Ben from the South wrote to me saying: “I have been struggling in the industry for several years. I just can’t seem to get to the point where I can make a decent living. I see other loan officers that do not know as much as I do, yet they do better than me. If I had one thing to work on–what would it be?”
Dave: Since I don’t know you and this is a very broad question, it should be very hard to give an accurate answer. To be accurate and relevant, I am going to have to be broad in my answer, but also address your question. If there is one thing you need to improve upon, it is the trait of honesty. You might find that surprising, especially if you are a very ethical individual. But I am not talking about being honest with your company or with your clients. I will take that for granted.
What I am talking about is being honest with yourself. In order to improve, you need to be completely honest with yourself with regard to your weaknesses and your strengths. The key is to emphasize your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Your question indicates to me that you don’t know what you need to work on. If you really want to improve, you need to be honest with yourself and really work on your shortcomings, whatever they are.
If you don’t have a clue–you are not being honest with yourself. Thus, you need to open your eyes, make a determination of where you need to improve and set out a plan to make the strides you need to achieve.
The next question is, how do you uncover more information about your weaknesses? Those who are really interested in taking their performance to the next level will search relentlessly to answer this question. Where do they search?
A good place to start would be to ask your referral sources and your customers. It is one thing to send a survey to a customer after closing. It is quite another thing to call a customer after closing and ask them what you could have done to make the process easier for them. With regard to referral sources, too many of us accept our relationships without asking questions such as–how can we take this relationship to the next level? Or, perhaps, how can I become a more effective partner within your business?
We should also be talking to those around us. This includes our bosses, our peers, the operations personnel we are working with, our personal contacts and more. Again, the questions need to be probing and not superficial. More on this topic next week.
Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School – the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is www.OriginationPro.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.