Doing the Hardest Thing First — Defeating Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the most common pitfalls in business and in life. And, there are many excuses that people give, ranging from “I only procrastinate mildly important tasks” to “I actually thrive under pressure.” This may be true for you, but be careful you aren’t deceiving yourself!

The reasons for procrastination are many, and unfortunately so are the effects. In the time-sensitive industries of Mortgage Origination and Real Estate, Loan Officers and RE Agents are especially prone to the negative impact of putting things off until the 11th hour.

The issue of defeating procrastination comes down to one driving question: How does one find the motivation to do the hardest, (and often the most important), task first?

Are Low Payoff Activities Holding You Back

In the fast-paced Mortgage and Real Estate industries, it’s one thing to know what you should be doing to grow your business. It’s another thing to actually make it happen.

Many of the High-Payoff Activities that allow Loan Officers and RE Agents to thrive are based on simple, well-known principles and strategies. However, if you don’t work to build those best practices into HABITS, they will simply be the first tasks avoided when your day goes awry.

The very first step to adding more High Payoff Activities into your day is to address your current Low-Payoff Activities. Low Payoff Activities are tasks and actions that waste your time and decrease productivity. These are bad habits that need to be minimized, delegated, or completely avoided. How many of these Low-Payoff Activities are holding you and your Production back?  

10 Productivity Tips for Managing Your Email and Your Day

A tidy Email Inbox may feel great, but it doesn’t earn you a commission check.  Know this: addressing the common obsession with a clean Inbox is one of the best ways to put more time, productivity and profit into your business.  Here’s why:

Email is simultaneously one of the most helpful and potentially debilitating business tools ever created. The ability to have a wide variety of vital conversations through one platform — and the ability to engage those conversations anytime, anywhere — is indispensable. However, people’s devotion to their Email Inbox is where problems often arise.

In the modern-day business world — filled with obvious Internet-based distractions such as YouTube, 24/7 news and sports coverage, online shopping and more — the Email Inbox is the underrated King of Distractions. It’s a silent assassin of workday balance and productivity.

Working to manage and organize your Inbox is important, but it should rarely be prioritized as your most essential task of the day. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for managing email that can help unchain you from your Inbox:

Increasing Willpower to Improve Mortgage/RE Performance

Having a hard time picking up the phone to make another proactive Sales Call, and you’d rather check your Twitter feed instead? Is your willpower to make these important calls waning? Situations like this help us to see that willpower exists, and that more personal willpower is desirable. As we will see, the cultivation of willpower plus the removal of barriers that prevent success, equates to more productivity, profit and well-being for any Mortgage or Real Estate professional.

The first step to unlocking more willpower is making sure you have a firm grasp of what it is – and – why willpower seemingly abandons us when we need it most.

Defining Willpower

In the field of psychology, willpower often is thought of as “the ability to exert self-control.” However, the opposite of willpower might be a better frame of reference for today’s discussion. Merriam-Webster provides a lengthy list of antonyms, including two words that might strike a chord with you: indulgence and overindulgence.

For many, these familiar words manifest themselves over and over again in our lives, from mealtime, social media and exercise, to gossip and even sleep. Anything — even activities that normally are very beneficial — can become a drain on your life when overindulgence begins to outweigh willpower.

How Willpower Becomes Depleted

Much like when your car runs low on fuel, you can run low on willpower as you continuously strive to do what’s prudent. When you grow weary of the struggle, that’s when you’re most susceptible to slip-ups.

Jay Interviews Michael Hanson of New York Life

I just finished my interview with Michael Hanson of New York Life, and I’m excited to share it with you. Michael was recently named the Pacific Agencies Partner of the Year for 2015, and in this interview, he shares exactly how he and his team achieved this honor.

In my discussion with Mike, we covered a variety of topics:  Sales, Networking, Time Management, Leadership, and more.  My favorite part of the interview was Mike telling his story of moving to Boise, knowing only five people in the whole city, and trying to figure out how in the world he was going to build a sustainable living in the Life Insurance Business.

Well… he did it, big time.

The Definitive Guide to Goal Setting for 2016

Use these tips to help set and achieve your goals this year

This time each year Loan Officers and RE Agents get really excited about their goals. Businesses have entire days dedicated to goal setting and planning out the perfect year. Entrepreneurs will take a trip or book a beautiful hotel room to get out of the normal day-to-day activities and focus solely on creating their goals and writing their dreams for the next 12 months.

The year begins to crawl by and the next thing you know, it’s March or May and not much has changed. The normal routine is comfortable and it’s easy to slide back into that old pattern.

You deserve more.  

Make Your List and Check it Twice

A Priority List Will Help Eliminate Stress

It’s Friday December 18th and there are only 7 days left until Christmas.  If I were guessing, I would say you have approximately 1,282 tasks to complete in the next week.  The month of December in the Mortgage and Real Estate business is always run at a harried pace.  There are end-of-the-year transactions to push through, cards to address and get in the mail, gifts for family (and clients) to buy, holiday parties to attend, as well as the need to block-out time to craft a business plan for next year.  It is no wonder people struggle with Holiday Stress.

Building the Right Habits

Fall is just around the corner… you can almost smell it in the breeze. With decreasing temperatures and kids back in school, we’ve come to the end of another “Summer Real Estate Buying Season.” However, does this mean your production has to necessarily suffer?  Top producers will be working to actually increase their monthly transactions by growing their market share. If this is your aim, then the time has come to double-down on your income producing activities, while eliminating those pesky time-wasters from your daily routine.

Now, rest assured, this is NOT what most Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents will do. Instead of engaging in the work they know will bring increased production, they will first complain about the market, and then they will be on the lookout for a silver bullet, a magic pill, some secret formula that will help them close more transactions without having to DO anything to earn it. While this may sound appealing, the reality is, solutions like this do not exist. Success occurs when we choose the right habits and disciplines, and execute them with consistency. As Beverly Sills once said, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

Jay Interviews Kelli Cowell, Regional Account Manager, Essent Guaranty

I am excited to share with you my conversation with Kelli Cowell, both my friend and a Regional Account Manager with Essent Guarantee Inc.  Kelli has been in the Mortgage/RE Industry since 1998, and thrived in every position she has held.  I met Kelli years ago when I was managing a Wholesale Lending office and witnessed for myself why she is such a prolific salesperson… (here’s a tip – she’s successful at sales because it never feels like she is selling you anything!)


The Danger of Neglect…

A recent refrain I’ve been hearing from LO’s and RE Agents has been, “My business has picked up and I don’t feel I have the time to make my proactive calls and conduct my face-to-face visits with referral partners anymore!”  This, no doubt, is a recipe for disaster.

If your volume is cranking today, I’m happy for you!  But, as excited as you may be, you can’t lose focus on your long-term production goals.  It’s one thing to be busy, it’s quite another to stay that way.  As a coach to top-producing LO’s and RE Agents, our focus right now is on maintaining, (if not increasing), the proactive relational marketing efforts of the client in order to make sure production levels don’t fall off come October and November.