• A $12 million originator gets a few
loans and referrals here and there
from past customers. The $25 million
originator carefully mines a database
of past customers by sending e-mails,
postcards and letters on a regular
basis, which in turn results in numerous phone calls and referrals throughout the year.
• The $12 million originator hears a
good idea for improving business,
thinks about it for a while and goes
right back to the way things have
always been done. A $25 million originator hears a good idea for improving
business, thinks about it and begins
implementing the idea the next day.
The comparisons can go on and on.
The key point is that a $25 million loan
originator thinks, acts and runs business
differently than a $12 million originator, just as people closing $50 million a
year operate under a different business
model than those closing $25 million a
year. It’s not simply about making more
sales calls; it’s about a significantly
different way of doing business.
In plotting out your actual approach
to restructuring your business model,
consider this exercise: Write down your
average mortgage professional and a stel-
lar mortgage professional. For instance,
let’s consider some of the ways in which
a $12 million per year producer differs
from a $25 million per year producer. You
might notice some or all of the following:
• The $12 million originator comes to
work around 9 a.m., finishes the day
before 5 p.m. and takes off early most
Fridays. A $25 million originator starts
work at 8 a.m., is often in the office
well after 6 p.m. and puts in a few
extra hours of work on the weekends.
• A $12 million originator calls on 10 to
12 low-producing, high-maintenance
real estate agents and takes whatever
leads are available. The $25 million
originator has solid relationships with
just five or six top-producing agents in
town who refer top-quality clients and
refer exclusively with that originator.
• The $12 million originator is buried
in loan files and spends most of the
day processing loans, chasing down
conditions, and dealing with difficult
borrowers and equally difficult loans.
A $25 million originator takes clean,
complete loan applications and submits only quality files that have a high
probability of closing. That originator
has an assistant or personal loan processor deal with the time-consuming
and labor-intensive paperwork, leaving time to get out and make more
contacts and find more business.
average monthly production volume,
and then write down what you feel
your next level of success should be.
Finally, make a list of what your origination business model would look like if
you were operating consistently at that
level of performance. Ask yourself a
handful of key questions, in particular:
• What would you be doing new, more
frequently or differently if your business was humming along at your
desired loan volume every month?
• How many hours a week would you
• How many referral partners would
• What would your database market-
ing efforts look like?
• What kind of internal processes
would you have running?
• How many people would be support-
• How would you be thinking, acting and
behaving differently if you were closing that many loans and originating
that level of production every month?
If you answer these questions, you’ll
get the picture of your life at the “next
level.” If that picture excites you, the
time is now to start building your new
business model. •
« RIDING continued from page 89
Whether you’re aiming to grow from producing $500,000 a month to $1 million
a month or from producing $50 million
annually to $75 million annually, the task
at hand is clearly not a simple feat. You
may have to make several substantial
improvements and do more of the work
you’re doing now to achieve your goals.
Start by taking a closer look at your origination business model.
Here’s what that means: A loan originator producing $1 million a month has
a business model that’s built to produce
$1 million a month. That originator
works a set amount of hours, calls a certain number of real estate agents and
does a fixed amount of database
marketing. Even that originator’s internal loan-funding process is designed
to create a specific output: about
$1 million a month.
If that person hopes to bump production to a higher level — say, for instance,
to $2 million a month—the journey starts
by building a different business model,
one designed to consistently produce
an output of $2 million a month. That
said, how exactly can you instigate this
change in your business model?
A tale of two brokers
Although originators’ approach to improving their business models will vary from
person to person, much can be learned
by observing the difference between an
Douglas Smith, president of Douglas Smith & Associates, is an authority on sales
and marketing in the mortgage industry. Smith is a 28-year industry veteran and
a nationally known speaker and sales trainer. He shows lenders and loan officers
how to find more customers and make more money. Smith is the author of
Climbing the Ladder of Success and the newly released Green Zone Selling. For
more information, visit DougSmithOnline.com or call (877) 430-2329.