What should mortgage professionals do? I have three suggestions: Be a Town Crier: If it’s truly last call for refinances, then we owe it to our former customers and communities to let them know this fact. In particular, those who have adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) should consider a refinance into a fixed loan to avoid interest rate risk in the future. Moreover, those with 30-year loans should consider refinances, at these lower rates, into shorter duration loans. The depressed forecast for housing values for years to come increases the financial advantages of paying off a mortgage more quickly. Re-engineer your sales process: We cannot expect that the same way we have done business in the past is going to work in the future. Marketing for purchase business is distinctively different from marketing for refinance business. The sales cycle is going to be longer and more is going to be expected of the mortgage professional in the future. We have to be
the elite performer
Listen to and engage with your customers: As every service professional knows, the ability to listen to and respond appropriately to your customers is what separates the great from the “not so great.” In the future of the smaller mortgage industry, the “not so great” will quickly be out of the business. Mortgage professionals are problem solvers and dream facilitators. That can only happen when we listen carefully to the folks with which we are privileged to have a chance to work. The end of the refinance era is upon us. Are you prepared? John Walsh is president of Milford, Conn.based Total Mortgage Services. John founded Total Mortgage Services in 1997 with a customer-centric approach and a mission of responsible lending. He may be reached by e-mail at JWalsh@TotalMortgage.com or visit TotalMortgage.com.
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continued from page 26
Black Hole. The “I’ll just check my messages on Facebook really quick” quickly turns into “Why am I looking at a picture of an ape wearing pajamas that Scott liked” an hour later. Think beyond time and self-management. Build your attention span, don’t restrict it. How productive you are will simply rely on how focused you are. We spend way too much time in the office so we might as well make sure we’re focused enough to justify it. Be a laser.
If you don’t have it already, get Jing (Jing.com). It’s a free program that
allows you to highlight anything on your computer screen and send it to your clients or business partners. It’s excellent for sharing market updates, information on rate sheets, simple snap-shots, anything you can see on your computer screen. Best of all, it’s free!
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page or through a company that can help you capture those leads. Second, the above numbers also let us know how many people you can market to through direct mail campaigns, as well as cold calling campaigns. If you set up your direct marketing programs correctly with the right partners, HARP will be bigger than you could have imagined!
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713-821-9750 to learn how you can have a better, more rewarding career
Raymond Bartreau is chief executive officer of BestRate Referrals, and founder and chief executive officer of www.harpmortgageleads.com. He may be reached by phone at (800) 811-1402 or e-mail RBartreau@BestRateReferrals.com.
Give Jonathan Fowler, Director of National Production of America’s Choice Home Loans a call at
WISCONSIN MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE
Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 20102011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit AndyHarrisMortgage.com.
continued from page 24
or outbound call campaign. We are currently seeing more than 2.5 percent responses with marketing campaigns to current Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan holders. Once this new plan launches in full force and major news outlets begin reporting on the program, the excitement should drive direct mail responses up well over the three percent mark. The above-stated numbers provide us with a couple important things to consider. First, there will be at least 11 million homeowners (that you can help) that may be searching online for HARP rates at any given time from now until the end of 2013. It is your job to capture that search, either by your own
“I started with America’s Choice as State Manager at the beginning of 2011 and I’m glad I made the move. ACHL is an excellent company to be associated with. This company offers many of the opportunities we had at previous companies and even some of the same people we’ve all worked with prior to coming to ACHL.”
Tip of the month …
prepared to help our customers analyze the pros and cons of homeownership—which are no longer the same as they have been.