By Calum Ross
I have now been in the mortgage industry for over 12 years and I have learned a lot of great techniques and practices from some of North America’s top mortgage professionals. Over those 12 years I have invested heavily in education – over $250,000 in personal and professional development alone (courses, seminars, business school tuition, etc.).
While that may sound like a staggering figure, consider this figure: $1.5 billion. That’s what I have personally funded in mortgages over those 12 years. That is not volume pooling, but represents the over 5,000 mortgages I have arranged for clients who would all consider themselves my personal clients when asked who their mortgage person was and is.
I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it alone – but with the help of as few as three full-time and up to five full-time salaried team members, in the last 10 years I have never had a year where I funded less than $100 million dollars in volume and never had my average basis points per deal drop below 89 bps in any calendar year. Statistically, I only have to buy-down rates on less than one in 20 deals I fund.
No. 1 tool
Over and over again, people ask me what is the single-most important skill that I’ve learned, and without question one very simple technique consistently remains at the top of the list. In fact, if you master only one skill set in mortgage banking, I’d say that it should be this: nothing will pay off better for you than effective database management. It requires no formal schooling, very little technology, and very little organizational skills, still this one technique should singlehandedly double your income in less than a year.
Let’s stop for a moment and imagine you in this hypothetical situation:
You are a frequent flyer and you have made it your mission to always support Airline A. You have been loyal to them with all your bookings – flying both your short- and long-hauls with them, amassing not only a lot of flights, but also thousands of miles. You stop to do the math, and find you’ve spent literally thousands of dollars with that airline while simultaneously getting to know exactly how their system operates. Now imagine after all this support you find out that that Airline A has one complimentary upgrade to a better seat on your next flight yet they decide to give it to some random new customer who happens to check in first and you are left with no legroom and feeling disrespected. You see, Airline A truly means well, but they simply have no system for measuring the frequency or profitability of your relationship. As frustrating and crazy as this situation sounds, this is exactly what many mortgage professionals do every day when they serve all their customers the same or, even worse, when they treat their high-maintenance clients even better!
While airlines may not get the service right all the time, what they often understand better than most industries is loyalty and the profitability of their clients. As mortgage professionals, we are often our own worst enemy. Like many sales people we have the best of intentions, we get so busy doing deals and busy in reactive mode that we don’t stop to proactively consider who our biggest supporters are and try to pay special attention to the clients and referral partners who are a big part of our long-term success. All too often we confuse activity with productivity and accidentally consider our highest maintenance referral sources as our best. So let’s stop being random about how we treat others and put a plan in place to make this year different. By understanding the importance of the frequency and monetary value of your clients and referral partners, you can build a very profitable business where you give your best to your best.
How to Categorize Your Client - see page 2