You Are Not in the Mortgage Business, You Are in the…

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ALL TOO OFTEN LICENSED MORTGAGE ORIGINATORS (MLOs) FALL SHORT IN ACHIEVING THEIR INCOME AND PRODUCTION GOALS.  Market conditions can sometimes be part of the reason, however often times there are specific actions that MLOs engage in that rob them of more income opportunity than they have any idea.

If you are like me you have at some point in your career probably attended some type of time management seminar.  Unfortunately within a matter of days, or even as soon as a few short hours, you revert back to your old habits and essentially the time and money spent at the seminar was wasted.

The reason so few MLOs ever make the necessary changes in their time behavior is they lack the real core understanding of what business they are really in.  Speaking, training and coaching MLOs throughout the United States I have determined through numerous Q&A sessions that the reason MLOs don’t make modifications to their behavior is that they think they are in the mortgage business.

Now you are probably reading this article and you are thinking that you—in fact—are in the mortgage business and maybe I have lost my mind.  The reality is that you are in the “marketing business”!

You cannot be an originator until you first have leads.  Only when you generate leads are you able to begin the job functions required in the mortgage business.  From this day forward if you are truly committed to being successful at a higher level, then you must define your job as “YOU ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF MARKETING YOUR MORTGAGE SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY YOU SERVE”!


Yes, you read the previous paragraph correctly.  Plain and simple, you are in the business of promoting yourself and your services.  At the core you are a marketer first and foremost.  All of the other activities that are encompassed with being an MLO such as making sure files get approved, chasing docs, clearing conditions, providing feedback to your clients and referral partners on loan status, and other activities of that nature are also part of what you do on a daily basis.  HOWEVER, the question you need to ask yourself is would you be able to engage in any of these activities if you don’t have leads?


I am well aware of the challenges that face loan originations in getting drawn back into files because of problems.  We can even add on top of that issue all the new regulatory hurdles you must jump through to get a loan all the way through the closing process.  However, we all know there are MLOs that produce more than you do and they do it with no additional support than you have yourself.

The critical difference is that at some point in their career they focused more on marketing and relationship development than you have.  That time may be right now, or they may be reaping the rewards from past efforts.  Either way the results validate the truth about how marketing is the first priority.


Let me share this example with you that I believe will drive this point home.  I am sure there have been days when you woke up in the morning with a defined plan to get out and market your business.  You were going to call or visit your existing referral partners, meet new ones, or reach out to your database.  Whatever it is, you had a plan to grow your relationships.

Scenario 1 – At 9:30AM you receive a text or an email from your processor telling you that there is a problem with a file.  What do you typically do?  You likely abandon your plan for marketing to address the situation immediately so you can get it handled right away. (I imagine you may be shaking your head up and down at this point in agreement that you are guilty of doing this far too often.)

Scenario 2 – (Here is my point.)  Imagine the same exact scenario except that when you get the email or text at 9:30AM, you are walking into a meeting with a potential new referral partner that has the ability to refer you a significant amount of business…or maybe you are about to meet a borrower who is all set to apply for a $750,000 loan.  My question to you is what will you do in this scenario?


The answer is likely that in scenario 2 you will send your processor a response stating that you are walking into a meeting and that as soon as you get out you will get on top of handling the situation.  Here is your business game changer…When you treat your scheduled marketing time with the same priority as an actual scheduled appointment, you will ultimately end up with more appointments to meet with referral partners and borrowers who can either send business your way or do business with you.

Marketing and promoting your services cannot be the thing you do when you have nothing else scheduled or going on.  You must dedicate a portion of every day or every week to marketing.  Schedule it as an appointment and when the email, phone call or text comes in, tell whomever is reaching out to you that you are headed into a meeting.  In reality you are heading into a meeting.  The meeting is a marketing meeting with yourself and future business.

If you would like to learn how to take your marketing and income to a whole new level then check out this upcoming exclusive special originator 45 minute webinar on October 15th at 10:00AM PST (11:00AM MST / 12:00PM CST / 1:00PM EST).  The webinar is titled “How to Instantly Multiply Your Referrals and Production”.

At this webinar you will learn how to:

  • Create a structured marketing schedule and system that you will stick to
  • Increase your awareness of mistakes that cost you relationship opportunities
  • Put together a highly effective proactive marketing schedule that increases income without increasing your hours
  • And so much more

We hope to see you there.



Ron Vaimberg is a veteran of the mortgage and real estate industry since 1985.  As a leading speaker, trainer and strategic coach, Ron possesses the unique ability to quickly assess any sales situation, marketing challenge, or client’s business problem and provide instant solutions.  It is this special trait that makes Ron the go to person for retail and wholesale mortgage professionals, real estate agents, and company owners throughout the United States.

Stayed tuned for more articles and webinars from Ron.

Ron can be reached directly at 866-360-6645, or

What’s at risk when you don’t manage your risk?

All vendors, no matter their size or risk rating, should be subject a vendor management program.  The ramifications of non-compliance far outweigh the cost of prevention.

In addition to the financial risks, publication of these enforcement actions can damage the reputation of an organization. One need only to look at the headlines daily for examples.

There’s no doubt that compliance has become a much more complex issue than simply having a vendor approval checklist.  Regulators are extremely focused on vendor management and continue to enforce orders against lenders for violations of their TPOs. As everyone should be well aware by now, a well-established and documented third party risk assessment program is critical to the success and protection of your business.

Make an investment in creating and implementing a robust vendor management program—the risk is not worth the risk.



Why should I attend the MBA Annual Convention in San Diego and if I go, should I register?

While the flights, hotels, food and registration costs can certainly add up, so can the payoffs. I have been attending this event for over 20 years and I can say without a doubt that the expense to attend this  annual  convention can more than pay for itself.

In a matter of a few days you can meet with your vendors, warehouse lines, and potential investors and of course, network with people from all walks of the mortgage industry. While we all compete for market share, at this event, we all pull together to share thoughts and potential resolutions  for the never ending challenges within our industry.

Over the last 20 years, the executives of my company and I have had the opportunity to meet with many business leaders: such as David Stevens, Bill Cosgrove, Stan Middleman, Ed Abufaris and many others.  We have also had the opportunity to hear from our political leadership and journalists such as Presidents Clinton and Bush, General Colin Powell, and Bob Woodward,  that have not only made our history but are the ones who are setting our course for the future. Check out this year’s speaker list– awesome.

You do not want to miss the advantages of a trip through the exhibition hall.  In a short period of time you can talk with vendors face-to-face about their products and services you need to grow your business, minimize risk, cut costs and increase profits.  An hour or so of your time will really be time well spent. Not to mention, there are tables and chairs to sit down and meet with your important contacts this year, (and rest your aching feet!) as well as breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks are provided.

I have to admit the parties and end of conference concerts are pretty cool too.   Hall and Oates, Earth Wind and Fire, America, Chicago are just a few of the bands I’ve seen at the MBA. All of this happens within just a few days.   Go to the event and register – it’s worth the money!

See you there!

Mike “Z” Zastoupil