6 Tips for Getting Things Done
Take steps to ensure continued achievements in a difficult climate
By Fred Hollister, loan consultant, BaySierra Financial Inc.
Despite the negative economic climate, it’s important
to remember that there are still
deals waiting to be done. There are still
income-property buyers and sellers, and
there are still lenders that have money to
lend at attractive rates and terms.
In other words, the business is there
if you take the right steps to get it done.
Here are some tips mortgage brokers can
follow to be more successful in this difficult time.
1. Avoid information overload: In our
interconnected, wired and constant communication age, most of us likely are experiencing information overload.
We must stay on top of the market
and update our knowledge of lenders and
their loan programs, current trends and
conditions. But don’t spend a lot of time
worrying about the Shanghai or Singapore
stock markets unless you are heavily invested there.
The Internet, television, radio, newspapers and magazines will bring us up-to-date on just about every event everywhere.
But the percentage of the information
that actually applies to our daily lives is
Keep informed, but don’t go overboard
by getting overloaded.
2. Stay positive: The news tends to be fairly
negative these days, and it can be difficult
to stay positive.
Remember, however, that people want
to do business with people they like and
who have positive attitudes. Happily, this
is an area over which we enjoy tremendous control.
Clearly, you cannot control all the
Fred Hollister is a loan consultant with BaySierra Financial Inc., a nationwide
broker of institutional and private-money mortgages. He has more than 25 years’
experience in all aspects of income-property lending, having been a bank commercial loan officer, underwriter, asset reviewer and compliance officer. Hollister
may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (510) 207-8333.
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events in this tough market. But you can
control how you handle them.
3. Stick to your plan: Your business plan
won’t work if you don’t stick with it. Once
you have crafted your plan, keep working it.
This is not to say that you don’t need to
modify your plan as the business climate
changes. After all, the income-property
markets are not the same as they were 12 —
or even six — months ago, and your approach likely has changed. But the principles behind your business plan should
remain current and valid.
And you do have a written business
plan, right? One you check each day as you
plan for tomorrow and that you review every Friday as you map out the next week?
If not, it’s time to develop one.
4. Maintain your net work: Your business
network is more important than ever. As
our business world changes and evolves,
you must maintain your contacts with
lenders, other brokers and other professionals in the business. By networking with
other industry professionals, you can stay
up-to-date on trends and issues of which
you may not be aware and that can benefit
In addition, staying in touch with past
clients and potential sources of new business is essential. Most of us are probably
good at making initial contacts, but staying
in touch and revisiting potential sources
of business can be difficult to remember
Keep requesting referrals — from
people with whom you’re working and
from people you simply know. There is a
premium on personal contact today. People want to meet the folks with whom they
are doing business face to face. So if you
want to do business with new people or
even with people you’ve worked with before, get in front of them.
5. Read the documents: As the deals on
which you work become more complex, it
becomes more important to understand
the transaction. This means reading all
the documents — the preliminary title report, the loan-application paperwork, and
the existing note and deed of trust, if you’re
working on a refinance.
This cannot be overemphasized. Know
your deals if you want to get them done.
6. Learn something: Finally, if you have
some extra time, use it to update your
skills and knowledge or to learn something new. Update your computer skills,
master a software program that’s always
given you a tough time or even learn another language.
What are you listening to while you
are driving? Chances are that most of the
news on the radio won’t cheer you up or
help you maintain a positive attitude. This
is a good time to listen to a sales-tips or
other business-related CD. Your commute
can be a good time to devote to improving
your odds for success.
To accomplish your goals and to be successful as you start the new year, return to
the basics: Remain positive and optimistic,
stick with your business plan, keep your
network up-to-date and remain in contact
with people with whom you would like to
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