What Matters Most in Changing and Competitive Markets

There’s a problem right now, and I have a solution. The problem is the market is getting hard. The market is getting harder and harder. We’re watching volume slow down on what we were used to last year and the year before. We’re watching companies start to lay off operations teams and even lay off loan originators. We’re watching the value of servicing plummeting. Or we’re watching spotlights on what’s happening with loan officer comp. We’re taking a look at the crazy pulse of recruiting today.

And I think I felt this in our team meeting this morning and I told my guys, I said, “I want to lay down a video on what matters most in changing and competitive markets.” And just hang with me for five or six minutes. And let me share with you three things that I think take the intensity of now, and calm it down a little bit for you, and put you in a desirable and enviable position that I know our best students are able to get themselves into. And that is making sure that you awaken your skills and that you bring back to sharp clarity what matters most in a market that is this competitive and this transformative, all right.

Wake Up Your Skills

So I think that it’s interesting that we’ve got to take a hard look at what are we doing right now to add value to our partners, and what are we doing right now to add value to our teams. I’m leaving for Nashville in a week. And I am talking to an entire company about who really is our customer. And most mortgage companies think the customer is the real estate agent or the builder, or the borrower. And certainly all of those are true. But I think in this world, it is the loan officer’s understanding that your ops team is your customer, and it’s the ops team, making sure they understand that the loan officer is their customer.

And if we keep those two things working in harmony with each other, then the value we deliver to the marketplace is second to none. Right now, there’s a bifurcation happening right now. There’s lots of layoffs beginning to happen. And those are not fun times. They’re not enjoyable times for any leader. They’re not fun for any sales team that’s watching change take place in their operations staff. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. And the market we’re in is the market we’re in. And what I tell people all the time is don’t let the market define you, define how you’re going to be in the market.

Three Tactics to Win in this Difficult Market

And right now I believe that if you make three decisions, you will triumph in the difficulty of the current market, and you will set yourself up for victory in the months and years to come. So here’s the three things.

1. Reconnect With Your Real Estate Partners

Number one, right now, most important, is reconnect with your real estate centric partners. This could be realtors, listing and buy side, this could be builders. It could be a niche builder. It could be a national builder, depending on the size of your company and the niche you want to get into.

What I’m watching, right now is very few loan officers have business reviews going on with their partners. And they have very, very, very difficult times trying to figure out where they can add value today. And the best way for you to determine where you can add value, this may sound shocking, is to sit down and people where they need value. So what I’m telling our coaching clients right now is to get on a 12 week run. Make a commitment right now for 12 weeks, that you’re going to sit down face to face with every realtor you have decided to deepen a partnership with right now.

That skill has been dulled over the last two years. We got to get back to also one of the main philosophies that we’re watching, is you’ve got to get back to deep, real personal questions. We have a white paper out right now. It’s called Talk Less Sell More, you can download it from the website if you haven’t read it yet. But it basically sets the stage for an innovation around high trust selling. And the innovation is around what we call game changing question categories. We have fear based categories, present based categories, future based categories, awareness based categories and competition elimination categories.

If you can sit down with everybody that you desire a deep and loyal relationship with, and ask two or three new questions about where they are, where they want to go, how they want to prepare for the coming change in both real estate and lending, then these are the questions that have to be answered. And now what you can do is you can set yourself on a kind of a weekly follow up with those people, right? And you can begin to solve at levels you’ve not solved at before. So that’s number one.

2. Activate Your Database

Number two is begin right now, if you didn’t understand it in the last two years to activate your database. That’s not for refis. Sure, there’s a lot of cash out opportunities, probably still available with escalating home equity and the trillions of dollars that are available to homeowners right now through their home equity. No problem with strategic refinances, right? But when I say activate your database, I’m actually looking for you to activate, and I’m just going to give you a recommendation, not knowing how big your database is, your top 50, maybe it’s your top 100. If you have a big data database, maybe it’s your top 250.

And when you look at the 50, 100, or 250, and you look at them from a exposure standpoint, it would be the 50, 100, or 250 that have the greatest circle of potential influence. It could be a CEO that has a company of 7,000 employees. It could be a car rental company that’s got, in your state, 2000 employees. It could be a physician practice that has patients. We have one guy that hooked up with a partner in an accounting firm, and he manages the 2,200 physician clients. I need you to activate your database around, not loans, but relationships that lead to loans.

We have to understand today that we must build a nontraditional sphere of influence. And the way you activate the database is you are in touch with them. You can decide how much, but I need to caution you against marketing automation. I need to remind you about emotional connection. Actually marketing automation today is lowering trust and increasing tension. There’s a lot of dynamic data out there that is telling us that auto marketing is not working. In fact, it is creating divisiveness between who you are marketing to and what is actually happening.

You’re better off setting up interviews, setting up a timeframe to meet, if you can meet in person, great. If you can only meet on Zoom, great, whatever the video platform is. But you have to have conversation with people of influence, and then you got to get really clear. And this is one piece of advice that I will give you that we’re going to absolutely slay at Sales Mastery this year. You have got to master fiscal literacy. You have to get to a point where you can actually coach every single employee of every single company you’ve done a loan for on fiscal security, financial peace of mind.

You’ve got to get this thing going because it is where we can make the biggest difference today. Everybody’s got the same product, same rates, everybody. It is your advice and the level of value you produce for your borrower clients that’s going to create this tsunami of loyalty and referrals. And that leads to number three.

3. Focus on Nontraditional Partners

Number three is make sure, and I’m just going to give you a stat, make sure that 60 to 70% of your relationships going into the end of the year, this year and into next year, make sure that 70% of the relationships are from nontraditional partners.

And I’m literally talking about insurance, financial planner. I’m talking about wealth management. I’m talking about physician verticals, veteran verticals, first time home buyer verticals. I’m really wanting you to get to a point where you start to understand the relationship between a list of renters and a potential list of future buyers. I want you to understand that with a financial planner, the way of the future for the mortgage professional is in debt management. Obviously, the financial planner is handling asset management. Really awaken your skills right now, get to a level where you realize you’ve got to be unique and different in the coming weeks and months in order to really differentiate and disrupt your marketplace as you go through the balance of this year.

Utilize Our Resources

So my advice to you is make sure you do that. Plug into us. Come download our brand new white paper, Talk Less Sell More. It is a valuable, valuable resource today on rethinking and innovating your questions.

Mark the date, October 11th through the 14th, get to Sales Mastery. It is going to sell out. It is the 30th anniversary. Come join us. Be part of the Sales Mastery community. Have your life transformed in October, and it will give you plenty of time in November and December to set the plans in place for a great year next year.

All right, wake up your skills. Get great. And you will survive this market.


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