Investing With Passion To Maximize Business Success With Jeff VanNote


It’s easy to go about your business breezily, just gliding by, doing things as you always have. However, investing with passion takes something more – and there are much greater rewards at that. Joining Jen Du Plessis to talk about marrying passion and business is the host of the Deposit That podcast and “The Mortgage Quarterback,” Jeff VanNote. Successful endeavors don’t begin and end at the knowledge level, important as that is. Passion is a huge motivator for the ultimate success of your projects. Find the core of your passion to maximize business success today!

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I have with me Jeff VanNote. He is The Mortgage Quarterback and he’s also the podcast host of Deposit That. I always want to say Deposit This instead of Deposit That. I’m going to find out why you named it what you did. I want to welcome you, Jeff, to our show.

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

We had the opportunity to meet each other and said, “We need to have each other on each other’s show.” I had the wonderful privilege of coming to New York City after an event. Now, here we are. Jeff, would you mind sharing a little bit about your history? I know you’re not producing anymore as a mortgage loan originator and you’re out in the world coaching people, guiding people and making your mark. Tell us about how that transition happened and then we’ll start getting into some of the things we want to talk about.

When I got into the business when I was young, 18, 19, 20 years old, I saw things being done so inefficiently. To take you back to when I got into the business like the iPod turned into the iPhone. The Blackberry was the Bible. It’s the be all end all for business in general when Obama had gotten elected. I saw people doing things inefficiently. There were people that were still copying files and people that were charging two or three points at the day of closing like, “Tell the client they’re getting 5.25%, no points.” The next day you go to closing, it’s 5.25% and 2 points or 3 points. I’m like, “Is this what this business is?” These guys run around with smiles on their faces. I’m like, “I don’t think this is right.” I think my real true purpose is to change the way business is done specifically in the mortgage business, but you can’t change something until you fully understand it A to Z.

The market as we experience in ‘08 and ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 was that unknown, and ‘12 Dodd-Frank came about. The aftermath of Dodd-Frank, the regulation, tread and it was like, “Here’s another hurdle to get over.” When you think you’ve got the business figured out, something changed. You had to relearn something or implement some type of new rule or guideline. I had to do all of that. Finally in 2017, when I was like, “I think it’s safe to take everything I’ve learned, step away from the originating side of the business and develop some tools, concepts or platforms that everyone eventually one day will be able to implement into their own business.”

As you’re walking through that, one who would be reading was going, “Why am I staying in this business because of all these hurdles?” I can say that after my career of so many years that it’s like a drug. It becomes a drug. We whine and complain about the changes and the shifts and all that but we don’t leave. We’re still there. It’s such a great industry to be in. Of course, it had to go through the morph of moving into technology in order to slow the pace. It certainly wasn’t first to market and that’s what happened. We’re here in the market. You’re not originating anymore and you’re helping people move their businesses forward as well.

I want to talk a little bit about passion. You and I had talked a little bit beforehand about it. This is a hot topic for me as well. One of the challenges that I see with many people in sales, whether they’re realtors, a solopreneur because a lot of our audiences are as well as lenders. We lack the passion behind it. I know it sounds like beating a dead horse to say, “What’s your ‘why?’” My coach says, “What’s your ‘what?’” He has a whole different concept on it. What is it that you do that makes you different, special and unique? What’s your ‘what?’ It gets back to where is your passion? What thrills you? What fulfills you? What makes you happy? Understanding why you’re in the business that you’re in so that all of your decisions are based on chasing this passion. You aren’t in this business just to make money. That’s not a passion. That’s a means to an end. Let’s talk about that a little bit and tell us what your thoughts are around passion and mindset before we get into any tactical piece of it. It doesn’t make any sense if you don’t have your head on straight, you can’t forward.

I agree, passion and creativity are probably the driving force behind any successful endeavor. I think passion comes in different levels. I’ve always been passionate about sport. You go step below that surface and say, “Why am I passionate about sports?” I’ve been doing this whole self-discovery for many years. When you’re in a business, you’re going to make a lot of money and people were going to call you crazy. I always say, “I am crazy,” but I want to understand why I am crazy. I get a Facebook message at 11:00 from a lady who was never actually a client. It took me back down memory lane. In 2008 turning into 2009, I was entering what would have been a semester in college. I’ve already been cut from the football team.

I’ve already been in the mortgage business for a year plus. I got approached by a group that was trying to help a wounded army veteran who was over in Iraq. A bomb went off and the shrapnel blew through his head and he had shrapnel sticking out of his head. He had to be mended back to Washington, DC. He was completely paralyzed, could speak and lost all functional movement. I tell this story because I forgot about stories like this who have gone through the whole 2 or 3 loan process. The deal actually never closed because the VA delayed his stability income, which is $90,000 for two years because they didn’t deem him permanently disabled. I’m sitting here as a 22-year-old kid, senior in college and I have this United States veterans’ future housing in my hand.

I was able to bring my creativity and use it two or three tail loans to properly construct a ramp and special bedding and features for the house, which is 203(k) allows to make an impact. They shut down highways in New York City. They did a full-on parade, police cars, ambulances were paving the way. Deep down thoroughly my passion is to help people. Sometimes in the mortgage business, we forget why we’re in the mortgage business. The rewarding factor that you’re truly helping people and making a difference. The lady reached out to me not to say hello, but she’s like, “My son needs a mortgage. I don’t know anybody else that I would trust to help my son get his first mortgage.” I’m like, “I don’t do residence mortgage anymore.” I haven’t seen this lady in person since 2008 and ‘09. For somebody to reach back out after several years and yes, we’re friends on social media and Facebook, which shows you the power of that. That was the type of impact even at 22 years old that I made on someone’s life. That what fuels me. Seeing people come back to me for that expert advice and opinion helps separate myself from the rest of the pack.

Passion and creativity are the driving force behind every successful endeavor. Click To Tweet

That story reminds me of a similar story not to that degree. We do have several clients that we’re doing their children’s loans and their investments. We continue to do theirs over and over again as they move in transition when they have their life events. They’re a dime a dozen, it’s not that we can see them all the time. When you can create that, that’s powerful. When you’re talking about passion and you’re talking to someone who says, “I can’t find my passion. My passion is I want to make money.” I had someone say that, I said, “What’s your passion?” I was teaching a class once for realtors and people were coming up with all different kinds of things and someone in the back said, “Making money.” I said, “It’s actually not making money. Money’s the way to get there.” He got up and left.

It’s not for everybody.

That’s okay. You can leave. We want to make money, but it’s money to serve the passion. It’s to have more homes, if that’s what you want or to do more charity work or to spend more time with your family on vacations. That’s a stepping stone to get to what is important. Walk us through how do we find our passion? We’re sitting there and we’re saying, “I don’t know if I have a passion. How do I find it?”

When your heart and soul are aligning to something, your body will let you know. Your gut lets you know or your brain does. It’s tough. It’s not something that’s easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Part of the struggle that I’ve been working on is how do you tell someone to keep your passion separate from your profitability? If you’re passionate about it and you make it work and you’re not profitable, you may lose your passion for something, coming from an athletic background. Oppositely, if you could figure out how to make your passion profitable, this is awesome. I’ll tell you a story.

It’s funny for me knowing the story. It’s going to be funny for the people if you know it. It was a wake-up call. When I broke my ankle, I had four businesses all of which were 100% reliant on myself to generate that business. Yes, I had a support team. Yes, I had operations. Yes, I had people on the back end, but if you don’t have the gas pour into the funnel, the funnel is sitting there not being used. When I broke my ankle, I was laid up for over six weeks in excruciating pain. My ankle was swelled up so bad that I couldn’t leave the couch, I couldn’t walk. I delayed surgery ten days and it was that bad.

I realized at that point, the only thing I had was my fingers and my mind. My mind was battling pain back and forth. I’m a big sports guy and I got into flipping and investing in sports cards again. Back in the day, I’m sure your kids bought football cards, baseball cards, basketball cards and that fell out of the mainstream for many years. I’m like, “I need to find a business that I don’t need to speak to people in order to be able to make money.” I was looking at my portfolio of cards. I’m up with 240% in a year on the cards that I bought. I was able to take a passion, which is sports, watch the game, see who’s playing well, invest in the cards like they’re stock, and then eventually sell them for more money.

I was able to corporate my passion into a profitable standpoint. If my ankle didn’t break, I never would have done that because I never would’ve thought like, “I’ll never have to get off my feet for six weeks.” I think that’s a good lesson for everyone in the mortgage business that what are you going to do if you have that rainy day, God forbid car accident or you need surgery or you have a hip replacement or a new one. You can’t walk because whatever God forbid happens to you, you’re back and how are you going to be able to make a living if you’re laying up on a couch?

I think that a lot of people are singular-revenue driven, not multiple lines of revenue. It’s something to think about. What other lines of revenue could I at least start? You and I were laughing about it when we were in New York about the fact that we have these multiple businesses, which people think we’re crazy. It’s not that it’s the businesses, it’s that we have these multiple streams of income. If one is at a low point or one is at a high point, we have options available to us. Do you still have your card business? Is that one of the businesses?

Now that I’m back on my feet, it’s very challenging to keep up with it. When you’re laying in front of the TV for 6 to 8 weeks, all you have to do is research and all that stuff. I have the ones that I purchased. I very rarely buy anymore. I made a significant investment, almost six figures into it. We’ll see where it goes as time goes on. I’m a believer that if you know for sure if something’s going to keep going up, don’t sell it and take the immediate profit. That’s my mindset. I still watch it on a daily basis. I still more so look at highlights or statistics after a game. Who knows, at the end of the day, it could grow to $1 million. It could stay at what I bought it at, but it’s more of a fun thing to still be incorporated into the sports world and mix my passion with profit.

Let’s go back to the passion for someone who is reading and saying, “I don’t even know where to start. Do I take a day off? Do I talk to people and say, ‘What do you think makes me look happy?’ Do I write down that I love looking at butterflies?” What are some of the tactics that you have your clients go through to discover their passion?

Investing With Passion: If you know for sure that the value of something is going to keep going up, don’t sell it for its immediate profit.

You probably think of ten people off your head. You ever heard somebody say like, “I always wanted to do that.” I’m always like, “Do it.” Unless it’s something that’s crazy like, “I want to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.” I would not advise doing that. Try it, do it. The other thing is opening your circle up to different like-minded people. Meaning driven people but maybe in a different profession. Strategic people that are working with technology or strategic people that are working with farming or whatever it might be. You might want to grow your nursery and get into that. You might get into the spirit world and start meditating, but unless you try so many different things, you’re not going to know what you like and don’t like. You might think you like something and you do it and you might not. Trying different things is vital.

That’s one way to start discovering the different passions that you have. How do those passions marry into business?

I looked up one of my properties off the market. Once you take a property off-market, your phone rings nonstop with the cold calling from realtors. I’ve been talking to this lady. She came from the corporate world, “I come from a corporate background. I did X, Y and Z.” I’m like, “From 2014 through 2016, I played on seven different softball teams, played over 140 games a year. Every year I average between $100,000 and $200,000 of closed business just from my softball teams that I went, played, and had fun. It was a passion for me, but it was a service for them.” It’s incorporating something that you’re good at or you’re interested in and letting that select group of people know that you’re the expert in that field. If you’re a dancer and you like dancing, go join dance clubs. Tell people you love dancing, you dance your whole entire life. They probably can relate to that and you’re in the mortgage business. They’re going to be like, “I love Jen. She’s a dancer.”

It depends on what people don’t say.

I believe when I first started training New York City realtors when I was 25 years old in Midtown Manhattan. I was 25 years old coming from the Bronx training realtors in Manhattan about the mortgage business and people are like, “I don’t want to be a realtor.” I’m like, “Why do you have your real estate license?” If you’re keeping the fact that you’re a realtor a secret, you should quit because the more people know you’re in real estate, the more likely you are to get a deal. It doesn’t cost anything. They didn’t have the power to go out and say, “You know what I’m talking about, I’m a realtor.” That’s what got me into education, getting people more confident in their craft.

I see that a lot too just sitting on boards at an association realtor. I’ve been on the board, I’ve been in committees. There’s never a lot of cross-pollination by the affiliates who are on the committee. When you’re at the real estate board, you’re on a committee, why aren’t you talking about your business? It’s either feast or famine maybe with lenders and maybe realtors too, or either attacking you or not doing anything. There’s no in-between. There’s no couth in how to broach that conversation and let it happen naturally, but still be the one who’s edging it along or nudging it along. If someone’s reading and they’re saying, “I get your point.” I have a client who’s like this. We had this conversation. She’s a black belt not just karate, but something else. She said, “I would never tell anybody I do that ever.” I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

She’s cutting herself to the audience.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to say, “I get your point, I found my passion, I’m going to go play softball, I’m going to play laser tag, whatever it is?” How do I broach that conversation without sounding like I’m only there for that purpose?

Here’s what I’ve learned. It’s always been something that’s worked for me. I was a ground and pound guy for a long time, hit the streets, and hit real estate offices. If you walk into the office, you’re like, “I’m interested in your mortgage business. Harry, Susan and Martha were here before you. Sorry.” When you walk into someone’s territory, whether it’s their home, their office, they’re probably going to have a picture or a collection of their dog, a New York Yankees, a picture of Bill Clinton, whatever it is that’s having around you. For example, I bought my son this little pumpkin. If I walk into someone’s office and I see a pumpkin that’s painted a face, I’d be like, “Here’s my story. I just painted a pumpkin with my son.” You’re taking what they’re giving you the secrets and you’re connecting with them on something that they have that’s around them. That’s how you create the interpersonal relationship. People wouldn’t be able to do that because they’re only worried about getting the deal.

It’s a very old sales tactic but we don’t use them. We’re not in the world of traditional sales anymore. I think that’s part of it too. Part of it is to increase your heightened awareness, get your antennas up and start looking around and taking notes. Someone says, “My birthday’s coming up.” “That’s good.” Take note of that. Go deeper than just the superficial like, “I’m not okay.” I was talking to my daughter and I’m worried. She’s having major knee surgery. She said, “I’m starting to freak out about it.” I said, “That’s okay. You’ll be okay.” Do I do that or do I say, “Let’s stop and just think about it.” You trust your surgeons. Slow down so you can speed up the relationship rather than speeding up so that you don’t have any business. Does that make sense?

When your heart and soul are aligning to something, your body will let you know. Click To Tweet

Yes, absolutely. That’s a good point you make. People make things much more complicated than they have to be. Nowadays, a salesperson doesn’t listen. Back in the day, we had to listen. You’re walking in and you’re present, you’re on Instagram, on Facebook, checking your email and you’re worrying about what you’re doing for dinner. Whereas before, people were so much more present than you had to create that human interaction because people don’t have that or weren’t trained that. It’s mostly they get around people and they freeze up, they lock up.

Let’s transition into what you think is going to be happening in 2020. I know that you and I talked about digital and the thought around it. I’m a believer that I don’t feel that anyone’s job is going to be taken away because of the internet. I feel that you will lose your job if you don’t bring the internet, bring social media, and bring technology into your business. Help us understand some of the thoughts that you have around that. Some advice that you might want to give to someone who’s reading about how to take some action in that arena, if they’ve not done it so far or grow it if they need to.

I’m going to use the analogy of the Earth and the sun. When people in the mortgage business are Earth and on the sun that orbits around. I get close enough not to get burned to burn anybody. I hear everything. I watch everything, I see everything. That’s how I’ve always been and I never worried about what everybody will say. My ears are always open and I’m always listening. I do believe some realtors are safe, call it for the next 3 to 5 days. There will be still some need. There will be a bigger need that gets worse because you’re going to know the best online lending system. The banks don’t want to get off them approved for maybe 1 or 2 like your debt ratio is 44 and it’s supposed to be 43. You almost need a human to say, “Let’s get you to 42.99 or your credit score is 618, how do you get over 620? That’s more where the advisory and the advice comes in and someone who knows the business will always have some value. The question is how much are they willing to pay for that value? Are they going to use you for your value and then go back to the digital mortgage concept?

I truly believe people need a much bigger personal brand presence because it would be able to attract the right consumer. I can’t tell you how many deals I close for my private hard money and invested in business from Instagram, from people I’d never met but followed me for years. They liked me. They messaged me and they hand me their deal. It cost me nothing other than putting content out there that I believe is valuable. I’m always like, “If someone’s calling me with this question, it has to be one other person in the universe that needs to know about or wants to know about this and might find this interesting.” I closed it. I think people need to get much more secure with who they are as people, especially more secure as a professional.

As you’re talking about that too, it’s also taking action now. Now is the time. Your future is a series of nows. What are you doing now to secure your future? I know you’re talking about posting things, but it took some time. You didn’t just post and all of a sudden the whole world came to you. You had to start creating that brand. “This is what his message is. I wonder if he has something new to say.” “I want to know what he has to do and get ideas.” It takes some time to develop that, whether it’s 3 months, 6 months or 2 years, sometimes you’ll get that one opportunity that pops in but generally, it’s going to take some time to do it. Waiting for the world to fall down and then taking action is going to be to your detriment no matter what business you’re in.

It’s to give you feedback. The average person that messages me on Instagram starts with, “I love your stuff. I’ve been following you for about a year or so.” If someone comes to you first, you’re in control. If you go to somebody that’s going to lead, you’re not in control. When you reach out to them, they know they have you. It reversed the script on how these deep-buying companies operated. I think that’s an important number to keep in mind where it’s going to take you a year to get somebody to trust you most likely. If you have no expectations, you must be grateful because you got processed by 50%.

I do think that there’s so much distraction. Chasing anything and everything that might work and not just sticking to 1 or 2 things with some tenure to see if it is going to work. There’s a saying, “Most people quit right before they’re about to succeed.”

It’s true and that’s easy. You do this all along. “Another opportunity came up that I could settle for, let me go back to that.” Meanwhile, they’re one email or phone call away from getting everything they want. I’ve been there multiple times.

We’ve all done it.

It’s tough. As times change, it makes it that looks easier to throw in the towel because there’s so much noise and outside pressure that’s like, “Why am I not doing this? Why am I not doing what Joe’s doing?” It makes it very interesting. I think people need to focus on being patient. If you’ll just be patient, it will come. If you haven’t gotten what you’re looking for yet, maybe you’re not doing it the right way.

Investing With Passion: A bigger personal brand presence will be able to attract the right kind of consumer.

It’s all about constant comparison and saying, “I have a lot of competition.” Not really, you’re just comparing yourself to them. That’s a blue ocean strategy. That’s the mindset of having a blue ocean strategy. Let’s talk about the market itself. Not about your branding, your passion, which leads to your brand and the digital market. What do you see is happening going forward in the market and what advice do you have for people that are reading?

I personally would not buy any real estate for the next several months because of the uncertainty. About 20% in 30 days, which is unheard of. It has to pull back. Nothing goes straight. There’s uncertainty with the election, uncertainty around rent regulations specifically our market here in New York City and New Jersey, there are a lot of unknowns. I got a call from a lady who owes $15,000 across two investments. It’s a hard money deal and worst-case scenario they underwrote that investment cashflow standpoint. At best case scenario, there’s $18 million deals combined. She owes $15 million into $18 million.

I wouldn’t do the initial deal and trying to help her out and she’s up on the impression, the real estate’s worth $27.5 million because she’s on appraisal. In one year, if someone put on paper $27.5 million and based on economic factors, it’s only worth $18 million. In general, people are feeling the finance boom. That’s happened every year for the past several years and grabbing a breath of fresh air. The person that has a regular fix income that doesn’t have a hustle or poor job, a wife that makes a lot of money, they’re feeling the squeeze and make those businesses. If interest rates go up, the market stopped. Then they plummeted the rates again.

From that point, I don’t like single-family home real estate. There was only a good deal to be had. If a home is worth $500,000 with the rates being at 3% and rates go to 4% in a perfect world, if the costs to borrow money goes up, the value of the asset has to come down. That’s why I made that rule up. I did it. I also think owning a home still comes with pride. You’re creating your kingdom. You’re creating your territory, you’re giving your family an asset to own. I always recommend it from a pride standpoint, but I don’t believe you should look at your primary residence home as an asset. I don’t think you should look at it as a liability. I think you should look at it as a place to call home and take the business. If you make money on it, great. If you are going to lose money on it, just don’t sell it and don’t move. Eventually, when the market gets strong again, you’ll probably sell it and walk away with some money. In general, my outlook on real estate is operate overall.

We’re in that same position. We sold a bunch of condos. We sold some townhouses too to get out of the market. These were properties that were prime for Airbnb, but the market is changing and there’s so much resistance for single-family, units, condos, townhomes, that type of thing to be rented out as Airbnbs. There’s such a big push back from the counties that we felt this is not the right time to have that type of investment. We’ve wanted to get rid of these for a while. We want to turn in our houses to make them hotels like a monopoly. That’s been the game for us. We’ve held off on doing anything else. We’re holding our cash and we’re just waiting.

Many people are going to do that. It’s a fear of the unknown. Top New York City lenders have zero purchases mortgage loans in our pipeline. Our pipeline is 100% refinances and these were four of these types. These top four guys are saying that, “They have no purchase business. It’s only a telltale sign.” Usually, what happens in Manhattan first is you’re dealing with a bigger ticket side.

It’s interesting that you say that too because it concerns me for people that are doing well because rates are low and they’re not doing well because they didn’t do anything different in their business. They just happen to be getting a lot of business because rates are low. Having their clients call them, because I know statistically most loan officers, as much as we’ve talked about it, do not communicate with their clients after closing. I say most, I’m not going to give a number but everybody I talked to, I was speaking in an event and there were 40 some people in there. I said, “Honestly, who of you have reached out to your clients? Not that they’ve called you.” Only three people raised their hand and I said, “Are you honest?” One person put their hand down. If purchases go away and refi stay there, but you haven’t communicated with your database, then how are you going to get your business? How much money have you left on the table if this goes around by not communicating with your database? What are you telling your clients to prepare them for this potential new market?

It’s in the worst-case scenario in the world. If you buy a house for $600,000 and you put that 3.5% and for whatever reason, you want to go and sell that house in this market. By the time you paid a real estate commission, you’re probably going to be negative and you’re probably going to be bringing money to the table. Losing maybe breaking even at best. I’m like, “If you’re buying now, buy something that has a chance to appreciate it.” Maybe don’t go for that be all end all home. Maybe go with your little starter home for $350,000 or $400,000 medium level houses in the area demographic that you’re in and start there because the higher up you go, the bigger there is to fall. People still need affordability.

People need to afford property. When I look at properties and loans that we do with our capital, what can I rent this property for? There are two bedrooms going for $3,000. I’m going to underwrite that loan. I don’t care if it’s $3,000 because that can go with all the new inventory coming to the market. I give people that, “Are you getting this house as an investment or are you buying it as a primary?” If you’re buying it as a primary and keep it for several years, at least you’re going to make out on the tax deductions. That’s where I’d tell them, “This is the best advice.” They’ll get mad at me if I tell them the truth. I’m like, “I have a rent where what we’re seeing was going to happen in 2018. I entered into a rent to own at a landlord to buy and close anytime.

I’m going to make X amount of dollars from my place, put an $80,000 down payment and have a higher payment for my mortgage taxes and condo fee. I’ve got to pay $24.77 a month in rent and keep the $80,000 in the bank.” I’ve gotten lucky with them years ago. It could have gone in the opposite direction or I may need that cash or something else. I think that people become too emotional when buying a home that they throw out the facts out the window. That’s why it takes a true professional like yourself or like somebody who’s been in the business to give people the full honest opinion and evaluation based on their financial situation. It’s not an online lender that’s giving them the lowest rate. That’s why I think we separated ourselves.

You can incorporate your passion into a profitable standpoint. Click To Tweet

I also think it’s important as mortgage professionals, as title reps, real estate agents that we’re investing in real estate as well for our future. I always thought it was funny when a client says to a realtor, “Is this a good time to buy?” The realtor says, “It’s a great time to buy.” They’re not buying, but they think you should. It’s important for us to be investing in the product that we’re selling. If you can’t do it by yourself because you don’t have the wherewithal, then get a couple of friends together. Do some home buying for investment properties and create a joint venture so that you guys can learn through that process. That’s a good message going forward. Let me change gears here and ask you about your podcast, Deposit That. I know what the answer is because I’ve been on the podcast, but tell us how this all came about and where the passion came in creating a podcast that could help people.

I wanted to do a podcast a few years ago and I couldn’t think of the name. The name itself should be catchy or people have to be like, “I get that.” Once you figured out the name, you have to figure out how to incorporate it like your subject or thesis. It was in the middle of June. I’m still recovering from my ankle surgery. I try and run the football field as much as possible. It’s painful. I’ve been standing on the sideline where I spent all my college career. I figured I’d go back there. I’m like, “Deposit That. That’s the podcast name.” I had previously been on a friend’s podcast who’s in education and it was a plug and play studio. You were there. You show up. I’m all about simplicity. I like to learn things, but I like to stick to what I know and the professionals handle that they handle. People forget that old school sales tactic. I’m a big believer. I get guilty of it.

People want to try and recreate the wheel, but when you get back down to the foundation of back to basics, it is what it is. I know from my struggles of trying to implement 7 to 10 different changes in my life. I want you to listen to one episode and hear one takeaway from the episode that you resonated with, you liked, you admired and implement that into your memory bank, and you’re done. That’s where it came from. The lady that was on, she wrote in the book, “Deposit This.” I was like, “I like that.” That’s like the female version of Deposit That. It’s catchy. I’ll be at a sport at a Boston game, I’ll be walking by and people are like, “Deposit That.” I’m like, “Do you know about that?” They’re like, “No.” I’m like, “Go check out the podcast.” I feel like I’m a walking billboard with a catchy tag on.

It’s funny because I’ve never heard that phrase. “I deposit this,” I get it. Maybe it’s a girl thing, I don’t know what it is, but I love it. The whole concept is to listen to your podcasts and get 1 or 2 nuggets that you can deposit into your business right away. You could deposit into a parking lot to use when you feel the time is right, but you don’t want to forget the idea or the concept to help move your business forward. I love that. How do we get ahold of you? Look up Deposit That and subscribe. Read an episode or two and give Jeff a five-star rating and a great review and do the same for us as well. You also have your coaching company, The Mortgage Coach. Give us an overview of what your perfect client is.

Everyone needs a client and I’m a big believer that people need coaches. Sometimes coaches come from unknown places. With the mindset that we have something from everyone, we could all be each other’s coaches. I can coach you on this topic. You can coach me on that topic. One day I would be the player and you’re going to be the coach, then we’re going to reverse roles. I worked very efficiently. I cut right to the chase. A lot of coaches like to say, “You know you need to sign up for your program. You need to pay me $1,000 a month.” I’m like, “One session is $275. It’s a minimum an hour.” As long as you’re honest and transparent with me, we’re going to get more out of it. I don’t need to do another coaching session with you.

I’m going to tell you what I hear. I’ll tell you what you’re telling me. I’ll give you 1 or 2 things to tweak and come back to me when you master that or when you realize that you’re mastering that. You can give someone coaching and implement it the next day. It doesn’t work that way. You have to give them that shot and then let them play it out on their own. Your average person that I coach is somebody that wants to go from making $50,000 to $75,000 in the mortgage or real estate world. Have a record year or become a better brand or deliver a more clean message. A lot of people want to have this lavish brand, but they don’t have the experience to back it up. I’m like, “You could always share other people’s posts for so long before you are like a news reporter.”

My goal for people is don’t share my stuff. Read my stuff and formulate your own opinion on it. If I wanted to get a parrot or a puppet, I buy 100 of them. I don’t want parrots, I want puppets. I don’t want followers. I want more leaders. My goal is to make somebody who’s currently a follower, a leader in their own right. Most of the coaches that I have, I don’t consider them coaches. I don’t consider them men. They’re all from different walks of life that people I respect and I know they’re going to tell me what’s best for the overall situation. That’s where a lot of coaches fail.

If someone wants to reach out to you and have a conversation, they can certainly have a conversation. As we close out, let me ask you this. A book that you’ve read that has changed your mindset or one of your favorite quotes that you live by that someone could take as a nugget from this episode.

I read the book, Think and Grow Rich. I listened to the audiobook five times. I had it on replays while sleeping subconsciously. I sat down every day and listened to four chapters. That’s something I think people need to implement and take notes. My favorite quote came from a friend who was also a big NFL athlete trainer. He’s coming up here to New York City and staying with me for four days and trains me two days for free. His quote is, “Easy work is worthless.” When he said that to me, it completely hit home. I’m showing up to work, doing the easy stuff and leaving and passing challenging or creating. When you dig down and say, “If you really work, you’ve done it.” Why not challenge yourself? Why not push yourself to take on the horn, you go learn and better yourself and become more evolved as a person. That’s a quote that fits into this show.

It doesn’t move you forward. Your future is a series of nows, so if you’re doing worthless, that’s what your future is going to be. It’s been wonderful. Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time to join us and to give us some of your wisdom and your advice for finding our passion, for creating some mindset around that which then leads to our brand. You talked to us about some tactics that we could use to move our business forward, along with your thoughts on what’s going on in the marketplace so that we can be better prepared for 2020 and beyond.

Investing With Passion: Focus on being patient. If you haven’t gotten what you’re looking for, maybe you’re just not doing it the right way.

Thank you so much.

Please take a few moments to give us a five-star review, write a review for us and keep those comments coming to me on LinkedIn, Facebook and messages. I love hearing what you’re learning on the show and how it’s moving your business forward. If you want an opportunity to have a conversation with me, please feel free to click on the link below and you will be able to schedule a time to chat with me and let’s see what we can do to help your business grow forward. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us. We will catch you next time on Mortgage Lending Mastery.

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About Jeff VanNote


Commercial Mortgage NY was founded in 2017 by Jeff VanNote, after a decade of being mentored by a 25-year seasoned veteran in the commercial mortgage world.
Jeff wanted to compliment his multi-hundred million dollar book of residential mortgage business and clients, as he saw a specific need for his newer real estate investors to get the full hand holding they need in order to accomplish their goals and needs for financing. He is the host of Deposit That Podcast.

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