If the recent headlines about a dramatic drop in refinance volume is making your blood pressure spike, know that you aren’t alone. Naturally, this should trigger an alarm, especially since a large part of today’s revenue is currently driven by refi lending. Loan originators, however, don’t have to be susceptible to the volatility of rates. They can still generate predictable results amid a shifting refi market. Here’s how we do it.
Maintaining our current lifestyle, protecting and, yes, even growing income in 2021 is still possible as long as we can pivot to seize new market opportunities. The MBA’s bullish projections regarding a boom in the purchase market give ample room for the growth opportunity as long as we learn to focus our time and energy to ensure our efforts resonate.
At Princeton Mortgage, our goal is to empower originators with everything they need to anticipate and capitalize on shifting market dynamics. Our proprietary selling system, The Princeton Selling System, is rooted in the belief that consistent, predictable success is driven by three factors: Mindset, Skillset, and Habits.
“Most loan originators believe if they do a great job for their customers and partners, those customers will come back to them on their next transaction, as well as refer new business to them. Nothing could be further from the truth.“
The first factor is mindset and harnessing our focus to better control the outcome of our effort. What we focus on expands our power to manifest what is going to happen in our lives. It is to develop a winning mindset.
The second is skill set. This includes a commitment to technical excellence, creating value for customers and partners, and helping them make good decisions. We believe that ongoing coaching and training is intrinsically linked to developing an adaptable skillset, which is a competitive advantage in the midst of market fluctuations.
The third is habits. Habits are what we do daily, and weekly that create a continuous flow of customers coming to us.
When working in tandem, these three factors lead to predictable results and predictability will be essential for replicating success in the purchase market.
Our approach has generated measurable results. Our funded volume has increased by 631 percent since 2018, and we’ve outperformed average industry growth by 552 percent. In fact, INC. Magazine even named Princeton one of the fastest-growing companies in 2020.
It’s important to realize that predictability is formulaic. We know that if someone does X, they’ll achieve Y. That’s why all of our originators utilize a weekly, 100-point scorecard. We’ve identified the activities that we believe if followed consistently for 30 days, will lead to real results. At the end of each week, our team members tally their activities and submit their scores. These scores are shared company-wide to further accountability and transparency — two pillars of Princeton’s unique culture.
Our intent is to create intrinsic motivation, and the scorecard empowers originators with a formula to generate predictable success.
Many of the activities on the scorecards are designed to build lasting relationships and obtain referrals with industry partners. In order to increase the likelihood of success, we rely on our marketing machine to establish a flow system, which we define as a “frequency of interaction” plan. This plan is designed to help loan originators increase the quantity and quality of all interactions with people who know you — to help with the heavy lifting.
“…we also take a high-touch, personalized service approach by delivering handwritten notes that are followed up with a fresh-baked cookie in the mail.”
Here’s the challenge: becoming the LO of choice. Most loan originators believe if they do a great job for their customers and partners, those customers will come back to them on their next transaction, as well as refer new business to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Doing a great job is a great start, but it is not the key to getting repeat and referral business. In order to keep getting referral business, you have to earn your business every day.
Our in-house strategy prescribes “13 touches in 30 days,” and our team follows a formulaic flow-system with tactics to increase their number of referral partners by 30 percent over the course of six months.
Although we utilize e-mails, direct mail, and social media re-targeting, we also take a high-touch, personalized service approach by delivering handwritten notes that are followed up with a fresh-baked cookie in the mail. From a resources standpoint, the ROI is phenomenal. These simple yet impactful steps are so undervalued today that it gets our team members noticed by the exact people they seek to create relationships with, time and again.
While there’s no silver bullet for success, the more predictability that is designed into a system, the better. Our holistic approach has elevated our entire sales team, with every single salesperson generating more income, per month, than they were prior to when they arrived. More than anything else, this speaks to the value of building a winning mindset, an adaptable skillset, and habits that reinforce predictable behavior. And therefore, predictable results.
Courtney Graham is the Chief Marketing Officer at Princeton Mortgage and has over 15 years of experience in the marketing, advertising, and tech space. Graham has been a pivotal member of the Princeton Team since 2016 and has led the company’s rebranding and growth efforts, transitioning the marketing team from sales support to a driver of sales growth, and helping to company to achieve 631% funded volume growth in three years.