In my role as president of Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, I spend a lot of time thinking about what drives success. How do we not only reach, but exceed our goals? What are the most effective ways to promote our company? Why do some markets perform better than others, and what can we do to ensure we are achieving our highest and best in every aspect of our business?
I recently reached out to our top performing loan officers to get their feedback on some of these questions. Primarily, I wanted to know what they thought their “keys to success” were. Their thoughtful responses displayed threads of commonality, which gave me insight as to how I might better support our sales team.
Without a doubt, the most common key to success mentioned throughout the various responses was communication. Whether with clients, referral sources, work colleagues or management, consistent and clear communication throughout the life of the loan process was seen as the most vital component to achieving success.
In the words of one of our valued employees, “Constant follow up and communication with [my clients] keeps them engaged and encourages their commitment to proceeding and following through with their loan.” Another loan officer expressed a similar sentiment stating, “I service [my clients] and referral sources by responding in a timely manner and being there to support them. Open communication is ongoing from explaining the loan/financing process to answering any questions along the way.”
It is critical to follow up, ask questions and check in regularly with your team, your clients and any other interested parties. While a lack of communication may result in a disgruntled customer or colleague, you will rarely get a complaint from someone who feels they have been overly-informed.
The second concept that was identified by our company’s top producers as a crucial component was that success is not achieved by working alone. Seventeenth-century English author John Donne coined the phrase “No man is an island,” and it’s as true today as it was in 1624. You must develop relationships in order to be successful.
One respondent phrased it this way, “Building a relationship and being authentic puts you into a different league. [Clients] prefer to work with someone who is engaged and cares about their situation and well-being.” I believe that’s applicable not only to relationships with clients, but also with anyone you work with.
So, how do you nurture those relationships? According to quite a few of our loan officers, it takes constant attention. When you aren’t actively working on a deal, you should be prospecting. When you aren’t prospecting, you should be developing and implementing your personal marketing strategy. In the concise words of one of our top producers, “Focus on marketing and business development every chance you get.”
Be consistent. Be genuine. Be present. Your relationships will only be fruitful if you’re willing to put in the work.
Standard of Excellence
Another key to success mentioned by our employees focused on the type of service we provide. One of our mottos at Castle & Cooke Mortgage is, “We maintain a standard of excellence.” This value is applied to everything we do, so I was pleased to see that theme arise in the answers I received.
Whether dealing with a client or a colleague, providing superior service is paramount to achieving success. There are many ways to maintain a service-oriented business. As I mentioned earlier, keeping consistent communication and fostering relationships are two of the ways you can create a culture of quality service.
Another way is to be a problem-solver. Many of us are quick to say “no” when certain situations arise that seem beyond our scope. Rather than immediately replying in the negative, take a moment to think of alternative solutions. In the words of one of our top producers, “Think outside the box in order to overcome obstacles.” Or as the old adage asserts, “Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
Ultimately, the best way to obtain good service from your support staff or solid leads from your referral sources is to provide excellent service to them first. Show them you are invested in their success, and they will reciprocate the gesture accordingly.
The final attribute that stood out to me as I sifted through the answers to my question, “What are the keys to your success?” was that of accountability. It is often easier to blame external circumstances for our current condition, rather than to accept personal responsibility. However, more often than not, we hold the key to our contentment.
The response that brought this to my attention simply stated, “Be accountable.” I couldn’t agree more. We should take ownership of our successes and our failures, our triumphs and our challenges, our strengths and our weaknesses. It is only through our failures that we learn how to win. It is in surviving our challenges that we ascertain our resilience. And it is in identifying our weaknesses that we understand where to make improvements.
While there are a multitude of techniques that can elevate your workplace performance, I believe cultivating a pattern of regular communication, emphasizing relationship-building, setting a standard of excellence and holding yourself accountable for all you do are crucial components to achieving, and even exceeding your goals.
Remember, success does not find you, you find success.
Interested in unlocking the keys to your success with a new opportunity? Learn more about career opportunities with Castle & Cooke Mortgage.
Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC® (NMLS #1251) is a leading independent mortgage lender headquartered in Draper, Utah, with locations across the United States.
Restrictions may apply. Not all who apply will qualify. Program qualifications & offerings are subject to change at any time. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government. Equal Housing Lender. Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC is licensed in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MI, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WY. Licensed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Arizona Mortgage Banker: BK-0908287. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act License #4130740. Regulated by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #43759. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee. Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banker and Consumer Finance. Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration #SM.502008.000. Oregon Mortgage Lending License #ML-4090. Washington #CL-1251.