If you’ve read this newsletter linearly then I needn’t remind you that we have less than five months left of this year. This makes it feel like the cyclical season is starting, well, yesterday! Though you do have a little time until the holiday slump, it will likely fly by. There are end-of-summer vacations to take, kids to get back to school and that prolonged period where we all shuffle reluctantly back into hard-working patterns we possessed before summer arrived. Here’s just a little tip: you might want to shuffle faster!
There is still time to grow your business and capture more market share, but that time is slowly slipping away from you. The old adage that the days are long but the years are short doesn’t just apply to child rearing. So get on your pipeline now while there truly is still time!
Here are four ways you can build your business right here, right now.
- Produce, Produce, Produce
Interest rates have provided a keen source of refinance business lately. Many believe that gravy train will keep chugging if the Fed continues to lower rates in the near future. The refi business can be a great source of income, but it shouldn’t be the only source. This is especially pertinent since we do not know for sure that the Fed will reduce rates. If that reduction doesn’t come, then what?
Don’t get distracted from your long-term business with short-term gains. Take the refi business, absolutely, but keep your eye on the prize. The real payoff is in purchase business. That is where the opportunity lies to emerge from any rough period a little less unscathed, a little more put together and a few (large) steps ahead of the game. Fed talk can influence the refi business way too easily, which is why you always want to be confident in answering “if you lost 70 percent of your refi business today, would you be okay?” What if that number jumped to 90 percent?
Make sure you land on your feet and set yourself up for where you want to be – in both good times and bad – by focusing on the purchase pipeline.
- Manage Your Existing Staff
Here is where you really need to get honest and tough. Is your team operating at its optimal level? Are your administrative costs justified as you scan a team that maximizes all results? Is the collective skill set in line with the tasks necessary to sustain and grow your business? Will these costs remain in line during the cyclical slowdown, or will you start to feel a draining effect?
In good times, you want to make sure your staff is appreciated and well utilized. In bad times, you want to make sure you’re not burning them out in favor of keeping costs low. This is absolutely a balancing act, but an act you should perfect to the best of your abilities.
- Recruit Quality LOs
Bringing on new loan originators is one way to grow your business, though this has to be done strategically. Like the rest of your team, you need to make sure they can provide the right amount of production. Their workloads need to be balanced, and their abilities should be in line with the rest of your team’s abilities when it comes to both multi-tasking and delegating.
- Control Your Cost Structure
Staffing and production all come down to whether the results you’re cultivating are worth the time, energy and money you’re investing. Controlling your expenses is critical, particularly during the slow times. Have the tough conversations with yourself now to save a few headaches down the road.
Make a list of expenditures and determine whether they fall in the “nice to have” column or the “essential” column. Whenever possible, attach an ROI to a given bill. Consider the results and outcomes necessary to honor your commitments and produce your desired results. Then trim the fat where you can without impacting those results.