What have you done while being stuck at home? In this Jen’s Jots episode, Jen shares the five skills she developed coming out from the COVID situation that everybody needs to have. What could you be working on during a time of crisis to grow your business exponentially? Jen digs deeper into recreating the foundation of your business from the lessons learned during the disruption and come out stronger to facilitate your growth. Learn how you can accelerate your business within a twelve-week period as Jen talks about what she did as soon as she was stuck at home. Get to know how Jen has helped her clients kill it and how you can apply it to your own success.
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Jen’s Jots – Five Skills You Need to Stand Out From Your Competition
I haven’t done Jen’s Jot in quite some time. I know I need to do more of them. I’ve been focusing on some other things in my Facebook group called Mortgage Lending Mastery. I wanted to share with you something that’s going to be good. I want to talk to you about five different skills that I believe in sales, real estate, real estate investing and mortgages need to have. For the loan officers that are reading, this is great for you to take to your real estate partners, everybody else too, financial planners, etc. These five skills are important and they were developed from COVID. It came out of COVID. I had used a few of them prior to that but honed in on these things as I started realizing there’s a lot of time that we’re all sitting at home. Hopefully, recreating or thinking about the foundation that we have created for our business so that when we come out of COVID at some point in time and we’re starting to come out in dabbles. What could you be working on to grow your business exponentially?
I may have mentioned this in another show, as soon as COVID started, I had just gotten back from Las Vegas. I spoke at an event and that was the last event that I had done live in person. I got back and I found out that we were all going to be stuck at home for a period of time. I immediately initiated the twelve-week year. In twelve weeks, what I did is I accelerated my business one full year in those twelve weeks. It was a lot of work, but I’m happy I did it because I feel better at COVID. Especially, many of you know that I’m a real estate investor as well and because of forbearance and loss of jobs and all of those things that are happening, unfortunately, it gives us a good opportunity to be able to buy a property.
By accelerating one of my businesses in that twelve-week period, I was or now able to accelerate my real estate investing business so that I’m positioned properly to be able to take advantage of what the market is going to give us here in short order with foreclosures, etc. Whether you decide to do a twelve-week year or something less than that, the key here is to focus on the foundation of your business. I always say it’s short-term gain for long-term pain because if you go right back to where you were before interest rates were low and everybody was buying because they don’t like their house, they feel like they are sardines in their house, remember what it was like. It’s always important to remember what it was like before this happened.
Doing Well Versus Killing It
A lot of people were struggling and I don’t want anyone who’s reading to ever be in a position where they’re struggling. In fact, my clients are killing it and everybody is doing well. There’s no doubt about it, but there’s a difference between doing well and killing it.
My clients have doubled their business. Imagine if they had been coaching with me for a little bit longer, they could have tripled it because they didn’t have some things in play and that’s part of it. We’re working on all those pieces, but these five things are critical. Let’s dive in.
I’m going to give you these five things. These five skills are important for you to be thinking about whether or not it’s good. You can even do this as something I do at my workshops called the Gap Map. Where’s the gap in my business? We do an intensive one, but this is a short one. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m a believer in 1 to 5, 1 to 10 is too anonymous. What is seven? I don’t know what 7 or 8 are on a scale. I can’t figure that out. On a scale of 1 to 5, five being the best. You’re excellent at it. You got it. You nailed it. You’re an expert, you’re a market influencer. You are number one at it. You got it. That’s five. One is I haven’t thought about it. I never got it. I never learned about it. I have no clue.
Three, being, I know about it but I don’t use it as often as I need to. I’m inconsistent. One week I’m this, the next week I’m that. Two is I know about it. I’m starting to work on it, but I don’t know which direction to go or you are new at doing it that you haven’t mastered it. Four is I know I need to use it, but I don’t use it consistently. When I do use it, I’m good at it but I don’t use it consistently. On a scale of 1 to 5, these are the five skills. I’m going to tell you what they are. Sales, service, and system, source and style skills.Focus on the foundation of your business. Click To Tweet
Let’s break all these down. First of all, how are your sales skills on a scale of 1 to 5? If you’re doing well and you’re not selling and you’re doing well because rates are low and you’re getting all business or you’re a real estate agent and the house sells itself because there’s not a lot of inventory. How are your sales skills truly? Have you had formal training? Have you ever used any real good solid sales skills? Are you lacking in scripts? Do you have scripts? Do you believe in scripts? I’m not a believer in scripts. I’m a believer in some catchphrases. I teach a class called Catch Me If You Can. It’s a lot of little catchphrases. I’ve done a show about it as well.
The best script is the truth but have you worked on that? Are you calling your clients, your past clients, which I call alumni clients? Alumni always come back and bring a little money with them. They donate back into your business. Are you calling them or are they calling you? Thank God they are because you don’t know what to say. You don’t want to sound salesy in a time of COVID. I want to remind you that it’s not a sales call. It’s a service call. You’re there to serve your clients. You want to be interested and curious about what they are going through and see what you can do to help. The worst thing in the world is you don’t call your clients because you didn’t want to sound salesy and then they lose their home because they needed your expertise to guide them. I can’t imagine that. That’s a big issue for me. Sales skills, how are your sales skills? Where do they rank? 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5? Do they need to be worked on and what are you going to do? What actions are you going to take to hone in on those skills?
Service skills, if your conversion ratio isn’t high, it might be a service skill issue that you don’t have the bandwidth. Maybe you don’t have a system and I’m not talking about those types of systems, but maybe you don’t have a way to communicate with people on a regular basis to serve your clients. Think about that, “What does the service look like for my practice?” I’ve talked about customer experience versus customer service, and this is an experience. What are your customer experience skills? What are you doing that is compelling your clients to tell all of their friends about you so that you’re not one and done with every family you help? Whether it’s in being a real estate investor, realtor or lender, but rather one-on–one, what are you doing to get more business from what you already have? That level of service. I had a client who didn’t get back to people on time. That’s a service problem.
Think about, “How’s my timing?” The mechanism that I’m using, “Am I communicating? Am I engaged or am I aloof? Once I do talk to them, do I follow-up?” That leads us to systems. What is your system skill? Do you have a system at all? Sometimes that’s part of the issue and I laugh about my husband all the time because sometimes he writes referrals on a napkin and shoves it in a shirt and I wash the shirt and that lead is gone. He forgot where it came from and I’m laughing about it but I shouldn’t, because we’ve all had something slipped through the cracks. We can’t find a piece of paper, write on the back of an envelope, mail that envelope or you spill coffee on it and you throw it away and forgot that the lead was there. The system is important. It’s the only way you can scale is to have systems for prospecting for the sales process itself. Ironclad systems where it happens every single time and this gets back into the customer experience piece.
When you have a good system or you have a onetime good system, and that client goes and tells their friends because they felt that experience was good and then that friend comes back and says, “I don’t know what happened with you, but my experience was terrible.” That’s because there’s a lack of a system. Everybody, you have to think about putting everything in a rotation, a regular system. It’s called a client journey, but to put them in a regular system so that everyone experiences the same thing yet feels they’re the only client. That’s something I know is important. It’s one of the main reasons my practice did well is because I had built these unbelievable systems.
It’s not during the process, but it’s also then during the post-closing or the alumni piece of it. It’s also during that time as well, where you have that nurturing. You’re nurturing them to bring them back through that client journey. A lot of people think that the client journey is linear, get a lead, close business, but it’s a figure eight, an infinity sign. Whether it’s constantly moving where you’re bringing people in and nurturing them, then they’re coming back in again. That’s critical for your business. I would say, “What’s going on with that? What’s your system look like? Do you have one? Is it consistent? This is the time to build it.”
I call it source skills but moving on to your source, who are the sources that are giving you a business? We’re in this situation where we’re working with people that we worked with before COVID. We’re not working with as many new people. I hope you are. I hope that you’re developing new relationships and looking at people and I always say this, “Who’s complementing versus complicating my practice?” Thinking about the people before COVID that you were hanging with them, you were tolerating them, could they be told goodbye and do they even know? A lot of times, they’re bad that they don’t even know that you’ve said goodbye to them. It could be that situation, but assessing those relationships and saying, “Moving forward, I want to hit the reset button. I want to clean the slate and work with people that align with how I want to work, align with me, that I enjoy being around that I truly want to help their businesses grow. In turn, they’ll help my businesses grow. I want to spend time with them.”
Think about those sources, now is the time to plant the seed, and then don’t forget to water it. You can’t plan it and hope it grows. You have to plant the seed and start watering it so that it begins to blossom. These new relationships begin to blossom. The relationships that you had before COVID that you want to keep is, what are you doing to water those relationships? I will tell you that if I was a partner and I am a partner for a lot of people, there are a lot of people who have not reached out to me. I’ve reached out to a lot of people. I’ve made some decisions that I don’t want to work with some, and I’ve not made it quite through everybody yet on purpose and by design. I want to see if they’re going to communicate with me.
Since March 2020, if they haven’t reached out to me and they haven’t asked, how I’m doing or had any shown any concern for me, I’m not sure I want to work with them in the future. Even though I liked them, even though they’ll complement and not complicate, that does show who they are. We don’t want to be in a position where we do the same thing. We’ve got nose to the grind and then we go, “I don’t have any business, now I’m going to pay attention to you.” Thinking about your sources, both from the perspective of, “Are they the right ones for you to be working with? Are they sending you too much junk?” I don’t like saying junk a lot because people are people, referrals are referrals, and leads are leads, and they are human beings, but making sure that you’ve been clear about the type of business that you’re trying to get and what you do best in your niche.
We don’t have the opportunity as lenders, investors and realtors to be sifting through hundreds and hundreds of leads that are going nowhere unless you’re going to hire someone to do that for you. I would look at your sources and say, “Am I wasting?” I’ve got a client and she said, “I’m getting many referrals. I don’t know what to do.” I said, “Are you tracking them?” She said, “No.” We started tracking them. What we were finding is that she was getting referrals as she didn’t need to be. It was taking too much time. It was taking her attention away from the transactions that she could close. That was more important. It doesn’t mean to not work with these clients at some point, but getting your priorities straight. Not making every referral a priority, but rather figuring out which referrals are priorities, take care of them, and then get back to the others may be on a weekly or monthly basis.
I’ve got some further thoughts around that, and I know it’s not as cut and dry as I’m telling you. The last one is your style skills. This is something that when we get out of COVID, there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be leaving our industries, lots and lots of people. They’re not going to be able to cut it. There’s going to be a lot of competition because what do you do when everybody has refinanced down into a 2% or 3% interest rate? What do you do when that’s the game that you’re playing is refinancing everyone into these low-interest rates? What’s left, leaving your office, talking to realtors and financial planners, and trying to get more business out there for the people who didn’t refinance for whatever reason or people that have to buy?
There’s going to be less competition, but there are also going to be fewer transactions. What are you going to do that differentiates you in the marketplace? What are you going to do that’s not going to make you a vanilla ice cream out there? Vanilla ice cream with, “I can do renovation loans.” Vanilla ice cream with, “I worked for RE/MAX.” Those accessories or those toppings on there aren’t going to be enough. What are you going to do to differentiate yourself to say, “I’m pistachio ice cream?” Not many people like pistachio, but those that do will come my way because they clearly see that I like pistachio, Rocky Road or Cookie Dough or whatever it is. What are you going to do to differentiate yourself? This is critical because this is what top producers have.Everybody's doing well, but there's a difference between doing well and killing it. Click To Tweet
They have a unique personality, style and niche that they serve. They don’t do all things. That doesn’t mean for example, that I didn’t do every loan that came across my desk, but I didn’t market every single loan. I marketed the specific niche that I was in and I still do that. I still originate for some interesting alternative financing for non-owner occupied, which doesn’t require a license. I’m not in competition with any of my clients. I still have to go out there and market that, but that is a unique niche. I’m not out there saying, “I can do everything.” I’m saying I can only do a handful of things. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to get the other flavors to cross my desk and be able to serve them in my world in what I’m doing.
Those five, I want you to dig in, take some time and think on a scale of 1 to 5, “Am I different or am I vanilla ice cream out there talking about products? What makes me different? Are the sources on a scale of 1 to 5? How loyal are these sources? How good are these sources? Are they sources that I want to have with me?” Break these out into several categories where you’re doing 1 to 5. “How’s my system for prospecting on a scale of 1 to 5? What about during the sales process? What about afterward? What about my networking, my referral partners on a scale of 1 to 5? How good am I at reaching out to people?” Having systems so that you can get much more done in a shorter period of time and have better results.
I want to share that with you. I hope that helps you. I’d love to hear some of your feedback. Please continue to write reviews for us. Even if you’ve written a review before, please continue to write reviews. Share this show, pay it forward and share it with other people. There are a lot of podcasts out there. I’m the longest-running in the mortgage space, which I’m happy about but I want you to consider sharing it forward and giving it to your friends. In this COVID environment, why not listen or watch videos and talk about them with your friends have a podcast profit party where you talk about how you’re all going to apply it to your business and your practice?
I’m all about action and not about how to do something you know. You need to do certain things. You know what to do. I love sharing with you how to do it, putting it into action and taking that next step. I hope that you enjoyed it. I want to remind everybody that we’re going to be having another virtual workshop. The last one I have was fantastic. It was for three days. We’re going to move this into a day and a half. It will be in October so keep your eyes and ears out. For that, please go to Mortgage Lending Mastery, the Facebook group online. Join the group and be part of it so that you hear this and other things.
Three, four times a week, I am sharing something that I’m learning, something that I have been asked a question from a client, from one of my coaching students or someone that has asked me a question on the Facebook page. Get yourself involved there. Let me help you double your income and multiply your results in record time. That’s something I share with my coaching clients is how to double their income. I’ve got 5 or 6 different ways that they can double it. That’s where we are seeing unbelievable, incredible results from our clients. I look forward to talking to you next time on the show. See you soon.
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