« tools & tips »
By Chris Jones
What Makes a Professional?
Director of strategic partnerships
and branch manager
City 1st Mortgage Services
Attitude, focus, skill and success are hallmarks of career mortgage originators
In the past few years, the mortgage industry has been carved up like a Christmas ham, with regulations,
dictates and rules. There has been
an estimated nationwide attrition of
50 percent in our ranks, with the drop
much deeper in some states. Loan volumes are down, incomes are down, and
it sometimes appears that we will never
get out of this trough.
But there are survivors out there,
and by and large they have one thing in
common: They’re professionals. They
do their job — showing up every day
and doing the hard work of taking care
of their clients — and they are the ones
who will make it out of any market, no
matter how hard.
How can you tell a true professional
apart? There are four things that make
a mortgage professional:
Think of the professionals you know in
other industries. Do you picture people like Tony Robbins, Derek Jeter and
Oprah Winfrey? These are people who
have reached the pinnacle of success.
They work incredibly hard, but they always appear to be having the time of
their lives. Their attitudes are so good
that they pull others who associate
with them to a higher level, inspiring
them to perform better. This describes
the best loan officers and mortgage
people, as well.
It’s not an accident. Good attitude is
as much a function of will as it is what
side of the bed you get up on. We’ve all
had those days when we just can’t miss,
when everything seems made to go
well. We also have had days when there
seems to be a cloud over everything,
and the world seems gray and dark.
We’re human. Physically, we will
not be at our peak every day, and that
can impact our attitudes negatively.
At times like this, do the best you can.
Present your best face. Smile anyway.
Professionals have good attitudes all
Think about Rocky in “Rocky IV,”
training in the Russian snow. He had
a precise focus on the task at hand
and attention to the necessary detail
to prepare properly. He worked fanatically, improvising where necessary,
putting distractions to the side and
doing what he knew it would take to
be ready to do his job.
by Chris Jones
“Build Partnerships to Build
Business,” April 2011
Await Your Help,”
View these articles and more at
“Physically, we will not be
at our peak every day,
and that can impact our
At times like this, do the
best you can. Present your
best face. Smile anyway.
Professionals have good
attitudes all the time.”
It takes practice, training and hard
work. But those skills are absolutely reliable. Markets come and go.
Companies rise and fall. Professionals
have the skills to outlast them all.
Accelerate your private money loans
Even if you’re not a Rocky fan, the parallels are obvious. Professional loan officers know how to block distractions,
create a clean space for work and power
through the things that must be done.
A great deal of a loan officer’s work
is tedious, but the tedious tasks are
often necessary. All jobs have some
of that in them. Professionals in every
industry know how to cut the unnecessary tasks and focus on what it will
take to do their job well.
Professionals work for a living. They are
successful because they have created
value and demand compensation for
that creation. A person with a great attitude, excellent focus and outstanding
skill who isn’t successful is a hobbyist.
Contrary to what you may have heard
— and what you probably have experienced sometimes — success is necessary to professionalism. Professional
loan officers close loans. Yes, they
employ consultative selling, become
trusted advisers, and deliver world-class service and advice to their clients. But if they are true professionals,
they also close loans. They know their
clients will be better off for all the wonderful service they’ve received only if
they take action. Professionals earn the
money before they get paid.
Stout Street’s new 1-2-3 Funding Program can get you a loan preapproval in just one business day.
Have you ever wondered why your private lender real estate loan is
taking so long? Have delays ever caused you to lose an important deal?
Are you just plain frustrated with all the waiting?
Now there’s a fast and e;cient solution. It’s the new 1-2-3 Funding
program. It’s specially designed for real estate investors and it’s available
exclusively from Stout Street Funding.
Get loan preapprovals in one business day
Final loan approvals get done in two. Funding gets done in three. ;ere
are no fees, no prepayment penalties, and multiple deals are welcome.
We actively seek viable deals in virtually every major metropolitan area
in the country.
Get the details at
stoutstreetfunding.com or call us directly.
© 2011 Stout Street Funding LLC All Rights Reserved.
Painters select their medium, their
paint, their brushes and even their subject with infinite care. They prepare their
space and their mind for the job. Then
they use techniques they’ve refined over
thousands of hours of labor to translate
what is in their head to the canvas, so
we can all see what they see.
There is such a thing as talent, but
it is hugely overrated. The best of the
best are those who put the time in to
acquire the skills of the job.
Mortgage professionals are no different. There is a bewildering array
of rules and regulations and a huge
number of constantly changing loan
programs, and every day brings a
new marketing and sales tool to the
industry. Professionals know they
must do the work to master their craft,
and that means knowing everything
from how to analyze a tax return to
how to present the Federal Housing
Administration 203(k) loan program
to a group of Realtors.
• • •
Tens of thousands of mortgage per-
sonnel have left the industry in the
past couple of years as the market and
the government each have taken their
pound of flesh. We remain.
Chris Jones, director of strategic partnerships
and branch manager with City 1st Mortgage
Services, is an eight-year industry professional in brokering and banking. A former
chair of his local chamber of commerce, he
also sponsors several business-development
groups in the area. Raised outside Washington, D.C., he lives in Lehi, Utah, with his wife,
Jeanette, and their eight children. He blogs for
Zillow.com and City 1st’s FirstResponse blog.
Find him at www.thechrisjonesgroup.com,
email@example.com or (801) 850-3781.