,” he said. “Leading people and helping them find the core piece inside themselves that I can pull to the top and expand.” 

His word/phrase for 2023 is: energy multiplier. It’s been on his heart lately to be an energy multiplier for those around him, to really multiply the energy in the room in a positive, inspiring way. “I want to help people see that there’s a bigger world out there for them,” he said.

I’ve seen this firsthand with Paul in our Freedom Club, and I know he’s doing it as a non-producing branch manager in his mortgage branch as well. He inspires people to take action, and I love that. He inspires me to take action, that’s for sure. 

Paul’s turn.

“Carl, If You Had to Recruit 5 People in 30 Days, How Would You Do It?”

Of all the tools out there, the phone is hard to beat. You can do social media to kind of warm up the crowd a little bit, but 30 days isn’t enough time for social media to work. I would say to branch managers: find out who the movers and shakers are. Find out who’s closing the most loans. You can look up production reports and see who’s at the top. Call your local title company and ask, “Who’s the loan officer you see most often?” Call top-producing real estate agents and ask, “Other than me, who’s your next favorite loan officer?”

One caveat: I don’t recruit loan officers who work for friends of mine. And, in the Freedom Club, we don’t recruit from each other either. That’s uncool—and 100% not allowed. It’s one reason I don’t have a lot of true friends in my local area who are in the loan business. I wouldn’t want to cause any kind of weirdness in this way.

Once you identify some high-quality loan officers, simply pick up the phone, call them up and ask them where their pain point is. Ask them what their number one problem is. I already know it’s going to be one of two things: 1.) they need more leads or 2.) they need help unloading stuff they don’t like doing so they can focus more of their time on getting leads.

Then I would offer to coach them through how to get more leads that actually close. I know a thing or two about that, since I run a team that does over $1 billion in closed loans per year. I also know a thing or two about building a great team. 

So I’d call them up, find out what their problem is, and offer a solution for that problem. I’m not calling to bother them. I’m calling to tell them I can help them make more money. Who doesn’t want to hear more about that, right? 

And I would hammer the phone like there’s no tomorrow. I wouldn’t let anything else distract me until I have those five people recruited and hired. Anything other than that activity would be a distraction.

“Paul, How Do You Avoid Giving In to Distractions?”

Paul said that, if you want to make $1 million in this business, if you want to be in the Double Comma Club, there are some things you need to think about. Let’s say you’re going to work 40 hours a week. Then, when you do the math, you need to be thinking about activities that are $480/hour activities.

Break it down some more, and every 15 minutes you spend doing something is worth $120. So, every 15 minutes of your day, you’ve got to have a timer in your head saying: is this a $120 activity? If it’s not, you don’t do it. You pass it on to someone else. Every 15 minutes, you have $120 sitting on your table. Where’s it going to go?

As a loan officer who wants to make a lot of money, you’ve got to get your mindset right about time. Paul said he sees people all the time listening to webinars that have nothing to do with the main thing they should be focused on. They’re listening to things that don’t even relate to their money-making activities. 

“A lot of us in the mortgage industry are very visual people,” he told me, “and I literally visualize stacks of $120. Each 15 minutes it’s going in either the trash can or the bank account.” Suddenly, that 15 minutes you spent watching people dance on TikTok or scrolling Facebook feels like a waste. And we’re not talking about evenings and weekends; we’re talking about our work time. 

Paul also made sure to clarify that he’s not saying to change topics every 15 minutes. He’s just saying that every 15 minutes counts. 

“Carl, Would You Meet with a Realtor Who Closed Three Buyer Sides Last Year?”

This question actually came up in a recent meeting of the Loan Officer Breakfast Club where hundreds of loan officers meet every Monday through Thursday morning from 8:30am to 9:00am ET to share ideas and discuss things. (by the way, if you’re not a member, it’s absolutely free and the biggest no-brainer ever)

We had this debate about whether or not you follow up when someone says, “Hey, Carl. You should meet Realtor Bob. And, by the way, Realtor Bob closed three buyer sides last year.”

Now, there are pros and cons, good arguments for both sides, right? And it’s not like there’s a right and a wrong answer. It’s a personal thing. For me personally, I’m not going to follow up with Realtor Bob. It’s all about opportunity cost. When I say yes to Bob, I’m saying no to everyone else that had 12 buyer sides last year. 

We’re working on a Focus 40—a list of 40 agents who are referring us one or more closings a quarter. When you do that, you get 160 closings for the year. Let’s say you make $3000 per closing. Then you’ve just made $480k for the year.

If I spend time talking to someone who’s closing three deals a year, I’m probably not even going to get a whole deal out of them. When I say yes to that conversation, I’m saying no to every other conversation. No, I wouldn’t pay $120 for 15 minutes with that agent. But I’d pay that much to have coffee with a qualified agent.

“Paul, What One Skill Should a Loan Officer Work on for the Next 90 Days?”

I asked Paul this question, and he accused me of stealing his question, because he had been planning to ask me the same thing. He said he’d start with what that activity is NOT. It’s not going on Facebook and doing ads. It’s not trying to get Zillow leads.

The skill he thinks is most important is the skill of picking up the phone and feeling comfortable doing that. Getting that muscle of picking up the phone, making calls, and learning how to have a good, deep conversation. He says it’s about learning how to have influence in how you speak, how to speak with a certain inflection. The way you say things matters.

Of course, what you say also matters. That’s where scripts come into play. Paul prefers the phrase “language patterns.” The skill he recommends people work on is “saying the right five language patterns to the right people with the right inflection and the right influence.”

I asked him where he would go to learn that skill. We’re partners at the Mortgage Marketing Animals where we teach that skill and so many more, but instead of shamelessly promoting ourselves, where else could someone go to learn this? 

Paul said that, for the first 10 years of his career, he didn’t know the right people to call or the language patterns/scripts to use. He recommends finding five people who are implementing this really well and becoming friends with them. Not just five top producers, but top producers who have perfected this specific skill.

If you want to become a NASCAR driver, you wouldn’t go to a monster truck driver to learn from them. You’d find the top five NASCAR drivers and learn from them. So in this industry, you need to find five people who are doing it the way you want to do it and then model after them. 

“Carl, What One Person Would You Pick to Have Dinner With?”

I’ve met some really cool people in my life—Kevin O’Leary, Damon John, William Shatner, Jack Black. Jack Black actually gave me a tour around Universal Studios. He’s a fascinating person, the nicest guy ever. 

My most enjoyable celebrity meeting to date has been having tea with Alice Cooper. That was fascinating. He’s such a smart dude and remarkably normal. His grandfather was a pastor. His father was a pastor. And he’s very involved in his church, which you would never guess. And he’s funny as heck and so charming. 

Who would I want to have dinner with? I chose two people who might seem kind of off the wall. The first is Steve-O of Jackass fame. Steve-O went through a really hard time of addiction and alcoholism and came out on the other side and is doing really well for himself. I would love to sit down with him and ask him, “What was that pivotal moment where you rose above the addiction and turned your life around?” I went through a transformation on a much smaller scale years ago, so I’d like to hear his story of transformation and how that all came about.

The second one is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I would love to have lunch or tea with him and ask him what it was like to grow up in a really famous family, the royalty of NASCAR. He’s probably worth about $400 million today. He was self-made. He didn’t inherit a dime from his family. His dad was a great man who died tragically in a racing accident in 2001. What was it like to grow up in his father’s shadow? What was that like, with all the struggles that must have come with that, and how is he such a grounded, grateful person today? 

I asked Paul who he’d like to have dinner with, and he said Garth Brooks. That’s been his lifelong dream. Garth has been an inspiration to him all his life.

So what does that question about celebrities have to do with mortgages? Paul says what it has to do with mortgages is this: DREAM BIGGER. It’s time to take on bigger thoughts, bigger ideas, and become someone bigger than you are today.

Paul and I believe in your ability to dream bigger in 2023 than you did in 2022. If you’d like some help with that dreaming, we’d love to map that out for you. Click HERE to schedule your FREE call TODAY.