How a Loan Officer Lost Everything and Got it All Back

My dear friend, Rayce Robinson, has been in the mortgage business since 2001 and has a genuine rags-to-riches story. He’s one of the leaders in our Freedom Club and has been a great inspiration to me for a lot of years. 

He’s based in Orlando, and in 2008-2009 when the housing market crashed, there wasn’t a worse place to be than in Florida. I asked Rayce to share where he was at then, where he’s at now, and how he got from there to here.

When Everything Fell Apart

In 2007, Rayce owned four houses (plus his primary residence) and a booming mortgage brokering business. Then came the crash. Over a 12-month period, he went down to zero and lost most of his savings. On top of that, he made some bad decisions, borrowing against his house and doing anything he could to keep his business afloat.

“I remember eating dinner and people were peeking in our window to serve me foreclosure papers,” he told me. “Owning five houses meant five sets of papers. It was hard on my family.”

I could tell this still caused him pain, and I told him to go easy on himself. It wasn’t his fault. That crash was brutal. None of us loan officers knew what the future held. I don’t know how else we could have done it, what other decisions we could have made.

In our company, we went from closing a bunch of loans to closing zero, but we hung in there and we recovered. Rayce closed his brokerage, got his insurance license, and headed toward the insurance industry. He knew how long his money was going to last, and it wasn’t long. He says it was like “a calendar of impending doom.”

Rayce Meets Carl

Then Rayce found out about our Freedom Club and started attending events I would do. He hung out with successful loan officers and soaked it all up. He had told his wife, Shannon, that he was just going to go to events, not spend the money to get coaching. But the more he listened, the more he realized that this was exactly what he needed to learn how to be a successful loan officer himself.

He called her from one of the events, told her how much it was to join, and she said, “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

I remember him telling me, “Carl, if you could just help me make $150,000 a year, I want to join.” No problem, I said. And it wasn’t.

“I did everything you told me to do to close more loans, and it worked,” he said. “I would never be where I am now without the Freedom Club.”

One of the first things Rayce did after joining and making some money was pay off his house. Then he put a few hundred thousand dollars away and pretended it wasn’t there. He looked at it as a way of showing himself and his wife that they would never be in that place again with creditors knocking on their door. No matter what happens in the market, they’d have money to get them through.

My advice to Rayce, which he took, was two-fold:

  1. Save money.
  2. Get a team.

The Important of Building a Team

The saving money part was easy for Rayce, a no-brainer. And, while he knew that building a team was just as important, that step was a harder one to take.

I was fearful every time I hired someone new,” he told me. “But I found that every time I increased my capacity, even if I didn’t know how I was going to fill it, magically we did. The bigger the boat I built, the more we could put on it.”

Rayce and I both know to just keep pushing ourselves, hiring in front of that curve, making adjustments as needed. Remember—when you pay someone $50k a year, you’re not paying it all at one time. Don’t worry about things slowing down. If they do, you’ll figure it out. The success of our mortgage businesses is in the high-caliber teams we’ve built.

Right now, slowing down is far from both our minds. There’s honestly more business than we can get to. Rayce’s company has a ton of loans in the pipeline, and they’re getting a heck of a lot of business from their current database.

He’s spending his days talking to listing agents and referring agents, calling to update them and asking for more business. He’s staying in touch with people and keeping up good relationships with them. He told me something I told him a long time ago. “You’re not in the mortgage business; you’re in the mortgage marketing business. The easiest people to market to are the agents who are already doing business with you.” That’s still true today.

The Power of the Freedom Club 

Rayce couldn’t stop talking about the Freedom Club, so I let him. He said he would tell people, “I know it’s a tough decision to join the Freedom Club, but do it. The coaching is awesome, but being around these people consistently is amazing. There’s just no other place where you can have these kinds of conversations and experience this kind of synergy.”

I told him he was going to make me choke up with his kind words, but he ignored me and kept going. He talked about this thing we do in the Freedom Club that we call “spiking the ball.” Whenever we accomplish something really awesome, and it feels too braggadocious to tell our “normal” friends, we can post in the Freedom Club Facebook group. Our friends there will celebrate with us all day long. Rayce got to do it recently, and it was pretty special.

“I don’t think I’d be paying my house off and doing all the things I’m able to do with my family if I hadn’t met you, Carl,” he said. “Thank God for the Freedom Club. It changed my life.”

It’s an honor to be a part of Rayce’s life, and it’s an honor to see how the Freedom Club has made such a difference for so many people. We want to see it make a difference for you as well. 

We’d love to set up a call with you one-on-one. We can tell you more about the Freedom Club and whatever else you want to know. This is not a sales call. We’ll help you map out a plan to close even more loans. That little hesitation you’re feeling might be costing you a fortune. Give us a call today!