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The world is changing all around you and so is the mortgage industry. But when you have tough times, you have to go all in and focus on the activities that will help your business.

If you're struggling to grow your business in this transforming environment, then millionaire loan officer Nate Soliday has the solution for you.

He had a 3-person office pre-COVID. And Nate was able to grow his business during the pandemic virtually using the phone and Zoom. Now he's in the top 1% of the country for loans written.

In this episode, he reveals how to hire team members virtually and skyrocket your business.

Show highlights include:

  • Why having your database organized to auto-generate leads every month gives you the opportunity to close more loans (3:44)
  • How building a team virtually gives you more time to do marketing while you write more loans (10:09)
  • Why constantly hiring team members lets you upgrade each role to grow your business (even if some people quit or get let go) (13:10)
  • How spending money on people's salaries grows your business so you don't have to be there (14:18)
  • Why having a mentor teaches you the skills to be successful (and shows you how to get new business) (18:56)

Want to get your questions answered live? Head to MLOlive.com and discover how you could become a Millionaire Loan Officer!

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to The Millionaire Loan Officer podcast with your host, Scott Hudspeth sharing tools, tips and strategies so that you can go from a mortgage loan officer to a millionaire loan officer. It's your host, Scott Hudspeth.

Scotty: Hello everybody. This is Scott Hudspeth, with Millionaire Loan Officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and The Loan Officer Breakfast Club. I'm here with a dear friend of mine, that man we've been friends for a long time. And I don't know, man. I'm so impressed with what you've built, what you're doing in a nice small town. Dude you're so humble. And I know I'm not gonna like pull out of you what you've really done, but like, I really, really appreciate you being on this Millionaire Loan Officer podcast. You had a monster month. What was it, October?

Nate: Yeah in October. We did

Scotty: October.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: Dude I know you’re so humble. So, like, well, what'd you close in October? Cause this is epic and I mean in the top 1% of the U.S. So, I'm just, I'm so happy for you, man. [01:02.6]

Nate: Yeah, no, I appreciate it, Scotty. I appreciate you having me on the call today. So, in October we ended up closing 5.1 million, 27 loans for our team that way.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: And it was pretty exciting, pretty exciting. It was quite a bit more than we normally average. So yeah, so it was a great month for sure. It took a lot of work by all of our team members, but we got through it and got it done, so.

Scotty: Unbelievable, man. So, tell us where you're at, man. Like where are you located at? I think if I'm not mistaken, the population is really small.

Nate: It is. Yep. So, we're in Southern Indiana, small town about, we're probably 40 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, and a little town called Salem. And I double check the population of the day. We're a little under or right at 7,000 for the town. So, so yeah, so definitely really small. Even the county has, I don't take it to a little less than 30,000 in the whole county.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: We've been here for a long time, started in 2001 with a small broker shop, just me and me and another guy. And I'll, we'll talk about him in a minute, but so almost 20 years in the business in this area. We can't just, with a population of 7,000 people, it's hard to survive there. So, we kind of spread out a little bit and do, you know, kind of the Metro area of Louisville, Kentucky, a little we get up towards Indianapolis some, so it's kind of all of the Southern Indiana area, so.

Scotty: Got it. Okay. So, a little town of Salem 7,000, or do you hit, you go into Kentucky at all?

Nate: Yeah, the majority is in Washington county and our small county here. So, I would say probably 75% is really kind of hyper-local if you want to call it that. And then we do spread out a little bit and part of the reason why we had a good, you know, volume month in October, we did get a couple of loans and the, you know, higher loan amount areas of Louisville and central Indiana and that type thing. So that definitely contributed to what did, so. [02:40.6]

Scotty: Yeah. Awesome man. Dude, it's so unbelievable. 5.1. And how many loans is that?

Nate: 27.

Scotty: 27. Geez man.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: 27.

Nate: Yeah. So, it was an average. So typically, actually a few years ago we were averaging our loan amount was right around 135 on average. Prices have went up a little bit, so now we're kind of in the one 60 range, which is us is great. But for October we ended up at one in like the 195 range on the.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: On the average. So that helped a ton right there that they kind of get us to that point.

Scotty: Yeah, unbelievable. So, so man, we all start at zero. Like in going back to when I first met, dude it gives me chills. I mean, it really does. And I'm serious about this one. Like I came down to see you and I was trying to figure it out. You were trying to figure it out. We're just trying to figure it out together. And I'm like, here we are. I don't know how many years later, what is it? Five years later. Six years later.

Nate: Yeah, five, I think.

Scotty: Five.

Nate: Five – Six.

Scotty: So, knowing what you know now, man go back to that five or six years ago when we first started, like what would you do different today knowing like what would you tell someone today that's going? Cause I mean, if I'm not mistaken weren’t you like three, four loans a month, if I'm not mistaken when I first met you? [03:40.2]

Nate: [Inaudible]

Scotty: Okay.

Nate: Right around 10. Yeah

Scotty: Okay. Okay. Okay. Cool. Which is amazing, right? What would you tell somebody that was stuck at that four to five range? And I want to get to 10. I just, what do I need to do? Like what would you?

Nate: Right.

Scotty: Any advice would you give them?

Nate: Part of it for us, it's just been database, you know, really focusing on past customers and that type thing. So, I was kind of looking back over the past probably 12 months or so, and that's been 20 or 25% of our business. Part of that is because of the, where the rates are and the refi, refi boom, and that type thing. But I feel like we take pretty good care of our past clients. So, we do a physical newsletter every other month. So, it goes out in the mail and we actually kind of have that set up on autopilot. So, I have a company that does that for us out of Kentucky or excuse me out of California. And they do a great job. So basically, they just send it for our approval and that goes out. We have a lot of tools at our company with success mortgage, so. We've got like home bot that I use, we do a sales boomerang, a lot of things like that, that just kind of keep an eye on all of our past clients. And we probably have a database of right around a 1000 or 1100 people that get all those things every month, you know? So, so that helps a lot. So definitely having the database organized and it took me a long time to actually do it. You know, I knew I should do it, but it took me a long time to get there. But finally, when we did that, I think that did kind of help us kind of focus a little more on that and get a little more business from that, you know, from the database. [04:57.6]

Scotty: You know, man, I know people that have three times the amount of people in their database and they don't close, well, you close. So, do you attribute it to the newsletter every other month? Or is it, do you make phone calls? Like what is it that has allowed you to with only 1100 people in your database, 27 loans?

Nate: Right. It's all the above. So, we do some phone calls too. We, we kind of try to identify a remote, some people that would be a good candidate, you know, in case they haven't refied any deal. We usually get notified if it's not us, if they go elsewhere through sales boomerang. But so yeah, we definitely make some calls every month and kind of just keep a close eye on that, you know, that list of people. And, and we do that with a couple of our team members, you know, take care of that. But I think that's helped a lot, you know, just kind of having that focus on that part of the business.

Scotty: Yeah. Cause you and I both know how much value there is in somebody that already knows, likes and trusts you. So, you've just sounds like you went all in with that and like now they just.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: Tell you that and I love you a little backdrop there, the success on your phone, little [Inaudible] That's pretty cool, man.

Nate: Yeah Success, success is calling.

Scotty: Yeah.

Nate: So, it’s just a matter if we’re going to answer it or not, but. [05:56.6]

Scotty: Yeah.

Nate: Yeah, it’s really call.

Scotty: You answered the call man, you looked, it sounds like you answered it every day. So, Homebot, sales genie. So, sales genie is a system that allows you to get notified when any one of your clients pulls a credit anywhere right?

Nate: Yeah. So, sales, boomerang. So yeah, if, if a credit gets ran and we get notified baseline, I think it's the next morning we get notified that it's been ran. Then we reach out to them, you know, and see if we can basically help them in any way. And if they're already set with what they're doing fine, but you know, we would definitely want to get our foot back in the door to see if we can help, so.

Scotty: Awesome. What does a team look like to close the 27 loans? You said you wanted to bring up somebody else, who's this other person you want to bring?

Nate: So, I've noticed on some of your other calls you ask about who your first hire should be and that type of thing.

Scotty: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Nate: And so, in 2002 is when I started my first year in the business. I closed 11 loans for the whole year and two of those loans, one of them was for my dad. One of them was from my father-in-law. So really, I only closed nine. And actually, I thought my dad was going to rescind on his refinance because I had him in escrows and he didn't want to escrows. And we still joke about that to this day. So, I was lucky to get number 11, but yeah, so we started in 02 and then in 03, I hired Doug Dylan. He's a loan officer assistant and he's kind of stayed in that role basically from then, until now. So, he's been on and off just a little bit after 2008, we made a few changes, but other than, than that timeframe, you know, almost 20 years we've worked together there. [07:17.3]

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: And and he does a great job. So, he's more of a, an extrovert than I am. So, he does a lot of the realtor marketing things and he does a lot of outbound calls, you know, and things like that. So that's kind of where we started with, with one of our team members.

Scotty: Gotchya.

Nate: Another one, we've got a Russell Terry. So, he's been with us for two years. Russell was brand new in the business when he started, because he's actually from Lakeland, Florida, and he moved up here about two years ago. So, he is in our local office and he's my future son-in-law.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: So, he will be joining the family next year.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: But Russell does a good job. So, we've kind of taught him the business and he does a lot of loan set up disclosures, you know, things like that, just a lot to kind of help the team get through the, the front end of the process.

Scotty: Love it.

Nate: So, we've got Russel, we've got a lady, her name is Tu-kae ho, up in Michigan. So, she works off site and she helps with some verifications in order outs and things like that. And she is just kind of, she's been with us for about a year and just a big part of that support on the front end of things you know, once we get a file started. You know, she'll help us copy files and just help with a lot of encompass tasks that you know, that where she can just kind of pitch in, you know, in different areas.

Scotty: Her name is Tu-Kae?

Nate: Yeah, she's awesome. We've had she worked for a bank I think for two years, and then she joined us like saying that support role and yeah, she's been really good for us. We've got a processor and kind of a processor assistant. So, our processor assistant's been with us for about two years and that's one thing that's kind of cool is our team's kind of been together for a while now. So that's helped a lot to kind of get a flow to the, all the processes and things that we've got in place, but her name is Sally. So, Sally's in Alabama, she works off site and she does a great job. So, she helps with getting the items needed from customers. She's helps with getting conditions, you know, things like that, just different things from appraisers that we might need, you know, things along those lines. And then Becca Lang is our main processor. Becca is the key to our, our business, for sure. She knows guidelines forwards and backwards. She's on top of everything. She's organized. She just takes care of everything from basically the pro, once it goes into processing to closing, that helps a ton to, you know, so she does a great job. [09:18.6]

Scotty: Beautiful. So, is Becca on-site or she virtual too?

Nate: No, she's virtual. She’s in Alabama.

Scotty: Okay.

Nate: And she actually, she knew Sally, so she brought her on. Becca, has been with us four years, I believe.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: Sally was her neighbor, never been in the mortgage business.

Scotty: What?

Nate: She has an accounting, accounting degree. So, she brought her on board and, and trained her up really quickly. And we, Sally got up to speed real fast. So that worked out really well.

Scotty: So, 50% of your team is virtual, it sounds like?

Nate: Correct, yeah.

Scotty: Dylan’s in house, you're in house and your son-in-law's in house Russell.

Nate: Yup, correct.

Scotty: Dude you built a team from [inaudible]wherever you want.

Nate: Yes exactly. Exactly. We do have a two part-time loan officers. They close a couple loans a month for us, but they definitely contribute to, Chad and Brian. But but yeah, they've been, Chad has been with us a little over a year, Brian two and a half years or so insides. They make a couple, a couple of those deals every month too, which is nice, that helps on the revenue side and cover expenses. So.

Scotty: Cool. And how do you communicate with your virtuals? Do you have daily, weekly, every other day? Like how does that look with your pipeline with, I mean, I'm sure if you had 27 closings, you had 35-40 and processor coming through, like didn't stop.

Nate: Right.

Scotty: So how does the communication work having a virtual team like that? [10:26.0]

Nate: Yes, I mean, we're on the phone all the time with each other. That's a, that's a big part of it. It's just kind of the constant communication between the guys here in our office and Alabama basically. But then we do at least one pipeline call in a week, pretty detailed. And we'll do that and then we'll probably usually like on a Thursday or Friday, we'll do just a quick overview of the pipeline just to see if there's anything we need to get done before the weekend, you know, just kind of get wrapped up. So that's typically how that looks, but it's always just, we're just always communicating.

Scotty: Awesome. So, you got a loan partner, you've got processors, you got Russell's sound like you sound like you have all the pieces taken care of. What does Nathan do? What does Nate do like on a daily basis? And have you removed yourself from the production, you still out on the street? Like, what are you doing?

Nate: So, for a big part of it, I've removed myself from the process. And I think it was 2014. I went to the Nashville to the three-day meeting with the Marketing Animals with you guys and I can't remember if you were there or not. That was kind of the first time I had heard of Carl and a couple of the guys. I, for some reason, I think you weren't there that.

Scotty: Yeah, I missed that one. I missed that one, yeah. [11:25.7]

Nate: But it, it was awesome though. And it kind of changed the way that I kind of looked at things. And even though that was six or seven years ago, now that left a mark on me on how I need to run my business. So, it took a while to get there. So here we are. And when, you know, in 21 and, and I've got taken out of, I would say 75% of the stuff that I used to do. So that allows me to kind of do some more marketing and get some things set up that way, you know, and hopefully leading into next year, doing some more YouTube videos and things like that, because we've got some, some leads from that and some on that side of things. And then on kind of outside of the business, I do some real estate investing and things like that too.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: So, with some flip homes and stuff, so.

Scotty: Wow.

Nate: That's kind of how my day looks. It's kind of a mix of all that stuff, so.

Scotty: Sounds fun to me, man. It sounds like you've built a true business, that's sustainable if you're there or not. It’s what it is.

Nate: Right.

Scotty: And if you're just selling and building relationships and deepening relationships that doesn't need to be done every day, right.

Nate: Right. That was definitely the goal, you know, and we're you know, definitely excited to kind of be at this point and it's allowed us to travel quite a bit this year to take some trips and things that we hadn't been able to do before. And it's, it's all thanks to the team. Cause I know I can count on the group that I have now so. [12:30.2]

Scotty: Well, and they can count on you too, you know, they kinda need you to go drive it in the door and then they're just there to take care of it, which is a, you know, it's a double-edged sword. Some people hire people and then they don't do anything else, you know so.

Nate: Right, right.

Scotty: You actually went said, all right, I got a bunch of families to, that count on me. So, you like, you know, you strapped her on and let's go. So, congratulations on that man.

Nate: Thank you. Yeah, appreciate it. We've been through a few people to get to that point.

Scotty: Yeah.

Nate: It takes a while to get, to get the right team members in place. But you know, once you get the right people, you definitely want to do what you can to, to keep them at it. So far, we've been able to do that pretty well. So that's exciting too, so.

Scotty: So, you know, I hear that a lot, Nate, people hire somebody out that didn't work that person, oh, that's not going to work. So, I'm just going to do it myself. And obviously you said, no, I'm going to push through this. And you said, you've hired a couple people to find the right people. What would you tell somebody that's looking for that person? Would you say, man, just keep going or build your bench? What would you tell somebody that's struggling finding the perfect team? [13:21.1]

Nate: Building the bench is a good idea for sure. But, but yeah, definitely keep going with it. I mean, you you'll eventually find the right person. Like you said, a little earlier, they can be from anywhere. You know, you can find somebody on the other side of the country that can do the job.

Scotty: Yeah.

Nate: I feel like it hurt for us as long as it's somebody I can kind of click with, you know, our personalities kind of match up and they're motivated that usually that can work out pretty well. You know, so it's, I think personality is a big thing and, and you know, but like I say, it doesn't matter necessarily if they have that experience just like with Sally, somebody can be trained up pretty quickly to, to get up to speed. So, but yeah, definitely keep working on that and have, you know, if you can have somebody in the background that's kind of ready, you know, definitely do that. And if you can bring them along, you know, the sooner, the better cause like we've all kind of talked about before, you know, the more people you have, the more stuff you can get done and kind of take you again out of that equation. And it can usually, you know, add more loans, you know, in the future. So, if you can get somebody to kind of take off another piece that maybe your processor's doing and make her job a little easier going down the line, I mean, if you can add somebody, I would definitely do it. [14:20.3]

Scotty: How do you overcome the fear of writing that check for that first employee, cause obviously that's hard for everybody. It's like, man, I just made it. I know I need somebody, now I got to spend this much money to get somebody good to help me go to the next level. So, you know, we call it official. If you go backwards a little bit, what helped you to get over that? And maybe you didn't have it, but I know I did everybody I've talked to has, but.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: Was that an issue for you and how'd you push through it?

Nate: It was, but on the flip side of that, you gotta look at what kind of return you can have. And definitely when it comes to the time and not work 60 and 70 hours a week and you know, on mortgages because that gets old real quick. After you've done it for 20 years, not really in the mood to do that all the time. So, I had that motivation to, to kind of put some of those things off on, on some team members and I knew if we could get it done right. That would definitely be worth the money, you know, once we got into it, so.

Scotty: Perfect. And these virtual employees, do you interview them virtually? Do you fly them in? Do you go to them, like how did that come about? [15:14.6]

Nate: Yeah, I mean, basically virtually. So, for example, like Becca, we, I knew her from a previous company and she, we had left and she came about seven months later and she had reached out to me and we talked several times to, to make sure it could work, you know, but as soon as I realized kind of her knowledge base and what she could do, it was, it was a pretty easy decision. And then for in Michigan with Tu, I mean, we basically just kind of did that by phone and, and talk to her and she kind of demonstrated, I kind of gave her a few things to work on and make sure she could kind of do what we needed as far as a few tasks upfront. And she was good with that and she's great. And she's like, her attention to detail is, is almost flawless. So that helps a lot too. So, so yeah, so basically in phone and virtually.

Scotty: It's really neat, it's a results-based business, right? I mean, you're hiring an LOA processor, whatever, it's all about results and is the customer happy and are we closing on time?

Nate: Right.

Scotty: And if it doesn't, then you go, all right, where'd the ball get dropped who dropped it. And then you just kind of figured out that way and maybe it's lack of training or whatever. So yeah. So, man, I'm so glad we're talking about this because I think people are nervous and still having a hard time, even with COVID and we're all virtual, all working from home and all this stuff. People are still having a hard time going. I want somebody under my roof, you know, I'm going to be able to see them and talk to them and have them, you know what I mean? And you you're not like that. So that's so cool that you just, I mean, you can build an amazing team for anywhere. [16:30.7]

Nate: Yeah. Part of that was, I just actually bought an office building this summer. So, we moved our office to a new location with more room, but I didn't have a choice before that we had basically two and a half rooms. So, if I was going to have any team members, they would have had to set out on the sidewalk, you know, so.

Scotty: That’s awesome.

Nate: If they're going to be in house, so, but yeah, so that was kind of a necessity of that. But once we got Becca hired, you know, off site, I realized how easy that it basically is now to be able to do that. So yeah, that's definitely not a, for us anyway, not really a hurdle anymore, the way, the way things are set up.

Scotty: Unbelievable, man, this is like one of the best interviews I had in a long time. So, it's just a, I think the best part about it is I knew you from 10 but 10 for you was right around a million, I think.

Nate: Yes.

Scotty: Loan size so high or so low at that time.

Nate: Right.

Scotty: And you know, it's just so cool at 195. I mean, holy smokes, man. You're like, Whaaat, I’m like WHaaaat…when close, how much is that loan? You know, and then.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: I mean, so surreal man, for real.

Nate: Yeah. No, it's awesome for sure. And then we're definitely excited about it. Excited looking into next year and kind of how things can go from there too, so.

Scotty: I'm glad you brought that up. So, he bought an office building, you're flipping some houses, you run an Uber successful mortgage business. What's next for you, man? What's coming in 2022. I mean, like I never thought about it that way like.

Nate: Yeah. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, but we one thing that's kind of cool, it's separate from the mortgage business, but it's kind of a sideline to that is we're going to actually open a modular home dealership in 2022.

Scotty: What!

Nate: So that way we can kind of generate more leads if, if they don't want to buy a manufactured home or a mod, Hey, let's get them moved over to on the mortgage side and let's get them a house that's already existing. So having another sideline to that and that'll take some time, but we've already got our approvals and we're moving forward and we've got a couple of clients that are looking right, basically ready to move forward with, with the home. So, it's kind of cool. So doing that along with some other things. So yeah, we've got all kinds of irons in the fire right now, so. [18:12.0]

Scotty: Wait a minute. You're going to open a modular home dealership.

Nate: Yeah. That's the game plan. Yeah, so right now it's kind of virtual too on that, because I don't have a lot with any model homes quite yet, but that hopefully mid-summer, next year we'll be able to get our first one in. But yeah, that's definitely the game plan.

Scotty: Unbelievable man, that dude, I can't even wait to interview you a year from now. That’s like up and running like that's like, that's a first, so I might call it a full

Nate: Yeah [inaudible]. We've got a couple of sales people that we're interviewing for that. And hopefully we'll have a decision made on that and at the end of the month here. And then kind of go a head first into that and generate some more leads, you know, see what happens.

Scotty: How exciting. Man, your wife's just got like, man, who is this guy? Who's this guy, I married man? He’s like closing 10 loans a month, having a good time and now, we're like, whoa, four businesses Like that is so cool.

Nate: There you go, that’s right.

Scotty: That is so cool. Can't wait to see you next week.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: So, man, you've done so much and you're like, you're so young and you're like, you have so much ahead of you. It gives me chills talking about it. What would you tell somebody that is like struggling a little bit or maybe just getting in the business? Like what advice would you have from that point of view for somebody that's just getting started or struggling a little bit? [19:14.5]

Nate: Yeah, I mean, definitely get in the business first of all. I think that was a life-changer for me. It took a little time to get rolling once I made the change. But if you're thinking about getting in the business, take the step, you know, take the step. Especially right now, it's a little easier than it may be down the line a little bit to get, get things started. So, I would definitely do it, you know, take that first step. And then from there on somebody that you can, can kind of count on whether it's a coach or a good mentor that can kind of really get you up to speed. It's easy to learn kind of the nuts and bolts of the business, but you know, learning how to get businesses key. And so, you know, so whether they, they joined the marketing animals or at least have a really good manager, that's going to walk them through that process.

Scotty: Yeah.

Nate: To get started, I would definitely recommend it.

Scotty: Awesome, man. Nate, I can't tell you how how excited I am for you. I can't wait to follow your journey man. Congratulations on a massive success. The modular home thing has me so intrigued that yeah, I'm probably gonna lose sleep over that one tonight.

Nate: Oh yeah.

Scotty: Cause that's just, I don’t know, that just sounds like a brilliant idea. Like why not? You know, let's throw it out there.

Nate: Yeah.

Scotty: So, congratulations on that. [20:13.2]

Nate: Thank you.

Scotty: Brother, man congratulations again. Hey guys Nate in Salem, Indiana, little town just outside of Kentucky, 40 miles outside of Kentucky. Just crushing it, four businesses. Probably not telling me something. There's another five, I know there's five out there somewhere so I know he's got something he told me. So maybe I'll pull that out of you next week, man. I'll buy you a beer and we'll, okay…yeah… So can you see it guys. Thanks so much for joining me right here on Millionaire Loan Officer with Nate Soliday, Nate Soliday. I appreciate you guys. Millionaire Loan Officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and The Loan Officer Breakfast Club.

Take action is what Nate said. Jump in. Don't have a plan B and just go, you know, find a mentor, find a coach, find somebody that can help you sell delegate all this stuff that isn't selling. And man, amazing things happen as Nate has proven over and over again. So, congratulations, man. Thank you so much for being here.

Nate: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Scotty: Bye buddy. [21:05.7]

I'm a Millionaire Loan Officer.

Thank you for tuning into the Millionaire Loan Officer podcast with your host Scott Hudspeth, don't forget to visit MLOlive.com to have your questions answered. See you next time. [21:25.3]

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