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For more articles on top producers
“A Legacy of Respect,”
Malcolm B. Hollensteiner,
“Thriving Workplace Cultures Are
Built on Engagement,”
“Top Performers Make Smart Job Choices,”
“Break Free From Your Cage,”
Shant Banosian is branch manager/senior vice president of
Guaranteed Rate. He is the company’s top loan officer nationwide, with 1, 136 closed units and $434 million in funded loans
in 2016. Banosian ranked fourth on the Top Dollar Volume list
of Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2016 rankings. It was his
third straight year in the top 10 and fifth straight year with
nine-figure production. Banosian is consistently recognized
for his production levels and customer service. Reach him
Become a Mega-Producer
Being the best year after year takes more than just hard work
By Shant Banosian
Out hustling the competition is an obvious ingredient of being a successful mortgage originator, but to be a mega-producer — and stay a mega-producer — you have to
do more than just work hard. You have to have the best,
latest technology, and you must understand people.
This does not apply only to customers. Understanding customers is a matter of listening. Hitting
nine figures in funded volume year after year also
requires an impeccable team with a singular vision,
and it requires that you personally engage the various
people involved in the homebuying process.
In business and in sports, you can’t be reactive. NFL
coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has
a simple but effective message for his players: Put in
the time to be prepared for every situation. The idea
is to eliminate surprises and stay ahead of the game
by staying prepared. Know the rules, know your products, know the market and know the people you’ll be
working with in various stages of the process, including Realtors, builders and attorneys, among others.
Stay on top of the game
Belichick also preaches about having expertise in your
role. Each member of the team has a specific job. If
everyone is a true expert and can perform their role
perfectly, the team will win every time. Versatility is
generally a positive quality, and in case a teammate is
gone, it’s good to have redundancy.
In the interest of offering customers the smoothest
process, however, each role has to be performed at
the highest level. Each teammate must be an expert
because experts naturally take more pride in their
roles and feel more accountable to the rest of the
team for fear of letting people down.
In addition, because there are so many different people involved in the homebuying process —
Realtors, builders, attorneys, etc. — when the deal
gets done, if you don’t follow up with those people
and ask for business, you’re missing the boat.
But that amount of networking is still not enough
to reach the top. Even with the industry entering the
digital age, face time is still important. Get involved
with the Rotary Club, chamber of commerce, alumni
associations, parent teacher associations, and so on.
The point is to always be making face-to-face connections to drive in business.
You can’t just sit in a room and wait for the phone
to ring. You have to get out there and get in front of
people, even after the deal closes.
Educate and hire smart
It’s important for mortgage companies to constantly
teach and train their staff as a way to get everyone
on the same page, sharing the same vision. Create a
culture of knowledge and preparedness so customers
get the very best service, every time.
Everyone on the team has to know what they’re
talking about and has to make the right decisions.
To get the very best out of people and show them
how to be the best versions of themselves, you have to
show them how to get there.
It’s a familiar story: A mortgage company discovers
an energetic mortgage professional who’s going to
play a key role in growing the business. Six months
later, that person is gone, the numbers are no better than last year and the originators wonder what
It’s one thing to have really hard workers — that’s
great — but they have to be coachable and buy into
your system. Hard workers sometimes have hard
heads, so when you’re building your team, look for
qualities that suggest open minds and interest in
Embrace tech and branding
The mortgage industry is currently in the midst of its
version of the Industrial Revolution, with more and
more stacks of paper being replaced by online forms.
The digital mortgage makes everything faster, easier
and more efficient for consumers, Realtors and originators alike.
Being a mega-producer means you have to be
incredibly fast, and the paper-based mortgage process could never be associated with that word. With
the game going digital, the production possibilities
And yet, as the process speeds up, you must still
focus on the quality of everything you do. It doesn’t
happen overnight, but once you start building a brand
of quality, you’ll always have business. With every
single deal you take, whether it’s incredibly tough or
super easy, make sure to hit your deadlines. Don’t ask
for extensions, and don’t make mistakes.
When you build a brand based on quality, opportunities will be there for the taking. And now with social
media, you can promote that brand to big groups with
Everything you do has to have a purpose. You can’t
have wasted moments, wasted phone calls or wasted
meetings during the day. Success is defined by balance.
Being happy with life, work, family and your health —
that’s what it’s all about.
If you can’t enjoy your life with the ones you love,
there’s no point to any of it. Work is where you create
the time for the more important things in life, so treat
every second as gold. Stay on the phone, on the computer or in professional dialogue with a colleague at all
times, and hammer home that mentality among your
team, because sustained excellence depends on it.
n n n
Effective time management is important, but it’s not
everything. You also must have fire in your belly. Whatever you do in life, try to be the best at it. It’s about
setting a goal and knowing what you have to do to
Once you reach that goal, it becomes the new baseline. Being a top producer is a great achievement, but
staying a top producer means setting new goals and
never being content with where you are. n