It often is easier to learn from defeat than from victory.
This is because the causes of defeat tend to be obvious,
while victory — particularly in hindsight — tends to appear
predestined and inevitable. But this is rarely the case.
In fact, if you take the time to closely examine someone
else’s accomplishments, you often can identify turning points and key moments that helped to decide the
positive outcome. It is no surprise that careful planning
and hard work usually are essential components of the
retail properties decreasing, business-owners are beginning to see opportunities to acquire their own locations
and stabilize their operations. Building-owners who are
experiencing serious tenant issues are more willing to sell
than they may have been before.
In looking at the most recent presidential election and its
outcome, the seeds of President-elect Obama’s success
appear to have been planted at the start of his campaign. He and his team crafted a detailed and flexible
2Stick with it
Similarly, in the mortgage business, success starts at the
top with a clearly defined goal. Once you have a goal, you
must develop a detailed business plan and implement it.
Eight steps can help you do so.
Sometimes, the hardest part of working your
plan is sticking with it. Many brokers experienced this when the real estate market took
a turn for the worse in August 2007. They
had to be nimble and agile to adapt to the
rapidly changing market without giving up
their fundamental goals and the strategies they’d devised
to accomplish them.
It’s easy to stick with the plan when it is just on paper.
Following through in the real world can be another mat-
ter. But no plan can work if you keep changing it and fail
to give it a chance.
You cannot accomplish big things if you don’t
make big plans to get them done. Don’t be
afraid to stretch yourself and reach high.
It is easy to aim low, particularly in the current
market. As you plan what you want to get
done this year, however, consider giving yourself some
For instance, in his presidential campaign, Obama and
his team adopted a 50-state strategy to campaign in all
states, not just those that had proven to be reliable sources
of electoral votes for their party.
Similarly, as you plan your activities for 2009, don’t
sell yourself short by limiting your potential markets
and sources of customers. Many mortgage brokers who
remained busy during 2008 — particularly during the
second half of the year — expanded the types of business
they were doing.
For instance, some residential real estate professionals
moved into income-property work. This, of course, has
been a trend during the past few years, but it certainly
picked up momentum in 2008.
Mortgage brokers must identify the areas of commercial
real estate that continue to produce transactions that
can be closed. In Northern California, for instance, there
is increased interest in owner-occupied commercial real
Lenders and the U.S. Small Business Administration remain
active in the purchase market. With prices of some smaller
Consider, for example, that Obama’s team planned to win
in Iowa, the first democratic-primary contest of the election, and to follow up with a victory in New Hampshire.
Everything in Iowa went as outlined, but Obama lost in
He and his campaign did not permit a disappointment to
become anything more than that, however. They stuck
with their plan and moved forward. This is a plan com-
ponent that is easy to overlook.
3Use technology properly
Computer technology and the Internet have
had a large and positive impact on the commercial real estate industry. But e-mails are
not a workable replacement for actually
meeting and speaking with potential clients
and others with whom you do business.
Many presidential campaigns in recent years also have
used the Internet to contact volunteers and potential
contributors. Obama’s campaign, like others, also did so —
but it did not stop there. Campaign team members followed up with organizing efforts that brought people
together face to face.
Similarly, mortgage brokers can use the Internet’s vast
resources to find potential clients, customers and referral
partners. But then you’ve got to get out there, meet them
and get to know them. And you have to provide them with
the opportunity to get to know you, too.
Continued on Page 22
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 email@example.com or at (510) 207-8333.