The Secret to Winning in a Tougher Mortgage Origination Marketplace

Patricia Sherlock

It seems like every mortgage expert is projecting 2019 to be very difficult for our industry with estimates of flat or negative sales results. What is interesting to me is that there are always originators who succeed in a tougher marketplace while others do not. Are these sales professionals lucky or is it something more? In my opinion, better originators have recession-proofed their business because they are continually seeking new ways to expand their sales model. Becoming complacent is something top producers avoid at all costs because they know that if they don’t improve their sales skills, one of their competitors will earn the business!

Regardless of whether originators are with a bank, IMB or credit union, their basic responsibilities are the same. However, according to Stratmor, only about 40 percent recognize that their real job is to discover new marketing strategies so they can expand their “tribe” of customers and prospects. The remaining 60% are transactional in their selling and want their lenders to solve their personal marketing challenges such as establishing trust or differentiating themselves from thousands of other originators. This sounds simplistic but it is the core issue I see over and over when I am consulting with sales groups.

It is mystifying that these low-performing originators don’t realize that the best thing about selling as a career is that it not only helps people purchase their dream home but it is the most creative position in the working world. Every potential customer is different and how you influence them to make their life better requires fresh, original thinking.

Effective selling habits require an originator to connect with their targeted client base and deliver value that prospects cannot get anywhere else. This is a tall order but it is why great salespeople make the big bucks. To expect to earn a high income and not generate extraordinary results is wishful thinking. Being average or mediocre just doesn’t work in our new world of 24/7 access where customers can rate the service they received with the click of a button.

In the excellent book “Selling It Like Serhant,” Ryan Serhant outlines how he landed in real estate sales in New York City and became the Number One real estate broker in the most competitive marketplace in the country. In a normal year, there are 11,000 sales of properties but there are over 30,000 brokers. The odds of succeeding in this arena are actually quite small.

When Serhant started, he was new to New York City and had no connections. Yet he reached the top of that real estate market at just 34 years old. Currently, he has two television shows on Bravo plus his real estate broker business. Obviously, hard work was part of the equation which is no surprise. What else made the difference?

Serhant advised sales professionals to “be deliberate about how you grow yourself as a brand, and as a businessperson. Don’t have analysis paralysis and overthink everything. Focus on what really matters and then take action. One of the biggest challenges I have to face as a salesperson is finding fresh ways to distinguish myself in a never-ending sea of real estate brokers.”

All originators have the same challenge. What are you doing today to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack? If you are not expanding your brand, you are on the road to being irrelevant.

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