I'm Ignoring My Future Business!
Last night I had a hard time staying asleep, I kept waking up and each time a different problem about a different mortgage I had in process would come to mind. Have you ever had that experience? It’s madding and annoying, and I consider it a symptom of being overly burdened or stressed.
I’m trying not to sound like I am complaining I, like many of us in the mortgage lending business, am having a very good year. I am closing loans at a pace that I have not experienced since the height of the ‘refinance boom’, and they just keep coming.
After my fitful night of sleep I was in the beginning stages of my morning routine, this is when I do some of my clearer thinking. In the morning I’m fresh and the course of the day has not started me sideways from clearing my list of things to accomplish for the day. This morning when I was exercising I started considering the deals that kept me awake and I came to a realization, they were all refinances.
This month’s closings and next months closings are mostly refinances, and as we all know it is getting more and more difficult to get loans through the pipeline to closing, especially refinances. Of the loans I am closing over the next two months 60% of them are refinances….. that hurts. I feel that to keep a solid business I want that ratio to be closer to 70% purchase and 30% refinances. I am finding that all these refinances are distracting me from the core function of my business, to gain referrals from my reciprocal real estate agent partners.
I know what you may be thinking, I’ve heard it already, ‘why are you complaining, why are you worried when you are making so much money now?’. Because I will be paying for this success in the very near future. This mini refinance boom that many of are experiencing will not last too much longer, it just can’t. Once the refis dry up where are you going to get new business?
I worked hard in the past to establish a very solid and very large group of real estate agent referral partners that I make a very solid living from. It took time to develop the relationship and to gain their referrals, together we have trained each other to become a reciprocal partner in each other’s business. But, lately I have not been doing the necessary actions to keep myself in front of them. It is very important that I touch these partners in a timely, consistent and relevant manner, if I don’t attrition starts to set in. If you have never read “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” by Gary Keller I highly suggest you do. In the book he talks about the 33 touches that are necessary to keep a data base yours, my real estate agents are a data base that needs to be touched 33 times a year. If not, a better, smarter loan officer will take my place simply because he/she was there to help.
Not too long ago I attended a Todd Duncan seminar in which part of his discussion wrapped around how much time a loan officer spends doing the actions necessary to secure new business. He mentioned a study that said the typical salesperson only spent about 15% of their time actively seeking and generating new business. Todd’s company conducted a survey of mortgage professionals, and we fare even worse… barely spending 10% of our time trying to get new business. How much time are you spending each day, each week, each month to strengthen your business for the eventual death of this refi boomlet?
I know that if I’m not out there today touching my referral base that tomorrow I will be hungry for new business. Today, it starts! I will spend the equal of just 1.6 hours each day touching current referral agents and developing new real estate partners. Why 1.6 hours? If you work a 40 hour week that would be 20% of your time spent on doing the necessary actions to secure your future income. It sure doesn’t sound like much, just 96 minutes a day. I challenge you and myself to double the time that the average loan officer spends in marketing for new business and I am sure you will find that you have placed yourself well ahead of the average loan officer.