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Successful Originators Invest Up Front

Industry Commentary

Successful Originators Invest Up FrontSales commentary from Dave Hershman

August 28, 2006



Starting a job as a mortgage originator requires an upfront investment of time, training and money.Do you think you have a great job in the mortgage industry, or do you view yourself as the CEO of your own business?

If you really want to lead the industry, you must view this as your company. This is true whether you work as a sole-proprietor out of your car or whether you work for a national company. That also means you must invest significant amounts of your money, time and energy in your business.

And you must make this investment not up front, not later.

I can’t tell you how many loan officers say — ‘I know I need this training but I need to close or one or two loans first’. Then they go months or years without the training they need.

They are running businesses that are always going to struggle, and most of them will eventually fail because companies that are under funded do not do well. Those who are on “pay as you go” status never seem to reach the top.

So here is the basic question: Are you investing what you need to in your business?

If you were opening a retail store or restaurant, you would invest thousands of dollars and many hours before you rang up the first sale. This would include hundreds of hours of research and setting up the location.

And when it was open, the hours would be substantially greater. In the end you would still be in an industry that has a high failure rate even with this effort.

People in the mortgage lending don’t have to invest as many hours or as many dollars as they would starting a restaurant. But the concept is much the same.

What do you need to invest in?

Marketing, education, technology and more. Perhaps it is a laptop. Or it is the time to learn how to use a software program you have purchased for your laptop.

Imagine running a store without the technology you need. Imagine running a doctor’s office without the knowledge you need.

The investment needed would vary for each person.

For example, a Realtor of eight years moving into the mortgage industry would not need to attend a real estate licensing class as an investment in their knowledge base. On the other hand, someone moving from the insurance industry would have to take that class.

After all, you are serving real estate agents if you are a loan officer. You need to become an expert in what your targets are doing so you can deliver maximum value.

Some will need a home office. Others will need a marketing assistant. It is this needs analysis that is an all-important research step.

Managers should hire candidates that understand they are not just applying for a position, but they are starting a business. The manager must make these candidates understand what investment must be made for each individual.

Those who wait for their employers to give them the resources to be successful will typically have a long wait — forever. Success comes from within. And the key to this success is finding the right elements of investment that are needed for each individual.

Dave Hershman is a mortgage industry author and speaker — with 8 books and hundreds of articles to his credit. He also heads Mortgage School.

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