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Eight Cardinal Sins That Mortgage People Often Commit

Aug 17, 2007
If you could identify mistakes that are killing your bridge game, or your golf game, or your exercise routine, or your budget plan, or whatever, would you take heed of that information and correct those mistakes?

Of course you would, and so would I. But how about the critical mistakes we sometimes make as Mortgage Professionals? Have you determined if you're making some major mistakes in your mortgage career?

Review the following points and then answer this question about each item: Am I guilty of this? A simple Yes or No will do. OK...here we go!

1. Failure to establish a unique marketing position. There are lots of mortgage people out there and you need to set yourself apart from the herd. Most of us just fail to be creative and innovative. The result...we don't differentiate ourselves, our company, and our products from everyone else in the pack. It's the old "me too" thinking and that's a huge mistake.

The easiest way to solve this is to specialize. Pick an area, study it, concentrate on it, and become an expert in that field.

As you know, I love FSBOs to concentrate on. But, you could become an expert in First Time Home Buyers, No Documentation Loans, VA Loans, FHA Loans, Sub-Prime Loans, or Realtor Loans, for example. The nice thing about our business is that there are tons of choices ...pick one...and do it!

2. Failure to appear professional. Have you taken a critical view of the image that you portray to prospects and customers? Better yet, have someone review your materials for you and give you an honest opinion.

Now, I'm just not talking about business cards and stationary. I'm talking about every piece of sales, marketing, and correspondence (including email) that a customer or prospect ends up with.

Let me give you an example. Here are a few of the addresses that I see; millionaire, redlightlady, redneck, hotnsexy, studman, foxylady, mrbig, to name a few. There are many more that I would not even publish here.

What in the world are you thinking folks?

I certainly hope the email address you use with your business is considerably more professional. Even if you use multiple email addresses, aren't you afraid of picking the wrong identity for your message? I am...and none of my identities could ever be construed as offensive.

You must always appear to be morally, ethically and, politically correct...regardless of your personal opinion.

3. Failure to set and periodically review your goals. Have you set some goals for your mortgage business? You know...things like how much you would like to make this year including that special treat for attaining that goal...the number of closings required for that income...how many loan applications needed to actually close that many loans...the number of applications from new prospects and the number from your existing database...and finally, how many calls I need to make each day to attain those applications.

Unless you go through the above logic multiple times a year, you're going to have a difficult time in this business. Setting goals enables you to steer your ship by looking at the mortgage business in small, easy to follow steps. Post a picture or drawing of that special treat or goal you have set in a place that you'll see many times through out the day.

4. Failure to maintain contact with customers and prospects (your database). If you're not keeping in contact with your customers and prospects on a monthly basis...you're missing the boat...loans in your pipeline...and, commissions in your pocket.

The amazing thing is....it's so easy and inexpensive to do. A good postcard and letter campaign and an up-to-date mailing list are all that's required. Here's an example of what this means to you: Let's say you have a database of 100 names that you keep in contact with. One out five of these contacts will be making a mortgage decision in the next year.

It may be a refinancing decision, a purchase decision for a new primary residence, a second home purchase decision, or an investment purchase decision. If you think that the 20% number is a little high...use 15%.

That being the case, 20 out of your 100 contacts will be making some kind of mortgage decision in the next year. Will you get all 20? Of course not! But, you'll get your fair share because each and every month you will have kept your name and contact information in front of your database.

If you have been in business for awhile then you probably have 300, or 500, or more, contacts on your list. This is your little "gold mine." How well you prospect your list will determine your return.

No contact list...then start one immediately. It's never too late.

5. Failure to prioritize. Just because we're busy, doesn't mean we're going to be successful. Sometimes we get focused on all kinds of activities rather than results. So, we believe we're busy and we are. Unfortunately we're busy doing the wrong things.

Don't forget the most important activity of all is...prospecting for new business. Set aside time each day to prospect for new mortgage possibilities. You won't regret it.

6. Failure to anticipate. Sometimes we get so involved with our schedule; we get blind-sided with something we should have anticipated. Yes...it happens to all of us on occasion. But, if you're continually putting out fires then it's time to change the way you operate. Look at those problem areas and work on eliminating them. Ask yourself why the problems occurred and then correct
them.

Awareness is over 50% of the battle. By recognizing the problems you've taken the first step on your journey to success.

7. Failure to listen. This is probably the most classic and common error we can make. The mortgage person who hears but doesn't listen...the mortgage person who continually interrupts prospects...the mortgage person that delivers solutions that are off-target, or...the mortgage person that overwhelms prospects and customers with verbiage that clearly indicates a failure to have really listened to anything the other person has said.

Learn to listen...and, listen to learn!

8. Failure to invest in the tools necessary to improve and develop your business. My email in-box is always filled with requests from people seeking help to get their mortgage business on the right track.

As you know, there's no single "magic bullet" to ensure your success. But, the thing you must do is "invest" in time and programs to grow and expand your business.

If you dedicated one hour per day, every day, to learning and studying the mortgage business...and you did that for a period of sixty days...you would easily know more than half of all the working mortgage people in the business today.

Continue to invest in your knowledge and capabilities and you'll take a major step towards success. Couple that with easy-to-use, time saving, editable marketing tools, and...business is sure to follow.
About the Author
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. Increase your pipeline and put your mortgage career on the fast track and sign-up for FREE at http://www.MortgageMarketingToolKit.com.
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