Lessons from abroad

What I learned about originating while I was in Italy

Lessons from abroad

For the past 30 years of my marriage, my wife has been asking me to take her to Italy. It has always been the number one item on her personal bucket list.

I have resisted as best I could, and joke about taking her to the “Little Italy” in our city. In our business—that is, mortgage loan origination—we are either way too busy to think about going away, or even worse, business is so slow that we are wondering how to pay our bills, not finance a vacation.

This finally came to an end recently, when I broke down and agreed to the trip.

There were three big lessons from this trip I would like to share with you, which I believe will all help you close more loans, make more money, and enjoy your life.

LESSON # 1: You MUST have a supportive spouse or partner.
I am truly blessed to have a partner that supports me through all of the ups and downs of this business. We all know how tough this business can be at times. If you have to go home and then deal with other relationship issues on top of that, it truly is almost impossible to succeed.

So if you do have a supportive spouse or partner, make sure that you go home after reading this and let them know how much you appreciate them. In my case, it cost me a trip to Italy—hopefully you can get away with something a little less extravagant!

LESSON # 2: You MUST take a break occasionally.
The harsh truth is that no one likes speaking or working with a burnt-out and frustrated originator. Yes, it’s great to work hard, but you must also work smart. You must take time to refresh your body and your mind. (It’s actually funny to see that sentence in writing since I often give this advice but find myself working 12-14 hour days.)

While in Italy, I was actually able to wind down and relax. This allowed me to spend quality, uninterrupted time with my wife that was truly spectacular. I came back inspired with new ideas and new energy to get those ideas implemented.

LESSON # 3: You MUST have a great team and systems in place
In our business, we are only as good as the team we have in place. Our processors, closers, underwriters and support staff have the ability to make us look like a genius or a complete idiot. Trust me when I tell you I have looked like both. 
So go ahead, right now while you are reading this, look at your own team. Do you have enough members on your team to get the job done? Are all of your team members working together or against each other? Are they all committed to your success and getting the buyer to closing smoothly?

You must also have great systems in place. This is one of the things I share with my Top Originator Mastermind members. A great system will bring in new business, get referrals from that business, and get your loans closed quickly and smoothly. Look at your current business right now and see if you have systems that are working for these critical areas.

I have to be fair and tell you that I was a bit nervous before I left for my trip. But I do have a great team and great systems in place in each of these three areas. After a 10-day trip I came back to three closed loans, 23 new pre qualifications and five new loan applications. (It’s a good thing too, because while in Italy I had sporadic cell service and only had internet while in public cafes!)

Take these lessons to heart right now. They will help you close more, make more and finally be able to enjoy life.

Brian Sacks is a national mortgage expert with HomeBridge Financial Services Inc. in Owings Mills, Maryland. He has over 30 years of mortgage experience and career closings of 8,000 loans in excess of $1 billion. A recognized leader in the mortgage industry, Sacks is the resident expert for NBC Channel 11, and he has also appeared on the CBS and ABC stations. Brian has appeared in over 42 states and is considered the national expert on working with credit challenged buyers. Brian is also a respected coach and speaker, and the founder of the Top Originator Mastermind. Watch his four-part free video series on How to Close More Loans—Make More Money and Still Enjoy Life.