Every day I see a product or service marketed to loan originators that promise to make them more productive and work less. The ads claim that an originator never has to leave their home, to the promise that borrowers or referral partners will be banging down the doors to do business with them.
I have been in this business for over 30 years. Never, and I mean never, have I ever witnessed a borrower or referral partner begging to do business with a mortgage professional.
The people who promote these instant solutions are banking on the “magic pill” mentality. They target the same people who believe they can purchase a diet pill, eat whatever they want, never exercise, and the weight will fall off.
We all know that these instant solutions don’t produce the promised results. Yet these marketers would not be doing this type of promotion if it didn’t work. They are the ones getting rich, while the people investing in these programs are getting separated from their money.
I am not suggesting that technology does not play an essential role in the success of mortgage origination and sales. The reality is that technology is a support tool for selling and marketing; it is not the answer by itself. It cannot replace hard work or knowing how to be a professional salesperson who can influence, overcome objections, and get prospects to say YES.
The proof in what I’m saying resides in these facts. In 1984 when I entered the mortgage business, this was the first official refinance boom ever in lending. Phones were ringing off the hook, and borrowers were lowering their mortgage rates from the high teens down to the high single digits. What many originators today don’t know is that the average loan officer was originating and closing approximately 2.4 loans per month.
In 2018, and we have cell phones, mobile apps, online applications, automated dialers, CRM’s, and so many other technological advancements for mortgage originators to use. However, even with all of these tools and resources, the average loan officer is closing less than 2.5 loans per month.
So this begs the question, how come average LO production has not increased despite all of these improvements and efficiencies that are supposed to help an originator produce more?
The answer couldn’t be more apparent. Technology is not the answer. Technology assists a mortgage professional in doing more business as long as they are strong in the critical elements of selling and marketing. No matter what anyone tells you, technology does not replace an individual’s ability to develop referral partner relationships and convert leads into loans. It only enhances someone who possesses the foundational skills.
If you take a look at top originators in the mortgage industry, you will see that they aren’t performing at that level because of technology. The secret to their success is the combination of work ethic, persuasion skills, time management, and the ability to overcome objections and get prospects to say yes.
It amazes me how many loan officers have all of this cutting-edge technology at their fingertips, but are unable to convey in an effective way to their prospects the benefits that this technology provides. Essentially, this renders the technology ineffective. For someone to embrace the technology that you have that will make their life easier or make them more money, you must be able to message that to them clearly.
I was present at a conference not too long ago. A very well known mortgage company owner was speaking before making talking about all of this incredible technology that his company was providing to mortgage originators. The system put all the information an originator could ever need in front of them from loan technology, to access to every piece of news and information that could exist relating to mortgage financing.
As I watched this presentation, all I could think of is how the mortgage professional has even more things in front of them that will distract them from doing what needs to be done, which is going out and developing relationships that will result in leads and loans.
Now it was my turn to get up and present. Even though I was in awe of how advanced this technology was, I knew it was going to hurt the ability of a loan officer to increase their production. It was just another informational source that would detract from marketing and selling.
I brought up to the audience the statistic I provided earlier regarding 1984 production versus present day and how it has not changed. I can tell you most originators in the audience were not happy to hear what I was saying, but yet in their hearts they knew it to be true that the numbers relating to loan officer performance have not grown.
The owner of the mortgage company who presented the technology before my presentation approached me and told me he agreed with what I said, and that technology without essential sales and marketing skills will not solve a lack of production problem.
The bottom line is that technology can absolutely increase your originations when you know how to use the technology within the framework of a clearly defined marketing and selling system. Haphazardly adding technology without knowing how to encompass it into your sales presentations, will only lead to frustration and virtually no change in performance. The great news is that learning how to do this is not nearly as hard as one may think.
You have a choice; you can either believe technology is the solution, or embrace the fact that technology will support your efforts as long as the foundation of success in marketing and sales, as well as your work ethic, are at a level that would enable you to succeed even without technology.