Mortgage and Portfolio Loan Guide

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Stop Begging for Business

In this unique mortgage market there is a ton of recruiting going on. Banks and mortgage lenders are hiring; trying to maintain a level of growth and profitability that has been like no other with this recent refinance boom over the last several years. I am contacted weekly by headhunters and sales managers reaching out to tell me how they have the right spot available, and that I should take a look at what they have to offer.

Recently there was a sales manager from a big bank that asked me a unique question after I already informed him that I was happy with my company and not looking to make a move. After I clearly stated my position on the subject, he proceeded to say:

“That’s great to hear! Can you tell me what it is that works well for you at your current company?”

What a profound follow up response?! It got me thinking. I started to think about what I have been doing, how that has been working, and how other loan guys/gals are approaching their business.

Here was my response:

Personal branding. I rarely take leads or inquiries from strangers. Nearly everyone I work with is someone I know or a referral from someone I know. Or someone who found me online, and liked what they saw. I don’t use the company I work for as the reason to do business with me. People do business with Adam Lesner, not “ABC Mortgage”.

Handling your business in that manner completely shifts the conversation and how the application is taken. It’s a friendly interaction. There is no reason for the client to have their guard up, because there is genuine trust already established, as there should be. 

Most mortgage guys spend their career begging for business and fighting over rate, fighting with processors, fighting with Realtors… always trying to save face, and not let their guard down, because they’re “hustlers”. Most mortgage guys will start a conversation with how their company has such awesome products. Everyone sounds exactly the same. It’s nauseating. But nobody really cares. Most people really just want to know: do you have what it takes to get me to the closing table, and will you still be there for me if things get difficult? Of course, clients and Realtors will never say that out loud, but usually that’s what they’re really wondering. And if the trust is there, there is no reason to second guess you. 

So how do you get to that point of personal branding? How do you get to that point of people feeling comfortable enough to reach out to you for guidance regarding their financial situation or their loved one’s financial situation?

Well, for starters… stop begging! I know it might sound like a good idea in your head to post and tag all of your friends on Facebook saying “Hey guys, I am the best loan officer in the United States of America, and I can give you a FREE pre-approval, yup that’s right, FREE. So please call me. And you better share this with your friends if you consider me a friend.” Really? C’mon, you can’t even make an attempt at being creative?

How ’bout instead, you provide value? You take a moment to think about a roadblock you may have recently hit on a deal, and you deliver a solution (without being specific whatsoever) in a way that is actually useful and is creative.

  1.  It puts you on the spot as an expert in your line of work, and a problem solver.
  2.  It forces you to think about what you’re actually doing, and kills robot mode.
  3.  It may prevent the same mistake in the future.

A couple objections you’ll give me on that approach: ‘Adam, that’s silly, I’m not going to air out my client’s dirty laundry for the world to see’. Yup, I’m with you. I would never do that as well. However, we see a lot of stuff come across our desk. We see repetitive scenarios come through that could be resolved with very small tweaks and preparation. There are a million things to talk about. So, you can be extremely general with your tips, and solution based branding. The other objection on this approach is: ‘Cool Adam, but my company made me sign something that says I can only market stuff they approve’. Yeah, I get it. And if they are spoon feeding you unlimited leads as a result of their awesome marketing skills, and you are comfortable with always depending on them to feed you those leads, then you’re all set 🙂 However, if you want to build a sustainable business for yourself, you have no choice but to devote a portion of every week to branding yourself.

Here’s the reality guys/gals, every once in a while loans are going to go south and sideways, it happens. Doesn’t matter if you’re the most super duper loan magician that ever walked the planet. There are always going to be challenges to overcome. But if your client believes that you would go to the end of the earth for them (because you would), they are not going to treat you like a bible salesman. They will appreciate you and work with you to accomplish the same goal: close the loan and further strengthen the American dream. Now stand up, put your hand on your heart, and say the Pledge of Allegiance! This is the land of opportunity. Don’t leave the fate of your success in the hands of your company. Take control and brand yourself.

Comments (2)

  1. Good work Adam, great interpretation of success being more than a paycheck.

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