Top Producer Success Secrets: 5 Keys to Developing Relationships with Financial Planners

business strategy leadership 360 marketing strategy referral partner Oct 24, 2019


In this video, Tim Braheem had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Craig Strent, who has been one of the top 200 producers in the U.S. for 15 consecutive years. Strent’s consistent success is due to his outstanding work ethic and his deep understanding of how to connect with the most valuable partners. The most unique part of his personal business journey is the fact that he has managed to form ongoing partnerships with financial planners, which is a market that many loan officers can’t seem to breakthrough. When asked about his personal strategies and any advice he would give to other loan originators, these are the 5 key things he suggested:

1. Take time to educate yourself.

Craig emphasizes the fact that financial planners have high levels of training, and they often use language that loan officers might not be familiar with. It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the terminology prior to meeting with a financial advisor so you can go into the conversation feeling confident and a bit more knowledgeable about their career.

There are a number of ways you can begin to educate yourself about the roles and responsibilities of financial planners. For instance, you can consider:

  • Subscribing to financial planning magazines, such as Advisors Magazine or Financial Planner.
  • Reading books on financial planning and financial literacy, like Storyselling for Financial Advisors by Mitch Anthony and Scott West.
  • Checking out the list of resources and data on The InvestmentNews site.

2. Obtain a designation.

If you want to increase your own value as a loan officer while learning more about financial advising, obtaining a designation is key. Craig personally recommends earning a CMPS (Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist) designation, which will help you improve your financial literacy and get a feel for what financial planners do. During the 15 mandatory hours of coursework you will need to complete, you’ll learn about 5 core topics:

  • Analyzing interest rates and financial markets.
  • Analyzing debts and cash flows.
  • Analyzing and planning for real estate development.
  • Taxes on mortgages and real estate.
  • Compliance and ethical issues.

Once the classes are completed, you will have to pass an exam with a grade of 80% or higher before you receive your certification.

3. Focus on long-term goals.

Gibran Nicholas, the CEO of the CMPS Institute, explains that, “Loan originators and real estate agents tend to be more transactional because their compensation is tied to a successful transaction. [A financial advisor] earns fees annually as long they maintain the relationship with their client.” Because of these core differences, it can be difficult for loan officers to switch to a more relational mindset. However, it’s crucial to remember that no financial planner will want to work with you if it could threaten any of their client relationships.

4. Remember that it’s a natural partnership.

Keep in mind that it simply makes sense for loan originators and financial planners to work together. Loan officers manage liabilities, and financial planners manage assets. When they work together with a client, they can ensure that they can meet their short-term and long-term financial goals. You’ll also be able to understand the loan process from an entirely new perspective and understand the reasons why someone may choose to pay less money down instead of more, for example, or why a client might want a 15-year mortgage rather than a 30-year plan.

On a lighter note, Craig says that an added perk of working with financial advisors is that they often share the same work hours of loan originators. Since they don’t usually work in the evenings or on weekends, you won’t get any late-night calls or weekend interruptions from your partner!

5. Seek advice from other loan originators.

Lastly, Craig talks about what he says has been an “invaluable” experience: getting the opportunity to tap into the minds of top producers and originators from around the country. He says that masterminding with other successful people is essential for those who want to continue growing, learning, and improving themselves. Specifically, he mentions the Leadership360 Program , which he has been a member of for over 3 years now.

Since joining the program, he has been able to strike a better work/life balance, manage stress, and add more value to his services. After taking a week-long retreat to refocus on his goals, Craig was able to return to work with a renewed mindset and achieve even more success in his work and personal life. 

Do you want to close more loans from financial advisors? 

Craig is offering an amazing step-by-step program with 6 months of private coaching.  To learn more (Click Here)

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