Top of Mind Networks

Sales Tips and Follow Up Requirements for Realtors and Loan Officers

May 22, 2011 by · 9 Comments 

Are you gaining new prospects, referral sources and market share?  Are you focused long term on gaining relationships and the actions for success?

Lucretius said, “Constant dripping hollows out a stone”

Are you hollowing out the stone for new referrals and prospects?

Better yet, do you follow through and follow up?

A huge majority of sales people don’t follow-up with their most recent customers let alone new prospects. In fact over 48% of sales people never follow-up with customers what-so-ever.

But the statistics tell us sales are made just:

  • 2% of the time on the first visit.
  • 3% of the time on the second visit.
  • 5% of the time on the third visit.
  • 10% of the time on the fourth contact.

A full 80% of sales are made on or after the fifth contact.

How many times are you visiting or contacting your potential prospects before you give up?

Think about this in your business.  Think about the last person to ask YOU for business.  It might be an insurance agent wanting referrals for your purchase clients or a home inspector looking to be suggested during the inspection period.   It might even be the local mortgage loan officer.  Do they expect your business the first time you meet just because they showed up at your door?

How many times would you want to talk to them before you trusted them with YOUR business?  How many times did they contact YOU before they either gave up and quit contacting you or they won your business?

How many times do you call or market to a new potential clients before you stop?

So how are salespeople doing?  Sadly 90% of salespeople make 3 or fewer contacts which is interesting since it has been proven that 80% of sales are completed after the 5th call or contact.

How do you compare?

If you REALLY want the business do not take no for an answer.  Take your prospects NO or indifference as a NOT YET because you have not built up enough trust and leverage to earn their business.  So what can you do?

Commit today to:

  • Send——–1 more hand written card
  • Set———-1 more coffee appointment
  • Deliver—–1 more letter of interest or personally memorable item
  • Make——–1 more phone call

Your prospects should trust that you follow up diligently and consistently with them to earn their business so they can feel confident that you will work that hard “ON” their business.  They should realize that you did the same to GET their business and stand out from the crowd.

Remember, “Constant dripping hollows out a stone.”

Start today and break through to new prospects.

Derek R. Egeberg

Branch Manager

Academy Mortgage Corporation

Innovation Alert – Top of Mind Introduces its New Realtor Presentation Books

January 20, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

This is an encore performance of our incredibly popular webinar featuring your newest Top of Mind Innovation.

Date:  Monday, January 31st
Time:  3pm EST, 2pm CST, 12 noon PST

Register Now

During this 45-minute training, Mark Green will teach you:

1)  How the ‘Real Estate Battlefield” has changed over the past five years – and what you can do to help your Realtor partners win.

2)  How to differentiate yourself using Surefire and your new Realtor Presentation Books.

3)  What Top of Mind has cooking and how it will change the game for you in early 2011.

Welcome to the New World of Reputation Management. Meet Carolyn Capalbo, Realtor.

June 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Carolyn Capalbo

Those of you who have seen me speak over the past couple years know how passionate I’ve become about becoming “Googleable”.  Here’s a classic, and not as rare as you might think, case of one Realtor’s battle against Page 1 of Google.

Carolyn Capalbo is a Realtor in Northern Virginia.  Unfortunately, she shares the same name as Elliot Spitzer’s call girl’s mom.  This unfortunate coincidence is causing Carolyn to have difficult and tiresome initial conversations with potential clients.

Our good friend Mark Madsen wrote an article on Wanna Network explaining what’s happened and every single little blog article is going to help Carolyn gain her online reputation back.  Search engine optimization is a team sport… so if you are game for some good karma, you might just write an article of your own.  I’m sure Carolyn Capalbo would appreciate it!

By the way, this entire effort took me less than 15 minutes from start to finish.  So if you’re still intimidated by blogging, it just goes to show that it gets a lot easier over time.  Get in the game!

NAMB West Presentation Follow Up – Partnering With Social Media Savvy Agents

December 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

I had the honor of representing mortgage bloggers at the recent NAMBWest Conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago in front of 200 or so mortgage brokers with my friend Jason Berman.

Unfortunately, Mark Green wasn’t able to make the trip to Vegas and share the stage with us due to an injury he sustained trying to rescue a cat from a tree.

Sorry bro, you were missed.

Either way, since our presentation was split between partnering with real estate bloggers and using the best Twitter applications, the 90 minutes was obviously not nearly enough time to cover the basics and address all of the questions.

However, as promised, I’ve embedded the updated slides in this post and have scheduled a follow-up webinar for us to go into more detail.  We’ll also allow for plenty of time to answer all questions, as well as stir it up a little in the Top of Mind Live Chat.

Actually, we’ve split the NAMB West content up into three separate webinars over the next few weeks so that we can really give these topics some justice.

Webinar 1:  Tuesday, Jan 5 Partnering With Social Media Savvy Agents Online

I’ve invited my Las Vegas real estate web partner to join me in this call so that he can help add some perspective and answer questions from an agent’s point of view.

Webinar 2:  Wednesday, Jan 67 Strategies For Stalking Agents Online

Whether you understand social media or not, I’ll show you the best web tools to use for the purpose of getting in front of your target audience, meeting the right agents that are actually making a living from their web presence and approaching the new relationship from a different angle that actually works.

Become an expert . . . and LISTING Agent's new best friend!!

December 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, that’s right.  I said LISTING Agent in the title!  For years the mantra for most originators has been to seek out Realtors who work primarily with buyers.  The reasoning behind this is obvious.  Buyers need mortgages and are looking to purchase a home – easy!

As the market starts to contract and loan officers seek other opportunities for revenue – I truly believe one of the untapped gems will be listing agents.  Here are a few reasons:

1.  If someone is selling their home, there is a good chance they will be buying another one.  Sellers often become buyers.  Opportunity for business!!

2.  A good listing agent will get sign calls and leads from their listings.  If you develop a strong relationship with these agents you can work as a team to turn that listing into a lead factory.  Opportunity for more business!!

3.  By helping to support the marketing of a property – open houses, financing flyers, etc. you are developing a bond and proving useful to the Realtor and showing them that you are interested in THEIR income.  That means a lot to the right partners.  Opportunity for more business!!

4.  Listings give you the opportunity to market creative financing options and programs.  Even if a buyer doesn’t make an offer on that property you should have marketing materials at each listing.  Some will take that home and some will call you.  Opportunity for more business!!

5.  Ladies and Gentlemen – although I am listing this one last, I have found this to be THE single most profitable reason to work closely with Listing Agents in the current market . . .

Over the past 3 months I have gotten 6 applications from Listing Agents because the mortgage company that was providing the financing did not do their job correctly and the LOANS WERE DECLINED!!!! 

I work hard to let the Realtors in my area know that I am an expert in the field.  I am thorough and I try to stay on top of all of the regulatory and guideline changes.  Most importantly, I communicate industry changes to the agents.  They know that I know what I’m doing.

In 5 of the 6 examples above, I was able to get the loans approved and closed (or I am scrambling to do so by year’s end as we speak).  One of them was a gonner.  Very poor upfront application process by the original loan officer and a VERY large car payment that needed to be sold in order for the borrowers to qualify.  Why that was never communicated to anyone is a mystery to me.  The sellers, the agents, title company, etc. etc. were all moving forward under the idea that the clients were approved and no one knew that the lynch pin of their approval wasn’t even disclosed.  Since they were unable to sell their car the deal fell through. (P.S. I really tried with this one and worked for a week to see if I could find a car dealer that would buy the car from them but no one was interested).

A few key points for anyone looking to swoop in and save the day:

a.  Make sure you know what you’re doing!  It does no good to market to this type of emergency client if you aren’t able to articulate and quickly dissect the reasons that a loan did not go through.  Being able to identify the issues quickly will help you and the agents avoid a lot of wasted time if there is no hope of a loan going through for obvious reasons. Prolonging the agony does no good for anyone.

b. Make sure that you set up a system to deal with these last minute rushes.  Is your processing and underwriting in place for quick turnarounds?  If you want to be known as the ‘go-to’ loan officer for these types of clients then you have to have great communication with your support staff.  The secret is to get the rest of your loans submitted and approved well in advance of closing dates.  If you claim to have a ‘rush’ on every file you will be known as the LO that cries wolf and you won’t get the attention you need when you need it.  Become known as the loan officer whose files are a pleasure to work with – then you’ll get the special favors when needed.

c.  Be thorough and quick.  Typically a borrower that loses a house in this situation is desperate to get approved and there is a short window of opportunity where you will get extreme cooperation.  You need to take advantage of that.  Meet with them right away, have them bring all of their documents (they have them from their recent application anyway!) like paystubs, W-2s, etc.  Get all of the facts from them about the reason for decline of the loan with the other mortgage company. Get as much information as you can as quickly as you can.  Don’t assume anything – the loan was declined for a reason.  Your job is to find out why and to see if there is another, legitimate way to make it work. You should be able to tell if there is hope of getting a loan approved early and then get to work!

d.  Set correct expectations.   With the new disclosure laws a 3 days turnaround just isn’t realistic.  Frankly, getting a loan done in 8 days takes a mini-miracle so set the expectations upfront that this may take a while.  Under promise and over perform.  Please never, ever, ever say that something is ‘guranteed’ or ‘100%’ (ever, but especially in situations like this).  Everyone’s stress level is super high in these situations so trying to calm nerves by over promising can often backfire and no one truly believes those guarantees anyway.  I start with a 50/50 shot and move up to 99% slowly – I change my message delivery from ‘not sure’ to ‘optimistic’ to ‘extremely comfortable but we need to see what else the underwriter may call for’.  People appreciate the honesty and you are doing much more for them in the long run.

e.  Hone your communication skills.  I often find that I am able to speak with the loan officer or processor at the company that declined the loan.  They are usually upset initially and willing to help.  That starts to diminish over a few days so get that assistance while you can.  Get permission from the buyers to get copies of the loan package if you can.  I always try to call the loan officer and, without blame or finger pointing I simply explain that I’m trying to help and I was hoping he/she could as well.  I have been surprised at the cooperation once they realize I’m not calling to yell at them.

f.  Be fair!!!  I strive to provide the  same rate and fee structure that a borrower has with their previous mortgage company.  I know I am doing a lot more work and I could charge a premium for this type of effort but I feel that the borrowers are going through enough.  If rates go up then there is nothing I can do but I strive to keep things as close to their original expectations as possible.  Incidentally – this is a great bragging point to both Realtors in the transaction as they are very appreciative that it helps ease the transaction along.

g.  Be honest, creative and honest!!  When I try to put these loans together, I am never, ever trying to manipulate documents, white anything out or do ANYTHING inappropriate.  I just know the guidelines and I work hard to figure out how to legitimately make a loan work.  I’m often surprised that some loan officers give up so easily when a simple tweak could make the difference between their buyer getting a home or not.  If it can’t work then it shouldn’t.  If there is a way to help a borrower buy a home within the guidelines and law then they deserve to have that opportunity.  I just work harder at doing the right things right!

These are not the easiest loans to get done but the rewards are significant.  You make customers for life with the borrowers.  You are truly helping people (remember when we all thought that was the most important part of our jobs?) a LOT of people.  Hopefully this will help you build and strengthen Realtor relationships and meet new Agents for future business. I’ve even had Loan Officers call me for assistance because they had a loan declined and know that I can get these things done.

There is no doubt that the stress level in these situations is high.  This process is not for the faint of heart.  They take a lot more work than your average loan and they tax your staff.  However, it is very rewarding to help people and that makes a lot of the stress melt away.  Plus, I just view all of that work and stress as a marketing investment.  You will never believe how supportive your Listing Agent partners become when you work that hard for their buyers and their income.  Opportunity for more business!!

Now go help some people!!

Jason Klaskin

Is Your Attitude Attracting or Repelling Opportunity?

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

On several occasions I have had this dialogue with clients:

Client: I’d like to grow my purchase business by developing more worthwhile Realtor relationships.

Coach: Great goal! What are you willing to do to make this happen?

Client: I’m willing to do anything! I’m just not sure what I should do.

Coach : Ok, are you open to some suggestions?

Client: Yes.

Coach: How about looking up listings of top producing Realtors in your area and popping in on their open houses to introduce yourself?

Client:Hmmm, I don’t know. It didn’t work for me in the past and I really don’t want to spend a Sunday going into open houses when the Realtors don’t want me there, anyway.

Coach:Ok. How about scheduling yourself to attend some Realtor Association events or Chamber mixers?

Client: No, because there are always other loan officers around trying to get the attention of the Realtors. Too much competition.

Coach: Well, what if you partnered up with your Title Rep. and put together a presentation on recent changes in the industry and resources that Realtors should be aware of to help them stay abreast of these changes?

Client: I just don’t think that will work. Every loan officer out there is trying to get into Realtor offices and most of them aren’t even interested in what’s going on. All they care about is whether you can give them a referral or not.

Notice any patterns here?

Now if you’re wondering, if I, as a Coach, would simply force them to do these things anyway, the answer is HECK NO!

Regardless if something has worked for others, and that could be hundreds of others, asking someone to do something that they have a negative attitude about, will NOT bring about the desired results. In fact, it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e. “It won’t work.” “They won’t talk to me.” “Nobody will care.”

The good news is that after some attitude re-tooling (yes, attitude is a tool) ANYONE can create new opportunities and successes for themselves, even out of what once was seen as a bag of old tricks.

Brian Tracy, entrepreneur, sales guru and motivational coach says this about attitude:

This attitude of looking for the good in every situation, of looking for the advantage or benefit in any problem or difficulty, is the way that the most successful people think most of the time. Superior people, leaders in all areas, face the inevitable ups and downs of daily life on the way to their destinations by taking complete control of their thinking and their emotions. They do this by choosing the words they use to describe a situation, their tone of voice, and their behavior in dealing with problems.

So what’s YOUR attitude about getting out there and creating new business for yourself?

Tips to Re-tooling Your Attitude

Here are 3 re-tooling techniques that you can help your attitude to help you to succeed! 

A Morning Dose of Positivity 
How long has it been since you listened to a motivational CD series on the drive into work? Pick up the latest CD by your favorite positivity guru and use your commute, whether it’s 10min. or an hour, to accelerate your attitude. 

Check Your Attitude at the Door 
Every day, before going home from work, take 2 minutes to complete the following sentence in your journal or notebook: “Because of my positive and willing attitude, today I was able to………” 

Partner-up with a Positivity Pal 
Ask a teammate or peer to engage in 30 consecutive days of positivity with you. Agree to send each other one email each day where you communicate one positive experience from your day and one, specific wish of positivity to your partner.  It could look something like this:

Dear Daniel: Today I made it a point to get out of my office. I had a very productive lunch with a Realtor partner of mine. It was well worth my time and effort and so much more pleasant than I thought it was going to be. I wish that you have a surprise encounter with someone tomorrow that leaves you feeling GREAT!

Remember, everything starts from the inside – out. Giving yourself the gift of a positive attitude today will directly influence whether opportunity knocks once, twice, three times or ever knocks at all.

 

If you only had 3 minutes in front of a group of Realtors (or any customer)

November 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

I was surfing a message board that I frequent with high perfoming loan officers.  One of them has an opportunity to present to a group of Realtors next week and he was told that he has a whole 3 minutes to do a presentation.  Hmmm, 3 minutes.  The post started by asking what would other loan officers do with this opportunity.  It got me thinking about opportunities that I’ve had like this and how I approached them.  Here was my response:
If I had 3 minutes to ‘talk’ to a group of Realtors, I would let them talk first. Ask them what their biggest frustrations are, ask them what they are not getting from their current lender relationships, ask them what they would like to see from a relationship.

I would spend 2 minutes finding out what their issues (‘pain’) happen to be and then I would spend 1 minute explaining how you can help ease that pain or resolve some of their issues.

If you talk to them they won’t listen. If you listen to them and then address their concerns I think you would get a much higher interest level.

There are 2 important preparation points here:
1. Be prepared for no one to speak. I’m sure, in the current market, this won’t happen but you should be prepared with stories or pains that other Realtors have shared and then ask them if they are experiencing the same things. You will certainly get a response when you hit some hot buttons. Understand which of those the crowd seems to respond to and focus on those.

2. The reality is that you already know what they are going to say and what their issues are. This is not the point. Anyone can ‘show up and throw up’ and ‘tell’ the Realtors what they can do for them. You really want to engage them and let them know that what they feel is important. Prepare your presentation and then mentally put each of your USP items or points that you want to make into categories that you can then use to help solve their pain.
This way you can get your points across and focus those points on what is most important to your audience.

Also remember that you can’t tell them everything so don’t try. Pick your top 3 key items that you want to convey – the things that will create the most business for your Realtor partners, the things that will save them the most time, make them the most money, releive the most frustration, help them build their business and get continued referrals, etc.

I would be surprised if you try this approach if the following doesn’t happen:
1. You get more than 3 minutes
2. You don’t get multiple questions
3. You don’t have the opportunity to set up appointments with individual agents to go into further detail with them in a more intimate setting

Touch on their concerns and offer to follow up with each of them if they wish. Get business cards and contact info (biz cards).

Maybe pick one or two products to highlight. Any more than that won’t fit in that timeframe.

Bring printed material with your contact info and logo on it. Make sure it is VERY valuable information.

Show them some other printed info you have (especially info on the tax credit extension – some FAQ’s, etc.) and whet their appetite. Offer to send it via email and even offer to personalize it with their information on it(next to yours of course  ). I would bet that you would get a lot of takers.

Remember, it’s 3 minutes and that’s not a lot of time to get ANYTHING across let alone EVERYTHING – so don’t try.

My approach would be:

  • ASK

  • ANSWER

  • TEASE

That’s what I would do anyway. . . by the way, this IS what I do and it works!

I hope the presentation goes well and I’m looking forward to hearing from the LO about the results

Build Confidence, Gain Credibilty, Get Business…

October 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

origmkcoahToday’s consumer is looking for an expert. They want a loan officer they can place their trust and confidence in to get their deal done.

The question is…Are you that loan officer?

Do you have the confidence you need to win today?

Do you have the credibility within your market?

Do you have influence in the purchase money market with agents?

Listen to my interview I did with a loan officer who wanted all of these things and more and how he discovered how that writing a book would open many doors in his business. You will be blown away, encouraged, and inspired!

Click here to listen to the Power Marketing Podcast on How Writing a Book will change your business!

7 Tips to Keep your Mastermind Group Alive and Kicking

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Mastermind groups are formed by professionals for a number of reasons. The three top reasons being:mastermind-question

  1. To generate new ideas and share best practices in an effort to increase revenue and create efficiencies in each member’s businesses.
  2. To establish a space for accountability, goal setting and encouragement amongst entrepreneurs who are not necessarily reporting up to or being pushed by a Manager. (They are the captain of their own ship)
  3. To network and cultivate possible referral relationships with other professionals.

Professionals generally enter into mastermind groups with great enthusiasm and high expectations. However, after six months to a year of meeting, many groups find that the excitement has a tendency to wane and unfortunately, the attendance then follows suit.

Here are 7 helpful tips to help keep your Mastermind group engaged, consistently attended and growing…

Tip #1-Make sure you have a variety of professionals attending who share similar pains.I’ve talked to Mortgage Professionals who have formed mastermind groups made up soley of Realtors or Financial Planners. This may seem like eutopia for YOU, but the group will eventually suffer and may even begin to feel that your attempt to put together a mastermind group was purely self serving. Fresh perspectives, unique approaches & creative business models are more easily derived from groups that include different types of professionals. Of course, only include professionals who share in your pains (i.e. generating leads, branding one’s self, teammarketing, effective sales scripts, budgeting, etc.)

group-meetingTip #2-Include creative “shake-ups.” Make one of your Mastermind sessions an event that the entire group attends, like a seminar or presentation on sales techniques or social media, a chamber mixer or www.meetup.com event.  Assign chapter readings and group discusssion from popular business or self help books, like Think and Grow Rich, The Success Principles, The Tipping Point, or Taming Your Gremlin. Use one session to train on a particular product, system or new technology the group is interested in. Spend one session watching a Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield or Wayne Dyer DVD.

Tip #3-Establish a rotating guest speaker list. Assign each mastermind group member a month that they are responsible for inviting a guest speaker. The guest speaker could be a physical fitness expert, a life or business coach, a social media guru, a holistic healer, a local top salesman, a Manager sharing his/her team leadership secrets, a branding expert, a local blogging superstar, etc.

Tip #4-Share the knowledge.Post your agenda, guest speakers’ names, take-aways and “aha” moments and newfound knowledge from your mastermind groups on your blog, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. Encourage everyone in the mastermind group to do the same.meeting-in-restaurant

Tip #5-Don’t be a venue hog. Find other locations, other than YOUR office, to hold your mastermind sessions and change it up from time to time. I had a client hold one at a local park with great success. You can also go to your local library, favorite coffee house, wine bar or bistro, community center or recreation center, pastry shop or even one of your group member’s residences.

Tip #6-Introduce the 20 Questions game. When utilizing “group think” to help solve a member’s current issue, dilemma, roadblock, bottleneck, conflict, etc., have each member ask that person questions about their current situation, not to exceed 20 questions.  No one is to suggest or tell the person what to do, nor make statements or share their opinion. They are simply to ask questions to help the one individual experience a breakthrough and to do so without comparing, assuming one person has the solution, or inadvertently creating tension or conflict in the group.

Tip #7-Survey the group. Never assume that your members are satisfied with the current format, agenda, guest speakers, direction and/or vision of the mastermind group. You know what they say about “assuming.” The best way to keep your mastermind group alive and kicking is to be open to changing things up, trying new things and most importantly, listening to the V.O.M. (voice of the mastermind) Here is an example of a mastermind group survey using www.surveymonkey.com that you are more than welcome to copy…Click Here to take survey

The power of the mastermind comes from each member’s unique experiences, knowledge and willingness to share. As the leader of the mastermind, you owe it to yourself and the group to be picky about who you choose to invite as a member. Set the bar high!  Find individuals who are smarter, more creative, more innovative and more financially savvy than you are.

It’s like Jack Canfield once said, “You are the average of the five people, outside of your family, that you hang out with the most.” Take the time to find the “right” members and choose to raise your average.

17 Agents Eagerly Signed Up to do Business With Us!

July 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

origmkcoahSo often I hear the statement, “What can you give Realtors to get them to do business with you?”

The answer is simply this…find their problem and solve it. In fact that is the answer for getting anyone to do business with you.

“When you have a solution to their problem, they will come to you rather than you chasing them!”

The challenge is in finding the problem. In order for you to find the problem here is what you have to do…

1. Have a professional meeting with the agents. As them questions about their business. Do not go in looking to get deals, go into the meeting looking to present yourself as truly interested in their challenges

2. Do not try and problem solve at the meeting. Take good notes and then think about solutions during a quite time away from the office.

3. Keep the solutions simple. Don’t attempt to make a 75 step process to solve a problem. Very often a problem can be solved with a worksheet or checklist.

We recently started a Circle of Champions campaign that has literally taken off like wildfire! I just completed an office presentation for a group of agents who I knew were looking for solutions to closing loans in today’s market. After the 20 minute presentation, I offered to come  in 2 times per month and coach their team personally because they had said that accountability was their biggest problem. I had 17 agents sign up that day!

Out of that we developed a product called “How to Shorten the Sales Cycle and Get Paid Faster!” in which the agents must sit down one on one with one of our loan officers to get the program. (I purposely did not make it a download, because I want them to call us!)

In fact I have a new coaching client in my FINISH STRONG coaching program that we are going to implement the same strategy for in the next month.

In today’s market you have to be all in to win and that means you have to sift through the wannabees and get straight to the winners.

For more coaching tips and strategies visit me at www.theoriginatorsguide.com

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