Unlike many other political efforts, Obama’s
organization had no major staff upheaval,
major reorganization or other shakeup. In
fact, early on, staffers began calling it the
“no drama” Obama campaign.
You don’t have to spend much time in the
commercial real estate business before you meet your
first shouter. Unfortunately, some people in the industry
believe that the solution to almost any problem is to yell
louder. When I’m in the middle of this scenario, I ask myself, “What does this person plan on trying if screaming
doesn’t work?” And it usually doesn’t — certainly not in
the long run.
Mortgage brokers can’t survive if they depend on one-off
transactions. You need repeat business. So during the inevitable problems that arise in every deal, it’s important to
remain calm and cool. Work with the other parties in your
transaction to get through it. And never yell.
Understand the deal
Mortgage brokers make their living in a complicated, detail-oriented environment. Just
as presidential candidates must understand
the election process, brokers must completely understand the transactions on which
This provides you with another value proposition because
it can give you additional opportunities to add value to
the deal. And it greatly increases the odds of getting the
Be sure you thoroughly understand every transaction on
which you work.
Presidential candidates often have to deal with
bad news — e.g., their opponents are making
more progress, poll figures are not favorable,
etc. But the successful politicians face the bad
news immediately and take the necessary
steps to get their campaigns back on track.
In the mortgage industry, perhaps the toughest part of
your job is delivering bad news to clients. This usually
means telling them that they are not going to get a loan.
This is never pleasant, but it has to be done, and it has to
be done immediately.
Every deal on which you work has one or two or more
deals related to it — the buyer is selling another property,
or the seller is raising capital for another acquisition. If you
have bad news, you can’t sit on it. As soon as you learn
and understand it, you must act on it.
You also must be able to receive bad news. Make sure
you have created an atmosphere where people are not
afraid to tell you things you may not want to hear but
that you must hear.
22 Scotsman Guide | Commercial |
scotsmanguide.com | January 2009
Chances are that people are always going to tell you big
things — such as that a loan isn’t going to close. But are
you really open to hearing unfortunate, myriad smaller
things that may ultimately sink an entire transaction?
As when presidential candidates are trying to
win more than one state at a time in their
primary races, when you scramble for deals,
you often can find yourself too busy — at
least, busy working transactions. When you
step back, however, you may realize that
you’re not closing many of those transactions.
If you find yourself with a full pipeline but without many
fundings, you might have spread yourself too thin by
striving to keep every potential deal alive. Remember,
there is a limit to the number of transactions you can
effectively work at any one time, particularly if you are a
one- or two-person shop.
8Make the effort
There is no satisfactory substitute for plain,
hard work, and you must make the effort to
work hard on a transaction until it closes.
For almost two years, Obama campaigned
relentlessly. Toward the end, even when it appeared victory was likely, his campaign motto
was to “run through the tape.” Rather than his campaign
faltering at the end, his campaign-workers used their
momentum to find new energy to work even harder.
You likely have experience working with someone who
spent a tremendous amount of energy to get your business but who then failed to deliver the same level of
effort to close the deal. Often, however, it is when the
transaction is almost done that you must make the additional push.
■ ■ ■
There is a lot that mortgage professionals can discover by
studying President-elect Obama’s and other presidents’
successful campaigns. By learning about the components
of such political success, brokers can apply some of those
methods to their businesses. Rather than viewing success
as an inevitable outcome, by digging deeper, we see that
it often results from hard work, clearly defined goals and
staying focused, among other things.
Even in a tough market, the deals are out there. You just
have to find them and work hard to get them done. No
matter how you feel about politics, there are lessons to
be learned from those who know how to win.