In Search of the Silver Bullet
The Never-Ending Quest for the Easy Answer
by Bob Williamson
by Bob Williamson
It has been said that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” That would explain a lot of the extreme anxiety I see in loan originators who are frantically looking for the Holy Grail of Mortgage Lending: The Easy Way to Close More Loans.According to Wikipedia:
“The metaphor of the silver bullet applies to any straightforward solution perceived to have extreme effectiveness. The phrase typically appears with an expectation that some new technology or practice will easily cure a major prevailing problem.
“The term originates from folklore. Traditionally, the silver bullet is the only kind of bullet for firearms that is effective against a witch, vampire, monster, or a person living a charmed life.
“It should be noted that actual silver bullets are less dense than lead bullets. As a result they have less momentum after being fired from a gun and cause less damage. Because of this, silver bullets are in fact less effective than lead bullets.”
The Allure of the Easy Answer
If your income is down, your pipeline is empty, and your prospects are bleak, it is understandable that you’d be looking for the quickest possible fix, and attracted to the idea that a particular product or approach would solve all your problems simply by virtue of your buying (into) it. But think hard for a moment here: when in your life has something like that actually worked for you?
A quick internet search produced the following promises:
Now the companies advertising these claims may very well be offering quality products and services. The point is that so many loan originators are focused on finding the easy way to success in this business. They literally create the demand for products – legitimate or otherwise – that promise quick and easy results.
The Realities of This Market
Mortgage professionals are facing the most challenging market in at least 30 years. Hundreds of companies – some of them pretty big – have gone bankrupt or been acquired in the last 3 years, and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs or left the industry. Entire product lines have disappeared. The MBS market has been rocked by scandal and incompetence and the credit markets are in crisis and chaos.
But it’s not all bad news. The shrinking of the industry has made more market share available for those who’ve hung in there. Home prices have been dropping for a couple of years, and in most markets, opportunistic buyers are taking advantage of reduced prices to buy homes. And interest rates will likely remain relatively low as a result of the federal government’s takeover of Fannie & Freddie.
For my assessment of the best strategy for loan originators in this environment, see my free webinar video, How to Succeed in This Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Lousy Market here.
If You Really Want to Succeed, Understand How Marketing Works
If you understand and apply the following 6 Fundamentals of Marketing, you can survive, and even prosper, in any market:
Key Skills of a Successful Loan Originator In Today’s Market
Having worked closely with more than a hundred loan originators over the last 20 years, I think I can offer some useful observations about the qualities common to the best ones.
The most successful loan originators are:
Who Do You Have to Be to Pull All This Off?
Notice I didn’t say, “What do you have to do.” That’s because the things you do (and how well you do them) flow directly and naturally from who you are.
Each of us has a self-image or identity. This is your own very personal and private view of who and what you are – the idea you have of yourself when you are alone, and there’s no one around to try to impress.
When you’re with other people, you may present yourself in a particular way in order to make a desired impression or protect yourself from criticism, judgment, etc. But your self- image – your identity as you see it when you’re alone – determines the set of behavioral options that are available to you, and that set of options both drives and limits what you will be able to do consistently over time.
For example, if you see yourself as a shy or introverted person, you may be able to force yourself to make some cold calls. But you won’t enjoy it, you probably won’t be very good or successful at it, and you won’t be able to sustain the activity long enough for it to produce any meaningful results. You will find some reason to stop doing it. If someone convinces you that you really ought to make cold calls if you want to be a successful loan originator, you will guiltily conclude that your problem is that you don’t do cold calls. But that’s not your problem. Your problem is that you don’t see yourself as someone who is outgoing and resilient and hungry enough to be a master cold-caller. Until you can be that person, you will never do the things that a person like that would naturally do.
So the first step is an honest self-assessment. It may also be helpful to ask people you trust and who know you well how they see you. When you recognize limiting aspects of your self-identity, you simply choose to become a person who possesses the qualities you currently feel you lack. In the wake of that choice – if you have truly committed to it – you will make a plan of action to acquire the desired traits and skills – by hiring a coach, getting trained, reading books, listening to audio training on the subject, etc. When you really want to learn to do something, you figure out how to acquire the skills. (Do you remember when you were prepared to move mountains to get your driver’s license?)
If what you’ve read here motivates you to improve your self-identity and your skills so you can better rise to the challenges posed by today’s mortgage marketplace, I’d suggest you start with an honest self assessment. Measure yourself against the standards of someone who gets what marketing is all about. (See the section, “If You Really Want to Succeed, Understand How Marketing Works”,above.)
Measure yourself against the standards of highly successful loan originators. (See the section, “Key Skills of a Successful Loan Originator In Today’s Market”,above.)
With your completed list of things to work on, start working on acquiring and/or improving the skills that will help you become the kind of loan originator you really want to be.
To sign up for a free, private coaching session, go here.