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The 3 Activities You Want to Focus On Right Now

My friend Tammy Saul just texted me yesterday and said, “Carl, I’ve got to tell you, I just had my best week ever in the mortgage industry. I got 17 new purchase deals last week.” Not last month, last week

This is a really big deal. Why? Because there’s a lot going on in our market right now. Things are very noisy, very negative. Rates are rising, the sky is falling, and a lot of loan officers are looking months down the road with fear and trepidation. 

So, how is Tammy out there getting all these new clients the same week we had one of the highest interest rate hikes in a single week in history?

She’s focused on the right things.

And she’s not an anomaly. My dear friend and partner, Steve Kyles, also had a loan officer at his branch with her best month ever last month. It can be done. But you can’t give in to fear. And you need to focus on 3 really important things:

  1. Sell what’s on the shelf.
  2. Keep your eye on profitability.
  3. Save your 25%.

Do those things well, and it won’t matter what the rates are come February of next year or the next year after that.

#1: Sell What’s On the Shelf

Most of the time, we’re all selling the same thing, right? Same rates, same programs. Nobody has magic money. If Steve’s rates go up, so do mine. If his rates go down, so do mine. So sell what’s on the shelf. 

Instead of trying to predict rates six months from now, spend your time focused on getting more customers, getting more realtor referral partners. Be so busy doing that loan-getting activity that you don’t have time to worry about rates. Be so busy selling, and do that fortune-telling some other time (or never).

My primary focus is getting more customers. Whoever focuses on getting more customers is going to get more customers and close more loans. That’s the bottom line. That’s how to be a successful loan officer.

#2: Keep Your Eye on Profitability

We all have these seasons—weeks, months, maybe a couple years—where we sell more or less. It’s like an accordion. There’s always this expansion and contraction going on all the time. We just have to learn how to be a chameleon and adapt to whatever the market is doing. We have to be aware of what’s going on around us and make sure we’re profitable. Will things be different this year than last year? Of course. Just keep your eye on profitability.

I have a dear friend who is overstaffed right now and really doesn’t want to let anyone go. My friend Kevin Glassby taught me that I need to have about five to seven loans per full-time employee. If I have way more staff than I need, I’m not going to be profitable. And it’s the employees who decide who gets to stay, not me. Whoever is performing the best gets the opportunity to work here. It’s not my call; it’s theirs.

We provide opportunities and it’s each individual’s responsibility to seize that opportunity. We don’t have to wear the guilt and the obligation to keep these people on. If my loan partner, at the end of the call, isn’t asking for more business, they’re choosing to get laid off. If they’re choosing not to get us more business, I don’t own that responsibility; they do. I’m not here to employ people. I’m an opportunity giver. Whether or not they make the most of that opportunity is up to them. 

Loyalty is important, but we can’t choose loyalty over profitability. Steve and I are both really loyal people, and I’ve always thought of that as a positive attribute. But I’ve seen people take advantage of my loyalty. I’m sure you have too. Somebody taught me recently that loyalty has an expiration date. Did you get that?

Loyalty has an expiration date. 

If someone’s not feeding back into a relationship of any kind with me, I’ll give them a little bit of time. It’s not a New York second. I give them time to come around. But, if they don’t, then that loyalty expires. 

Make sure you have the right people, the right team on the bus. Make sure you’re not overworking your loan partners and processors. Make sure they have bandwidth to help you bring in more customers. Their job isn’t just to close loans. Their job is to ask the borrower, co-borrower, listing agent, buying agent, and title agent for more referrals. If they choose not to ask for those, that’s their problem. If I have them so busy that they don’t have the bandwidth to do it, that’s my problem. 

#3: Save Your 25%

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, save 25% of your paycheck. This part has saved my butt more than the other two put together. I’ve been doing this for the last decade. I used to save 25% of my net check. Now I save 25% of the gross (before taxes). If you’re just getting started, save 25% of your personal net income (after taxes) each month.

I can tell you right now that this won’t be easy, especially in the beginning. But it’s worth it. The lovely Mrs. White and I have a verifiable eight-figure net worth, and it’s all because we’ve saved that 25%. And don’t think, “as soon as things get better, I’ll start saving.” Nope. Do it now. Make that sacrifice now. Just buy a little less Starbucks or buy a used car instead of a new car. I didn’t buy my first new car until about eight years ago. I had to make some sacrifices, and it was worth every bit of it. I’ve been able to do all kinds of cool things because of it—like paying cash for my kids’ college educations and buying them a home. 

Maria and I are also able to donate a lot of money to local charities. About six months ago, we bought a car for a single mom who couldn’t afford to buy one. We gave another single mom $70k to buy a house. I don’t say this to brag. I say it because saving that 25% isn’t just about buying fancy stuff someday. It’s about being able to help and bless people in need. We also give college scholarships to kids who couldn’t afford to go to college otherwise. 

So there you have it. While most people are looking up to see if and when the sky’s gonna fall, we’re going to stick to these three primarily proactive activities that help us close more loans, and help us be more profitable, so we can help more people. Then, whether rates go up or down, or whatever else happens in the market, it will have zero effect on me. I can control selling what’s on the shelf, keeping an eye on probability, and saving my 25%, even in the skinny times.

Get yourself some tunnel vision, some laser focus, and keep working hard at these three very impactful things. Surround yourself with positive and successful people who are also doing these things. You won’t be sorry.

Putting these things into practice really is as simple as it sounds. Not easy, but simple. We realize though that you might need some help getting started. If you’d like us to help map out a 90-day plan for you, schedule your FREE strategy call TODAY.