NFM Now Podcast

Building Builder Relationships with Ryan Sandell

Ryan Sandell is Branch Manager of NFM Lending in Tempe, Arizona

Ryan Sandell is Branch Manager of NFM Lending in Tempe, Arizona

How does one loan officer in Tempe, AZ, close nearly 50% of his monthly volume leveraging builder relationships?

Forming relationships is the foundation of any success in business. The mortgage industry is no different. If anything, it is of paramount importance.

There are many types of relationships the loan originator is responsible for. From customers to appraisers to real estate agents, title companies, lawyers and more, the loan originator is always discovering new ways to leverage partnerships to build business and foster mutually beneficial growth with other settlement services providers.

Once of the most elusive relationships for some loan officers is builder relationships. Builder relationships, especially the builder of communities, can be one of the most lucrative partnerships because of the volume of business that is available from that one relationship. It’s also one of the hardest inroads to establish. So how do loan originators get their foot in the door? What value can they bring to the relationship with a community builder that will make that LO the go-to home financing lender for that builder.

NFM Now  host, Greg Sher sat down with Ryan Sandell, Branch Manager of NFM Lending in Tempe, Arizona to discuss his success at marketing to builders and bringing value to them like few can. Ryan closes 60-70 units a month with nearly 50% being related to his relationships with builders. Hear how, starting 7 years ago, when he first began going after builder business, Ryan has built his branch into a powerhouse in the Tempe area.

Press the Play button to listen to the podcast now:

This interview is also available on iTunes.

Here is a transcript of the interview:

Welcome to another edition of NFM Now. I’m Greg Sher, joined by NFM branch manager Ryan Sandell out of Tempe, Arizona. Ryan, thanks so much for being with us.

Ryan Sandell: Of course. Thanks for your time.

Greg Sher: Yep. We’re so happy to have you here. We’re gonna go over builder business. It is a lost art and an unknown art to so many. We’re gonna get into how to get in a moment. First of all, you’ve been doing it since when?

Ryan Sandell: Since about 2010.

Greg Sher: So, you’ve got six and a half, seven years under your belt doing builder business and you do roughly how many units a year that are tied to builders?

Ryan Sandell: I’d say at least 300 units a year.

Greg Sher: Wow. That’s a huge number. So, roughly 25 a month. And, I should mention that as a branch of NFM, you close between 60 and 75 loans a month. So, kudos to you. How do people get into builder business, people that are just used to the more traditional channels of realtor engagement?

Ryan Sandell: Yeah, I think that’s the toughest part because most of these builders will have their own in-house lender. But, what that means to me is that they are gonna to take the cream of the crop loans and obviously a builder side of it, they wanna close as many loans as possible. So, any value you can provide outside of their own lender and their overlays is a huge asset to them.

Greg Sher: How do you wiggle your toe in the door? Take us back to when you got started? What was your first big break?

Ryan Sandell: Well, it’s funny. My first big break happened to be with a realtor who got me into DL Horton, who’s a national builders, so I think most people should know them. He told me that I was his guy and we actually hadn’t even closed a deal together, but I had marketed to him and I ended up meeting the salespeople through him. And, I didn’t even close a deal, one deal with him, but I ended up making relationships with the salespeople and getting their turn down business, and it took off from there.

Greg Sher: And, look at you now. So, knowing what you know now and obviously it’s so much, what is missing? What can a lender bring to a builder that you think they’re starving for? What kind of value add?

Ryan Sandell: Well, listen, I think that’s the key word, is value. Because, any lender can close loans now. We all have the same program, same rates. So, it’s thinking outside the box on what you can bring to them. An angle that I use, and still use, in recruiting my builder relationships still, even though I have them, is just making sure that I am not just receiving their loans and doing a good job there, which is obviously important, but it’s also thinking outside the box as far as marketing on their behalf. I think most builders are probably not the best at marketing themselves to the general public, and we are in the trenches with realtors, trying to get as many leads as possible. So, if we can bring that mentality to the builders and provide value that way, I think that’s a huge step in the right direction to get a foot in the door.

Greg Sher: That’s great insight. You’re listening to NFM Now with host Greg Sher. Ryan Sandell is on the line with us, a brand manager of NFM out of Temp, Arizona who does 300 builder related transactions a year. Just an astronomical number. Ryan, what is the cycle like, of trying to woo a builder compared to the experience and cycle of wooing a real estate agent? What’s the horizon like in terms of time?

Ryan Sandell: Well, I think it’s gonna take some time for sure. It’s gonna take some really rough business at first, to get yourself in the door and gain that trust. Because again, everybody wants the good deals and you’re not gonna get that right off the bat. So, you’re gonna have to spend some real time with some clients who may or may not qualify at that point in time, but if you can get them in a position to buy and give them back to the builder, that’s the first step in the right direction, developing that trust.

Greg Sher: So, when I think of the word builder, I guess it could mean two different things. You’re either building one house or you’re building a community. Do you go after both?

Ryan Sandell: I only go after your builders who will build multiple units per month. Otherwise, the onesie, twosie builders, I think that that’s probably more on the realtor relationship side, which is still important, but to go over your multi-subdivision builders who are gonna do at least 100 to 150 units a year, that’s where you wanna really spend the time.

Greg Sher: And so, if you go after a realtor and you get their business, maybe the realtor’s doing two or three transactions a month. It sounds to me like what you’re saying is that if you get a builder, you’re on the line if you do a good job for so many more potential transactions.

Ryan Sandell: Yeah. It’s endless. And, what I do with my staff is, in the communities that they have open, we’re gonna go sit at those communities every single weekend. And, what that does for us is two things. The first is, obviously when buyers are there we can qualify them on the spot, which builders love. Number two, 60% of those people are not buying those houses, but they’re still qualified buyers. And, of that 60%, 40% of them don’t have realtor relationships yet. So, it’s a whole nother thing that we can expand on, as far as getting these referrals that we can hand out to our referral partners, which are realtors, or obviously getting people qualified on the spot to get a builder prequalification letter right then and there, because we don’t want people to leave without knowing that they’re qualified for that house.

Greg Sher: Wow, what a gold mine that is. Never even thought of that, that you can turn some of those people into qualifiers for a mortgage down the road, maybe in just a traditional house that’s already on the market through an agent that you know, that you can link them up with that agent or something like that. So Ryan, how do people go find a builder community? What’s the first piece of advice you’d give someone who’s looking to get into that game?

Ryan Sandell: Well, I think us as lenders probably are all too familiar with losing deals to builders that have their own lenders. So, I think we all know of the culprits that are in our community that we lose deals to because we can’t compete with the incentives that builders get. So, that’s the first thing, is just finding out who the competition is that you’re dealing with out there. And then, not looking at it as a threat but trying to find a way to provide an asset for them to be able to do this. And so, the big thing for me is, I talk to the salespeople. They’re the ones. And, builders are different. Some are very controlling on where they send their outside business and some are not. So, the better you can develop relationships with those salespeople, those salespeople wanna make just as much money as the realtor out there, so once they find an interested buyer they need to turn them into a transaction. So, if we can help them do that, then great. And, the next piece to that, and how it helped me get more and more builders, is the salespeople for builders usually change their employment every couple years. So, if you make relationships with certain salespeople and then they go to a different builder, guess what? You already have a foot in the door with a new builder. So, it’s important to keep up those relationships with the salespeople.

Greg Sher: And, for those people who hear those salespeople, you use that term those salespeople, it could be foreign to them. So, if you could, even though it’s very simple, walk us through what a salesperson does with a builder?

Ryan Sandell: So, salespeople are the one or two people that are sitting in the model home seven days a week, waiting for people to walk in the door so they can sell them a home. And, that’s exactly what they do. So, any assets you can provide them, whether it be person, realtor relationships, marketing, anything like that, would be super beneficial to them, and they will return the favor.

Greg Sher: Incredible knowledge about how to get builder business from NFM Branch Manager Ryan Sandell out in Tempe, AZ. Ryan, thanks a ton for your time. This is gonna be very valuable to the field.

Ryan Sandell: Thanks, Greg.

Greg Sher: All right. Pleasure having you. This is Greg Sher, you’ve been listening to another edition of NFM Now. See you next time.


Interested in learning how to build realtor relationships? Listen to this NFM Now interview with Jane Floyd.

Lunch and Learns, Building Realtor Relationships – with Justus Sharp

Justus Sharp, a loan originator for NFM Lending out of Columbia, Ohio

What is a Lunch and Learn? Who do you invite? What makes for a great topic?

Building business relationships is essential for a loan originator. One of the most mutually beneficial relationships is the one between a realtor and a loan officer.

Justus Sharp is a loan originator for NFM Lending out of the company’s Columbus, Ohio branch. Daniel Sa is the Branch Manager in Ohio.

Justus is on-pace to close between 120-130 loans in 2017 through hard work in building, nurturing and maintaining those relationships with realtors, title companies, builders and other settlement services providers.

In this podcast, Justus talks about the key to his success, including the use of Lunch and Learns to provide educational opportunities and experiences for realtors and other business partners.

Want to know how you can incorporate Lunch and Learns to build referral partner relationships? Take a listen.

Press the Play button to listen to the podcast now:

For more information on Justus and his team, visit

Listen on iTunes.

Here is a transcript of the interview:

Greg Sher: It’s time to welcome in one of NFM’s brightest producers and best producers, Justus Sharp from our Columbus, Ohio branch. Justus, this year in 2017, on pace to close between 120 and 130 units. Huge numbers. Justus, it’s a pleasure to talk to you. How are you?

Justus Sharp: Doing well, Thanks, Greg. I appreciate the introduction.

Greg Sher: Absolutely. That’s a big number. 120 to 130 units. It’s not easily achievable. How do you do it?

Justus Sharp: I’ve been in the business for a while. It’s mainly through fostering great relationships with realtors, business partners, sphere of influence, just being out in the community and being forefront and trying to be top of mind with anyone we’re engaged with throughout the years.

Greg Sher: And so of those 120 and 130 units, do you know roughly what percentage are purchase?

Justus Sharp: Percentage-wise, probably close to 85 to 90. Rarely is there a whole lot of [inaudible 00:01:28] Mainly past clients will contact us about refinancing and whatnot, but the vast majority is purchase business from realtors.

Greg Sher: And I think there are two schools of thought when it comes to grabbing realtors. Some people like to just a core three, four, or five to send them 80% or more of their business. Others will just take one deal here, one deal there, and collect as many agents as they can. How do you go about grabbing your agent relationships?

Justus Sharp: Diving a little deeper. Just making sure they’re a good fit, that they do business the way that I would and we can feed off of each other to make sure that the client’s taken care of from a standpoint, not only just communication, but also long term, because when we partner up with those realtors, we tell them, hey, we want to be around for the next time this client five years, seven years, 10 years down the road wants to do this again. It’s deeper relationships. Not as many relationships, but probably deeper relationships.

Greg Sher: And so what are some of the main points in terms of the value proposition that you put forward, should the realtor be a good fit? What can they expect from you, a top producer during the process and beyond?

Justus Sharp: Just an open mind, too. Because I want to know mainly … when we started a lot of the relationships it was do they have the mindset of growth. Do they want to continue to grow their business? Are they exiting the business soon? Are they bringing somebody else on to take over their book of business? What do those things look like? Because if you don’t treat it like a business, it won’t perform like a business. But having that business relationship first, has helped me to garner the friendship second. After quite a bit of time and knowing that we’re hitting on what they want us to deliver, and that’s excellent response time, good communication, knowledge about the product, and just make them look good and make sure that things close on time and close accurately, those are the main things that almost all realtors are looking for that we touch base with or interview.

Greg Sher: Okay, so you spend a lot of time trying to make sure that it’s a well oiled process from beginning to end so you can continue to get more business from the realtor on the buyer’s side. What about the listing side? What do you do to approach the agent on the other side of the table, who represents the person selling the home? What’s your approach with them and do you try and approach every listing agent at some point during the process?

Justus Sharp: Yeah. We do follow the core model. On Tuesdays, I will call the agents and make sure that we’re following up. Make sure they’re getting the communication. If it’s an initial contract, there’s an intro script that we have to just make that opening conversation about the file and also just picking their brain on their business and seeing again if they’re a good fit or if there’s somebody that we want to go after if they are … maybe it’s their first deal. Maybe they’re a new realtor. I don’t ever just place somebody off for that. If they’re new, I go back to hey, are you willing to grow your business? Are you doing this full time? And I “attack” the listing agent just to find out more about their business and again see if they’re a good fit.

Greg Sher: I’m Greg Sher, Chief Business Development Officer of NFM Lending. You’re listening to one of our many valuable podcasts on NFM Media. I’m with Justus Sharp right now, one of the company’s top loan officers, projected to close between 120 and 130 units in 2017 out of our Columbus, Ohio branch. Justus, let’s get into lunch and learns. I know you do a lot of these things. What are they?

Justus Sharp: Sure. It’s a pretty simple concept. Just hosting an event for realtors, your business partners, and it be a topical-based. Maybe it’s about the appraisal process. Maybe it’s about underwriting, continuing education. There’s a number of different things that we can really cover as a topic.

Greg Sher: And so the realtors for this lunch and learn, do they typically come into your office? Do you do it off premises and is there a limit to the amount of agents you like to have to keep it intimate?

Justus Sharp: Depends on the topic. We have done them primarily at our local library. My community that I live in is Grove City, Ohio. We have a new library there, so it’s a very good conducive space for a lot of my agents, and since about 75, 80% of my business comes from that Grove City market, it was best to do it there and not here at the office, but we are hosting some here at the office, as well, for this corridor, this area of town, as well.

Greg Sher: And is it the more the merrier or is there a number that you try and shoot for and not go above?

Justus Sharp: Well, we want to try to gauge that, depending on if there is a CE requirement class, so we have partnered with our Ohio Housing Finance Agency who is our bond program here in Ohio. They do have a minimum requirement of 15 or more at least have signed up, since it’s a CE class. That’s the only way those can be done. Other than that, I don’t mind having them a little bit more intimate, because then you can engage with each and every one of them, especially if it’s just realtor-based. Now if it’s a pretty broader range topic, where we have business partners and realtors there, the more the merrier.

Greg Sher: In some instances, you’re actually encouraging them to come. Not only are they going to hear something very valuable, but they’re also going to get credit. What does that credit go towards and how often are you doing these things for credit for them and how often is there no credit involved?

Justus Sharp: It’s probably, I would say, over this year it’s been about 50/50. We’ve had a handful of them be for continuing education credits for the realtors. Our Ohio Housing Finance Agency, they have a specific person that has a bunch of different topics that they can address, and they can be anywhere from one hour to three hours of continuing education, so depending upon that. And then the other topics that are well attended by realtors are … we had a Meet the Appraiser, so that one was very, very well attended. There wasn’t any CE, but we’ve also joint ventured with a title company, so those have been a co-branded, and allowed us to leverage their invite list as well as our invite list.

Greg Sher: Got it. You’ve done so many of these lunch and learns. Is there one that comes to mind or one scene that comes to mind that seems to resonate most with realtors that keeps their engagement level as high as it can go?

Justus Sharp: I think two of the most well attended ones were Meet the Appraiser. That one we had 20 plus sign up. Also very well attended was with [OFA 00:09:45]. It’s a one hour CE credit that was for marketing to millennials, which is an approved elective credit for the realtors. That one was very, very well attended.

Greg Sher: If loan officers are listening right now that love the idea, believe in the idea, but have no idea how to get it off the ground, give us a couple of pointers, to get their first lunch and learn together.

Justus Sharp: Sure. What I did is on the calls to realtors, on my communication with realtors was hey, what topics are you interested in? I just asked them. It’s fairly simple. You just, hey, what’s new? What’s the latest, greatest? What’s going on? And just poll them, so to speak, and then go out and find, through my network, the speaker, because I didn’t want to do the speeches always. The first one that we started it off, I did, and just did a briefing on training model. Outside of that, we survey everyone that’s there at the lunch and learn, asking them if this was beneficial to their business, if they’d come again, what topics they want to hear about again. That way we’re always presenting them something that will bring them back. Something that’s interesting to them.

Greg Sher: Well, Justus, this has been really valuable. Appreciate your time. I know you have loans to close and realtors to engage with. Continued success. We love having you at NFM and really appreciate your time.

Justus Sharp: Hey. Very thankful to give this and I appreciate the opportunity. Thanks, Greg.

Greg Sher: It’s a pleasure. We’ll see you next time on NFM Media.

Home Improvements – Best Bang For Your Buck

NFM Chief Appraiser, John Liberatore and Chief Business Development Officer, Greg Sher

Ever wonder which home improvements bring the greatest return on your investment? Is a small basement remodel a better idea than an expensive and elaborate kitchen remodel? NFM Lending’s Chief Appraiser, John Liberatore, sat down with NFM’s Chief Business Development Officer and NFM Now Podcast host, Greg Sher, to discuss just that.

Hear some great tips on how to go about a home improvement so that you can get the greatest return should you ever sell your house.

John was an appraiser for over 20 years and gives his perspective on how an appraiser looks at the improvements you’ve made to your house, and how the market will see everything – from a $20,000 landscaping improvement to the replacement of a bathtub.

Listening on the go? Download the podcast of this interview on iTunes.

Here is a transcript of the interview:

Speaker 1:                           Welcome to NFM Now, a podcast dedicated to mortgage industry related news and information showcasing interviews with some of the top thought leaders in home lending. NFM Now is a production of NFM Media, a division NFM Lending. NFM Now is hosted by NFM Lending’s Chief Business Development Officer, Greg Sher.

Greg Sher:                           I’m Greg Sher, Chief Business Development Officer of NFM Lending, and I am delighted to bring a very important guest to the table. For anyone that owns a home out there, it’s our own internal AMC Chief Appraiser, the guy that’s running the show for us here at NFM, John Liberatore. John, thank you so much for being with us.

John Liberatore:               Thank you for having me.

Greg Sher:                           Yeah, I’m delighted to have you, and as a homeowner myself, this is such an important conversation, because there are so many things out there that people say about … “Hey, you’ve got to do this home improvement. You’ve got to do that home improvement. This is going to carry value. That’s going to carry value. Don’t bother wasting your time on that.” I’ll first just say you’ve been doing this for 20 years. You’ve been an appraiser, so you’ve seen the ups and downs, and you know as well as anyone what the market bears for improvements. Is that fair to say?

John Liberatore:               Yes, that’s correct.

Greg Sher:                           All right. Let’s first talk about some of the big misnomers. What are some things that people think that … “Hey, if I put all this money into that, it’s going to translate into a greater property value,” and they’re wrong? What are some of those things?

John Liberatore:               Some things I see … I’ve seen as an appraiser are over improvements in the basement, for example. It’s one thing to have a finished basement. That typically adds value to a property, but when you over improvement and you take a basement and you start adding the crown moldings and the fancy trim and all the other things, it doesn’t necessarily equate to the same value. Over improvements in basements are one thing to consider.

The other thing is landscaping. Now, it’s important to have landscaping so that you have curb appeal for a property.

Greg Sher:                           Makes sense.

John Liberatore:               However, when you over improve that landscaping, the market doesn’t necessarily see it that way. They don’t interpret it as $20 thousand worth of landscaping.

Greg Sher:                           Yeah.

John Liberatore:               They might only give it contributory value of $5,000, and that’s what appraising really boils down to, contributory value. Contributory value is what the market is willing to bear for a particular item.

Greg Sher:                           Got it.

John Liberatore:               Not necessarily what it cost.

Greg Sher:                           Finished basement … so let’s just wrap that conversation up for a minute. An unfinished basement … and you go ahead, you finish it in a simple manner. Is that the biggest impact you can get on a basement? You said no crown molding. Don’t do too much down there. But is it such a big difference between finished and unfinished that it’s something you may want to address?

John Liberatore:               That’s something. If you do the basics, that’s probably where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Once you start adding on to those finishes in the basement, you may be … you won’t be getting as much return as your investment.

Greg Sher:                           Got it. All right. Let’s talk about some things that increase the value of your home. What are the top three items, things that people can feel pretty good that they’re going to get a nice return on their investment?

John Liberatore:               Kitchens, bathrooms. If you’re looking to resell your property, then you’re talking about paint, flooring, that type of thing. That’s where you can get the most bang for your buck. But again, when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, you want to make sure you’re not doing over improvements. You’re not paying $50 thousand for a kitchen remodel.

Greg Sher:                           Yep.

John Liberatore:               That’s only going to yield a $30 thousand increase in value. It’s something to consider when you think about doing these things.

Greg Sher:                           Yeah, and it’s like bathrooms. Like, people don’t think about these things. Not a lot of people, anyway, I think. If you have a bathtub currently in a bathroom, and you’re thinking about doing a remodel, should you take the bathtub out? It would seem to me that if you take the bathtub out and someone’s moving in that has young kids, they’re going to have a need for a bathtub. Is something like that little nuance … is that something to think about, or not really?

John Liberatore:               Sure, those are definitely things to think about. If you’re taking a bathtub out and replacing it with another bathtub, and visually, it doesn’t look like anything that different, then you may not want to do it, because you’re spending the money, but you’re not going to be getting that response that you expect out of the market. However, if you’re taking a bathtub out and replacing it with a shower, if it’s a community that’s an older community and you see a trend where people are moving into this community because they’re one level homes and they’re looking for those features-

Greg Sher:                           Yep.

John Liberatore:               That may be a positive thing. If you’re living in the part of town that has a popular school district and you’re getting a lot of people interested in moving there because of the schools, which means they have children-

Greg Sher:                           Of course. That’s always a big factor, right?

John Liberatore:               Obvious-

Greg Sher:                           Schools?

John Liberatore:               Yes.

Greg Sher:                           Yeah.

John Liberatore:               Obviously, and so in that particular scenario, you’d want to keep the bathtub in that house. It really depends on what the market is doing.

Greg Sher:                           What about additions? Sometimes, you see people that take that outdoor patio, they enclose it or turn it into another part of the house. Could that-

John Liberatore:               Yes, they-

Greg Sher:                           Is that something they should be doing?

John Liberatore:               They add value. If you’re going to take an outdoor patio or an outdoor deck or porch and make it part of the living area, my recommendation would be to not just finish it, but also heat it, especially if it’s above grade.

Greg Sher:                           Oh, that’s a great recommendation.

John Liberatore:               Because when it’s finished, heated, and above grade, all of the sudden, it becomes part of the GLA, the gross living area, which has a big impact on the value of a property in that particular community. If you’re going to take a porch and you’re going to finish it and it is above grade, it might make more sense to spend a few thousand more to have it heated.

Greg Sher:                           Wow. Great tidbits from our Chief Appraiser at NFM, John Liberatore. I hope you found it beneficial. John, thank you so much. We’re so happy to have you at NFM.

John Liberatore:               Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Greg Sher:                           All right. Until next time, have a great day.

An Interview with Jane Floyd

Jane Floyd out of Tampa, Florida is not only one of NFM Lending’s top mortgage loan originators, but one of the top loan officers in the country. Jane and her team are on pace to close nearly 900 loans in 2017. She has been with NFM for three years and a loan originator for 22 years. She is also a CORE Coach. Listen to Jane’s interview with NFM’s Chief Business Development Officer, Greg Sher as they discuss the secret to her success. This is NFM Lending’s first podcast of their new series, NFM Now.

To download the podcast on iTunes, click here.

For more information on Jane and her home lending team, visit

Here is a transcript of the interview:

Speaker 1:           Welcome to NFM Now, a podcast dedicated to mortgage industry related news and information, showcasing interviews with some of the top thought leaders in home lending. NFM Now is a production of NFM Media, a division of NFM Lending. NFM Now is hosted by NFM Lending’s Chief Business Development Officer Greg Sher.

Greg Sher:           It’s a pleasure to be joined by one of the top originators in the United States of America. Happens to be an employee of NFM Lending, Branch Manager out of Tampa Florida, Jane Floyd. Jane, thanks so much for your time. How are you?

Jane Floyd:          I am fabulous, and thank you Greg, for that great introduction.

Greg Sher:           I appreciate that, it’s well deserved. Let’s just start at the beginning here. You had your own company, Diversified Home Mortgage for 22 years, and made a very big decision in July of 2014 to join forces with NFM and let go of that ownership piece. What went into that, and what have you experienced since then?

Jane Floyd:          Well, honestly Greg I mean it was a huge decision, it was a very difficult decision for me to make because I was extremely happy being a broker. I honestly probably wouldn’t have even explored the opportunity had I not been pushed by my coach, to get out of the broker world. At that point I just started interviewing different companies, Greg, and … ‘Cause everybody said, “Oh, you’re going to make more money, it’s going to be easier.” I’m like, “I already make a lot of money, and I felt like it’s already … I have great relationships with the brokers that I had.” Anyway, I ended up choosing NFM Greg, because I felt obviously it was the best fit for me for several reasons.

Probably the most important one was from the standpoint of communication, is really important to me. I just felt like, you know how when you just, you find that fit and you just know in your heart? I was about ready to go somewhere else, and once I met everyone at NFM, I just felt like I was going to have the … I hate to say this, but the control. Meaning, I’m kind of a control freak because of my clients are so important to me, and I had to know that there weren’t all these layers. You guys have been absolutely amazing. I feel like I’ve been given the support that I knew I would get. I just kind of felt that, Greg. That’s why I chose NFM, because of the people, and you’re one of them.

Greg Sher:           Awe, I appreciate that. That’s really nice of you to say, and your growth has just been amazing. As I look at your numbers, you joined us halfway through 2014 as a branch. You close over 300 units, and then the next year you doubled that. Then last year, close to 900 units. Again, this year, you’ll eclipse that, and that’s with 31 employees. What’s it like to manage your own personal production, being a top producer who averages about 25 loans a month yourself? Then also, managing a team that closes even more than that.

Jane Floyd:          Well I think what’s it like, well it’s challenging at time, but honestly Greg it’s all about the people that you put in place. As I’ve grown, and I never would have … Prior to coming on with NFM, I’ve always been a fairly high producer, and have been more focused on my personal production. What NFM allowed me to do was, which at this point in my life Greg, it’s really important to me. I love helping people, and I love helping loan officers grow their business. Coming with NFM, with the support that I’ve been given, I’ve been able to do that and how I’ve been able to do that is really putting the right people on the bus, Greg. For instance, having a sales manager that can manage sales, I coach and lead, he does that. Having an ops manager that people can go to. It’s really just putting … You have to leverage yourself, right? If you want to grow. That’s pretty much how I’ve been able to do it.

Greg Sher:           Yeah, you mentioned coaching. Before we get into that, I just want people to understand, just kind of put your production in context. You personally this year are projected to close right around 450 units. That definitely puts you in that upper echelon of top one percent, and that doesn’t even include the people on your team who are also closing more units. Again, let’s go back to coaching. You mentioned that, how important of a role does coaching play, both being coached, and also you are a coach at the same time?

Jane Floyd:          Personally for me, I think when you teach, you learn, right? Being a coach in the core, honestly that in NFM are two of the best things that ever happened in my life from a business standpoint, to take me where I am. I coach 12 other students that are in the core throughout the country. I have two hours each Thursday, groups of three. Really Greg, it’s about accountability, right? They’re held accountable to the metrics of the core, I hold them accountable, and then I also have a coach. I personally have certain disciplines that I have to do every week, right? It’s that accountability. Like anything, you want to lose weight, you gotta have a personal coach, right? For me, coaching, I think that’s probably the most important thing, and the accountability piece of that.

If you’re paying for something Greg, you’re paying to be coached … Now, my loan officers in my branch don’t pay me to be coached, but if they know that I’m going to look at certain forms that they turn in, and hold them accountable to do certain disciplines so that they can hit their goals, they’re going to do it.

Greg Sher:           In all the years that you’ve been coaching now, coming up on a handful of them with the core, when you look at your most successful students, the ones that really take it in and knock it out of the park, what are some of the attributes that they have? That they share, common attributes of some rising stars that you notice.

Jane Floyd:          I think probably one of the top ones, Greg, is successful people in any business, I think that they execute quickly, right? Like for instance, you. You went with me to a sight visit somewhere, and you and I learned certain things, and you went back, and you’re like, “Boom, boom, boom. I’ve already implemented this.” Does that make sense? I know … What I think is I look at in the core, and even in my area, I look at successful loan officers, that they’re … Even if it’s not perfect, Greg, if you can at least implement something, and then stick to it, I think that probably is number one, is execute fast. Extreme discipline, Greg. I think that there are certain things that we have to do, right? I don’t care what the business is.

For me, I know that I have to prospect X hours of week. I know what that looks like, whether it’s phone calls, meetings, what the core calls, “Break breads.” I have to get those done. I hold myself accountable to a calendar, and to those disciplines. We all fall off a little bit, right? But I get right back on. For instance Greg, I’ll tell you in the past 60 days, I’ve personally have had more personal challenges in 60 days than probably in the past seven years, Greg. Nobody knows it, except people that are very close to me. I still, every single day, am making my calls, I am going to my closings, I have my appointments, I’m teaching my lunch and learns, right? I’m keeping the disciplines. I think those are honestly a couple of the top attributes of what makes someone a successful loan officer.

Greg Sher:           Well first of all, I’m sorry you’re going through that rough patch, and obviously hope that the sun shines bright for you here as quickly as possible.

Jane Floyd:          Of course it is.

Greg Sher:           Yeah, okay. Well I know that, you’re a total survivor. Jane, looking at … I want to look at one particular aspect of your business that really resonates with me when you talk about it. I want you to share with our Loan Originators and anyone else who might be listening right now, is just how deep you go with your referral partners. And what it takes to get a new referral partner. If you could touch on that, how close and personal you get with your top realtors, then what it takes to bring more into that sphere of influence.

Jane Floyd:          Okay, so we’ll go with what it takes to get them first, and then how deep. What it takes to get them is, again, it’s just I have my lists. I know who I’m calling, right? I’m qualifying them before I go after them, and then it’s just extremely followup. Whether it’s with phone calls, with emails, with somebody else on my team calling them and trying to setup appointments. It’s not giving up. I mean, I have agents, Greg, that I have literally chased for three and four years, that, okay, even though they were happy with their loan officer, once they know that I have followed up then they’re going to come to me.

What it takes to get them, and I think that’s probably one of the biggest problems I see loan officers, they have that call reluctance, Greg, or that fear like they don’t want to call. It doesn’t both me if someone doesn’t call me back. I will just keep calling unless someone tells me not to call, and I will tell you that very, very rarely, rarely happens. Number one, you’ve got to have a target list of who you’re targeting, and then you have to have a followup plan, okay? Whatever that’s going to be. Whether … Sometimes I’ll send silly little gifts out, but just constantly followup.

Then it’s keeping them Greg, because everybody’s out there doing the same thing, right? Especially now, it’s slowed down. You asked me how deep. For me, I only want to work with people that I like, I’ll be honest with you. At this point in my career, I want to like the people I work with. I go really deep, Greg. I think that means that I know them, I am a really good listener when I am with somebody. In fact, I had actually two today. One is a brand new agent, just extremely deep. One hour conversation, I know everything about her now. I know her goals, I know her passions in life, I know her why, I know why she loves being in real estate. That’s a new relationship that I went really deep with, and now it’ll be extreme followup with her.

Some of my agents, Greg, I’ve been working with for 15 and 20 years. They know me as a person, Greg. I think that sometimes when we get in the business … Oh my gosh Greg, I’ve made so many mistakes that I’ve learned so much from that, it was just more like you’re just throwing it against the wall and seeing what will stick. For me now, it’s rather than not casting as wide of a net, but just going deeper, if that makes sense.

Greg Sher:           Yeah, it all makes perfect sense. Lastly, just out of curiosity, people listening might be wondering, “Well when she calls an agent and she is aggressively pursuing them with that never say die attitude,” are you usually going in with kind of a soft connection? Meaning, do you do research to see if they know somebody that you know, so you can kind of use that to wedge your way in? Or is it most of the time, just ice cold?

Jane Floyd:          That’s a great question Greg. For me, it’s rarely ice cold, because I get my leads either from other agents, from the listing side of deals. When you are going in, the important part is, you never sell on the phone. For instance, I made a call 30 minutes before this call, to a young kid … Young kid, I say young kid, he’s probably the same age as my son. I work with his mother, and he’s a great agent, and he’s … I’m sure he knows my name from her. The call went like this. It just went, “Hey Matt, Jane Floyd with NFM Lending. I know you don’t know me, but your mother says that we have to meet. I know you’re super busy right now,” and he was. He answered the phone, he was on the way to a closing.

“You’re super busy right now, I know that you’ve got another lender right now that you love, but Matt, I just want to sit down, buy you a cup of coffee, talk about how maybe we can help each other grow our business.” It’s just very to the point, and having confidence like when you call somebody, that, “Hey, we need to meet.” Does that make sense?

Greg Sher:           It does, how did the call go? What did he say?

Jane Floyd:          He said, “Absolutely.” He said, “Absolutely.” I know, right?

Greg Sher:           Yeah, yeah. Well that’s great. That persistence certainly pays off, and has paid off in spades for you, and continues to pay off. One thing about NFM that I love so much Jane, is the fact that it’s so open. What I mean by that is the communication is open. If someone were to come to NFM, your playbook is wide open. You would spend their time with them, you would try and teach them the things that you know. A lot of companies aren’t like that. A lot of companies, their locations kind of hold their trade secrets close to the vest.

Jane Floyd:          Couldn’t agree more, and that, absolutely I would that. When you ask me, that was the reason I went to NFM. I mean, it is just unbelievable, the synergies. Even like I call other loan officers with NFM, “Hey, help me with this.” I know, because I coach some of these students, not every company is like that Greg.

Greg Sher:           Yeah, there’s no question about it. Well Jane, thank you so much for your time. I’ll let you get back to conquering the world, and look forwarding to catching up with you soon.

Jane Floyd:          Thank you Greg, have a great afternoon.

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