Sarah Valentini is president and principal of Radius Financial
Group Inc. She is a leading mortgage professional with 20
years of experience in residential and commercial lending.
Valentini launched Radius in 1999, and under her leadership,
the company has grown from a small local lender into one
of New England’s leading private mortgage banks. Reach
Valentini at (781) 742-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
time, you won’t get paid and you won’t get any more
business from that borrower.
But you can arrange your workload so your whole
day doesn’t turn into a frenzy of chasing deadlines. This
starts with changing your systems so you are always a
step ahead and have a cushion built into your timeline.
This step alone will remove much of the “rush” pressure that many originators feel.
Then, turn over the deadlines to your operations
team so you can focus your efforts on marketing and
prospecting. The reason these activities often fall prey
to procrastination is that they don’t have a deadline.
You have to actively commit to scheduling time for
these activities or they get pushed to the side every
time by looming deadlines.
If you stop focusing on deadlines and start focusing
on building your pipeline, your business will change
dramatically. The reason many loan originators have
anemic pipelines is because they are so focused on
deadlines — the flashing red lights in front of their
eyes that are impossible to ignore — that they never
spend any time building for the future.
Smart business developers create the same feeling
of deadline pressure and commitment on building
their future business as they already have placed on
completing their current business. They do this by
physically scheduling time for prospecting activities
on their calendars, just like any other activity. This is a
paradigm shift that requires approaching your business in a completely different way, but it will have
Once you have tamed the time monster, you need to
make sure you stand out from the crowd. Let’s face
it. Almost every company in the industry offers great
rates and great service — and to be frank, those that
Mortgage banking is a unique industry because it is one of the few professions where you can literally transform your business — and your income — to whatever scale you want. The sky is the limit because you are
almost 100 percent in charge of your own production.
Think about other fields where professionals want
to advance their careers or make more money. Most
require an advanced degree, years of training, or even
a change of company or industry to make any real difference. Any of those options can require a significant
investment in time, money or both.
As a loan originator, you have the amazing opportunity to change your professional trajectory just by
changing the way you approach your business. Here
are several steps that will help you get on the road to
success this year.
Identify success killers
You may be surprised to hear that your success is not
being thwarted by rates, your company’s technology
or even the current housing market. Only two things
negatively affect your current production: procrastination and deadline pressure.
Procrastination is foremost an issue of perspective.
Most loan originators put off the activities that they
can’t see making them money today. Unfortunately,
these are the very activities that offer the biggest
payoffs in the future: making contacts, meeting with
local professionals and building referral relationships.
Instead, too many mortgage originators get bogged
down in the deadlines of the day and never get around
to building their business.
What was the first thing you did today? If you’re like
most originators, it probably entailed following up
on a file and getting bogged down by pipeline man-
agement. That makes sense. If a loan doesn’t close on
don’t probably won’t be in business long. That is why
successful loan originators don’t rely on these trite
phrases to differentiate themselves. Instead they focus
on understanding their market and the unique chal-
lenges their customers face.
To win the sales game, you must find out what’s important to the people you are selling to and how to meet
those needs. People do business with professionals they
like and trust, so focus on building that relationship.
The best way to start is by picking up the phone,
calling a contact who can be a source of business and
requesting five minutes of that person’s time. You
might have to call people 10 times to reach them, but
once you have their attention the payoff can be huge.
The key is to get contacts talking about their favorite
topic — themselves. When you have reached someone
at a good time, they’ll be happy to spend a few minutes
The Road to Success