In A World of Automation, THIS Is The Key To Coming Out on Top
If you are a mortgage loan officer and you don't know that automation is slowly taking over our industry, then you've probably been living under a rock. More and more pieces of our job are being outsourced to technology, and although we're nowhere near the point where robots take over humans as originators, we get closer and closer to that point every day. There's now a very strong movement, however, of loan officers that have decided to fight fire with fire, and are embracing automation in their own business as a way to leverage their time and produce more units.
I happen to be one of those LOs and leveraged automation and technology to be able to make over $100k my first 12 months as a licensed loan officer. I have a group put together right now of Loan Officers that I've agreed to teach the exact methods that I used to get there. I offered the course for free, and as such didn't have much expectation as far as engagement and really just hoped to spread the word about what I do. However, I've been pleasantly surprised by a decent sized group of individuals that not only are implementing the strategies in their own business but are finding ways to give back as well. One of those ways is the occasional humbling lesson, which is what occurred yesterday.
Yesterday I had an LO in the group who has a lot of experience dialing for dollars and working leads remind me of something that I tend to lose sight of from time to time:
Personalization is The Key to Leveraging Automation to it's Max Potential
I'm a numbers-driven guy, which is largely what contributes to my desire to find leverage in any capacity that I can. Not only do we teach LOs how to automate their lead gen and lead follow-up, but we also build turnkey systems for LOs who want to leverage their time EVEN FURTHER. And then, in our ongoing relationship with those LOs, we continue to help them identify pieces of their process that they can leverage or outsource, to free them up more time for the activities that are going to make them more money.
Here's the deal though: At some point, your money making activity is and always will be building relationships.
Whether or not those relationships are with real estate agents, other referral partners, or the customers themselves, this business and your ability to take business away from the people trying to squeeze us out of our industry will always boil down to our ability to effectively build relationships. So what does this mean as far as automation goes? Does this mean we should shy away from it as the antithesis of relationships? Not at all. In fact, just as big of a problem as LOs who over leverage automation and don't personalize their interactions with customers is the loan officer who dismisses automation in their business because of the value they place on building relationships.
No, the loan officers that are the most successful moving forward are going to be those that leverage automation as a way to enhance their relationships with borrowers. For example, if my goal is to produce 10 loans a month and I'm currently at an average of 4-5, what opportunity do I have to do that without investing twice as many hours as I currently am on lead gen, ultimately pulling me away from my ability to personalize my borrower's experience? Automation is really the only predictable way, right?
Pareto's Principle and How it Changes with Automated Lead Gen
For those that don't know, Pareto's Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, basically states that for almost any scenario you can imagine, there is a curve where 10-20% of activities account for 80-90% of the positive results. If you haven't heard this before, look it up because 1 sentence and an example related to mortgage don't do the profoundness of this concept justice. But in mortgage, the idea is that 20% of the actions you take on a daily basis account for 80% of your production. When we can identify what the 20% activities are, we can repeat those and increase our production.
For most LOs, that's an easy assessment to make. Because most LOs spend 80% of their time either working on their pipeline or trying to find new or better ways to get deals into their pipeline. The 20% activities are whatever they do that ACTUALLY generates leads and referrals for them whether that's agent calls, drop-ins, online presence, etc. But what happens when you automate your lead generation with a system that is scalable and consistently pumps out leads that are then automatically engaged until they're ready to talk to you? Well, what you've now done is automated your 20% activity, which means you now have 20% of your time to do what? The same activities you were doing? What incentive do you have to do that?
My new friend in my group on Facebook hit the nail on the head yesterday when he brought up a simple point; Don't let automation take you off of the phones. Yes, does automated follow up allow you to avoid calling leads that don't want to hear from you? 100%, that's one of the largest benefits to a system like ours. But making initial contact with a lead doesn't mean your job is done. Getting someone to apply for a mortgage, and then all the way to the closing table without shopping you or taking recommendations from someone in their circle is not as easy as it sounds. Calling these prospects personally, or sending personalized video content is going to go miles for your conversion over someone who keeps the conversation limited to texts or automated emails to "check-in".
Automation Isn't Limited to Lead Generation
Lead generation aside, there are a lot of tools out there that allow us to automate different pieces of our process. LOS systems,1003 intake software, and CRMs are making it easier and easier to get people to apply online, receive automated updates as to their application status, and then even provide updates to all parties involved as milestones are met once they're under contract. I'm not just talking about email updates either. The technology to be able to drop pre-recorded voicemails and text messages to your borrower and all relevant parties based on loan status changes in your LOS is not only here, but it's being leveraged by those most well-versed in this mortgage automation space.
At what point do we look back at our business and recognize that while we may have accomplished the goal of "replacing" ourselves in our business, we haven't actually reached the pinnacle that milestone is supposed to represent because there is no loyalty? Sure, maybe you can get away without meeting with or calling prospects now because you're the only one automating to this degree, but what happens when everyone catches on? What is going to separate you from the next guy, or even worse, from Amazon and Zillow when they come in with their robot loan originators and provide the same level of service you've been providing your customers?
Look, I talk about automation A LOT. And I believe in the benefits it can provide to not only our industry but just about any other industry you can think of. In fact, in addition to Empower Funnels, I'm a partner of a company dedicated to helping small businesses in my local market leverage technology and automation to reach unforeseen heights in their respective industries. You can say I'm pretty much ALL IN on the idea of automation and the possibilities it creates for not only business owners but society as a whole. But yesterday I had the epiphany that they key to winning in a world of automation, is maintaining your personal touch. The one thing that we're nowhere near automating and may never be able to automate, is humanity. That's your advantage in an industry and a world that seems destined for more and more automation for years to come.
SO USE IT.
Hey, thanks for reading my content. Seriously, I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. If you're reading this thinking your problem is not enough automation instead of too much, you're who we are here to help. I'd love to talk with you about what automated lead gen and follow up can do for your ability to provide an outstanding experience for your borrowers and partners. Feel free to book a call with me on my calendar here.
If you're not quite there yet, but ready to start learning more about internet lead generation, follow-up, and automating what should be automated in your mortgage business, come join us in our Facebook group dedicated to providing free content to help you take that next step in your business.
I'll see you at the top!