Have you ever heard about those people who take their business on the road? People who work while also having a grand traveling adventure? Have you ever thought a loan officer could be one of those people?
Let me introduce you to my friend, Roger McGuire. Roger, one of the leaders in our Freedom Club, is a loan officer extraordinaire traveling around the country in a motorhome with his wife and young sons. And still increasing his business. They left home in June 2021. Instead of going on vacation from time to time, they live on vacation and go home from time to time. And Roger is closing 200 loans a year. Let’s just say this is not your typical loan officer job description.
Roger is currently in Albuquerque with a book of business in Chicago, where he used to live, and Sarasota, his primary residence. I asked him how these agents in Chicago and Sarasota still feel like they’re connected to him and send him referrals even though he’s been traveling the country for the past six months. Here’s what he said.
How On Earth Is He Doing This?
Roger told me he’s learned a lot over the years, and he believes in genuine relationships with people, with agents. He takes time to keep in touch with them. He tries to make sure he touches each partner at least once a week at minimum, in addition to what his team is doing. He’s got a great reputation with agents and is able to get even more realtor referral partners because of it.
He’s been working remotely since 2015 when he moved to Florida. He says the pandemic has just shown everyone how possible it is to grow your business from 1200 miles away. He hasn’t had a face-to-face meeting in Chicago since 2018. He does Zoom calls, phone calls, reaches out, and cares about his partners personally, not just from a business standpoint.
How do you get new agents to refer to you when you’re literally on the other side of the country? He says he never lies, but he doesn’t bring it up. He doesn’t broadcast the fact that he’s working out of an RV. He believes from the bottom of his heart that it doesn’t matter where you’re sitting.
From a conversion standpoint, there’s no difference. In fact, being on the road has cut out a lot of the noise and distraction. It’s proof that you can grow your business in an unconventional way. Most new business comes from simple phone calls asking for the business. What difference does it make if the call is from an office five miles away or across the country?
And maybe the most important thing of all? He has a phenomenal team. They’re disciplined, and they get things done.
What Does a Typical Day/Week Look Like?
What does a typical day in the life of a traveling loan officer look like? Roger says it depends on where they are on their journey. When they’re in Glacier National Park, there’s so much to do and see with the family. When he’s between destinations, there’s not. To the best of his ability, he works off Eastern Standard Time no matter where he is in the country. His wife homeschools their boys, so they do school while he’s at work.
When he’s on Mountain Standard Time, he could finish up the day at 3:00pm and have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy nature and his family. The other day he was skipping rocks on a gorgeous lake at 3:00. He has to get up earlier in the mornings to make those calls when people are in the office on the east coast, and he can’t always stick to the four-day work week, but for the most part, he’s not working evenings and weekends. And he’s making a very healthy loan officer income, closing 200 loans a year.
I asked him if it’s hard to put on his work hat when he’s sitting in the middle of so much beauty. Is it hard in Yellowstone and Jackson Hole and the Utah desert and all these other beautiful places to turn off the vacation mode and work for eight hours a day?
He said, to be perfectly honest, it’s been frustrating to answer people’s questions about it. He even put it into writing one day to get his head straight. People would ask, “How’s the vacation? How’s the vacation?” But he’s still working. Every day he’s working. Then he realized one day that he has literally built a life that looks like a vacation to everybody on the outside looking in. He’s in a cool spot. Life is good.
He remembers back to their first trip over Thanksgiving 2020. It was the first time he’d taken a week off in a long time. A serious week off, with just a couple three-minute check-ins with his team, and that’s it. Two days into it, his oldest son started crying and saying, “I don’t want to leave.” So they stayed for two weeks and he made calls in his pickup truck.
This past year they spent Thanksgiving in Arizona, and he didn’t carve out the week off, but he didn’t have to. He didn’t work a ton, and his stress level was so low. He told his wife, “It’s like I don’t even need to take a week off anymore.” He’s getting to do the fun parts of work, and his team is doing great, and his life is just so much better now that he’s not a ball of stress all the time.
Keeping Your Team Motivated
Roger is one of about a dozen loan officers in the Freedom Club who are traveling the country and working from an RV. I asked him how his team feels about him being in Glacier National Park while they’re sitting in the office wrangling alligators.
He said he feels like they’re the complete essence of a great team. They have his back, and he has theirs. One of his team members works from Dubai because her daughter lives there. Another person has a dream of living in Italy for a few months. In most offices, that would be a deal breaker. You’d have to find a new job. But she knows she can take her job with her to Italy when she’s ready to go.
He said the team also has fun with it. They like to live vicariously through him and his family. When you’re really happy and doing awesome things, will some people feel jealous and resentful of you? Sure. But the right people will be inspired by you. You can surround yourself with people who are inspired by you, not uncomfortable with your success. That’s what the Freedom Club is all about.
What a great experience this is for his two boys. What an amazing life lesson. Roger is setting a new norm for them. This is their normal lifestyle. They don’t have to be stuck in a cubicle all day when they get older, unless that’s what they want.
A Handful of Tools for Working Remotely
If a loan officer is thinking about working remotely, traveling around the country, making half a million dollars a year and having a really cool life, what tools do they need to be able to do that?
The right team and the right mindset are the most important things, Roger says. As far as practical tools go, he has wifi/internet with several companies: AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. He’s been in 24 states in 6 months, and the wifi coverage changes from region to region, so he’s got his bases covered. Most of what they do is through Zoom so he needs the internet to be working.
They use RingCentral for their phone system. Their office has a receptionist who answers all the office calls. His Chicago phone number and Florida phone number both go to the office. If the receptionist can’t answer it, it hits voicemail and his team gets an email to jump on it. Nobody has Roger’s personal cell number. All the calls go to the office.
He can still do office presentations through Zoom. He does virtual coffee meetings with realtors. He tries to do the first one over the phone, short and sweet, and then sets up a Zoom meeting.
What’s Next for Roger? What’s Next for YOU?
What’s next for Roger? The family wants to keep going. They started in Chicago and headed west, so they want to see the Northeast. His youngest has always wanted to go to DC, so they’re going to do that. His sons are 9 and 11 and Roger says they still think their dad is cool, and this trip has kept them little boys. They play outside all the time, then hang out with their parents. As long as they can keep doing this, Roger says they’ll keep doing it.
Roger is truly one of the nicest people ever. He’s a successful loan officer and is spending time with his lovely bride and showing how to lead a family and run a business on your own terms. He’s a huge inspiration to me.
If you need help mapping out a plan for the next 90 days, we’d love to help you. That’s what we did for Roger a few years ago when he scheduled a call with us. Maybe your path will look like Roger’s and maybe it won’t. But let’s figure it out together. Schedule your FREE loan officer strategy call TODAY.