Every three months, I get a nice, cool glass of tea, sit out on my front porch, and ask myself a set of questions regarding the state of my business. This month I decided to go through those questions with my good friend, Robert Philyaw. Robert is one of our coaches and leaders in the Freedom Club and one of my favorite people.
I love seeing loan officers succeed, and there’s no one I’ve loved watching succeed more than Robert. He’s a non-producing manager in the small town of Gainesville, Florida, expanding into Texas. His team is currently doing around 230 units a month, but when I first met him, they were doing 30-40.
I asked Robert to take off his humble hat and tell us what it’s been like going from 30 loans to 230. He says it’s equal parts insanity and pure joy. He talks about a ripple effect where it gets to be more than the units and the production and even the money. It’s all about relationships.
I had a great time working through these questions with Robert, and I guarantee they’ll help you build your business as well.
Question #1: What friction is in place making it more difficult for people to work with me?
I want it to be super easy to work with me. We should all want that, right? Robert had a conversation with a couple of his loan officers recently who were seeing a lot of initial inquiries, then customers trailed off and disappeared. They realized they were making the loan application process harder than it needed to be.
If you have a live borrower on the phone, don’t send them to an app. Ask the questions and take the application. Don’t let them get away. If you don’t have time for that, hire someone to do it for you. You don’t have time NOT to do that. Capture the business, build rapport, and go from there. Make it easy. Affirm people and help them feel at ease with you.
If you’re resisting hiring more people and/or delegating tasks, get over it. People want their questions answered quickly. Making them wait for an answer until you’re no longer busy introduces friction into the equation. Give them what they want—convenience and ease.
Question #2: If I could hire my dream person, what would that person do?
If you could hire someone to do anything at all in your mortgage company, and you know they’d do a phenomenal job, what would you have them do?
Robert says that’s an easy question for him: he would hire a pipeline manager. He defines that as someone who does nothing but review the pipeline and drive the dates and stay ahead of it to identify and solve problems before they become problems. If you’re good at it, you can look at a pipeline and see the files and where they’re getting hung up, then take action and communicate and get them addressed before the problem gets unmanageable. Every minute we’re working in our pipelines, that’s one minute we’re not on the phone bringing in deals.
What takes someone from 8 loans a month to 20 loans a month? Robert says it’s almost always that first loan partner. It starts with a who (hiring a partner) and filters down to a strategy. It’s hard for many people to let go right out of the gate. It often gets messier before it gets better. So, for most loan officers, their dream person chases conditions and puts out fires, so the loan officer can go out and sell more loans.
Capacity rules the world. You can’t wait until you’re at 100% to start hiring. You hire at 75% to 80%. That’s the friction point from a capacity standpoint. You start losing business at that point that you don’t even know you’re losing. Hiring someone means you capture more business, because it was already there. You just didn’t have the capacity for it.
Question #3: If I could magically solve one problem by snapping my fingers, what problem would I solve?
Robert would solve the problem of appraisal turn times. He says it’s one of the biggest challenges loan officers are facing across our industry today. Part of the solution is good communication with your appraisers and buyers, making sure they get whatever they need as soon as possible, trying to get ahead of that curve.
I asked Robert to tell me one problem he solved that has solved 50 other problems since. He said the way they process and send out CDs. It used to be that the loan officer was very involved in the process, and it was time consuming and didn’t flow well. And the processors didn’t know the numbers well enough to do it. So they created a position called a closing coordinator, and all they do is scrub files to make sure they’re ready to send CDs, prepare them and send them out. This has led to on-time closings and better relationships all around, which has really elevated his loan officer career.
Bonus Question: What skill do you have that serves you best?
Robert has a very good loan officer income, does a lot of serving, and has drastically impacted a lot of people’s lives in a very positive way. I asked him to take off his humble hat again and tell me what skill set in the business world serves him well.
He said it’s his ability to look at things in a process from a logistical standpoint. He’s really good at putting processes together to solve problems, make things more efficient, and run more smoothly. It’s one of his superpowers. He credits his eight-year stint in the United States Marine Corps as a logistics specialist for instilling these skills in him.
We teach the Philyaw Fantastic File Flow at our Freedom Club. Robert has this impressive process from the time a loan walks in the door to post-closing, and it flows so beautifully with so little friction.
If you’d like some help working on some of these questions, we’d love to help you map out a plan for that. In a quick 45-minute call, we’ll tell you how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. And we’ll help you build a custom plan complete with loan officer scripts, team building plans, and tips for hiring your first assistant. All while working less time than you are now. Don’t wait another minute. Schedule your FREE call TODAY.