I believe that the true path to success in this business starts with attitude. I know this opening sentence may truly be one of the most captain-obvious statements of our time, however I will back it up with some experiences that I have had in the past eleven years to prove my point.
Recently I had a conversation with a fellow agent who had a deal declined by a certain lender. You know what their reaction was? Complete and utter negativity towards the lender, going so far as to say “I will never support them again.” Was it a knee-jerk reaction? Most likely. However, the sheer fact someone would say this makes me question their approach in this business. How can we ever say we will never support a certain lender because of one decision? Would you want a client to never come back to you because you were not able to help them in one specific case?
A positive attitude in this business requires a very short memory, and very thick skin. We can’t be hung up on each and every decision that our lender partners make and think we’ll never want to do business with them. This also extends to disagreements we have with our underwriters – we can’t take them personally, ever. Once you do that, and once you develop a certain perspective of an underwriter, it’s very difficult to change back. After all, isn’t our business all about relationships?
Another major faux-pas is when my colleagues talk about their clients and referral partners in a not-too-positive light. I hear it all the time; how a client is being overbearing, or questioning their rate, or any other potentially “annoying” trait. We have to remember that these people are not who we are, and they do not know what we know. When an agent tires of answering client’s questions is when that agent will really see a drop in business.
We have seen mortgage rule changes that have affected our business in a great way. Deals I was able to approve in three hours three years ago now take three business days if not longer. Gone are the days of rubber-stamp approvals, and maybe this is a great thing for our industry. We cannot get angry at things we cannot control, and develop a negative attitude that won’t help us get those approvals done. Having a positive attitude really helps in becoming very creative and innovative in how to package a deal. It also helps through the underwriting process when negotiating with a lender on how to get this approved.