What is one of the most important attributes of a successful loan officer?
The right mindset.
Right thinking can catapult people to the next level, and when it’s missing, it’s what holds people back the most. Rewiring how you think, changing your thought process, will have a bigger impact on your business than any other single thing you do. I believe that with all my heart.
My friend Irene Duford, fellow coach and co-founder of The Freedom Club, believes it too. When struggling loan officers tell me their problems—call reluctance, fear of rejection, don’t know what to say, too busy putting out fires, not enough time to close more loans—I recognize all of those as symptoms of the same thing.
They don’t have the right mindset.
You are Capable of and Worthy of Success
Irene says that a lot of the loan officers she works with grew up without money, and a lot of their friends are still in a certain economic category, so when they start making money, they feel guilty, out of place.
When she coaches people, she asks them these questions: How did you grow up around money? What are some of the things holding you back from going after more money?
Besides the guilt around money, people also have the misconception that making money means they’ll be busier, and they don’t want that. They’re already overwhelmed and don’t want to add more to their plate. They have trouble wrapping their minds around the idea that they could hire help, do less work on each loan, and make twice the money.
They just don’t have that mindset yet.
We have to get them to have a conversation in their head that they’re 1.) capable of more growth and 2.) worthy of that growth and success and the dream life that follows.
Other excuses we hear include:
- I’ve always been the type of person who doesn’t follow through.
- I never remember anything.
- I have a low attention span.
- I’ve always done it this way, and it’s too hard to change.
So, how do we change these conversations that play over and over in our heads?
A Helpful Exercise for Changing Your Mindset
Irene has an exercise that she goes through with people she coaches. On the left side of the paper, she has them write down 5-6 things they’re saying to themselves that are not helpful. Then on the right side of the paper, they reword it.
In the left column, they write: “I’m no good at time management.”
In the right column: “I’m great at managing my time.”
When you first reword it, it’s obviously not true. You’ve been bad with time management in the past, but not anymore. Today is a new day. And from here on out, you’re going to say, “I’m great at managing my time.” You repeat that over and over, every single day. Put up sticky notes. Read it, say it. Turn it into a positive affirmation.
At first, you feel like you’re lying to yourself. But, when you affirm it over and over, put the right self-talk in place and repeat it, the repetition makes it happen.
Left column: “I’m not good at hiring staff.”
Right column: “I’m amazing at hiring staff.”
Pretty soon you really will be living it, because you brought that truth into your life.
Perspective Changes Everything
I was hanging out in a Facebook group of loan officers the other day, and someone said, “I hate working with realtors.” What a horrible message to be teaching my brain, that all realtors are horrible. First of all, it’s not true. These are wonderful people. These people help me feed my family. They helped me buy my boat and send my kids to college. I’m forever grateful to them.
Imagine starting your work day saying, “Aw, man. I gotta call real estate agents. I hate working with realtors.” How is that going to make you feel during the day? Will it make your day nice or lousy? You’ve already set yourself up for failure.
People who love realtors and are grateful for them are going to have a better day and a better life. That’s why we reword the negative thoughts that we’re experiencing, because our thoughts create our emotions, and our emotions create our actions, and our actions create results. If we want good results, we have to put good thoughts into our minds.
In the Freedom Club years ago, we created self-talk specifically for calling realtors, past clients, referral partners, etc. We teach people to start off their morning by affirming what they’ll be doing that day and how great it will be.
Changing Negative to Positive (and Present Tense)
I used to go around telling myself that I was horribly disorganized. I ranked really low on the DISC profile in organization. I used to buy 4 extra sets of keys when I’d buy a new car. That was 30 years ago when extra keys were $1. Now these key fobs are super expensive.
So now, when I come home, and I have my key, I tell myself, “Carl, you’re a very organized person. And you always put your key right here on this shelf. So it’s right there next time you need it.” I say that to myself over and over.
When I’m at work and making my calls, I feel like I can overcome anything because I overcame losing my freaking keys, which I’d done my whole life. It seems small, but it was a really big deal. I learned that, just by my own small vocalization change, I got exponential results. Little victories give us the motivation to keep going.
So how do I start to have these conversations and get rid of the stinking thinking? How do I begin restructuring those thoughts? Irene says we put it opposite and in present tense, like it’s already happened. If you don’t like making outbound phone calls, instead say, “I love making outbound phone calls. And I’m great at making outbound phone calls. I do it every single day because it’s a habit that’s going to serve me.”
Take the negative thing you’ve been saying and reword it to the opposite in present tense as if it’s already happened. And the more you say that to yourself, the more you’re going to feel that way.
Surround Yourself with Positive People and Positive Messaging
I fill my life with as much good stuff and positivity as I can. I watch less TV, listen to more positive podcasts on my bicycle ride every morning. I hang out with positive loan officers, not ones that are complaining and whining and being negative all the time.
I’m a very optimistic person. It has served me well. But if I start surrounding myself with negative people, negative situations, if my branch manager or underwriter or processor is negative, that’s not good for me. I used to remove myself from those situations, but these days I can just remove them, because they work for me.
Nobody wants to be around negative people. They like to be around people who are going to uplift them. You can be that person for someone else. Encourage them, affirm them, let them know what they really have deep down inside of them.
I heard someone say once that “your mouth is the closest set of lips your ears will ever hear.” What I say to myself is so important, and I surround myself with other people who will help me with that. I eliminate negative, scarcity-minded messages, negative vibes and body language and tone.
I always enjoy learning and teaching loan officer tactics and strategies, but until you get your mind right, none of that works. And you have to go into it with a full expectation of hey, I know this is going to work. I’m worthy of it.
It’s never too late to change. I don’t care if you’re 90 years old or what kind of upbringing or negativity you had growing up. We can change it, because the brain allows us to rewire neurons in our brain. Wherever your head is, your butt will follow. We can do this!
If you’d like to schedule a call with us and talk about some of our mortgage marketing strategies for loan officers, we’d love to map out exactly what a week in the life of a loan superstar looks like. We’d love to help you change your mindset and get started on the path to success. Click HERE to schedule your FREE call TODAY.