Guest column: Three tips to help you break into the CMP Top 75

For the past several months Scott Peckford of Impact Mortgages has been hosting a podcast called “I love Mortgage Brokering”, which features interviews with brokers across the country. Through his first several interviews he has picked up tips for building his business and, perhaps more importantly, reignited his passion for the industry.

Guest column: Three tips to help you break into the CMP Top 75
For the past several months Scott Peckford of Impact Mortgages has been hosting a podcast called “I love Mortgage Brokering”, which features interviews with brokers across the country. Through his first several interviews he has picked up tips for building his business and, perhaps more importantly, reignited his passion for the industry.

Three tips to help you break into the CMP Top 75
By Scott Peckford

Over the past couple months I have been interviewing some of the top Mortgage Brokers in the country. I have to admit when I started my podcast, “I Love Mortgage Brokering” my wife chuckled and said to me, “You are going to have to convince yourself you love it first.”

I have been a mortgage broker for eight years and I was beginning to lose my passion for this business. The proliferation of rate sites, increasing competition from banks and the downward pressure on commission was leaving me wondering if maybe the ship has sailed for our industry.

However the twenty-five interviews I’ve done so far have completely changed my perspective. There are Brokers still crushing it in spite of all of the challenges and for the first time in several years I am excited about what is possible and yes my numbers have been improving steadily since I began this little podcast experiment.

I thought I would share with you the top three lessons I’ve learned from the first twenty-five interviews.

I distilled nearly 20 hours of conversation into three key principles. I noticed the top brokers were all focused, they worked harder than their peers and they had systems and processes.

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I started thinking about this and I realized of the three, focus was the starting point. You can work hard but if you are not focused you can waste a lot of time on useless activities, like Facebook. The brokers I spoke with who were killing it are all laser focused on being excellent mortgage brokers.

Dustan Woodhouse said to me, “I don’t believe you can be in the top 100 in two industries.” Which I believe to be absolutely true. If you are a mortgage broker then focus on being the best mortgage broker you can be. Everything that is not making you a better broker is simply a distraction.

The second ingredient to being a successful broker is hard work.

Without exception every top broker had a tremendous work ethic. They simply out-hustled their peers and bank specialist in their area. Lorrie Rasmussen calls every new lead and the referral source within 30 minutes. No wonder the builders she works with love her. When they send her a referral they know she is on it. If you want to be your best at anything you are going to have to put in effort. Work is not a four letter word.

Finally the brokers who really do a large volume of business have very good systems and processes.

They are able to scale and serve more clients because, as volume increases, they are able to manage the inevitable chaos. Mark Goode has modeled his mortgage practice like a dentist office in order to close as many as ten loans in a single day. He has an underwriter who does the initial meeting and takes the application and he meets for the final signing. Not unlike how a hygienist does the initial work and then the dentist simply pops in at the last minute to check everything over. Systems are critical if you want to scale your business.

Whether you submit your volume to CMP or not I guarantee you always do a mental calculation to see where you would place -- it’s just human nature. If you are serious about being a top broker then get focused and commit to being a better broker. Be willing to work hard and start to develop systems now because if you are focused and hustle you are going to need to systems to manage your inevitable growth.