As a loan originator, you are a growth consultant and a strategic consultant. You have to educate yourself so you can lead others to success. Back in COVID, the market was so much easier to handle. But markets often shift, and anyone with the best year could fall back. Now is the time to focus not just on your client but also on your own personal growth.
Join David Lykken as he talks with the CEO of Kinetic Spark Consulting, Jen Du Plessis. Jen is an international speaker, 14X #1 Amazon best-selling author, host of two top podcasts, and the producer and host of a TV Show, Tell Me I Can’t. She has also been in the mortgage and financial space for four decades now! Learn all you need to know about today’s market and how you can lead others to success. Tune in and learn from one of the best!
Watch the episode here
Emperial Leadership with Jen Du Plessis of Kinetic Spark Consulting
Folks, I’m excited to have Jen Du Plessis joining us. Jen, you’re dressed up like a doctor, so we’re excited. That’s appropriate. You’ve got your lab coat on and your doctor coat on. We’re going to get into some fixing some things because there are a lot of loan officers and originators out there running around very sick. Sick in the way they’re thinking about the market or they’re not making more income. A lot of things are not working as they did in 2021. When they do that, they go to the doctor. What do we have? We’ve got Jen who fixes and helps so many originators do well. Jen, it’s so good to have you here on the show. Thank you.
Thank you. We were talking about this in the green room. I said, “I look like I have a lab coat on,” so we’re swinging with this. You’re going to call me Dr. Mortgage or something. I’m doing great. I’m so delighted to be here.
It was fun being on your show. I’m thrilled with the relationship we developed. You truly help a lot of people. For those that may not know who you are, give us a brief background on yourself, Jen. What are you most passionate about? What are you about today? Talk about that, please.
Thank you so much. I have been in the mortgage and financial space for four decades now. I can’t believe it when I say that. I had all kinds of positions in the industry, but I was an originator for the last twenty years. During that time, I was in the top 200 loan officers in the country. I’ve funded over $1 billion in loans. That manifested into me now coaching loan officers. I also run masterminds for small business owners, salespeople, and entrepreneurs that aren’t in the mortgage space.
I am known as The Impact Mentor. I am a leading expert in creating world-class teams so that people can get their lives back. That’s what I do in both of these modalities of coaching and mentoring loan officers as well as conducting the masterminds. I’m an international speaker and fourteen-time number-one bestselling author, two podcasts, a TV host, and producer of my own television show called Tell Me I Can’t.
I love the title of that TV show. If you could provide us, Jen, with all the links to all of that so our readers can check out any aspect of all that you do. You’re a busy person. I’m almost coming up on completing my fifth decade. It’s hard to imagine being in the industry for 50 years, but I’m at 49 this year 2022, and 50 in 2023. It’s good to talk to someone who has the ‘been there, done that’ t-shirt experience.
We’re experiencing a market that is costing some challenges. Many are saying, “This is not like any other market.” There have been market cycles for decades. You and I have been in this industry together. How would you characterize this market as opposed to the other corrections and difficult markets in the past?
Both you and I have been through a lot of ups and downs for years and there have been challenges. Whenever interest rates rise, it’s a challenge and we have inflation. Everything has come to a halt. When we compare it and measure it against what we experienced through the pandemic, this is why we’re stressed about it. Why we’re freaking out about it is because we feel that this is a big dramatic change. It is from what it was, but when we think about historical rates and how markets have changed during that period of time, this is another market. It’s the gap that’s freaking us out about this.
It’s also that for many years, we’ve been spoiled with low-interest rates. I’m coaching clients now that have been in the business for 15 or 20 years, which by all intents and purposes, they’re a veteran but they’ve never ever sold an adjustable-rate mortgage. They don’t know what blended rate is. When we ask what are the Feds fund rate, they try to give me the number, but I’m saying, “What is it?” There’s a lack of industry and market knowledge in what I’m seeing now, and that is creating fear. I’m expressing to my clients, “Now is the time for you to hone in on these skills so that you can be the voice of reason for everyone else.”For the last 20 years, we have been spoiled with low-interest rates. Today's market is just another market. Click To Tweet
I agree with you that this cycle is not that much different than the previous cycles. What’s so unique is how long the last cycle lasted, and the stark contrast from the more volume that we could digest to what seems like no volume. There’s still volume going on, but there is a lot of pain that’s going on in the marketplace. Let’s get to the solution, Dr. Jen. What is the prescription? What are you recommending for those that are struggling with this market and success? Is there a magic bullet out there that you recommend? What is it?
There’s not a magic bullet, but I do have some comments. It’s funny that you say that because, in sales, the phrase we always use is, “A prescription without diagnosis is not good.” It’s so long since I’ve heard this, but you mentioned that, so I want to play on that again. Right when the COVID pandemic started, you can go back to every speaking opportunity I was on, even on my own podcast. I was saying, “Be aware of short-term gain for long-term pain.” I kept saying that.
Everybody was saying, “I’m having my best year ever.” I said, “The market is giving it to you. Are you having it because you have the right foundation in your practice?” While I was excited for everyone, everyone was walking around all proud of themselves. I was concerned because I had seen it before. I’ve seen it so many times. I was concerned that they had this false sense of security that I’m a top producer, I’m doing well, or I’m doing all that. I also realized, “Thank goodness, people were calling you,” because most people didn’t have a system that warranted them calling the clients.
A lot of people left money on the table because they didn’t have the proper systems to get even more. This is where I kept saying, “Be careful.” I wanted everybody to be successful. I wanted everyone to do a lot of business, but I kept saying, “Make sure you’re putting the systems in place.” If we go back to that timeframe and the feeling that everyone had, they were working unbelievable hours, sitting in their home, stressed out, and having no time for family. I kept seeing that the reason they were like this was because they didn’t have the foundation and the systems in place. They had already developed that and just manifested more. They did exponentially better than everyone else. That’s my initial take on that.
Let’s talk about the systems you’re recommending when you’re talking about systems that people should have set up or needed to set up. I’m finding this common denominator in those that are succeeding in this market. There are people that are prospering in this market. They’re having to work harder, no question, but they have a system. Is this what you’re also seeing in those that had developed processes? If so, I love to get your insights on what processes are working better than others.
Yes and no. I’m going to answer this in a couple of different ways. First of all, there’s something that I mentor my clients on. It’s something called The Four Stages Of Growth. There’s formulation, concentration, momentum, and stability. If you look this up online, there are five stages. The fifth stage is success. I feel like that’s not a destination. It’s a journey. We’ve all heard that statement before.
When you’ve hit stability, it’s time to go to the next level, formulate new things, and concentrate on new things to continue to scale your business. If you think about this, this scale on the low side is formulation and concentration then goes up to momentum and stability flattens out. What happened when we were in the pandemic is that everyone was thrust into momentum. They’re up there high and all that stuff. Everything was going well, then when the market changed, they dropped all the way down back to formulation because they didn’t have perhaps those systems in place to keep the momentum going.
They had not formulated systems, relationships, a multitude of things, or messaging to make them different. They were maybe someone who answered the phone for a client and that’s how they got the business. When I think about this, systems are important, but it begins with right now honing in on your sales skills and relationship skills. It’s not the same. If we akin this to what we talk about realtors all the time, all they have to do is open the door and they sell the house. They don’t have to really sell.
The same thing was true for us. All we had to do was answer the phone and we could make money. Now, we have to hone in on our sales skills. I don’t feel there’s a magic bullet. What I feel is that we need to really focus, as I mentioned before, on educating ourselves and improving our personal growth in the arena of understanding the market.
What is inflation? What is a recession? What are the historical pieces of this? What is a blended interest rate because most people don’t get it? What is the effective interest rate because that’s going to pop up now? What are adjustable-rate mortgages? Honing in on those skills to be able to deliver something to the client that is different and unique, and still solves the problem that they’re seeing in nowadays’ market.
Let’s talk about that because you were talking about product knowledge. There are a lot of people that are fixed when it was as low as it was. Why did you need to have knowledge of all these other products that we have used over the years? Now, we’re back in those markets where you have to have that market out. That’s one skillset that could be defined as a process of knowing varying products, and how to sell and market those products in there. The skill of relationship development, there are a lot of people that get paralyzed because of what’s happening and they’re seizing the relationship part of it. Talk to that group or those that are struggling with that. What are you saying to them now?
If you’re reading and doing well, I’m not condemning what you’re doing. I’m not saying that. I can tell you from my experience. I’ve coached over 5,000 loan officers, so I know what the trend is. The trend is go to a networking event, get a business card, and bug the crap out of them to get an appointment. Show up at the appointment, throw up, and then never meet them again because they already said everything and you’re afraid to call them. That’s the bottom line.
What needs to happen is if you truly want relationships, you need better relationships with realtors, financial advisors, plumbers, and whoever they are, and provide value. Have you sat down and thought about what the relationship looks like and what truly is value? I think we’re falling short now. I always say we like I’m still in this business as an originator. What we’re doing is we’re saying, “I’m struggling. If I’m struggling, how can I possibly help someone else who’s struggling?” What’s so important is for us to get in this boat together because we can go further with 2 oars than we can with 1. If we isolate ourselves, it’s not going to work.People can go further together with two oars than they can with one. Stop isolating yourself. Click To Tweet
We had Jessica Peterson talking about some of the calls. You know Jessica. We love Jessica. She called me and it was over on the 4th of July. It was leading up to it. She said, “Dave, what is going on out there? You’ve got to get out there and talk to these people. These loan officers are calling me. They’re not adding value. They’re just, ‘Give me business.’” That old banging on the door, which you said, and that is the worst way to go about a relationship. She talked about that. She compliments you well because what you’re helping loan officers bring is value. That is the key to developing a relationship. What are some of the things that value add and you’re finding that were working better or more successfully in this market when you’re coaching some of your loan originators?
It starts with identifying and knowing what your role is in the relationship. I talk about this. There are four roles that I talk to and mentor other people in different businesses and industries as well. I feel that the four roles are that you are a growth consultant, number one, then you are a strategic partner. I’m going to stop there because there are four of them, but those two specifically are in the marketing perspective.
The other two are fulfillment, so we’re talking about marketing now and getting business. You should be going into every meeting with every referral partner that you have to look at how you could be a growth consultant for them. What are their challenges? What are their goals? Who do they want to be connected with? What can you help with them now? How would you be able to identify a client if you were talking to them for them to be able to refer to them?
All of these lines of questioning start creating and adding value for individual real estate agents. I know that one of the challenges realtors are having now is, “I need more listings.” Most of us would say, “I only know buyers. I don’t know listings.” I created a proprietary system for listings that help real estate agents get more listings, but you have to ask the question. What are you challenged with? This is not a ‘give me.’ This is establishing and setting expectations about how the relationship is going to go, what kind of results you want out of it, and asking yourself a lot of questions.
We tend to walk away from meetings, giving ourselves a virtual high-five because we thought the meeting went well, but then we sit by our phone and wait and say, “How come I’m not getting the phone call?” It’s because all you did was talk. You didn’t ask them what you could do to help their business go forward. That’s the first part.
The second part is a strategic partner. It’s not just meeting them, talking a ton, and never doing anything else, but rather saying, “Now that I know where you want to grow and where your challenges are, I want to be able to help you and be a strategic partner.” That means that we need them on a frequent basis. I help you resolve that problem, and I work with you so that we both can gain from that. We’ll then find another challenge that we can duplicate and do that all over again so that we can continue to roll onto that relationship year-after-year. As you grow, new challenges, new goals, and new opportunities come your way.
What are you anticipating as far as the future for our industry and for the people that are here? How long do they have to wait before they’re going to start seeing the markets come back? Any ideas from Jen’s crystal ball?
Statistically, it’s based on all the knowledge. The MBA and Fannie and Freddie, and the GSEs were saying, “Here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to have rates peak, then we’re going to have them come down a little bit in the year.” Given the fact that the Feds have now said, “It’s not working the way we want. We’re going to have a couple more. Not just the one.” I think we’re probably not going to see rates start dropping until the spring of 2023. We’ll all, hopefully, manifest that.
Let’s start manifesting that so that our spring market is super and incredible and it goes the right way, which means that you use this time to dig in and learn as much as you can. Educate your real estate agents on what’s happening in the market. Pick up the phone and contact your clients. Be the voice of reason and help them. I always say this too, are you nurturing or neglecting your community? Many loan officers are neglecting because they’ve frozen themselves, as you said before.
When you’re talking about nurturing, give us a couple of quick tips, then we’re going to wrap this up. What are some nurturing tips that you’re recommending now?
I call it the Heisman Trophy Method. If you envision a Heisman Trophy, it’s like, “No, I don’t want you. I have my ball.” The visual is you’re pushing people back. What I don’t like is digital communication. A lot of clients of mine will say, “I’m sending them stuff. I’m sending them a birthday card, a holiday, canned newsletters, and whatnot.” While I love those systems and it’s a great way, and I encourage people to use them, it can’t stop there.
You have acres of diamonds that you’re standing on. They’ve fallen from the sky over the last few years. Each diamond can create a ripple in your entire practice. Take off the binoculars and dig deep into what you already have to move forward to nurture them. Touch base with them. Let them know you’re thinking about them. Ask them if they have questions about what’s happening. Encourage them to consider HELOCs and cashout refinance. They’re going to refinance anyway because rates are higher.
Get the equity out now from the property to help them build wealth, pay off debt, and have extra cash. This is what nurturing is. Find out what their needs are. Your clients, just as much as your referral partners, own businesses. They have goals and challenges. They want to have connections. Do all of that with them as well and be in front of them. I’ll end with if you are not in front of your clients or your potential clients, your competition is. I promise. They’re probably in front of them a different way, but they’re in front of them. You should have that fire underneath you every morning to communicate with as many people as you can.If you're not in front of your clients or potential clients, your competition is probably in front of them already. Click To Tweet
Great points. I’ve got a feeling there’s a whole lot more content that you could give out, which means they’ve got to go to your website and different sources. What’s the best way for people to reach you? Jen, what would you prefer?
The best way to reach me is to text JEN to 26786, and you’ll get invited into all of our community and the activities going on every week, every Tuesday and Thursday. I have a one-hour webinar on this very topic called Intro to Income, because we get introduced but it doesn’t work its way to income. I have that every Tuesday. We have a big event coming up November 1st through the 4th, 2022 in Northern Virginia called The Limitless Workshop where we’re going to explore all aspects of businesses. Whether you’re a lender, a realtor, or an attorney, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to be sharing that with all kinds of business owners. We’d love to have you come to that.
Jen, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to be here with us. It’s a real joy to spend some time with you, and share your knowledge and wisdom with our readers. Have a great rest of your day. I look forward to having you back.
About Jen Du Plessis
Jen works with high-achieving leaders and entrepreneurs earning 6-figures who are looking to up their game to reach 7-figures a year. This is her specialty. Through her masterminds and private advisory, she dramatically improves leadership skills to build powerful teams that enable multiplied results in record time, while designing a balanced and exciting Personal life. She has been in the financial services industry for 4 decades and was listed in the Top 200 nationally ranked mortgage originators and funded over $1 Billion in mortgage loans.
She is a 14X #1 Amazon best-selling author, host of two (2) top podcasts, and the Producer and Host of her own TV Show – “Tell Me I Can’t”.
As a Leadership Advisor and Mentor, she is relied on by top brands and companies to assist with her proprietary techniques to create powerful teams, Align Priorities, and Time Management, Accelerate Business Relationships, Rapidly Scale-up systems, Increase Sales, Systematize Leadership and Management, all while helping leaders create a life of Luxury.
She is a charismatic speaker, having shared stages with such icons as Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, Jeff Hoffman, Sharon Lechter, and many more!
Jen provides advising privately and through her high-level Masterminds and Retreat to entrepreneurs who are serious about growing to their next level, while gaining freedom through high-performing teams, alongside a community of strong like-minded individuals.
Jen believes that entrepreneurs can Live their Legacy while Building it, and it’s time to break free from the daily grind with strong leadership skills and powerful teams. Stop working in and on your business- start working above and beyond your business. It’s time to get your life back!