Different times call for different strategies. NFM TV set out to learn what some its top producers are doing to adjust to the changing environment. Hear how Jane Floyd, Jessica Uphoff, Daniel Sa & Ryan Sandell are maximizing their efforts and motivating their people as they joined Greg Sher for this special roundtable.

Full Transcript is Below:

– [Announcer] Executive Leadership, industry newsmakers. Top producer insights. This is NFM TV.

– Welcome into NFM TV remote style. I’m your host Greg Sher joined by NFM’s very finest. We’ve got Jane Floyd from Tampa, Florida, Jessica Uphoff in Denver, Colorado, Ryan Sandell in Arizona and also Daniel Sa in Columbus, Ohio. This group collectively, they are the very best of the best. I really appreciate you guys joining us today here on NFM TV.

– Thanks for having us, honored.

– Good.

– Of course, so I thought it would be a great time while everyone’s working for from home trying to kind of reassess and assess their business to hear from some of the best in the industry about what you’re doing during this moment in time. We’ll start out with you, Jane, you did close to 100 million in 2019, you’ve consistently done that forever. What do you do during these kinds of times? How are you approaching each day to make sure that you don’t take your eye off the ball?

– We’re all still extremely busy. We’re used to all working together. My whole team typically work, we call it the man cave, although I have a woman in there now. So I’ve been really focusing on that ’cause for me, I’m very old school I like, face to face communication. So that’s been a big focal point every morning we’re having video meetings. We’re having we even did last Friday, Greg, we did a virtual happy hour, have a drink together all separately. And then I think what’s really important for those that have never worked from home is them creating their own calendar because some people have children at home. They have interruptions so creating that safe space where they can still work and be efficient but still be as effective.

– Excellent ladies first. So I’ll go over to you Jessica Uphoff another hundred $100 million producer, tell us what you’re up to these days. What are you doing to keep your eye on the ball?

– I would say the number one thing I’m trying to do is work on my mindset, waking up every day realizing that I need to be a leader for my team, and referral partners and show up in the right head space. That’s probably the number one thing I’ve been focused on. Like Jane, we’re definitely adjusting to working remotely right now. We are all gonna be just fine.

– Daniel Sa and Ryan Sandell you two gentlemen have really big teams. Daniel, how many people are working under your roof?

– So we have a total of about 40 people at my office. We transitioned everybody to working remotely. So in 40 people is a good number of people to do that with. So a couple of things that we did is we did it in phases. So we first had 50% of our staff moves, worked out the kinks. And then we had 75% of the next day. And then we went to 100%. As far as the operation staff, we sent, we shipped printer and scanners to all of their homes, everything that they would normally utilize to be able to work at full capacity from home, we shipped out and made sure that they’re 100% set up for success. And then beyond that, we are really working hard on establishing new routines. To that’s extremely important to just keep the momentum going. And we’re doing so by the Zoom meetings. So we said every single team starts the morning at 9am with a Zoom meeting with their manager. And then once the managers finish up their Zoom meetings, which is their daily morning huddle, then they jump in on a manager’s call. And so what we found is that our operations has actually been more effective and faster, working from home, then they have from the office. And that’s something that we were really concerned. But we’re super happy to see that. And we’ve been able to truly actually expedite the loan process and we’re moving up closing dates and so on and so forth. But but we’ve adapted very well and we’re pretty comfortable at this point. The main concern comes with sales, being that in Ohio, we have a stay at home order right now. So not very many people are excited about going out to open houses and so on. But realtors are doing a tremendous job doing virtual tours. They’re being extremely helpful with their clients. So we’re still seeing a very good volume of purchase contracts coming in. And of course the refinance volume is very high.

– Appreciate all that. Daniel a great job getting everything squared away in anticipation of all of these events and of course, are unfolding so quickly. I didn’t get a chance to shout out your great credentials, your branch closed over 1000 loans last year, you’re well on pace to eclipse that this year, you personally closed over 390 loans in 2019. So all star written all over you. And then of course we’ve got Ryan Sandell. He’s the vice president of the western region for an NFM Ryan, same question to you that I posed to Daniel, how many folks are working under your umbrella right now? And what are you doing to manage?

– Yeah, thanks for having me. So we have 58 employees now. Everyone’s working remotely. I’m still coming to the office, usually first thing in the morning and trying to get my routine put together and making sure that everybody’s doing what they need to be doing. I don’t do as many Zoom meetings or Skype meetings, but we definitely we just come up and apply in 30 days out, 45 days out, 60 days out, I really have placed a huge emphasis on, I mean, we’re huge, they are driven. So I’ve just placed a huge emphasis on maintaining our pipeline. I mean, that’s our biggest struggle right now is just making sure that people are gonna stay in it. And doing, we’ve tried to… when we’ve had to scrub the entire backlog, 400 loans, we’ve had to go through and identify, what industry people are in, are those more than likely to cancel our putting those reports together for our builders, and then as far as referral partners go, I mean, this is I mean, to me, this is an enormous opportunity. There’s a lot of lenders. I mean, I preach every day. I mean, if one thing is consistent, it’s our, we’re gonna change every single day, something changes in our industry every day. So mentally, we should be prepared, is obviously, not to this extent, but our mentality should have been there based off kind of what I let them know each and every day that something’s gonna change, something’s gonna go weird. We just got to be ready for it. And this is no different. So, there’s always opportunities to come and there’s an enormous amount of realtors who are getting the attention paid to them that they need to because of lenders scrambling, not having the right mindset, thinking they may not make it to the other side. And those are opportunities for us to go and grab referral partners.

– So I’m gonna just kind of open this up to you guys and step away as the moderator for a minute, ’cause I see a lot of heads shaking up and down like, well, Ryan, that’s smart. That’s what you should do. I’d like you guys just to communicate amongst yourself. You starting with Jessica and anyone else, just jump in and have a conversation? Jessica, why are you nodding your head there? Based on what what Ryan just said about great opportunity right now?

– Yeah, I mean, I think that I was listening to him talk to about a builder pipeline, and I do some builder business too. And there’s people that their loan is at risk right now. So there’s additional work being placed on vendor teams, to try to identify, you know, we need to tell our builders and stay in front of it, who’s gonna possibly terminated, cancel their contract. So there’s things that we as branch managers and originators are having to do right now to protect our referral partners. And it’s just a completely new environment, I would say, unprecedented time. Jane, what are you guys doing to keep your mindset strong? I know you guys are having those meetings. Are you working on that morning?

– Yeah, and I think whether it’s on a video, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s phone calls, educating them because they’re scared as to the why behind this is happening in our industry, and for us, we’re also extremely blessed to be working for a company as strong as NFM lending that we know we’re fine. Where you have lenders going out of business for multiple reasons liquidity issues, warehouse lines, so educating right now to my agents is for me that’s critical for me.

– How are you guys staying organized with your refinances just out of curiosity ’cause it does feel at least in my branch, high volume is just something that you have to put systems around, right. And the volume that since the beginning of the month has been abnormally large. So what systems have you guys put around refinances to make sure that you’re taking good people, taking good care of people?

– I’ll take that one. So we have been… so we did a few things. Number one, the purchase transactions are top priority for us. The end of last year really when mortgage rates were already down, in the third and fourth quarter of 2019, and then further down first quarter this year, what we did is we established a refinance task force. And essentially what that is, is we took out one team member in the front end and then we identified one processor in operations to be solely dedicated to refinances and as a result, our purchase transactions have been able to move very, very rapidly. So there’s no mix between purchase and refinance business, the worst thing they can do, especially on a branch level, is to mix the volume with purchase and refinance with the same processors. The reason for that is that, the purchase loans are always going to be a priority. And so the refinances just get completely neglected. Right, and there’s a homeowner on the other side who is expecting to close and therefore if you can separate the two from each other, it allows for a very smooth, very organized flow all the way through, ’cause if you have one processor dealing with 100% of your refinances, that’s really all they’re gonna work on, so they don’t have to prioritize any other loans ahead of the refinances. They’re just gonna continue to close those loans as quickly as they can. And then same thing on the on the purchase sides. Processors don’t have to neglect a loan because another is more important. So that’s been the biggest key for us. Aside from that, okay, so that’s from an organizational and operational standpoint. And then from a sales standpoint, what we’ve done is we worked on establishing something that we call a lock in ready position. And essentially what that is, is we’ve been pre-selling refinances all nonstop, ever since rates went up. So we did not stop talking to our homeowners, because everybody missed the opportunity in the first week of March when mortgage rates hit an all time low. And then on March 9, they began to go up again, and everybody missed the opportunity. There’s hundreds, thousands, millions of people in America that have missed the opportunity to lock it in all time low rates. So we have been establishing lock in ready positions for all of our clients. And as a result anytime there is an improvements and sometimes as we’ve seen, the volatility in the market rates going, changing 15 times a day and sometimes we have a window of about 10 minutes to get a lock at a low interest rate and we’re people that have established lock in ready positions are being successful in those low interest rates.

– I’m gonna jump back in real quick and jump back in and hit you up here Ryan Sandell because you’ve got the largest team of anybody on the phone here and on the video conference, so I’m curious, just touching on Jessica’s morale question to Jane, it’s an important thing to take into account in a situation like this. People are scared, people have children. There’s a lot of unknown out there. What kind of attention are you paying and dedicating to calming nerves and how are you managing that?

– I mean, it’s it’s tough because we live in an environment where we kind of lag a little bit on the sentiment out there because of how busy everybody is. So it’s an interesting dichotomy I think that our industry faces compared to others. So it’s a balance of maybe something hasn’t crept in their head yet because they’re so busy every day. So it’s a matter of me deciding how much I wanna put into their head as far as what’s happening versus just making them, shut out everything and get to work because to me, that’s always what keeps me at peace, it’s just getting to work. That’s my one routine that I have that is same. And so I think for them getting lost in work is a little bit refreshing. So, I think as long as we keep seeing contracts come in and refies come in we stay positive, but the conversations already have been had with them about, on my sales side of cutting comp or my op side as far as cutting costs there. And if we all wanna come together as a team, then we’ll get through this on the other side, hopefully with everybody in tact. So I think it’s just one of those things where we try to check in with each other, making sure everybody is doing okay. And making sure their families okay and if people are uncomfortable or feeling a certain way about doing the business we’re doing as far as meeting people or doing anything we have to work around it. But I will say this that we are blessed to be in industry where we did not get things shut down in one day and have to make enormous sacrifices. So I think putting things in perspective for everyone. Our biggest thing that we have to deal with all day is now having to homeschool our children I’ll take that over trying to figure out how to pay the bills for next month or something like that. So I think perspective for everybody is key and having a lot of business to work on is very–

– Yeah, that’s a really great point and before we sign off, and I really appreciate all of your all of your time here as I know you’re all very busy. Just kind of reach into your experience and advise the originator who is not at the top of their game in terms of a top 1% which you all are. So the guys and girls that are just hitting their stride or doing two to four to six loans who all the sudden feel like their world has been rocked. Give us some sage advice each one of you, will just go in around robbing starting with you, Jane.

– So I think it’s what Jess asked me. And it’s just natural. And you’ve known me a long time. I always stay positive and my mindset is everything. So they have to figure out, how do they get in that zen time, whatever that is in the morning routine, whatever positive influences that you need to listen to, I mean, stay away from, we’ve gotta be going on of our county and our city shutting down and all of that, but stay away from the news. Stay away from the negativity, pump your head with positive things right. I mean, this is… we will get through this.

– I would really take this opportunity to call realtors, work your purchase leads really well. And build your team, like work on things so that when the market does shift back to a purchase market, I think that where the people that have been preparing for that will be really successful.

– I think anybody, any loan officer that is just started, it was starting to take off and now it’s faced with a new reality, any referrals that they get, they should be treating that as gold and really, really wow the clients, make sure to the realtor is getting fantastic feedback from the client. Calling super, super fast, providing very, very strong written and verbal communication updates back to the referral partner really partnering with an agent to push transactions to go through. So if agents are placing offers calling the listing agent to push through that offer, vouching for the buyer going over to strength and why it’s a safe offer for the seller. Those are things that are really, really important to do right now. And then besides that, this is a time that if you have time left on your hands, this would be a great time to work on your craft.

– Finally, Ryan.

– Yeah, I agree with what all of them are saying. I mean, this is enormous opportunity. I mean, whether if you’re starting out as a loan officer, I mean, these are the kind of times that were my heart because you gotta know what you’re doing. You have to invest in your job, you have to know guidelines, you have to know how to sell, you’re not gonna get out of this without being able to sell like you have to sell whether it’s selling, maybe you’re not selling the lowest rate on a refi but they can skip two months on their payments, like those are powerful message. And every message is a little bit different than how to who is receiving it, so you have to know your clients. Paying attention to realtors getting into that database. I mean, nobody had time to call them and guess what, you’re probably gonna have the highest success rate of reaching people right now ’cause we’re all sitting at home, so there couldn’t be a better time for banging on that database for your realtors. ‘Cause I guarantee their loan officers are not doing it because they’re consumed with other things. So I mean, these are the times where you can really eat your way in. If there’s strong relationships with strong loan officers. Either they’re too busy doing refis they’re trying to figure out if they need to stay at the same company there might be a lot of bigger concerns that they’re up to. But you can squeeze your way into relationships that you might not have thought you had a chance at before.

– Any random final thoughts from any of you.

– One random and Ryan just triggered it? What I’m doing man, right now ’cause as you said people are sitting at home, send more handwritten notes than you ever have before and our the postal delivery still, they’re delivering here and special gifts that’ll just be such a big wow to people. I could go on with examples. But right now that’s another thing that I’m doing. To agents and to VIP clients.

– Jane, Jessica, Daniel and Ryan. Really appreciate everything we wish you great health and of course your family members and everybody in your network and those that work for you. So everybody stay safe. And we’ll touch base here shortly.

– Back at you.

– Thank you Greg, thanks guys.

– Bye to you guys.

– Okay bye guys.

– Right, bye bye now.

– Great seeing everybody.

– Bye.