egardless of the reasons — whether it’s rising interest rates, tighter standards from traditional lenders, frothy real estate values, or sponsors and investors who are not as confident
about the direction of the U.S. economy — they add up to what many commercial mortgage
professionals say will be a lower volume of business this year. So, what should you do to
remain successful in 2019?
As the late author Dr. Stephen R. Covey described in his best-selling book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People,” one of the characteristics of being successful is to “sharpen the saw.” In other words, you should
work on improving yourself through continued learning. If 2019 is going to be a tough year for lenders and
mortgage brokers, it might be the perfect time to sharpen your own saw. With today’s easily accessible
podcasts, audiobooks and TED Talks, for example, it is fairly simple to stay up to date on the commercial
mortgage industry and learn ways to sell more effectively.
There are a number of other ways to close more loans in a shrinking real estate investment market.
These include having a positive attitude, effective networking, marketing for new business, knowing
your competition, honing your presentation skills and following up with clients after a successful transaction.
Take the initiative
One of most important tools a commercial mortgage professional can utilize is a good attitude. A
successful salesperson will look at the smaller markets for lenders and investors and realize they
need to double their efforts in downtimes.
They will see opportunity when others see doom and gloom. They will take responsibility for
their actions, while others will blame someone else for lower sales figures. They also will realize
that much of their competition will disappear if they stay focused on being among the top 20
percent of the sales force.
Next, a successful loan originator will utilize the playbook on effective networking. Your network
should include past customers, friendly competitors, industry experts and other professionals
at trade shows and professional seminars. Past clients have already purchased your product
or service. Have you called or met with them to ask for their help in referring someone who
could use your services? After all, the worst they can say is “no.” If you practice the way
you approach others, however, you may get some warm leads.
The majority of salespeople — including loan originators — never think of asking their
competition for referrals. If you reach out and create valid give-and-take business
relationships, you will be surprised at the amount of additional business you can obtain
from friendly competition. Most good salespeople want to help their customers, even
if it means the customer uses someone else for a specific product or service. In the
end, the customer sees that the good salesperson actually had their best interest in
By attending professional events and trade shows, you can stay current with
news about the commercial mortgage industry. If you treat these events as true
sales opportunities, you will be amazed at the number of quality leads and contacts
you can get by working the room. How many of your peers will simply hang out
together and have a beer? Be different and sell yourself, then watch success come
When business is slow, it can be difficult to market for new business. But that
is precisely the time to double down and market even more. The difference
is that you need to zero in on your target market with a metaphorical rifle,
rather than using a “shotgun” approach to find your customers.
When business is booming, it is easy to shotgun your way to success.
“Shotgun branding” works in an environment where you can’t stop getting
customers — a market in which everyone sees you, knows you and
finds your photo in magazines or trade publications. Once business
slows down, however, your brand-related sales revenues may stop
coming in, too. Thus, you need to target your advertising rifle directly
to the core prospects you want to reach.
— never think
of asking their
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