Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of marrying my beautiful wife. Naturally, I was in a little bit of a reflective mood all day… We talked a lot about how far we’ve come in the almost 5 years we’ve been together. 4 years ago today, we had been living in a 450 sq ft studio in Southern California with my wife’s daughter (my little princess) for a week. It was our first place together, and although we weren’t exactly living the glamorous life, we were very proud of it.
3 years ago today we were taking off on our honeymoon. We were now living in a 2 bedroom apartment, and I had just dove into the mortgage business after finally getting to a point where I was making good money in car sales. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing and didn’t have much guidance, but Kimberlee and I knew that it was ultimately going to be a better career path for our family.
2 years ago today we had just moved to Idaho into a converted triplex that was built in the 70’s. It was our first home purchase, and we were renting out two of the units to help us cover the mortgage payment. I had just started to dabble in online lead gen but was working for a big bank so didn’t have the ability to experiment too much.
1 year ago today I was in the middle of seeing the internet lead generation in stride, getting back to making $10k+ per month. It took me longer than most to get started because my license took 3 months to process and I taught myself Google Adwords, which was considered to be impossible for individual LOs to advertise on with less than a $3k per month budget. My budget? $500-$1000 per month. I was on cloud 9.
Today I sit here, having begun what could be a permanent transition away from personal production while I help others achieve their goals, reflecting on how far our family has come in the last 3-5 years. My wife? She’s as beautiful, smart, strong, and supportive as ever. I have multiple conversations a month where I’m reminded by a colleague or friend at how lucky I am to have a wife that considers herself a partner in the pursuit of our dreams together, and then truly lives like it. I truly am blessed beyond belief to have my wife, but through the years I’ve witnessed the true power of relationships as it relates to my businesses, and realized that you don’t have to have a significant other involved in your business, or even a significant other at all, to harness it for yourself.
What is Synergy and Where Do I Find It?
Synergy is defined as the cooperation of two or more agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. As it relates to your mortgage business it’s basically the combination of forces with someone that creates a force capable of producing far more than you alone, or the other person alone. This doesn’t have to be another loan officer, it doesn’t have to be an assistant, and shit, to be honest, it doesn’t even need to be someone in the mortgage industry.
Really, to simplify, synergy can just be defined as a pair or group of people working towards a common objective. So what are you looking to accomplish in your mortgage business? Increased production? Greater work/life balance? Better customer experience? All of the above? No matter what it is, you can find people whose interests are aligned with yours and create synergy for your business.
For example, let’s say your goal is to be a $5m per month producer and currently you average $1M. First off, there are going to be A LOT of people in your company that will be STOKED when you hit that level of production. This is important because it gives you some additional resources to tap into to increase your levels of synergy. The one thing you DON’T want to do in this situation is to go to the LO in the office next to you and ask if they want to mastermind with you to produce $5m a month. This is a waste of yours and their time. Quite frankly you’re looking for someone that can help build you up, not someone you’re going to drag along with you. No, you would want to approach multiple people in this case: your spouse, your direct manager, probably your manager’s manager, and more than likely a performance coach that’s helped producers at the level you want to get to in mortgage.
Seriously Though, What’s The Point?
Look, I’m a spiritual person don’t get me wrong, but the power of synergy can really be identified as purely scientific. Think about it, does it seem easier to get a loan closed with an underwriter you have a great relationship with or one that you’re constantly butting heads with or indifferent to altogether? Easy answer, right? That’s synergy. Does telling your spouse what chores you’re going to get done today give you a little extra motivation to get them done? After all, you’re going to get an earful later if you don’t end up doing them right? That’s synergy too.
A huge problem in the pursuit of success for people in ANY industry is a lack of willingness to commit to a goal 100% and then to chase it with unrelenting tenacity. Synergy helps with that by aligning people with mutual interests and their energy, attention, effort, and ideas. This is CRUCIAL to reach whatever next level you’re trying to reach.
Another reason to seek synergy in the pursuit of your goals is to aid in your efforts to change as a person. For most of us, our goals can’t be reached by being the person that we are right now. Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Loosely applied here, that means what got you where you are is not going to get you where you want to go. Change is hard though, and uncomfortable not only for us but a lot of times for the ones that we love. By creating synergy in pursuit of your goals and changes, you’ll create an environment where you can be assured that not only are your changes necessary, but they’re positive, and you’ll be encouraged to keep on pushing through any resistance you face.
Where Do You Need Synergy In Your Mortgage Business?
I gave a couple examples earlier, but let’s start from the top. First off, you need synergy with anyone who touches your files. I don’t care what issues you’ve had in the past with someone in operations or sales support, you need to squash it now and start fresh. Make it a point to always analyze the impact of your interactions with your teammates as it relates to the impact that interaction could have on your team’s synergy.
Next, you need synergy in management. If your direct manager has a lot of pull and energy and supports you enough for them to fill this, great. Most likely though, you’ll need multiple alignments here. You’ll want your direct manager, any sales support above that, as well as relationships with your processing and underwriting managers as well. Don’t think that you need to have a huge pipeline to create these kinds of relationships. I’ve been at huge companies and small companies, and they all work the same in this respect. The fact is, we’re all human, and we all want to feel valued. If you make people feel valued in your pursuits, they’ll contribute to your synergy.
One obvious source we haven’t yet discussed is synergy with agents in your market. Your agent partners should be a HUGE source of synergy. If they aren’t now, you need new agent partners. This part gets a little tricky because you don’t necessarily want to align with the hungriest agents in your market, even though they have the highest levels of energy for you to feed off for your business. No, ideally you want to align yourself with someone who has their own set of goals that don’t revolve around world domination, and they also respect your goals and help hold you accountable to them. Any other referral partner or settlement service provider can be included here as well.
One of the best sources of synergy you can get is from a coach. Coaching is so valuable to many top performers not because they need the help, but because the synergy provided by the accountability and guidance offered by a coach is priceless. There’s something about paying someone, meeting with them regularly, and discussing your goals and your trajectory towards reaching them every week that creates one of the highest levels of synergy that you can experience.
Lastly, although it certainly isn’t necessary for some, I know my success to date would have been impossible without the synergy I get from masterminding and scheming with my wife all of the time. The fact that Kimberlee knows every single one of my goals and my plans for reaching them leaves me little room for excuses when I don’t execute. On the flip side, it also makes it so that she’s much more understanding when I need to work late or spend weeks at a time with my head down in my officer 12+ hours a day. We each have goals and dreams that are riding on my ability to accomplish what I’m working for, and that creates a level of synergy that I honestly don’t think you can get anywhere else.
Look, this kind of stuff is not something I write about often because I’m typically much more data-driven than to go off on a tangent about something that you can’t really quantify. If anything though, that should tell you how serious I take this and how powerful synergy can be for your mortgage business. My clients get the benefit of having me as a source of synergy. We want nothing more than to see you succeed, and believe we have the vehicle to get you there. Sometimes that includes masterminding, sometimes it includes coaching on follow up best practices, and sometimes it’s just a little good old-fashioned accountability. Either way, if you’re looking to blow up your business with online lead generation, and need that synergistic partner, there’s no better team than ours to have on board.
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As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the top!