♣️ Do you struggle? - The Letter X

Apr 05, 2021 5:46 pm




Presented by: EPM


Life and work are all a struggle at some point. The question is, do you Struggle Well?


Struggling is always equated to a negative but when the struggle allows you to achieve your desired results, that is a positive outcome where the struggle should be celebrated.


Success is a struggle and if you have achieved any type of success then you have struggled well. On the flip side of that coin, if you have failed, as we all have, then you have not struggled well.


Regardless of the results, you should always unpack the outcome to understand what made it work and what made it fail. The more you understand, the more you learn and the more you learn, the better you become.


The beauty of the Struggle Well mindset is that it isn’t a default or stagnate state, it is dynamic and always gives you an opportunity to win. What winning looks like is different to all of us and can be as large or small as you want. Winning is winning.


As you approach this week always remember that success is right on the other side of your current struggle, you just need to Struggle Well to achieve it.


Enjoy this week!


Say Yes Every Day 

Laura Brandao - President of AFR Wholesale


This week Say YES to the joy of being! The joy of being is the only true happiness, it cannot come to you through the form of possessions, achievement or an event that happens. See joy already lies within you it’s just a matter of recognizing it and allowing yourself to experience it.



Next Level Mindset

Next Level Loan Officers


At some point during our career, we’ve all had to drop what we’re doing and jump in to put out a fire. At some point, we’ve all struggled to generate enough leads. At some point, we’ve all struggled to initiate or maintain enough referral relationships.


The winners in life are not those who never struggle, the winners are those who learn from their struggles.


Be grateful for your struggles because they make you stronger. Be grateful for your struggles because they make you wiser. If you’re in the midst of a struggle right now, be grateful…you’re being shaped into the amazing person you were born to become.


You get to choose the lens through which you view your life…stay positive. 



Diana Bajramovic of MBS Highway


Last week we received Existing Home Sales data. Sales were down 6.6% month over month but up 9% year over year. Inventory is down 30% year over year with only 1.03M homes, and homes priced under $250k are down 40% in inventory. There is currently a 2-month supply of homes, which is just above the record low of the 1.9 month supply that we saw in the previous report. The number of days on the market is also extremely low at only 20 days. It’s safe to say that if a home priced appropriately, it will move quickly.


Currently, the Median Home Price is at $313k which is up 16% year over year. As I’ve mentioned in many of my previous messages, we must be sure to explain to our buyers that the median Home Price and Appreciation are not the same thing. Just because the Median Home Price is rising does not mean that appreciation is rising at the same rate, rather, it is the mix of sales that is skewing the median home price higher. Homes that are on the lower-priced end of the market are down in sales by 25% and homes above $1M are up 81%. We must remember that the media will incorrectly report on this information that your customers are watching and use it as a way to strike fear by claiming that there is an affordability crisis.


Another interesting data point is that cash buyers have increased from 20% to 22%, which is one of the larger numbers of cash buyers we’ve seen. You can expect that that 1 in 4 that you’re bidding against are going to be a cash buyer, which makes it difficult to win the home. A way to solve this problem for your customers is to use the Bid Over Asking Price tool on MBS Highway to show them when they’ll recover their additional bid above the asking price based on forecasted appreciation.



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The Vieaux

Brian Vieaux - President of FinLocker


Personal Financial Management Solutions Are About To Reshape Mortgage Lending

Fannie Mae recently released the white paper, How Personal Financial Management Solutions Might Reshape Consumer Access to Mortgage Lending, which explains why the future of digital lending is, quite literally, in the hands of your borrowers. The authors, Mark Fisher and Charles Walker from Fannie Mae, did a fantastic job sharing insights on consumer expectations concerning Personal Financial Management solutions and the opportunities PFMs provide mortgage lenders.


Personal financial management solutions can benefit both consumers and lenders. They have the potential to help mortgage originators deliver personalized borrower experiences while improving consumer credit access so more borrowers can qualify for a mortgage. With limited hours in the day to counsel each first-time homebuyer, mortgage educational resources delivered through a PFM can supplement an originator’s advice, so the borrower better understands homeownership, their mortgage options, and finances.


Customer experience is a significant differentiator when it comes to choosing a mortgage lender. For mortgage lenders, the right PFM solution can meet consumer expectations for speed, transparency, convenience, and personalization. Further, they may improve the overall lending experience by giving borrowers the ability to securely share data and documents electronically with their lender, reducing the need for paper or image-based documentation on employment, assets, and income. For lenders, this can reduce risk, improve the time to review applications, and streamline originations.


In an industry where margins are slim, so it’s difficult to compete on price, PFMs can help lenders differentiate themselves in the marketplace, expand market penetration, manage a larger pipeline, improve customer loyalty and retention. In a time when retention rates are at their lowest level on record, a branded PFM can keep borrowers engaged with their lender long after closing to help recapture their next property purchase or refinance.


Until recently, PFM technology was only available to consumers if they used one of the larger banks or downloaded an app from one of the fintech’s that monetize their users. The cost of developing a branded platform to insulate your borrowers from third parties and competitors is prohibitive for small to medium-sized mortgage lenders and originators. Fortunately, more fintech’s have emerged that make these solutions affordable to originators of all sizes.


FinLocker has been focused on a lender-friendly PRM for consumers from our inception. FinLocker helps originators capture and nurture borrowers through to close with a personalized path to mortgage readiness. Unlike many other personal financial management apps that consumers use to manage their finances, FinLocker does not sell a consumer’s data or display third-party ads that lure your customers away. FinLocker provides a full suite of tools and educational resources, like those you see on page 9 of the white paper. Giving your borrowers a FinLocker app early in their home buying process will lead to increased loyalty as they are reminded of your brand every time they sign in to your white-labeled FinLocker.


Be Empowered

Women Leaders in Business

I got put out on the ledge by a time and reason in my life, I wasn’t quite sure how I got there, but there I was still the same.


People ask me all the time in interviews and coaching sessions “What gave you the courage to make the leap and take so much risk?”


The answer is: “I was more afraid to stay where I was then to jump”. Sometimes you just have to go “All in”!


Christine Beckwith



Have you signed up for TLX-M? TLX Masters is a new opt-in membership where you can receive more specialized content from me on a more frequent basis. If you would like to sign up for the new subscription you can do so here.



Bowtie Economist Quick Hits


This recession has been different from all others not just because spending on goods boomed, when normally it falls, but because spending on services, which usually barely dips, tanked. In 20Q4 Y-o-Y inflation-adjusted goods spending was up 7.2%; it was down 6.8% for services! With savings rates way up and much of that money among the well-heeled, spending on services could recover quickly without much hurting sales of goods.


With the stimulus package done, now comes a proposed $3 trillion infrastructure bill, and importantly, tax hikes to help pay for some of this spending. Assuming the corporate tax rate rises from 21% to 28%, and assuming P/E ratios remain unchanged, which is optimistic, corporate earnings would decline 8% and equity prices 7%. Assuming the rate rises to 25%, the earnings hit would be 5%, and equities would decline 3%.


The US population numbers 330 million. 22.3% are too young to receive a Covid-19 shot. Assuming 25% of the adult population are unwilling to be vaccinated, that leaves 192 million to be vaccinated, or 58.8%, well below the most optimistic percentage needed to achieve herd immunity. We must vaccinate children/adolescents as soon as the FDA approves it, and Sars-Cov-2 is not going to go away very quickly.



The Edumarketer

Ginger Bell - Author, Speaker, and found of Edumarketing


How To Overcome Your Fear Of Making Videos

Have you ever tried to make a video, but felt incredibly embarrassed? Did you feel the camera “judging you” and “laughing at you”? Recording a video can be quite difficult and sometimes frightening. Here’s a couple of tips to ease your anxiety around making videos.

Pick a topic you cannot shut up about

When you go out with a close friend or colleague, and you start talking, there is always at least one topic that gets you truly excited — that topic that you keep talking on and on about until even you are surprised that you know so much. That will be the very best topic for you to talk about in your videos. Take a couple of minutes to think about the topic you just can’t shut up about. Since you like it anyway, ideas of things to talk should flow more easily.

Don’t skip the script

Some people suggest avoiding the use of a script because reading from it could come off as robotic and unnatural. However, it is always recommended to use a script so you can have full control of everything in the video. More importantly, a script will help you save time in post and you can use it as a part of the blog post in the video too. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to, but it will give you an outline for your video and that can help you feel more confident.

The lens of the camera is your audience

When you are recording a video, always try to look directly at the camera lens because that translates to seeing your audience eye-to-eye. Look conversational to make your audience feel at ease.

Laugh at your monumental bloopers

You will make many mistakes when recording videos, to the point that you may think you are a complete fool. You may wonder time and time again why you keep making so many mistakes. The only thing you can do is laugh at your bloopers and keep recording. Don’t stress yourself out about being perfect in every shot.

Create as many videos as you can

The only way to get better at making videos is to keep making them. The more videos you make, the better, and faster you will be able to produce them.


Beyond The Numbers

Fobby Naghmi, EVP, National Sales Mgr. of First Option Mortgage



I always say, “I hate change” and for the most part, I mean it.  I hate when they change the roads in my town. I have to follow those stupid detours just to get around. I hate when I have to move my clock backwards one hour. I hate it more when I have to move it forward one hour. I hate when they change the menu at my favorite restaurant and remove the roasted half-chicken off of it. By now you get the idea, I don’t like change.


Then one day I took an honest stock of my life. I realized how much I loved my new iPhone 12...I mean like no other phone ever before.   And I really do love that new car smell; it always makes me smile. I love new clothes; they always look so clean and fresh.


In order for me to have a new iPhone, enjoy that new car smell or put on those new pair of jeans, it means I have to allow change to occur in my life. In other words, I like change when I’m in control of it, but not when I’m not in control of it. So maybe, it’s not that I don’t like change…maybe I like to be in control. All the time.


But for the record, not a big fan of the new URLA 1003. Yeah, no one called me to review it first.



 Mortgage X Marketing Manifesto

Andew Pawlak, CEO of Leadpops

Traffic & Conversion (You Need BOTH!)


Focusing on getting traffic without conversion is like running the AC and leaving your windows down. 


Before you put a bunch of effort and money into a marketing campaign to drive more traffic, consider what's on the receiving end of it. 


That means the website or landing page you're driving consumers to.


Conversion rate optimization includes your:

· Reputation/Recognition

· Audience/Targeting

· Offer + Call-to-Action  

· Domain Name

· Website / Landing Page Design & Copy

· Trust Factors 

· Form Setup / Question & Answer Sequence

· Thank You Page

· Follow Up Strategy

· Referral Network/Sphere

· Nurture/Long-term

Every step along the way will impact your conversion % of clicks to leads, and leads to sales (for better or worse). 


Secret shop yourself as a potential customer might, starting with Googling your name/company name.


Test different follow up email subject lines and text messages to track your reply rates. 


Use tools to survey customers along the way to get feedback that can help you make improvements.


In the mortgage world, even a fraction of a % matters when it comes to converting more prospects to leads, and leads to loans.


Many times, small tweaks can have a big impact.


And don't forget: solid examples of this stuff can be found all over the web.


There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. 


Thanks, and I'll catch you on next week's The Letter X!


I hope you enjoyed TLX #46! Now go crush this week!