Tricks of the Traits for Lending Success
Personality and behavior characteristics often distinguish the best brokers from the rest
By Robert Nolan, president and CEO, IvyStone Consulting Group
When it comes to the business world, professionals with a specific set of personality and behavior traits often find the most
success. Mortgage brokers should know
what these are and strive to make them
their own. In addition, when hiring, brokers can look for and identify these traits
to choose the best candidates.
First, let’s look at the personality side
of the equation. Some internal qualities
tantamount to success include:
■ Passion: This is perhaps the most important trait a broker can have. Mortgage brokers must have passion for their business to
achieve the highest levels of success. If you
don’t love what you do, it will show.
■ Charisma: Top producers can build relationships, trust and rapport with their
clients quickly. Charisma gives brokers who
operate their business based on relationships a significant advantage over those who
operate based on transactional details.
■ Control: Top producers desire to maintain control of their style of selling. They
understand that their style defines them
and that losing control of that weakens their
abilities. If they feel they need to change
their approach, they do so methodically.
■ Confidence: The best brokers have complete confidence in what they do. Confidence comes with knowledge and develops
as they become experts in the profession.
■ Character: Top producers understand the
importance of character, which also can be
thought of as reputation. As such, they commit to always performing at their highest
level. They also know that building a strong
reputation can take an entire career but that
destroying one can happen in minutes.
Robert Nolan is president and CEO of IvyStone Consulting Group, which he
started in early 2007. He has been in the mortgage industry for more than 15
years. IvyStone uses proven psychological assessments such as Myers-Briggs
Type Indicators and QFS Consulting hiring tests to help management find the
right candidates who will fall within a company’s hiring profile for loan officers.
Reach Nolan at (770) 309-7199 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond personality traits, behavioral
patterns also dictate whether a mortgage
broker will reach the highest levels of success. High achievers possess five time-tested behavior patterns, as noted more
than four decades ago in the Harvard Business Review and adapted here:
They like working on their own. 1. Top
producers seek situations in which they can
solve problems. They have a great desire to
work independently and recognize opportunities to build their careers.
They avoid petty or routine work. 2.
Once a problem is solved, they move on to
the next one. Although taking loan applications may appear mundane, top producers
know the value of information and view
this task as essential to information-gathering.
They prefer to work with experts.
When they have an issue, top producers
want to speak with someone who has
the experience or knowledge they lack as
quickly as possible. Top producers know
their limits and understand their role.
Some liken themselves to attorneys representing their clients before a judge. The
stronger their case, the better their chances
of getting the deal they want. If they hit a
roadblock, they don’t hesitate to call on
an expert for help. If a deal is a no-go, top
producers move on. Pushing too hard isn’t
worth damaging their reputation.
They want concrete measurements of
their accomplishments. High achievers
dedicate themselves to making a lot of
money because they see financial gain as
a measurement of their success. Money
isn’t always the best or most important
measurement, but it often results from
doing something extremely well.
They set moderate goals.
5. Doing so,
high achievers can maximize their feelings
of accomplishment. Brokers who strive
for impractical goals position themselves
When looking at personality traits
and behavioral patterns in themselves or
in potential job hires, mortgage brokers
striving to reach the highest levels of their
profession should consider these elements
as they move forward in their careers. By
learning from and working with the best of
the business world, brokers can add their
name to the upper echelons of the real estate finance industry.
The Key to Marketing: Product Knowledge
Diversifying? Starting anew? Knowing how to sell starts with knowing what you’re selling
By David K. Lal, president, National Real Estate Council
Marketing to today’s con- sumers requires a different skill-set than it did just a few
years ago. Profits are attainable from services and products that didn’t exist then,
and your clients are hungry for the modern real estate promise. It’s up to you to
No matter which marketing angle you
choose, you must first understand the loan
programs that are available from wholesale
lenders that appreciate you as a mortgage
broker. You don’t need to belly up to lenders that look at your business as a tolerated
38 Scotsman Guide | Residential |
scotsmanguide.com | August 2009
nuisance, at best, and as nasty competition,
at worst. Support those that support you.
The first step is to reach out to whole-
salers and clarify their programs and prod-
ucts. They can change and often do.
Next, recognize that there is more to a
product than rate alone. Often, rates from
large banks will be less than those from
smaller wholesale lenders for top prime borrowers. Don’t get hung up on this — spending an inordinate amount of time to compete
for a rate-shopping borrower can be a colossal waste of your time. Greater success could
await you on roads less-traveled.
Look at all available programs and rates
from lenders. You may find that one wholesaler’s investor or second-home loans are
more attractive than its than conventional
projects. Jumbo or portfolio loans may offer attractive options, as well.
Work backward from there. Once you
have found the lenders and programs you
like, it’s time to create a strategy to find
Use your imagination to create incentives. For example, you may find an attractive and competitive jumbo lender.
Complete your due diligence to ensure it
is reliable and then close a few deals.
David K. Lal is the president of the National Real
Estate Council, a nonprofit
organization. He is a licensed broker, frequent
trainer and consultant to
and real estate profes-
sionals. Mortgage brokers can join other real estate professionals in free conference calls twice
a month to learn new strategies, marketing and
market updates at www.nrecweb.org/training.
Reach Lal at email@example.com or (888)
974-NREC (6732), ext. 1.
If you are satisfied, you likely are ready
to incorporate this program and similar
ones into your marketing effort.
Ask yourself the following questions:
■ Who are the ideal clients for this
product in your area?
■ Where do they live?
■ What do they need?
■ What questions do they have?
■ What can you provide?
Spend time thinking through and answering these questions. Then, develop
your marketing plan based on the results.
You may conclude, for example, that
your jumbo clients are established local
professionals who live on the west side of
town. They may want to reduce their rate
and offset losses sustained in other investments. Market toward that.
To create a new market, target your
primary group. Draw attention to the obstacles these potential borrowers face and
provide the solution.
Ultimately, you want to woo your prospective clients by creating the need for
them to reach out to you. Invite them to
neutral-location seminars in local schools
or libraries. Address the concerns they
might have about their finances. Provide
information about and solutions to their
concerns. Partner with financial planners,
accountants and insurance experts to offer joint solutions. Point out new strategies
and long-term options that incorporate the
mortgages that you can arrange.
Your market share and profits can
grow by leaps and bounds if you turn
your attention to creating and cultivating
relationships with consumers who aren’t
solicited heavily and who have concerns
that aren’t addressed.
Take the time to learn about products and services that will enhance your
business and make you a specialty ser-vice-provider — rather than just another
by David K. Lal
“Pick Style and Substance,” February 2008
“What Brokers Can Learn from
Bootleggers,” June 2008
View these articles and more at