The time is now.

Author:Cunningham, Casey
Position:THE RIGHT STUFF - Column

No matter what the market is doing, there will always be circumstances--whether in your professional or personal life--that can affect your business. The key is to remember defining times can create unbelievable opportunity, incredible focus and a platform to launch the success of those who are truly ready.

While no salesperson, loan officer or otherwise, has ever been able to boast 100 percent market share, is it not safe to assume that in any market--up, down or otherwise--someone is doing rather well?

What is stopping you from being that person?

Let's start with the market in which you live and work. Are you a known entity? Do you feel confident about the share of the market you currently possess?

Could it be more? Absolutely. It's time to challenge yourself and discover the opportunities that will lead to success.

Start by defining your area of focus. Is it a particular county or is it an area of town? Does your entire sphere of influence know what you do for a living? Is your name top of mind when the subject of home financing is raised?

It is within your power to make the answers to all these questions a resounding "yes!"

Every individual is blessed with specific gifts. Maybe it's the gift of relationships. Perhaps it is a laser-like focus on database management or an ardent commitment to a marketing strategy.

Whatever gift you have, it's time to exploit it and take your business to the next level.

Are you the expert on a particular loan product? Are there publications you could write for? Are there group meetings or events at which you could speak?

Create your level of expertise. Create awareness that you are the "go-to" person for all things mortgage. You and you alone are responsible for your success.

Many of the loan officers I have observed--through training, interviews and seeing them in action--share common mistakes and setbacks. For example, the fact that your company allows you to take loan applications from all over the country does not necessarily support a strong and sustainable business model. More to the point, it diminishes the opportunity to parlay the success of one closing into another.

Be careful about spreading yourself too thin or taking on too many disciplines. There are so many prospecting...

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