Loan Officer Leadership Podcast

051: *** BONUS EPISODE *** Team Coaching: Front End LOA, How to Help your LO Prospect with Jolea Nealy

February 10, 2020
Loan Officer Leadership Podcast
051: *** BONUS EPISODE *** Team Coaching: Front End LOA, How to Help your LO Prospect with Jolea Nealy
Chapters
Loan Officer Leadership Podcast
051: *** BONUS EPISODE *** Team Coaching: Front End LOA, How to Help your LO Prospect with Jolea Nealy
Feb 10, 2020
Steve Kyles

In this episode, Jojo shares content to help LOAs learn to prospect from the front end. Jojo gives us 4 steps on how she is prospecting from the front end. A lot of the time, when you hear the word "prospect" your mind automatically tells you that you have to pound out 40 calls on the phone and be at many different events networking. The reality is, that's just not the truth. There are ways to prospect from the front end at your desk. 

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Jojo shares content to help LOAs learn to prospect from the front end. Jojo gives us 4 steps on how she is prospecting from the front end. A lot of the time, when you hear the word "prospect" your mind automatically tells you that you have to pound out 40 calls on the phone and be at many different events networking. The reality is, that's just not the truth. There are ways to prospect from the front end at your desk. 

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome back to the loan officer leadership podcast designed to help you grow your business by giving you practical tools, tips, and strategies. Here's your host, Steve Kyles. Hey, welcome back to another episode of the loan officer leadership podcast. Today you're in for a treat because this year we are [inaudible]
Speaker 2:
0:20
committed to helping you grow your teams and helping you grow your processes and systems so that you can have your best year ever. And today I've got my cohost Julia Neily. What's up, what's app? We are thrilled that you're here because you're going to be focusing on the front end.
Speaker 3:
0:37
Yes, our loan officers that a loan officer assistant.
Speaker 2:
0:40
Yes. And so those of you who know our story, Julie and I have been together for over five years and what Julia does for us on our team. So this last year we funded 37 and a half million dollars. This year we'll fund 50 million as well as lead and a branch and a market that funds another 50 million, so about a hundred million dollars. And so we're really building our processes, building our systems. And so Julia is the one who does all of the leads and the front end and our processes and systems. And so what we wanted to do is create coaching from the front. And so GLA at this month we're focused on prospecting. So how does the front help the loan officer prospect?
Speaker 3:
1:28
Isn't that so funny? I thought we were just back here just working on file login buttons and working through those crazy Los system.
Speaker 2:
1:35
No, no, no. Well in that, that's what's so great about this is we need as loan officers are, everybody's got a prospect and so talk talk a little bit. You take this, this episode about what it is the front end LOA is doing to help the loan officer prospect. Because at the end of the day, we know it's really a handful of things, number of leads, those leads turn into completed applications and then applications turn into long consultation and then the loan consultations turned into locks, locks in, then you're going to fund and close loans. That's right. So what are you doing to help me cause this month and here's what's great. We had 128 leads exactly, which turned into 22 locked loans and we'll fund about 18 to 19 and that is in the month of June.
Speaker 3:
2:22
Yeah. And I didn't die. I really feel like, you know, it's so funny though because I think it all starts with, and you know, there are so many things that we'll get to go over as we're putting out these coachings and trainings. But you have to take ownership of the front. It's not just about working files and pulling credit and setting up a file to be right, but really guiding people through the process. And when you do that well, you can prospect and not even realize that you're prospecting. So, you know, I had four ways, especially this past year that we were able to prospect from the front and still stay focused on, you know, what you're doing. So a lot of times you hear the word prospect, right, Steven, you think, Hey, well the front end has to be pounding the phone and doing 40 calls and and going out and being at all these events.
Speaker 3:
3:08
But at the end of the day, that's, that's just not true. And there are things you can do from your desk, um, you know, on your computer, on your phone to make sure that you're helping generate more business and we've really seen that you can win. So it really goes down to systems. But I had four ways, you know, showing what we've done to prospect from the front. And I know that's the focus and I'm excited because we'll share systems and what we've built and you know, the ownership and, and all of that, you know, throughout these, these episodes. But really I want to focus on just prospecting. So the first rule that we've talked about before on the podcast is touched the client, touch the agent. At the end of the day, if you have a team or if you are an LOA on a team, the agent needs to know who you are.
Speaker 3:
3:52
They need to be just as in love with you as they are with your loan officer. Because at the end of the day, if they only like your loan officer, they're never, you're, you're not going to be as effective. And so what we've done is every time we talk to a client, we're texting, we're calling the agent, keeping them updated. Um, so from the very beginning, whenever I get a loan application or, or get connected with a client, if I'm sending an email to the client, the agent is CC'd or included in that email. Um, whenever I make a call to the client, I'm picking up the phone right after and calling the agent. And so even, you know, I have systems behind, uh, you know, what happens at each point of after talking to a client. And so, you know, there are emails that need to go out, but before I do any of that, I still pick up the phone and call the agent because I know I'll get distracted if I don't do it immediately. Um, but what that does is one, it gives you more bandwidth. I think the biggest, one of the biggest struggles in being in this industry, real estate just in general, are the interruptions that you deal with on a daily basis, right? People calling. And one of the ways that you can reduce the amount of calls you get throughout the day is if you're at least following up with the agent first, just beat them to it because eventually what you see is 15 agents calling you and asking you about different files throughout the day.
Speaker 2:
5:07
Where's this lead at? Where's that lead at?
Speaker 3:
5:09
Don't, don't allow them to wear your calendar. You get ahead of it and communicate proactively with them. And so, um, it's been super powerful. I really don't get a lot of agent calls asking me where leads are asking me what's going on with borrowers. We clearly communicate and keep them updated throughout the process. Um, and it truly does help. So just remember, touch the client. Touch the agent is a discipline. It doesn't happen overnight, but as you do it, you're really going to find that it helps even if the client's not a great client, still touch the agent.
Speaker 2:
5:37
So that in, in just in practical terms, so that looks like the lead comes in. Uh, an agent texts us and infer their information. We call it goes to voicemail, we send the, the, the potential client a text. We're immediately going to reach back out to the agent. I left a voicemail and I send a text. There you go. Yeah. And then they go into our followup system. So we'll try again tomorrow. And if there's still no response when we call and text the client, where do we go back to the agent, to the agent every time, every time. And it's amazing cause it helps you prospect, you know, we're not doing as many concentrated calls on Monday. We used to do like Monday calls, bang, bang, bang. But what we're finding is it's more effective to touch the client, touch the part.
Speaker 3:
6:20
Yeah. And I think I just in general, if I touch, you know, 10 to 15 clients that am touching agents 10 to 15 times and the cool in that in a day each day. But the cool thing is I'm building relationships. Like, I love my agent partners and it's fun to talk to them. The conversations are easy. They trust me because they're not having to chase me for information and I'm super transparent on the file. We're going to talk about what's going on and I get the opportunity to do that cause I'm not the loan officer, we're not doing high level. And so I get to have those deeper conversations and tell them what we're working on and keep them updated on the clients. And so it is a lot of fun. Um, but the more your agents are bought into the team and the system, the better.
Speaker 3:
7:01
And even just to go off of that too, you know, we've realized it's, it's difficult when you have an agent that's new to the process. And, and so actually I'll talk about this specific instance. We had an agent that came in and they sent us a very first lead, um, and they sent it to, you know, our junior loan officer. So the loan officer has the person fill out an application and then I'm calling. And of course the, the response says, well, I'm just confused there, Steve. And then there's Nick and now there's you. And she was super frustrated and I completely understood. Um, but after awhile, now this agent has sent multiple leads because now she knows how well we take care of it. And that the fact that we have a team is what makes us so powerful in which makes us able to get to her, her deals faster and help her be more effective.
Speaker 3:
7:50
And so now she loves it, but it's just the, you have to build those relationships with her, comfortable with the team process. And so, um, it really does matter a lot more than you know. Um, the second thing that we do is we always follow up with our white leads. Um, and now this may be something that you're like, well, why they haven't answered before, you know, why are we reaching out to them about what's a white lead? Oh, sorry, yes, our white leads are the ones that have not converted. So our goal again is take every, you know, initial lead and turn it into, um, a completed application. And so these are people that haven't taken a next step to even start the application or anything like that?
Speaker 2:
8:27
Yes. Hey, and let me just say this too, because that's our art. We have four indicators. We talk about it, we've been talking about it all year is you got to know your leads and then from those leads, the very next thing, every lead we are driving to do one thing. What does that convert? Complete an online application. And so, um, yep. So I mean I just want it re-emphasize that because once they complete an online application, then your conversion goes up because from there you move them to the loan consultant, hopefully alive.
Speaker 3:
8:57
Right, exactly. And so what we've done with this is, you know, you end up just with the, with the way you're converting, I think it's maybe about 30 to 50% is what you end up converting white lead to, to complete an application.
Speaker 2:
9:11
Probably higher than that. I mean, I think so in January we're probably around 60 65% is a lead that actually went into an application. Right?
Speaker 3:
9:20
So that list and you know, and so the, the other 40% your, your, your white lists will probably end up getting pretty hefty. And so you have to find ways to touch them with bandwidth depending on, you know, how many you have. And so,
Speaker 2:
9:34
and, and when Joe and Joe you're talking about like, so in January we probably have about 40 white leads, 35 to 40 that haven't converted. And a white lead would be, the agent gave us a name and they gave us a phone number and they said, Hey, I think they're looking to buy. Right? Or it could have been, Hey, call so and so, it doesn't mean they were red hot ready to go. It means if we get a name, we get a phone number or email, we consider it a lead out exclusive of anything that's online. We don't look at any Zillow leads and anything like that. So we're constantly trying to convert the white lead to the next step, which is the online app. Because if they'll do that, now we've got a shot of really putting them in the pipeline. And so what are we doing on the front end to increase your bandwidth? Because in January we may have 40, 45 white leads we're trying to convert in February two, but now we get February's lead and we get another 20 to 40. Yeah. Of leads. So we're now at a probably 60 to 80 and then in March it gets bigger in April and may. So as a front end, what are you doing to increase that bandwidth? How are you doing that?
Speaker 3:
10:39
Questions? So I do have a designated day on Wednesdays. It's white lead Wednesday.
Speaker 2:
10:43
It's, I like it.
Speaker 3:
10:45
And so my goal is on Wednesdays to either do a text blast or an email to all of our white leads. And the really, it's more of a reminder. I just would hate to have a white lead that sits there and then ends up going someplace else because they forgot who we were. And so, um, really it's, it's not that we're, you know, spending 14 hours just prospecting these white leads, but you don't want to not follow up cause that's at least a warm relationship that's there. Um, in a way for you to get connected. So we always go back to the white leads and just follow up and I call that white lead Wednesday. Um, and then I set lists, grows those texts in the email blast. Really do help. Just touch them, keep us top of mind and keep us connected.
Speaker 2:
11:24
I love that. Hey, and what tech service are you using? Cause you've recently instituted a new tech service that's letting us send out a ton of texts that have ties.
Speaker 3:
11:32
This service is so powerful. Um, it's called zip whip so that Zai, Z, I, P, w, H, I. P. um, and it's, it's a phenomenal texting service because what it allows you to do is send out 50 messages at a time, a text blast of 50 messages at a time and each person gets that message individually. So even though you hit sin one time, everybody gets a separate message and it seems as if they're getting a personal, um, texts from you and you can insert their name and everything like that. Um, and it's super powerful. And so now I use that as well for my lead followups. Every time I call a new lead, I'm using that system to send out a text message to them as well. And we're seeing more and more conversion because of it. And it really helps with the conversion. And what we've found is, you know, even outside of calls, texting is people answer them.
Speaker 3:
12:18
It's super powerful. So if you're not, if you're not texting your clients, especially LOL A's. So I would get a texting system, you know, I don't know if you want to use your cell phone, but if you're not texting your clients and trying to communicate via text, it's definitely something you want to look into and try wound. It helps. Because the truth is if not, you'd be sending a hundred texts from your personal cell. Yeah. And the truth is that doesn't work. You're not the loan officer. Right. I send every text from mysel. Uh, but then you help with the white leads on yours because by the time you convert them, now, once I go into a loan console, I send everybody my info and then they're there. It's not like you're just chasing somebody. What a great tool. I love zip whip, definitely something to look into.
Speaker 3:
13:00
And then the email blasts, they're more informational, you know, now's the right time to buy. Why, you know, why rent, when you can buy. Just things like that. And just explaining the purchase process again with every email, with every text, your goal is to convert to an online application. Cause if they'll complete the online application, we can move them into a loan console. That's where I get involved. Absolutely. Okay. That's great. The next are our hot lead calls. So hot leads for me are on Thursdays. Um, for us it's a little bit different. You know, those are your, your upfront underwritten, usually buyers. Yeah. Or they can be people that you send a prequel out. They're great qualified. And if they have a prequel in hand, I am calling them constantly. Steve's calling them constantly because we want them to go and go under contract and bring it, bring that contract to us.
Speaker 3:
13:45
And so again, the worst feeling ever, and I think for us it happened in December and it was insane. Willing to share that story because in December, yes you will. The truth is this, December was okay. We did good. Yeah, we didn't do unbelievable. But I remember you and I, we had something, it was like 2025 MBA, which is upfront underwritten client searching. Yes. And we were like, weird. Did everybody go? So we started making calls and we had probably six or seven things. Yes. It was like somebody kicked us in the gut cause they said over again, it was painful. I went to another lender, which shame on us. And I don't mean to say it like that, but golly, I mean, so we just decided, you know what, we're not going to let that happen because here's what we've found is that the longer somebody is searching active, the easier it is for them to use another lender.
Speaker 3:
14:38
Because it's not, it's not that race. You know, your first two weeks of contact or light speed. And then after that it's like, Oh yeah, I, you know, what I've learned to do and, and this is really good for, you know, the LOA perspective. You can't always think from a salesperson perspective, like we're in the mortgage industry. Like we see these names all the time. But think about it as a consumer. You know, think about when you go and shop for a TV and you go to best buy and they show you all these great deals and then you pop into Walmart and you see that same TV and it's a little bit cheaper. I'm going to buy the TV, TV from Walmart, even the salesperson at best buys spent 30 minutes talking to me. Right? And so really just consider yourself a consumer. How, what would cause you to go back to that person that sent you a preapproval four months ago?
Speaker 3:
15:23
Because what really happens is they forget how much time you invested just to get them that prequalification. They don't realize how much time and energy goes into it. So you have to remind them. So the reaching out, the connecting, Hey, we still have you, you know, fully underwritten, approved, yeah. You know, or Hey, we sent you that pre-call, do you need update at numbers? And so for me, a lot of times I'm reaching out like, Hey, do you need updated numbers? I'm happy to go ahead and go over that with you. You have people come back in to just this week that are old hot leads that were fully underwritten, approved. And I had two great conversations updating their files, updating numbers. They're great buyers. A new touch point. Yes. Some re-engage. Exactly. And so you just have to remind buyers, we're here, we're still your lender.
Speaker 3:
16:08
You know, and don't assume that they, because you've sent them a preapproval letter that they remember or haven't continued to shop. And so you want to make sure that you're staying top of mind and finding ways to add value outside of just handing them a letter that it doesn't do much. And so I'm, I'm building relationships with our hot leads. You know, you just want to go deeper with them. And so those are your Thursday. So yeah. So Wednesdays, Thursdays, hot leads. Um, and then the last thing that I do are our loan consultation setups. Um, and so this is not really, I wouldn't say it's prospecting, but what it's doing is it's helping us retain, um, and it's really helping us build more business. I feel like it has helped because you're clearly communicating and we get now a lot of past client referrals, a lot of current client referrals, um, because of this.
Speaker 3:
16:58
And so what we're doing and, and what I would really say is it's clearly communicating, um, expectations and resetting expectations. So, um, my calls aren't completely scripted, but I do say that I can, I, they are scripted. I see the same things every call. Um, and so really what I'm getting on the phone with a buyer who probably expects that they should have already gotten an email saying, congratulations, you're approved. Here's the amount, because that's the way, you know, all the online lenders are doing and they're, you know, struggling, shoving, shoveling over, you know, a prequalification. What we're doing is we're walking them through our process. You don't have to run the way that the buyer wants you to run so long as you're clearly communicating what it looks like. And so when I get, um, a completed application in, they get an email from me that basically introduces who I am and tells them the next things that we're going to do, which is we're going to go over their goals, we're going to walk through their application, and then we're going to book a loan option call or a long consultation with Steve.
Speaker 3:
17:58
Um, and then when I call them, we do just that. We talk about the goals and I say, Hey, my next, my next goal is to get you booked for a loan consultation with Steve. And what he's going to do is go over your sales price, monthly payment in cash to close. Um, and that really helps keep resetting. Um, the expectations. And I have really, I'm thinking about it, I don't have a lot of people that are like, well, you know, I just want a preapproval letter. Yeah. Really it just, it doesn't happen. And if I do get a buyer in that has 800 scores and $1 million in the bank, I'll send them a prequalification. But I still book that call with Steve because it's super important to close the sale. And so, Hey, can I say something? Because we're talking about prospecting and really prospecting, uh, is where you're helping set me up to win.
Speaker 3:
18:46
Just like you said, because we're, it's interesting. We're talking the same language. And by the way, uh, in the episodes, go back to episode 21 and episode 22 where we talk about the loan consult. That's in episode 23 as well. Uh, I want you to go back and listen to it because we give what we do in the loan console. But Julia, you're prospecting because you're taking somebody who came in thinking all they wanted was a prequel. Realizing what they need is a loan consultation because that's where we focus on what their goals, which is their sales price, the right monthly payment, the right cash to close. And you know, it's crazy whenever I call them, right on the dot. If you set it for one 30 I call them at one 39. Well, and I try not to even be early because sometimes I will, but I mean it is right on the dot.
Speaker 3:
19:36
I don't care what I'm doing, I stop because what you're doing, you're prospecting because you're setting me up for building trust. And trust is built in small kept promises. So when I call and I say, Hey, this is Steve, I've got a loan console. Julia set up our long console at one 30 then I say, Hey, you were referred by so-and-so, so-and-so. But then I say the same things in this 15 to 20 minute long console. I'm going to work through your sales price, monthly payment, cash to close. There's now another level of comfort, right? And they realized that our process is really a process and it's going to help them. It's just not, you know, it's not just on a whim. And so what we're doing is we're resetting expectations. You can't expect, especially as you're growing a team, you know, you can't expect that the buyer knows or understands what's supposed to happen.
Speaker 3:
20:22
Um, and so, but we don't get pushed back on this. And I think a lot of times, you know, loan officers in general allow people to dry them, allow the client, the realtors to drive how they operate. And then it's just a mess. You forget to follow up with the agents because you have, you know, multiple agents telling you exactly like they need a preapproval right now. And so ultimately it just helps to reset that expectation, but clearly communicating not only with the buyer but then with the agent. So after I get off the call, so it's touch to client, touch the agent. So after I get off of that call with the client, I'm calling the agent, Hey, I've already reviewed their files so far it looks good. My, our next step is to book that loan consultation was, Steve is scheduled for Monday morning at three 30 or morning Monday morning at 9:30 AM not a, yeah. And so really what that's doing is the agent's like,
Speaker 2:
21:10
they understand where we're at. So, and here's the other thing too. And I love that because even like this last month, we were getting on average seven leads a day. Yes. So every time you're booking alone console, every time you're touching your client, you're touching the agent. I mean, that is a huge amount of volume and prospecting. And that's a big reason why we're winning with leads is because they just, here's what we're learning. You know, I was working on our business plan. Um, and one of the things that are, that's really become clear to me and to us is that our goal and our vision is to create processes, systems, and structure that allow realtors to win. Exactly. And that's what's happening is, is they're feeling the process, system and structure and they realize that it's done the same way every time, which creates comfort and it creates their confidence in our ability to get their client from start to finish and all the way through to closing. So yeah,
Speaker 3:
22:08
and I think it is prospecting because really you're building relations. If prospecting is building relationships on the phone with that buyer as you're talking to them about their goals, as you're connecting, you're building relationship, you're building trust, that's going to help you keep deals instead of just being another lender. And I think that's where you have to set yourself apart. How do you, how do you build relationship to where they're like, no, Steve and Julia or you know, they have really helped me. They're invested. They know what's going on in my life. They've talked to me about each part. They want to know my goals and I often say, I'm like, Hey, tell me about your monthly payment. Because a lot of times the sales price and what you really want to pay monthly, monthly is what you're going to see. And then they're like, Oh yeah, you know, I only want to pay $800 a month. I'm like, great. Well the other thing, you know, the other thing too though, is for a loan officer assistant specifically, this is how you get out of having to sell. Let your loan officer sell. That's, that's why they're there, you know? And so for me,
Speaker 2:
23:07
so do that. Hey, so Juliet and so say I'm a client now walk in and I say, Hey Julia, it's great to meet you. Uh, what's your rate fees? That's
Speaker 3:
23:15
such a great question. I'm going over your goals and we're going to book your loan option call with Steve and he's going to go over all that with you. Okay. So can you tell me my rate today? I can't. No, it's really just, no, that's a great question. I really want Steve to take a look at it because he's going to walk through all of your options in together. That's phenomenal. Yeah. And I really, I, I, I don't quote, don't quote. And they do and sometimes they ask, but because I'm communicating proactively, I think either they forget or they don't know what to ask. And so by the time we get there, you know, even when Steve's on the phone, they're not asking random fees cause we've not said it. Um, and so really it's just the, that's a great question.
Speaker 2:
23:54
That's the elbow. That's the defense right there. Hey listen, that's a great question. It's my job. On Steve's team to set your loan consult up and to work through the details so that when he gets on the call, you guys can work through those options. You know, and I think that's the power. You're not deflecting. You're really, again, you're putting them back through your process.
Speaker 3:
24:12
Right, exactly. So don't then that creates the, Oh, I'm not afraid to call the borrower because I have to quote and give numbers and all of that. You know, that's the next step is a long consultation. So don't worry about it. But that's really the fourth thing that I do. And I think clearly communicating with the clients, clearly communicating with your agents so they learn your process, it, it does wonders and it really does help give you, but you back in the driver's seat of the position, um, and really get to kind of guide and direct where things go and not,
Speaker 2:
24:43
I love it. Well, and you even put together a team sheet. Um, so now you've got a bunch of resources that go out and it talks about who's on the team and then it talks about the process. What else is in that?
Speaker 3:
24:56
So, uh, the take your next step talks about the team's sheet, the process. I don't know what else is in there.
Speaker 2:
25:03
Yeah, well I saw it the other day and I thought it was really, really good because what happens is you're, again, you're, you're just leading them through being an, you're not an order taker, right? We have a process that's going to help you get to your goals. And then when I get on the phone, I mean they're so set up like literally it's a 15, a long consults, 2025 minutes. And when you go through their goals then they're like, Oh yeah, by the way, what's that rate exactly. And so Ray didn't lead goals lead and you've set me up to win. So it's a great way to prospect. Hey, any other thoughts?
Speaker 3:
25:35
No, I think that's it for this time.
Speaker 2:
25:37
Well, enlisted guys were thrilled to have you on the journey and for our loan officers who are sharing this with your front end loan officer assistants or PAs or, uh, we're just thrilled. Stay connected. We're going to put these out once a month as a resource to help you guys on the front end. Julia is inside the Facebook group, so if you have questions, reach out.
Speaker 3:
25:59
It's at J. O. L. E. a.
Speaker 2:
26:02
That's right. Yeah, Julia or Jolia depends on if you're talking to Siri. Siri called Jolia Neely, so, but listen, we're thrilled you're on the journey. Thanks for checking out this month's a bonus feature on the front end coaching. Hope it adds value to you. Stay connected, and until next time, we'll see you soon.
Speaker 1:
26:24
Thanks for listening to today's episode. We want to invite you to subscribe, rate, and share the podcast. When you do it helps us get the word out so others can benefit from this great content. Make sure to join our community and continue the conversation in our loan officer leadership Facebook group. Join us next Thursday as we release a brand new episode.
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