January is the month that many people write their New Year “resolutions” or update their short- and long-term goals.
Of course, some become frustrated when they fail to achieve their plans.
Others rationalize that it’s better not to develop a list of resolutions so that they won’t risk not meeting them.
Now is an ideal time to take a fresh look at your resolutions and consider the best ways to accomplish them.
Keep the Resolutions
So, what is the secret to successfully realizing your 2014 resolutions? The basic “formula” includes:
*Outlining those actions you feel can be achieved in a reasonable time frame.
*Not overloading your list so that you become overwhelmed.
*Monitoring your progress on a regular basis.
According to Dr. Kerry Johnson, a series of key steps to will help you reach your major goals. “The answer lies in being smart when you set them,” said Johnson, MBA, Ph.D. and a Tustin, CA-based international speaker and the bestselling author of seven books including Peak Performance: How to Increase Your Business by 80% in Eight Weeks. “When you set goals you can achieve, you want to make them long-term and big. A long-term objective is one that exists one to five years out. For example, adding three new niches, or expanding your business to numerous states or cities.”
Johnson suggests adjusting your schedule in order to meet different types of goals. “Next, work backwards and set a medium-term goal that can be achieved within one month to a year. This might be doubling your Realtor referrals or starting a new telephone follow-up on the direct mailings you use to prospect for new business. This mid-term goal objective should really be a stepping stone to hitting the long-term dream. Now work backwards again from the medium-term goal and set short-term objectives. Short-term means setting goals you want to accomplish today or this week. For example you may want to see three Realtors before you go to lunch today. You may want to write the letter you will send out this week by the end of work today. The bottom line is those who are best at setting objectives work to achieve their goals by the day and often by the hour. They do this or they don’t allow themselves to go home. They are committed and focused to achieving the goals by the date they want them.”
We checked with several loan originators to see what their 2014 plans are and how they try to achieve success. For example, Linda Davidson, Service First Mortgage, Garland, Texas, typically establishes quarterly goals. “We still have set goals of the closed loans that we want to do for the year and any long-term action plans, but our actual goals are set up quarterly,” she said. “With that in mind, my first quarter goals are to put together seven new “Here’s What’s Next” videos for our buyers, increase the number of times that I stay in touch by phone or notes with each of my referral partners and my past clients, and for me (since I am also a branch manager), to add three more strong loan originators in the branch that I can mentor and grow their business.”
To ensure success, Davidson maintains a series of Non-Negotiable Daily Disciplines (NNDD). “These are daily disciplines (that I learned from Building Champions) that I have outlined that need to be done consistently and without fail to accomplish my goals,” she explained. “In the goal of the new “Here’s What’s Next” videos for the 1st quarter of 2014, I have listed what those videos are and then have calendared in when the scripting needs to be written and when each video needs to be completed.”
Paul Volpe’s 2014 goal list includes being more effective in new business development. “One of my main resolutions and goals this year is to be more efficient when it comes to new business, whether it’s a new lead or a new agent,” said Volpe, Nova Home Loans, Tucson, Ariz. “That means making sure I use my time wisely with each new lead and making sure I can grow my business with my current referring partners and future contacts.”
Volpe has created a system to enhance his new business relationships. “We’ll do this by running reports on a weekly basis for active and current loans in my pipeline,” Volpe said. “I’ll follow up with my referring partners and give weekly updates throughout the process to both the clients and agents on the progress of their loan transaction. Also, scheduling face-to-face appointments with my referring partners; whether it’s just coffee in the morning, lunch or a meeting after work. Communication is key.”
Louise Thaxton’s prime 2014 resolution is tied to her successful military support program. “One resolution is to recruit six additional loan officers to my team who are located in and around military communities; who specialize in VA loans and are passionate about serving the military,” said Thaxton, Fairway Independent Mortgage, with several offices in the Central Louisiana area.
In addition to the basics—speaking to possible candidates, interviews, follow-up calls and e-mails—Thaxton will be focusing on “my why” as the key to accomplishing her goal. “For example, why do I want to achieve this goal and what makes this goal important to me? Once I have that ‘why’ identified, having a business coach who holds me accountable is the second key to the accomplishment of my goals. Once I share the goals with my coach, there are weekly reminders for implementing the disciplines and reminders of my ‘why.’”
Writing New Year resolutions or any type of goals is usually the easy part. The challenge is to make progress towards achieving them. The ideas shared by Dr. Johnson and the veteran loan originators may make a difference in your own plans.
David Robinson is Associate Editor of Broker Banker.