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Leading a high production team


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When it comes right down to it, lead generation is a contact sport. Jim Rohn said it best when he stated, “Sales is a person to person business. You cannot send the sales manual out to make the sale.”
What Gary Keller said early on is correct, “the problem for most people is that they assemble everything they need to pursue success and then, instead of pursuing it, they decide to think about it some more.”
Develop the habit of keeping score. Know your numbers. You need to spend time on activities that will generate leads.
Only about 67% of consumers were merely satisfied with the service of their lender. However, when a specific originator was involved in the process from beginning to end, the ratings went up significantly.
Systematic and intentional marketing during, and after the sale will help to insure that the customer remembers us in a positive light and if we take the time to add significant value along the way, use us again.
The activities under CRM, client relationship management, are meant to insure that the client remembers us in a positive light and uses us again the next time they need the services of a mortgage originator.
Each week, take time to reflect. What did I do well? What were my areas of weakness? What must I do to close the gap? Take action. Action precedes change.
We all have the same amount of time each day. So why do some of us get so much more done in a day than others? Focus on the right activities.
You could stare out the window at the cars driving by and dream about your next vacation and that would be focused activity. Throughout the day, we have been working on identifying the behaviors and actions that are necessary to take you from where you a
By creating new habits, you can create behaviors and actions that will take you to your goals.
There is a great book called, The Power of Focus by Canfield, Hansen and Hewitt that addresses the power of habits.
For me, that means I arrive at the office at 7 and schedule my daily activities around my high and low energy periods. If I am distracted early in the day or taken off task, it will take me twice as long to complete a high energy activity during a low energy period. So, I purposely schedule my day and let other people on the team know my schedule.
The habit of Timeblocking has created incredible balance in my life and productivity in my business.
Read: “Get out of the Backseat and Drive” by Daniel Harkavy.
Learn to move from Reactive to Proactive activity through Priority Management.
Time blocking effectively takes practice. You will have to think through the activities that are necessary for you to complete and then map them out into an ideal week.
The Disciplines on your business plan will identify the daily recurring activities that you need to set aside time to complete. The project list will provide the activities that you will complete in the ON Time that you schedule.
When you first start practicing the Discipline of Time Blocking, leave plenty of “white space” in the calendar because you are in transition from reactive to proactive mode and you need to make sure everyone you need is on the bus before you take off.
Learn to say No. It is a very tiny word with a lot of power. When you are clear about your purpose and plans, they begin to filter the things you will say yes to and the ones you should say no to. If you hate conflict, a gatekeeper with a great attitude
Once you have designed the ideal Time Block, resolve to stick to it for a minimum of 90 days. It takes time to change and get comfortable with new habits.
If you have developed habits that are excellent, you are eating the ugliest frog first, and saying no to everything but your top priorities, and you are still out of balance, it is time to employee the Law of Leverage.
“If you don’t have an assistant you are one.”-Todd Duncan.
Now that you have a clear idea of what you want the end result to look like, what are the gaps between where you are now and where you need to be in order to move from idea to reality?
What is your budget? You are a mortgage originator in the business of creating a name and reputation for yourself. You are creating your own brand and you need to invest in yourself. Are you counting on your employer for everything or how much of each dollar earned are you setting aside to invest in yourself?
Careful planning can make your hard earned dollars go a long way. Develop the plan first and then the budget to implement it will help you define the time line. Waiting for your company to do it for you may be a very long wait.
Tom Peters in Brand You noted that to be effective, you don’t have to start with a million dollar budget. He says, “Master bootstrapping. Most cool companies are started in basements, and garages for literally pennies. SONY, UPS, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Pizza Hut, Fed EX, etc”
What skills do you need to acquire or improve on in order to provide the services you promise?
What are the gaps that you need to work on right now? Select two or three areas that you need to focus on that will provide the most immediate value to your clients, your referral partners, your team, and yourself. What are they and what are you going to do to close the gaps?
Utilize the help of others on your team or in management to help you determine the most efficient way to close these gaps. Find an expert mentor or coach to assist you with priority improvements . Who will you ask?
What resources do you need in order to turn leads into clients?
Computer? A better one, a lap top for ease of moving from one place to another, one that is more efficient, has a larger hard drive, is faster? If your computer is obsolete and you are struggling with getting the tasks you need to complete done, it may b
Cell phone? Are you still wearing a pager? Do you need to get rid of it and replace it with a cell phone. Is your current cell phone plan the right plan? The right provider?
Headset? Do you need to be handsfree when on the phone to be able to take applications or use your computerÂ’s client management system? Radio Shack carries Plantronic headsets. Netcom makes a great handsfree, cordless headset giving you room to roam.
Software? Client Management like ACT! or Goldmine for managing the contacts with your clients and referral partners, Mortgage Coach to provide financial analysis documentation to your clients, Photo editor program, other.
You will be unable to build a successful mortgage practice without a completely functional database program, your plan fully integrated into it, and the training to use it. Do not skip this step.
Hardware? Do you need a scanner or a digital camera? Do you need a better server or connectivity hardware? A Palm pilot? A lap top? What Investments in computer hardware or this type of equipment do you need to make in order to run your business efficiently?
Fax Machine? Are you relying on the fax machine for the entire office or would having your own private fax expedite contact with you and from you?
’á Office Furniture? Are you trying to work on a computer and find yourself getting a stiff neck or is your chair giving you a backache? Do you need more work space? A file cabinet? Bookshelves? What does your office configuration look like and is it the most efficient use of the space you have to work in? Do you need to re-examine that configuration for more efficiency? Does it feel good and do you enjoy the space?
Supplies? Do you keep a list and make one trip to Office Max or do you constantly find yourself out of something you need? You can order on line and they will deliver it the following day. Tried for those books you need? TheyÂ’ll ship it right
Computer Networking ability? Are you struggling with having your assistant do necessary tasks for you because your assistant canÂ’t see your schedule or cover for you when you are out of the office? Consider networking your computers and sharing a schedule in your client management software.
Phones? Do you have a speaker phone and can you make a conference call? Is the phone system you have adequate for the tasks you must complete?
Got Stationery and personalized note cards? Brochures? Presentation binders?
Is everything you send out a billboard for you? Does it tell them how to contact you? Does it send the message you want sent and do they save your stuff or immediately chuck it in the circular file? What would get them to save it until they needed your s
What is getting in the way of the execution of your plan? Name it and make the necessary budgeting considerations to get it fixed, upgraded, purchased, trained and get going. According to John Maxwell, “You can act your way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it.”
“Everyone has two jobs-their chosen profession and lead generation.” Gary Keller, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.
“God gave you two ears and one mouth in direct proportion to the amount of talking and listening you ought to be doing.”
“You can’t just sit there and wait for your ship to come in. You’ve got to swim out there before the pier rots.” Harvey Mackay
What form will the assistance you intend to provide take and how will it specifically benefit your networking partners?
What new groups of people will you join or engage this year? How many do you need to engage? If they were absolutely certain to say yes, who would you call and engage and why?
What is your behavioral style? Are you proficient at working with others behavioral styles? Selling with behavioral style can be learned through learning the DISC language that we teach at Building Champions. Learn it and watch the results happen!
Do you have scripts to answer the questions that consumers and Realtor prospects most frequently ask?
What 3 questions do you struggle with the most frequently and what are your current scripts for dealing with those issues?
’á Could a team member of yours, another Loan Officer in the branch, your assistant or processor, match your response if it was a contest where the facilitator asked the questions of those in the game, you and a person from your team were asked to writ
’á When was the last time you made notes in a database after meeting someone new? Sent out a personal note to someone you met? Saw honored somewhere? Felt needed a loving touch? Do you feel comfortable that you know what to say? Write in a card? If not, what are you going to do to get comfortable or get the job done anyway?
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”-Will Roger
Most people think that networking and prospecting are the same thing. Networking is described by Webster as “ the developing of contacts or exchanging of information with others in an informal network, as to further a career…”
A prospect is defined as “ having an apparent chance for success; a likely or prospective customer, candidate, or undertaking.”
Networking creates prospects. Prospects turn into bonafide leads. Leads turn into customers. Customers turn into clients. Clients provide customers. By creating great follow up systems and replicatable processes, you can gain incredible lift in your busi
You can do a great job for a customer and they may refer one person because they liked and trusted you. Like and trust get you one additional customer. If you cannot replicate the process that made client number one a client, the chain will break right there. Customer number 2 will go back to number one and say, “What were you thinking? That’s not what I got at all!”
Replicatable processes get you an endless supply of customers from clients who find your services to be remarkably predictable. They have bought into the systems and when your business runs on “business D instead of personal D”, as Gary Keller puts it,
Purchase and read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber with the intent to teach it to your team. Utilize the principles in the book to build a replicatable business process for your mortgage practice.
“Begin with the end in mind…” Stephen Covey
Without a clear idea of what you are trying to build and what you want the end result to be, you will spend a lot of time and other resources heading off in wrong directions. “You will find yourself where you are now, only later…” Todd Duncan
Every future oriented company needs a well-conceived vision. Your vision will reflect your core beliefs. Your vision will provide guidance about what core beliefs to preserve and what future to stimulate progress towards, even to your successors.
Creating your vision can be one of the most challenging and yet rewarding exercises you go through as a business person. It will take much thought and creative time. You will need to do some soul searching to create something that is of value.
When complete, your vision will act as a magnet and will pull you forward in the pre-determined direction that you set regardless of the day to day changes and crises that will occur.
Your vision begins with you addressing your core beliefs. Your core beliefs are comprised of your core values and purpose. What are the essential tenets that make you who you are? What do you stand for? Why do you exist?
This belief system is not something that is learned or even created. It is what you are – to the core of your inner being. Make sure you address your core beliefs as they truly exist, not how you want them to be. If you don't, it will show and no one in
You will then move on to consider your envisioned future. This process includes creating a long-term audacious goal and a vivid description of what the future of your business will look like. By going through this process you will have a target to aim for as your business grows and changes. It will also allow you to communicate your vision to those around you.
After addressing your core beliefs and envisioned future you are prepared to craft your vision. The Harvard Business Review article provided to you as a handout, is the best tool we have found to go through the process of formulating your vision. Read th
By going through the Business Vision process you will create a vision that will serve as a guide to you throughout the years.
Core ideology defines the enduring character of an organization - a consistent identity that transcends product or market life cycles, technological breakthroughs, management fads and individual leaders.
Core ideology consists of two distinct parts: Core values, a system of guiding principles and tenets; and core purpose, the organizationÂ’s most fundamental reason for existence.
The authenticity, the discipline, and the consistency with which the ideology is lived - not the content of the ideology - differentiate visionary companies from the rest of the pack.
Core Values:
• Intrinsic.
• Define what we stand for.
• Hold them even if it became a competitive disadvantage.
• Only a few (three to five).
• Pursue with relentless honesty.
• Don’t ask what we should have, ask what core values do we truly and passionately hold?
• Core values don’t change in response to market changes - change markets to remain true to core values.
• Even global organizations composed of people from widely diverse cultures can identify a set of shared core values.
Core Purpose:
• Organization’s reason for being.
• Reflects people’s idealistic motivations for doing the company’s work.
• Captures the soul of the your team.
• Cannot fulfill a purpose - like a guiding star on the horizon - f
Ask five whys. Start with descriptive statement: We deliver X services and then ask, why is that important? five times. After a few whys youÂ’ll find that youÂ’re getting down to the fundamental purpose of the organization.
The envisioned future consists of two parts: A 5 year Mt. Everest goal plus vivid descriptions of what it will be like to achieve the goal.
The Mt. Everest goal is the mountain to be climbed. It should be so exciting in its own right that it would continue to keep the organization motivated even if the leaders who set the goal disappeared.
Mt. Everest Goal
• Difference between merely having a goal and becoming committed to a huge, daunting challenge.
• Clear and compelling.
• Serves as a unifying focal point of effort.
• Acts as a catalyst for team spirit.
• H
Vivid Description:
• A vibrant, engaging, and specific description of what it will be like to achieve the BHAG.
• Translating the vision from words into pictures.
• Passion, emotion and conviction are essential parts of the vivid description.
Coaching, for the athlete or the business professional, is the art of taking what you know in your head, and making it a part of your heart for the purpose of affecting positive change. Building Champions does this by utilizing the proven One-on-One Coac
“When opportunity arrives, it’s too late to practice!”-John Wooden, coach.
Your role is to help the team win!
Keep the team focused and energized on the task before them.
Know the Rock nÂ’ Role. Measure the behaviors and actions objectively.
Coaching does not take the place of training.
Everyone needs a coac
According to Don Shula, in Everyone’s a Coach, there are five attributes of a high performance coach. “They are conviction driven, constantly overlearning, audible ready, consistent in their message, and honesty based.”
If you want to take the team up, raise the lid. Read, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell and practice, practice, practice. Leadership can be learned. Aim high. The higher you aim, the more likely you are to hit the mark.
The TeamÂ’s Role:
Show up and practice and practice and practice each and every day and learn from yesterdayÂ’s mistakes. Yesterday is just thatÂ….yesterday. Once you have gleaned from it the lesson, let it go. Play to win! Assess, encourage, praise, and re-direct.
“The difference between average people and successful people is in their perception of and response to failure”-Failing Forward by John Maxwell.
You canÂ’t change the past by clinging to it, but you can change the future and the future of others by learning from it. I am absolutely convinced that all people want to be the best they can be and to be recognized for it.
Some people have lost the will to dream or have beliefs that stand in the way of moving forward. If they are willing to set aside their current reality and make a decision to move forward, anything is possible.
Coaching your team requires that you be discerning enough to know the difference between someone who wants to be on the bus and is willing to do what it takes and someone who is not.
Risk more than others think is safe
Care more than others think is wise
Dream more than others think is practical
Expect more than others think is possible.
“There is only one way I can get anyone to do what I want them to do and that is by giving them what they want.”
“Do you understand what motivates each of your team members?”
Re-interview the members of your team and write a paragraph about what motivates each person on your team. Attempt to connect. See if there is a values match and a desire to perform the role and achieve the goals of the team.
Schedule regular meetings with your people, one on one, to identify written objectives to help the team member meet the specific objectives he/she has been assigned, create a plan of action, and to provide opportunity for mentoring or encouragement towar
Coaching needs to be frequent enough to help the employee clarify their objectives, adjust their behaviors and create action plans to take their goals to completion.
Use the individual strengths/gifts of the team members to provide a synergistic environment. Have experts so everyone doesnÂ’t have to be one.
Bi-weekly Team Meetings to work on solutions. State the focus in advance to give team members an opportunity to prepare.
Celebrate regularly
-Daily high fives
-Bi-weekly honor excellence by sharing it with others in meetings
-Monthly awards
-Quarterly get togethers
-Strategic planning sessions on projects
-Summer party
-Christmas party
To Lead a High Production Team, you have to engage in leadership activities. Coaching is one of them. Accountability is key to the success of any team. WhoÂ’s coaching you?
Clients refer customers!
Customers generally just say thanks and move on.
You choose.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”-Jim Rohn
“He who owns the leads, owns the business…” Todd Duncan circa 1993.
The mortgage originator of today must have a client management system that allows you to serve the client. It must contain enough information for you to deliver on what you promise.
All activites promised to the clients must be set as activities, calls, or to-dos so they are not forgotten or overlooked in a busy market. This is essential to effective time blocking.
In a perfect world, the client information is synchronized automatically with processing and debt management software and available to all members of your team.
Think about the service provider in any field, with whom you have had a long term relationship. Why do you still maintain the relationship? You like them, they treat you fairly, you know them, they know you and chances are, they know how to serve you. Af
Disciplines of a Champion Team Leader
Adhere to a perfect week timeblock
Team Growth
In Thinking For A Change, John Maxwell writes, “the problem is always to identify the problem. I think too many people rush to a solution and as a result, end up solving the wrong problem.”
If we are going to close the gap between where we are now and where we want to be, first we have to figure out where we really are right now and where we want to be say five years from now.
The key is to make sure you are solving the right problem by stating the correct focus. An additional, and crucial component, is to have enough of the right people focused on the solution.
Author, Jim Collins, wrote “To move from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.” In order to do that, you may have to abandon familiar territory.
Most people quit trying the minute they reach the lid of their comfort zone. They settle for good enough and never find out what their real potential is. According to Keller Williams founder, Gary Keller, “Anything is possible if you put your mind to it...while believing alone isn’t enough, not believing is enough to constitute complete and total sabotage before you ever get started.”
Just for today, suspend your current reality. Imagine instead that you could achieve anything that you set out to do with your business and your life. You could not fail!
Just for today, entertain that childlike enthusiasm you still have and think about what it would feel like to walk through the fear of the unknown and come to a new place: a place where anything is possible. Forget for a day what other people have said is or isnÂ’t possible and imagineÂ…..
“Ideas without action are meaningless.”-Todd Duncan
If you were to leave after the first couple of sections of this event, you would be in the same boat as most of the people returning from a motivational seminar. You would have lots of ideas but no clear-cut strategy for implementing them.
The difference between those who succeed in building High Production Teams and those who donÂ’t can be summed up in one word: Implementation.
Implementation requires written plans that identify the who, what, when, where and how of taking an idea from the idea stage to the implementation stage.
Jim Rohn, business philosopher and author, says you should “Never begin a day until it is finished on paper.”
Read Gary KellerÂ’s book, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, for specific advice on the numbers and disciplines of High Production Teams. DonÂ’t just read it once. Read it as though you will have to teach it because you willÂ…to yourself and your team.
Gary Keller stated, “When you know what to do there comes a point when it is just time to shut up, get up and giddy up!”
“I’ll give you a 6 word formula for success: Think things through and then follow through.” Eddie Rickenbacker, WWI flying ace.
You can have world class internal business practices, a head full of knowledge, and the values of Mother Theresa, but you need a well designed and fully implemented marketing plan to get your product, YOU, known and used in the marketplace.
Marketing as defined by Webster: “ All business Activity involved in the moving of goods(or services)from the producer to the consumer, including(but not limited to)selling, advertising, packaging, etc.”
Seems like a simple concept and yet the vast majority of people in the industry have a hit or miss marketing plan at best and the marketing efforts of many are crisis oriented and based on immediate need.
Marketing is a consistent, well laid out effort that encompasses selling, advertising, and the packaging of You and your team. All of the efforts involved have to be consistent and constant for it to work.
your marketing plan to work, you will need to get clear on the product.
’á The product is you and your team, not mortgages. Your product is the service you provide. You need to have total confidence in yourself to market your product effectively. So, ask yourself this question, ¡§ What is preventing me from boldly asking someone to use my product, me?¡¨
Have you clearly answered the question in your own mind, “what separates me from the competition? And “what is it that people clearly want in a relationship with me?” They told you already. Were you listening? What did they say?
WhatÂ’s in it for them if they use you? You must be able to clearly define or state what is unique about youÂ…the differentiatorsÂ…in a positive way. Know but donÂ’t dog the competition. ThatÂ’s for politicians.
Steps 1: What is the benefit of your product to consumers? Know this: the benefit must outweigh the cost.
Look at your business and list the benefits of using your services both from the standpoint of a strategic business or referral partner perspective, and from a clientÂ’s perspective.
There is a difference between features and benefits. A feature might be automated underwriting at point of sale, or a particular loan product that you sell. The benefit is what interests the parties you are trying to influenceÂ…peace of mind from approva
We recognize that the client is a mutual client. We are committed to keeping track of the people on the clientÂ’s team. This will including the contact information for their Realtor, the Title Company who completed the closing and who may be storing their documents, their insurance agent and financial planner. It
Step #2: Define from the list of benefits, what your position is in the marketplace.
Step 3: Now, Define your target market. Who is your target market?
Step #4: Come up with your advertising strategy and positioning strategy. Make everything you do a reflection of who you are and the message you want communicated, regardless of whether you spend a lot of money or a small amount of money on your advertis
It is important to make everything you do a reflection of who you are and the message you want communicated. You must communicate excellence.
The message we want to communicate is that we do more than loansÂ…we are more than just a mortgage. We are committed to helping people improve their lives through successful home ownership.
If they take one action after engaging our materials, it will be to give us the opportunity to find out if there is a basis for a relationship based on an individual conversation or consultation with us about their current and future needs. They will talk to us.
Step #5: Figure out your budget. ItÂ’s hard to launch a marketing plan without one. It takes money to make money.
Step #6: What tools will you use to position yourself in your marketplace? Or better yet, What tools can you afford that will provide the most marketing leverage for you in your marketplace?
Our tools are a reflection of us. They must be professional but at the same time communicate that we are approachable and interested in a relationship.
Letters to our clients on personalized stationery at the time of application, approval, pre-closing and post closing will reflect accuracy and careful thought. We will use spell check. We have set up an activity series in ACT!
We send monthly postcards to our client base with a note of encouragement and seek to stay top of mind. We know that “gobs of garbage” hit mailboxes every where which is why we send a simple message, “We are here for you when you need us” on a simple
We maintain copies of all HUD 1 Settlement statements and send them out the first week of January for each person who has completed a transaction the previous year.
We send out a postcard on the loan closing date anniversary to let our clients know that itÂ’s time for a check up. We follow up with a phone call that week based on who and when they advised us to call, to do an annual review.
At times of uncertainty or significant market change, we prepare and send our personal letters to keep our clients informed about the changes taking place.
We want to maintain a personal relationship with our clients and referral partners and as such want to honor the day they were born with a card.
We take the time to write personal notes thanking people often but only when we are sincere in our praise of them. We know that these mean a lot to people and arenÂ’t common anymore.
We use good manners in all of our dealings with people. We recognize that most customer service problems are a failure to communicate expectations effectively and patiently.
We participate as instructors in State sponsored education programs through the Mortgage Association and the Minnesota Housing Finance agency because we know it is our obligation to give back to the industry and the people who have made our success possible.
We seek to utilize all of our resources to add value to our clients and referral partners and when unique opportunities arise to provide an assist, we try to tailor our services to the needs of the individual.
Once a year, we have a client and referral partner appreciation day. We do this at Halloween in the form of a Pumpkin Fest where we invite clients to come select a pumpkin and we ask our Realtor partners to be on hand to meet and help us thank our clients.
At Christmas, we have a special party, for referral partners only, to thank them for their continuing support and loyalty.
Step 7: Create an implementation plan and calendar it. “Ideas without action are meaningless.”-Todd Duncan
’á Use a CRM system like ACT! and create activity series to insure on time delivery. For instance, if one of your marketing tools is to send a cross sell letter directly after closing thanking the client on behalf of you and your Real Estate Partner, t
Once you have mapped out the plan, you need to execute with excellence
We use ACT! to keep us intentional.
We have a custom designed client management system utilizing ACT! software.
We purchase our tools in bulk and re-supply per a spreadsheet created in Excel.
’á We took the time to meet with all individuals involved in the Life of Loan Process including but not limited to: processing staff, underwriters, loan originators, Realtors, and had many meetings to determine job descriptions, life of loan process, activity series, marketing pieces, frequency of pieces, shared values, etc.
After carefully diagramming the entire process, we set about creating letters, scripts, surveys, checklists, etc. for our entire process from lead to first year anniversary. Then we hired an ACT! specialist to come and turn our informal systems into a li
Step by step: Who, what, when, where, how, why. How will you teach, not just tell, the others on your team to assist you to make this plan a reality. Schedule the training.
Get out of your comfort zone! Do! Action precedes change. Without action, as Todd Duncan would say, “next year, you’ll be where you are now, only later. “
Lead Generation: As Gary Keller says, ‘you have two jobs…mortgage consultation and lead generation.’
Where will your business come from?
This is the end result we strive for. A client with a big mouth willing to tell everyone they know about us.
They are the result of carefully planned and replicable
processes and systems from lead to close. When a client
refers someone
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”-Jim Rohn

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