Preston Sims isn’t perfect and he’s the first to admit it, but even without a strict, time-blocked day or having the newest, shiniest CRM, he managed to close almost $123 million in volume last year.
His secret? His genuine love of people and helping them achieve their dreams.
“To know that someone is able to retire because I helped with their refinance, or to help a military family own a piece of Oahu is really important to me,” said Sims, loan originator at Homebridge Financial Services in Honolulu, Hawaii. “Seeing families grow and helping them continue to build wealth through real estate is an amazing job.”
Making an impact on people’s lives has really been the driving force behind Sims’ success. When he first started in mortgage around eight years ago, he didn’t really know what he was doing, but he continued to hustle until things clicked into place. It meant open houses every weekend, spending his Sundays connecting with real estate agents, and sharpening his interpersonal skills through career coaching and reading personal development books.
“I had a lot of great advisors and support, but the first couple years were an absolute grind. That time is all about learning the job, making relationships, and establishing yourself. Success in mortgage does not happen over night,” he said.
What took Sims to the next level in his career was building and prioritizing his database. He began making strong relationships with clients, establishing good connections with top agents in his marketplace and building his expertise, as he racked up higher volumes. In fact, database management is something that Sims believes he should have started much sooner.
“I wish I were more consistent about staying in touch with clients in those early years because when you figure that out, that’s where the rubber meets the road. If you do a good job and stay in touch, it can lead to freedom in this career,” he said.
Sims is also a real estate investor himself, with three properties in Oahu. His personal experience in real estate allows him to speak genuinely to some of the challenges his clients may face if they are considering renting out an investment property, or the finer details of what is needed to run a short-term rental property.
At the start of 2019, when Sims recognized the potential to scale his business, he approached an industry friend to partner. He went from having one assistant to a team of four; that combined with historically low rates and his seven-year database under his belt is truly what helped his business skyrocket.
Sims rode that wave into 2020 and he says they can’t get to the phone quick enough. While his original plan was to spend more time in the purchase market this year, the pandemic kickstarted the refinance boom and again, all the time spent focused on his database continued to pay off.
“With all the media coverage about low interest rates and the time and money we’ve spent on our past clients, we were the first call that the majority of our database ended up making when they wanted to learn more,” he said.
Sims markets heavily to his database through sending monthly newsletters in the mail, giving them access to home valuation tools, and regular check-ins with the option for a mortgage review. For Sims and his team, nurturing relationships with past clients is his bread and butter. His service goes far beyond closing day.
“My advice is to market yourself and meet real estate agents, but never at the expense of your past clients.”