darren-planThere are those who shrink and those who rise to the occasion. The shrinkers don’t typically stay in our industry long enough to complete a full market cycle. Because that’s what the housing industry is. Cyclical.

I guarantee you that those who’ve been in the mortgage business since 2008 know exactly what I’m talking about. This industry isn’t for everyone. It demands organization, supreme time management and unparalleled leadership when business is plentiful, and aggressiveness, proactive planning and, yes, unparalleled leadership when borrowers and recruits are harder to come by. 

If “loan advisor” is yet one more job to add to your resume, your time may be running out. But if you’re building a career – a brand, a life, a reputation – then you need to grow no matter what. The amazing thing is this is possible. Growth in this business starts with a growth mindset that turns into an action plan that eventually produces results. 

For today, at least, let’s talk about that mindset.

Focus on the Impact

Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation, but guess what? There are potential borrowers out there facing these same challenges. Rather than wait for them to buck up and come around, try to remember why you do what you do. That’s right. To fulfill the American Dream – yours and theirs. 

I promise you there are would-be clients right now who would get off the fence and pull the trigger if they understood mortgages and the housing market like you do. Chances are high that they have questions. Confusions. Hesitancies. Think about what these likely are, then create solutions and connect with these individuals.

Break Down Large Tasks

That last sentence may sound like a lot. Make it a little by breaking it down into manageable chunks. Create a list of the top X reasons someone might not want to buy a house right now. Done? Now create your counterpoints to that list, ideally backed by research and/or case studies. Check. Last step, reach out to these individuals. Sponsor a booth at a community event, cold call, attend open houses, co-host an informational session, reconnect with past clients, ask colleges if you can be a speaker. 

Once again, you don’t have to do all of the above simultaneously. Maybe you cold call on Wednesday mornings, aim to set up one meeting a week with previous clients and sponsor a booth during the Harvest Festival, two months from now. The point is plan, execute, progress. When you approach planning with a growth mindset, the framework is already laid out for you. When you don’t, excuses turn into inaction, which quickly lead to a dry pipeline and unmet goals come the fourth quarter.

Set Deadlines

Did you see that schedule in the previous paragraph? Whether you cold call on Wednesday isn’t relevant, what is relevant is that it made the schedule. A to-do list means nothing if these tasks aren’t scheduled. So block out the time in your calendar. Keep standing dates with your growth expectations and don’t let menial, busy work items take you off course. 

Have an idea? Write it in the calendar. Then get used to saying no to time sucks that vie for that slot. They’re not an excuse for unmet goals. 

Accept Feedback

I probably should’ve said “accept criticism” – because that’s what you actually want. It’s great to hear you’re doing a good job, but there’s no growth in that. Hearing that your cold call script doesn’t make sense or that the font on your marketing flier is illegible provide ample opportunities for improvement. Want even more feedback? Ask for it! Everyone loves being asked what they think, and you can use this free advice to your advantage.

Of course, everyone’s opinions and preferences are different, so take all feedback with a grain of salt. However, if you’ve been asked to speak up or slow down more than once, chances are that’s valuable feedback. Process, internalize, improve.

There is a huge difference between a loan advisor who is simply trying to grit their teeth and survive lean times and someone who is still acutely focused on crushing their goals. The business is there. It’s not like houses won’t trade hands this year. They will. There is still a significant supply demand imbalance and prices in many markets are holding steady. Now that we’ve taken that excuse off the table, it’s time to put your thinking (growth mindset) cap on and drum up that business!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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