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    It’s time for loan originators to set goals and define strategies and tactics for the new year. Experienced and successful LOs recognize the importance of not only setting goals, but ultimately attaining them. This requires an aggressive plan — one that’s realistic and doable.

    The basics of settings goals for 2020

    • Goals should be realistic and attainable. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
    • Goals should be specific and measurable. What is the criteria for success and how will you know you’ve reached it?
    • Goals should have a clear time frame. Set quarterly and year-end goals.
    • Goals should be challenging. You want goals that inspire and motivate you.

    When setting goals for the new year, an elite performer begins with a quick professional inventory. Start by listing accomplishments and things that didn’t go as planned. Be sure to quantify as well as qualify. Let the numbers tell their story.

    Sales goals

    Successful mortgage industry expert and coach, Bob Williamson, suggests capturing the following data points to measure past performance and set future sales goals:

    • Average income per loan closings needed each month
    • % of final approvals that close
    • Final approvals needed per month
    • % of submissions that go to final approval Submissions needed per month
    • % of loan applications that go to submission Applications needed per month
    • % of contacts that go to application Contacts needed per month
    • % of leads that get contacted
    • Leads needed per month

    Relationship building

    With clients

    Go beyond the numbers. Ask yourself:

    • Am I following up on prospects?
    • Do I make myself available, stay in touch, follow through, and communicate clearly?
    • Was I able to effectively manage difficult situations and resolve problems in a timely fashion?
    • Have I kept in touch with clients after closing and asked for referrals?
    • How many referrals have I gotten in 2019 and how many will I add in 2020?

    With partners

    Real estate is a referral business, and this means mining leads and building relationships that generate business. Ask yourself:

    • Have I reached my goal in building and nurturing new and existing business?

    With colleagues

    • Have I been a good team player?
    • Have I offered assistance and been cooperative in moving business forward?
    • Where could I do better in the coming year?

    Marketing goals

    Is it time to reassess your marketing message and refresh the look and feel of your brand? What’s working? What’s not? Where could you improve or expand? Evaluate your current marketing and set goals for 2020 using this checklist.


    • Is it time for a redesign?
    • Is design consistent with your digital presence?
    • Does your contact information need updating?


    • Is a design refresh in order?
    • What information needs to be updated?
    • Are all links working?


    • Review metrics to determine the effectiveness of your site. Customer conversion
      rates and search engine optimization can tell you a lot about customer behavior.
    • What is my conversion rate?
    • Is my web page flow logical and is the look and feel consistent?


    • Have I published on a regular basis?
    • Is my blog accessible from my website and social media pages?
    • Is it time to archive older posts?
    • Do I have a content plan for 2020?

    Social media

    • Did I make progress in building my social media presence?
    • How often am I posting?
    • How many followers do I have?
    • Are all links working?
    • Are there other platforms or apps I should be using?
    • How many followers do I hope to add in 2020?


    • Are campaigns in place for prospects, current, and post close clients?
    • What are the open and conversion rates?
    • Are subject, signature, and social media links current?
    • If automated, are emails going out as scheduled?
    • Are unsubscribe requests being honored?
    • What campaigns are planned for 2020?

    Organization and time management

    How you manage time and organize work has a direct correlation to your success. Successful LOs, those who’ve mastered these skills, are always looking for ways to refine and improve. Ask yourself:

    • Am I making the best use of to-do lists, scheduling, CRM, and mobile apps?
    • Is my daily schedule productive and efficient?
    • Am I putting off tasks I find uncomfortable and missing opportunities?
    • What changes could I make for 2020 that would directly improve my productivity?

    Professional development

    Ongoing professional development is crucial for job satisfaction and ultimately success. Ask yourself:

    • What skills do I need to polish?
    • Is there a new training or a refresher course that would help improve productivity and help me make better use of my time?

    The bottom line

    A good measure of progress identifies both strengths and weaknesses. Assessing past performance will help you determine future goals. Lastly remember, high producing loan officers recognize the importance of recommitting to their goals on a quarterly basis and recalibrating strategy and tactics as needed.

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