What are high-return activities? These are activities that, if implemented consistently, can bring you the most amount of profit in the shortest period of time. In short, they have massive impact on your bottom line.
I call these activities “the shortest path to the cash” because they have a way of cutting through all the clutter and getting you to focus on what actually makes you money.
You see, the average mortgage professional tends to confuse activity with productivity — they focus on being “busy.” Superstar mortgage professionals, on the other hand, focus on being productive.
The former is activity-oriented, the latter is result-oriented. So, one of the hidden secrets of superstar mortgage pros is that they find ways to leverage their time by doing the activities that produce the highest results possible.
The first step to increasing your productivity is to find out what is hindering your productivity. Consider these three questions:
1. What do I do on a regular basis that does not qualify as a high-return activity?
2. Which of these activities can I delegate or delete?
3. How can I systematize or streamline these activities so they take less, or better yet, none of my time?
If you think you can’t afford to hire an assistant, think again! In most cases, it actually costs you more NOT to delegate than to delegate, even if all you do is hire a part-time assistant to start off with. For example, if you want to make $100,000 per year and you work 50 weeks per year at 40 hours per week, your hourly income needs to be $50 per hour.
However, if you’re handling all of the administrative minutia – that you could easily delegate to someone for $15/hour – your income will drop accordingly! That’s why superstar mortgage pros always have at least one assistant and in some cases, they even hire processors and underwriters, so they can focus on what makes money: sales and marketing.
The first step in this whole process is to identify your high-return activities. Starting today, make a list of your TOP 3 highest-leverage activities that if acted upon would make the greatest positive impact on your bottom line within the next 90 days or less.
Here are a few examples:
Database Marketing. If you already have a database of prospects, clients and referral partners, this is the easiest money you’ll ever make. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Here are a few proven campaigns:
Annual Mortgage Review Campaign
Where you talk to your clients once per year over the phone and take them through a quick 15-minute diagnostic process to make sure their mortgage is still up-to-date and in sync with their short term and long-term needs.
Birthday Call Campaign
Call your clients up on their birthday and say something like, “Hey Mr. Jones, I know we haven’t talked for a while but I thought if there was ever a good time to reach out and reconnect with you, this would be the day. Happy Birthday!” It only takes two to five minutes per year but this one call can build lasting “trust equity” with your clients like nothing else.
Monthly Client Newsletter
Send a fun, entertaining, educational, home-spun-looking newsletter to your prospects, clients and referral partners every month like clockwork via direct mail and watch your repeat and referral business skyrocket! This is extremely powerful.
Weekly Email Tip
Send your prospects and clients an email once per week (ideally using video) that provides valuable education on topics like financial literacy, home maintenance and the occasional mortgage and real estate tip. The better the content, the more often you can send... and receive “Thank You’s” instead of complaints.
Put a marketing system in place to contact all your clients at least five months prior to their renewal date. Use email, direct mail and a followup phone call to ensure you make contact with everyone. The more media methods you use, the better your results.
I could keep going but you get the idea. Now let’s talk about the next high-leverage activity... Referral Partner Marketing -- As you know, there are a lot of ways to skin the cat on this one. I recommend starting off with the highest capacity referral source that can send you the most amount of referrals: Realtors!
Yes, I know they’re a pain but that’s because your whole approach with Realtors is flawed. You see, the key to massive success with Realtors -- or any other referral source for that matter -- is to offer so much unique value that you become irreplaceable and indispensable.
Again, there are more options here than you can shake a stick at. To help you cut through the clutter, here are three questions for determining the best strategy:
a. Can it generate qualified mortgage leads profitably without having to cold call?
b. Can it give me the added advantage of 3rd-party endorsement (i.e. a trusted source singing my praises) so I can gain instant credibility and position myself as a trusted adviser?
c. Can it be automated or systematized so it takes very little work once up and running?
If you can get a solid YES to all of those three questions, you’ve got a winner!
So there you have it, I’ve just given you a proven roadmap to follow to ensure you’re focusing where it counts -- making money. Armed with that newfound clarity, now you’re ready to block schedule time in your calendar each and every week to focus on your high-leverage activities. I recommend dedicating at least one hour per day towards these high-impact, money-making activities -- the more the better!
As Zig Ziglar says, “If you are willing to discipline yourself to do things you need to do when you need to do them, the time will come when you can do the things you want to do, when you want to do them.”
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Doren Aldana, leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.