If you could start your mortgage career over...knowing what you know today...would you do anything different this time around?
Interesting question isn't it? Obviously, you can't turn back the clock, but you can move forward with what you've learned plus the following advice touted by other mortgage professionals.
1. You're in business for yourself.
It may have become obvious to many of you, but did anyone really tell you that in the beginning? Probably not.
You do your due diligence to fulfill your licensing requirement(s), your company training and orientation, and generally learning the ins and outs of the mortgage business.
You also recognize that to be successful, you need to improve your presentation and communication skills, your attitude, your planning ability, and a whole host of other self-improvement topics.
But nobody told you that you had to be a computer and technology expert, knowledgeable about budgeting, advertising, accounting, time management and all kinds of other issues related to being in business for yourself.
And of course, nobody told you to generate a detailed and comprehensive "marketing plan" with time-lines and goals. It's this "marketing plan" that you need to review and evaluate once a month or so, and then change and upgrade as required.
It's my opinion that for most of us, the mortgage business is not all that difficult. What many people just can't handle is being in business for themselves, and all the issues that this brings.
2. Never stop learning.
Only a small part of what you learn in licensing school, company training and orientation, as well as lender seminars have any bearing on what salespeople actually do.
To be successful in this business you need to learn concrete skills such as how to find prospects, how to work with a client, how to over come objections, and how to close the deal. Many new people in the business have no idea what to say once they get a client.
Each and every day you need to improve the way you do business. Take at least an hour each day to improve your skills and knowledge and in a years time you'll be among the very best loan originators.
3. You only have 30 seconds to sell yourself.
It's one thing to say that a salesperson should gather leads and close loans but, most of us aren't adequately trained to know how to be persuasive and get critical information in a 30 second encounter.
Without proper training, this is a lost opportunity. Personality profiling and learning how to read people, is one way to build rapport quickly. You can actually adapt your client's communications style to mirror their demeanor and gain a deeper connection.
I always suggest continuing education classes that expand your knowledge of personality types, developing good listening skills, and the ability of focusing on your client's interests instead of yours. Done correctly, this goes a long way towards making a good instant impression.
4. Some deals just aren't meant to be.
No matter how good you are...there are times you can't figure out if this person is "for real."
They may call and say they need loan information...then they disappear. Or, there may be an unwillingness to get pre-qualified or pre-approved.
Even the very experienced salespeople sometimes miss the red flags that indicate an unmotivated prospect. "Flaky" customers do come with the job. Don't let them get you down...cut your loses and move on.
5. Don't confuse years on the job with skill.
When you're new and unsure of your mortgage knowledge, it's natural to hang around more experienced loan officers/mortgage brokers. Just be careful who you emulate.
Remember, successful loan officers are out hustling business, not sitting around the office.
6. You're selling yourself as much as the loan.
Remember the old adage "first impressions mean a lot." Well, so does knowledge about the mortgage market, loan programs, industry trends and the like.
You need to choose a mortgage company with regular scheduled training covering both the basics, as well as industry trends. If you're not getting that, then it's time to find a new company.
Lack of training is the biggest fault of mortgage companies today. Don't get short-changed on training...it will make or break your mortgage career.
Look for Part II of this article...
Tom Domin is the author of "101 Ways to Originate Mortgages" and publisher of "Tom's Mortgage Tips" a twice monthly Mortgage Newsletter geared for Mortgage Professionals. Put your mortgage career on the fast track and sign-up for FREE at
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