Dave: I believe that there are a ton of loan officers in your boat. And many have left the business. You are right to take some time to develop a plan to attack 2023. I will give you a series of pointers I hope will help.
The first step will be comprised of an exercise. If you could do 2022 over again, what would you do differently? Using my New York roots, we would call that a “do-over.” While I can’t really give you a second chance at 2022, if you go back and analyze how you reacted to this past year, it will give you some great clues as to how to attack 2023.
For example, if you did not diversify enough in 2022, you'll need to work on that part of your business. If you did not go back and reestablish relationships you let slip, you can work on that as part of the plan. Your planning should not come from ground zero. You are already likely doing some good things. But there are opportunities you missed. Now is your chance to go back in order to go forward with adjustments.
Now we will move to what you did correctly. Everyone is doing some good things within their business plans. In our planning for 2023, we not only don’t want to stop doing these good things, we want to enhance them. Many feel that the most effective way to increase their production is to take on something entirely new. This may lead you to another direction you don’t know will be effective and might siphon resources from what you are doing well. A more efficient approach would be to enhance what you are already doing to meet additional objectives.
To borrow a quote from my book, Maximum Synergy Marketing, “Everything you do can be made more effective by adding additional doses of synergy.” It takes much less resources (time, money and energy) to build upon your present foundation versus building a new building somewhere else. The concept of adding synergy to our present successful activities, rather than going in a completely different direction helps us to go deeper rather than wider.
The best example of this concept is using your pipeline to find marketing opportunities. Are tax returns included in the file? This is an opportunity to develop a relationship with a CPA. How about developing a relationship with the listing agent? Just giving them status is not enough—an after closing call thanking them for letting you service their transaction should have an objective of a face-to-face meeting.
Have some good referral sources? If they believe in you, they will introduce you to other referral sources. For example, your top agent may be mentoring another agent in their office. Where does this agent get their referrals? Perhaps from a divorce attorney they can introduce you to. A first-time homebuyer may have parents interested in investment properties or second homes.
The bottom line: everything you do can be made more effective with additional doses of synergy. You just need to open your eyes and see the opportunities right under your nose.