A Guide to Staying Competitive

Do you have what it takes to thrive in the lending industry?

I’m here to tell you that today you are beginning something that can truly change the quality of your business forever. There are two things required: number one, the desire and number two, the commitment to follow through with all of the tasks and goals that you set for yourself. As simple or as complicated as it may seem, if you’ll buy into these two requirements, you will be able to make huge strides in growing your mortgage business. If you’ll do this, the things that you used to call dreams will become part of your daily reality. I’m speaking from experience, not only helping other people to change, but also making changes in my own life.

Why is it that you can have two different people who seem to be so radically different in their abilities? One seems to have superior ability, superior talent, superior skill, and superior education and yet at the same time, he or she doesn’t produce the quality of life that they want. While someone else seems to have every disadvantage and he doesn’t have the support emotionally, the family support, the education, or the background and yet he goes out and produces results way beyond what anyone could expect. The difference in the quality of our lives does not come down to our capability. What human beings are capable of is absolutely incredible, what people will do is rather different from they can do! I’d like to challenge you to start exercising your will. To start using what the motivational speaker Tony Robbins calls “personal power.” The ability to act (and continue to implement) is the driving force behind any and all accomplishments. The ability to take action and produce results is a power you already have. This is not something that anyone can give you. You must develop it yourself.

In the mortgage loan origination business, there is a fundamental difference between average performers and star performers. Being an originator myself, managing and coaching originators for the last 17 years, I can tell you that there is a huge difference in the “mindset” of each of these individuals. Your own mindset will determine what level of success that you achieve in this very competitive business. Following are five key ingredients to help reach whatever level of success you set for yourself. When I say key ingredients, I mean these are “critical musts” to not only survive, but to thrive.

You must have an open mind. It all begins with having an open mind. Some people are afraid to be open-minded because they fear change. Maybe they’re afraid of losing what they already have or perhaps they’re afraid of failing. Maybe they’re afraid of being stereotyped. I say move forward in spite of your fears—go for it. I believe the key is to always be open-minded, but never let go of your values. I’m referring to being open-minded enough to learn life’s lessons from any and all sources, including music, film, books, tapes, other people, experiences, and religion. Expand your own horizon to achieve your outcomes. Keeping an open mind involves learning new things and investing in your business.

There are a number of different tools and resources that have helped loan officers nationwide take their businesses to the highest level. This includes everything from special mortgage software programs and economic data, to seminars and publications.

By seeking these top products and service providers, you’ll take your business to the highest level possible. Don’t just rely on your own experiences.

An open mind means you are willing to learn from all sources around you. You are willing to listen, ponder and grow. This is a huge step and one that all superstar originators have embraced. I like to call this the Michael Jordon philosophy…there is always a new level you can go to. Constantly seek improvement and never be afraid to invest in it!

Ask key questions. Consider the following questions. What actions can I take today to reach my goals? What is your belief about how far you can go in the mortgage business? What is your attitude about the mortgage business? Are you focusing on the process or the problems, or are you focusing on the outcome? Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done?

Here are some questions that can help you go to that next level. What has to happen to strengthen your beliefs? How can you improve your view of things? What has to happen to get you more focused on your mortgage business? What new positive attitudes can you develop in the next 30 days that will give your business a boost? Do you know your business? Do you know that you can be great in it? Do you know that how you view things has a tremendous effect on your own results?

By thinking through, and answering these questions, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and about what you think you can and can’t do. You can gain some insight on where you are versus where you want to be. This will give you the key to unlock your mortgage origination potential.

Character. Webster’s Dictionary defines character as “our nature, the total of qualities making up individuality, moral excellence.” Our character holds the keys to our beliefs, our attitudes, and ultimately our outcomes. Having a solid character involves setting and maintaining standard for every part of your life. I know that we sometimes fall short of the standards that we set for ourselves. But it’s character that will help you maintain your standards and it’s character that will cause you to recover when you do fail. It’s important to understand this and it helps to write your standards on a sheet of paper or keep a journal. This adds to the value you place on your character and will assist you in keeping on track.

Attitude. Attitude is your mental or moral discipline. It is a very personal thing. You hold the keys to your own attitude. The results you get in your mortgage business are in large part based on your own attitude toward everything that happens to you. This is how we view things. Zig Ziglar, the great motivational speaker, says, “Attitude determines your altitude.” To improve your attitude…start with ingredient number one, then seek improvement in your business, and embrace ingredient number five.

Be an implementer. The ability to take action and have the health, and the work ethic required to achieve a dream is truly a blessing. All superstar originators have an incredible ability to act. They are experts at implementation. When things go wrong in your mortgage business, do you complain or do you think of ways to take new actions to make things right? You need to become sensitized to noticing every time you do complain. Then replace the complaining with forward thinking on how to fix the problem.

The key here is not just to think. While thinking is a start, action is what makes all the difference. You must think your way into action. Think and take action. If it doesn’t work, think your way into action again and again until it does work. And do it with expectation and a powerful, positive belief that it’s going to work. Belief is powerful. A great coach, and any other great leader, can get ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

The lesson is to open your mind to a world of new beliefs that you absolutely can achieve anything that you desire. It’s a matter of believing that there is always an answer to whatever life may bring. It’s all about having an “I’ll find a way” attitude.

Here are a few final questions to consider. What character are you playing in your life? What traits and patterns do you have? What results are those patterns giving you? Are your traits, patterns, and habits supporting your goals? I would suggest that you write these questions out and answer them. This will give you some powerful foundations to take you to the next level in whatever area you want. Now you have a recipe with the ingredients to truly have a competitive advantage.