Small Simple Activities that Flat-Out Work

I love a good success story, don’t you? My friend Yahya Chotani is new to the mortgage business and doing everything right—and he’s been an inspiration to many already. 

Yahya is usually my next-door neighbor here in Orlando, Florida, but he’s in Missouri right now—and still doing loans in Florida. The company he works for is licensed in 49 states. None of his clients care where he’s at as long as he follows up and closes loans. The clients are happy, the agents are happy, and it’s all good.

Yahya told me that he found out about me when his branch manager sent him an episode of my podcast, Loan Officer Freedom, and told him to listen to it. 

And the rest is history.

Off to an Incredible Start

From there, he started listening to my good buddy Steve Kyles’s podcast, Loan Officer Leadership. One day he ran and got a notebook and started copying down some of the scripts and rebuttals Steve was going through. He was like, “This sounds cool, but I gotta try it and see if it really works.” 

He called up some people he knew (but had never worked with) and started laughing so hard he had to mute the microphone because it was really working. “This is crazy,” he thought. “It’s so weird how this thing is working right off the bat.” 

He called an agent, and she started giving him leads. And before he had even become a member of the Freedom Club, he had the Focus 40 Tracker going. In his first week he got 20 leads just by using the script and calling people all week long. He quickly became a Freedom Club member, and it felt overwhelming, but he loves a challenge. 

He knew he wanted to do this the right way. 

90 Days Until You Start Seeing Fruit

People are saying that, by June 2023, 60% of all the loan officers that were in business in June 2022 won’t be here anymore. Why not? Well, for many of them, they want instant gratification. They want to work today and get paid today. But that’s not how this industry works. 

Prospecting takes time. The work you do today won’t get you results until about 90 days from now. You’ve got to put in a little bit of elbow grease for three months before you see fruit. We’re not building tents here; we’re building castles. You can put up a tent in an hour. It can take months or years to build a castle. But it’s worth it. 

I asked Yahya how he pushed through that period of 90 days from when he got his first referral to when it started ramping up. How did he push through that time of doubt and keep going?

He said that’s a lesson he learned in sports. He used to box when he was younger, and you can’t learn how to throw the perfect jab in a day. It takes months of practice and timing, and you also have to do other activities that build your stamina and improve your coordination. 

He knows that if he goes all out, does everything he can, he’ll see results when the time is right. He’s going to keep learning, keep figuring out the process, learn how to market himself better, and just keep putting in the work every day.

Yahya is Dead Serious About the Daily Success Plan

When he learned about the Daily Success Plan and realized it was the missing link, he didn’t understand why most loan officers weren’t doing it. Why would you not call these 

agents? he wondered.

In his experience, agents never got upset with him for calling them multiple times to let them know how their clients were doing or filling them in on what’s going on with the title. He said they don’t expect a call from loan officers, and when he called them with a positive energy, it was very well received. They appreciated the follow-up and communication. 

Yahya calls every single Monday without fail, even on holidays. If he can’t make the call, he sends a personalized video. Just a 30-second clip that says, “Hey, Carl. I hope you’re having an awesome day. I couldn’t call you today, and it’s probably the only Monday I won’t call you. It’s New Year’s Day and I’m with my family, but I wanted to let you know that you’re awesome and I love working with you, and I hope to continue to have an amazing year with you. Take care.” 

He emails it and texts it to them. It’s always something quick and simple, just thanking them and honoring them. One thing I have found is that no one would ever say, “Dude, stop thanking me and honoring me.” Right?

What Characteristics Do All Top Producers Have?

He says that, after getting to know some top producers in the Freedom Club, they’re really receptive and grateful people. They’re humble. They’re structured. They’re very hungry to learn, like they can never learn enough. They’re also kind and generous.

“Believe it or not,” he told me, “they want to teach you what they’re doing because they’re eager to share this knowledge and experience. You just have to be respectful of their time and effort.”

He talked to one agent in particular who he really connected with, and this agent was so impressed by Yahya’s consistent communication and follow-up. He told Yahya, “You called me every week. I got a video, an email, and a text. You were in front of me on different social media platforms, different avenues. You won me over with just your communication.”

He went on to call Yahya the “King of Communication” and is flying him to Orlando to talk to his top agents.

Yahya has learned that people just want you to be nice and respectful and trustworthy. He learned from Steve Kyles that “life moves at the speed of relationships.” So he’s going after quality over quantity and working on building trust.

Why He’s Capitalizing on Micro Content

He also learned the power of social media. There’s a trend right now of micro content, where you explain something in 30 seconds that takes most people 10 minutes to explain. People’s attention spans are shorter and they want quick, easy answers. So Yahya has been making these quick Instagram videos about loans, products, finance hacks, etc. He posts three short videos a week. And now he has people calling him who have seen his videos and already trust him because of the great advice he’s giving. 

“I want to do amazing stuff and I want good people around me,” he told me, “because what I’ve learned is I want to be better every day. The only way I can do that is by surrounding myself with people who are better than me personally.”

His goal is to do Thor’s Hammer four days a week, “because it works and I’m greedy and I’m gonna get this.” So I asked him to give me a 30-second micro-content explanation of Thor’s Hammer. Here’s what he said: 

“Thor’s Hammer is one of the coolest things you could do if you want to get leads quickly. It’s a proven way for me personally. You’re calling agents who are top producers getting business right now and letting them know who you are, what you’re doing, and how you can help them. You’re just asking them to grab coffee or do a Zoom meeting with you.”

That’s exactly right.

What Motivates Yahya to Be the Best He Can Be?

He’s only been at this loan officer thing for a year. Where does he find the courage to do all this outbound activity that’s working for him? How does he push through the fear of impostor syndrome, being so new to this?

He told me it’s all about integrity. If you’re honest with people and sincere, and you know you have something to offer them, then you can call them with integrity. He’s also really passionate. He thinks the mortgage business is one of the coolest businesses you can be in. I agree.

He was at one of our boot camps last year, and we did a whiteboard exercise where we had everyone write down all the things they wanted for themselves and their family. Then we told them to erase one of those things. 

Then we asked: Why would you do that? Why would you take away one of your goals? Each time you don’t make a phone call, you have to take off one thing. You’re not going to buy your son this or get your wife this. You’re not going to do this thing for your family. If you really want everything on that whiteboard, and don’t want to miss out on any of it, then you’ve got to make those calls.

Yahya read two books recently that really helped him: Crushing Call Reluctance by Kevin Gillespie and yours truly. And Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. They both gave him a lot of helpful perspective, helped him put his fears aside and realize that getting a no from someone is no big deal. It’s just a necessary step on the path to yes.

Every morning, he hypes himself up mentally, because the calls aren’t easy. You have to get in the zone. And how does he hype himself up? By attending a fun little gathering of like-minded loan officers called the Loan Officer Breakfast Club where we celebrate our wins and push each other to the next level. When he does his calls, he’s hyped up, energetic, and excited. If the person he calls doesn’t have that same energy, he just calls the next person on the list. 

What Advice Does Yahya Have for New Loan Officers?

Yahya said he’d tell them right off the bat that they need to join the Mortgage Marketing Animals. He didn’t know when he joined how easy it was going to be. “It’s really super easy,” he told me. “You guys have broken it down to a simple science. It’s like a workout plan. Just do it. You’re gonna get fit in 90 days if you just stick to the plan.”

What Yahya has learned is that it takes at least a year to two years to really build your business in the mortgage industry. There’s a whole lot of stuff to learn and get good at. It’s not hard but it takes time. Follow the DSP and you’ll get results. If you want instant results, go do something else. But you’re not going to find something that pays this well.

He says what he loves about the Mortgage Marketing Animals is that we’ve done all the research, all the work, all the experimentation, and now we’re just passing along the proven plan. He especially loves the scripts, or conversations by design. He doesn’t even have to think before he speaks to somebody, because the thinking has been done for him. There are basically 10 different rebuttals or misconceptions people have, and MMA has a concise response for each one of them. 

Yahya has discovered my secret sauce—finding a way to hang out with high-producing people doing the thing I want to do and just copy them. They’re just normal people with normal fears. It’s the activities they’re doing—and the discipline they have—that sets them apart. If I do that same activity, I’ll get those results too. 

Yahya has seen so much success because he put his faith in this proven system and he’s committed to doing it exactly the way it’s set up to work. And adding his own personal touches along the way. He listens to podcasts. He attends events. He goes to the Loan Officer Breakfast Club meetings. He’s immersed himself in this community and surrounded himself with successful people. And he’s just tenacious. 

Yahya’s story is inspiring, but it’s not exceptional. You can do it too, and we can show you how. If you’d like for us to map out a custom plan for you, click HERE to set up your FREE consultation TODAY.