Broker: Positive attitude = positive growth

It can be tough – what with constant rule changes and increased difficulty funding deals – but having a positive attitude will help your business, writes Jake Abramowicz of Mortgage Edge.

Broker: Positive attitude = positive growth
I believe that the true path to success in this business starts with attitude. I know this opening sentence may truly be one of the most captain-obvious statements of our time, however I will back it up with some experiences that I have had in the past eleven years to prove my point.
Recently I had a conversation with a fellow agent who had a deal declined by a certain lender. You know what their reaction was? Complete and utter negativity towards the lender, going so far as to say “I will never support them again.” Was it a knee-jerk reaction? Most likely. However, the sheer fact someone would say this makes me question their approach in this business. How can we ever say we will never support a certain lender because of one decision? Would you want a client to never come back to you because you were not able to help them in one specific case?
A positive attitude in this business requires a very short memory, and very thick skin. We can’t be hung up on each and every decision that our lender partners make and think we’ll never want to do business with them. This also extends to disagreements we have with our underwriters – we can’t take them personally, ever. Once you do that, and once you develop a certain perspective of an underwriter, it’s very difficult to change back. After all, isn’t our business all about relationships?
Another major faux-pas is when my colleagues talk about their clients and referral partners in a not-too-positive light. I hear it all the time; how a client is being overbearing, or questioning their rate, or any other potentially “annoying” trait. We have to remember that these people are not who we are, and they do not know what we know. When an agent tires of answering client’s questions is when that agent will really see a drop in business. 
We have seen mortgage rule changes that have affected our business in a great way. Deals I was able to approve in three hours three years ago now take three business days if not longer. Gone are the days of rubber-stamp approvals, and maybe this is a great thing for our industry. We cannot get angry at things we cannot control, and develop a negative attitude that won’t help us get those approvals done. Having a positive attitude really helps in becoming very creative and innovative in how to package a deal. It also helps through the underwriting process when negotiating with a lender on how to get this approved.  


Sure, having a positive attitude seems basic but in my experience as a mortgage broker, getting back to basics can be the key to growing your business.
It only took me eleven years of trying but I’m finally at the point in my career where I’m going back to the basics, and I’m noticing that they are truly working. Since I did not come from a marketing background and/or did not really have much direction in that field, I thought that my work and accomplishments would serve me well in trying to get new clients. On the contrary, it seems. Since turning over a new leaf I have noticed a lot more firm commitments from clients especially in a time where rate-heavy brokers and flash-in-the-pan offers are taking their attention away from me to these other offers. When the IG 1.99% offer came in I had six clients who started humming and hawing about moving, but not a single one did and it was all because of my value proposition: true service.
I cannot imagine being a mortgage agent who does not truly serve each client separately and to the fullest capacity. What does it mean to truly serve someone? To me it’s simple: I’m always ‘on’. I’m always available and I’m always patient with my clients. I will literally fight tooth & nail with my lenders on my client’s behalf. I hold multiple meetings with them at times, and I find that face-to-face meetings are really helping me solidify my relationship with them.
Lately I have noticed that many of my clients really appreciate the multi-touch service that they get from me. An example is being available on offer night to help them through the offer, meeting them once after offer is made and accepted to go through the next steps, providing them with constant updates during the decision-making process and then giving 2-3 good options and showing some out-of-the-box thinking.
The truth of this business is your past is not sacred; you can never ever sit on your accomplishment because a volume you do this year may never repeat itself. Obviously we are all wanting to grow our numbers as we are in sales – that’s a given. However I never ever think to myself “oh, it’ll be fine, I did this much last year”.
Another reason that I am heavily focusing on the service side is when I see the lack of competent help at the branch level. Many times I would try and help a client I meet only to be rebuffed that they feel more confident dealing with their home branch. In the majority of cases they will inevitably come back to me after waiting for not days but sometimes weeks for a pre-approval, or, a straight answer. Being honest and up-front with my clients (not to mention knowing what I’m doing) really shines in this case when they experience a level of service and knowledge they are not used to. It takes a lot of time and attention to do this right, but in my experience it is well worth it in the end.
To end things, what I have learned so far is simply this: I can never stop learning and working on my craft. I can never forget that my referral sources are my lifeblood. I can never forget the power and strength of relationships in this business. Most importantly, I am truly blessed to be able to help people in this capacity, and I carry that positive attitude with every meeting I hold and every day I carry on.