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Most mortgage loan officers don't want to give up control to a loan partner.

But if you hire a loan partner, your apprehension skyrockets your business from loan officer to millionaire loan officer.

MLO Irene Duford started the Freedom Club that teaches loan officers the skills to go from LO to MLO.

In this episode, discover how to implement the knowledge that takes you from loan officer to millionaire loan officer.

Show highlights include:

  • How training your loan partner(s) helps you become a better communicator for your clients (2:44)
  • Why hiring a loan partner frees you up to meet with more clients (6:12)
  • How building a trustworthy reputation closes more loans than any sales technique (7:42)
  • Why giving up talking to your clients pays you money without lifting a finger (12:00)
  • The “Self Talk” method that reprograms your mind for positivity (17:30)

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: All right. All right. All right. Hey everybody, this is Scott Hudspeth, with Millionaire Loan Officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and the new, and man, if you're missing it, The Loan Officer Breakfast Club, you got to check it out. So go there at The Loan Officer Breakfast Club, but I'm more excited about this. I'm more excited about who I have. I'm so honored to have you on this call. You've been a such a dear friend for so long, and I was just taking notes and I'm like, I ran out of room of all the stuff you've done since I've met you. I mean like you're the creator of the Freedom Club. [0:58.2]

Irene: It's been so fun.

Scotty: Right, I mean look what you’ve built Irene. It’s like unbelievable. We're going to talk about three classes that you've built. Two of them live. One of them is going to be like a self-paced training, which I'm super excited to talk about. You're a coach, you coach loan officers.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: And I got chills when I'm saying this, self-talk. And you've been instrumental for me. I mean, every time I hear it, I'm like, man, it's just, it's so simple, but so hard. You know what I mean?

Irene: Yeah. Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: We tend to always go towards the negative. So, Irene do forward, I'm so excited to have you here. Thank you for being here. Tell everybody a little bit about you and then I got all kinds of questions for you. [1:39.5]

Irene: Aww, thank you so much, Scotty, for having me on. I appreciate you so much. You and I connected with Carl, the three of us long time ago before like 2009, 2010, it was so awesome. And you've been such a major part of my life since then. So, I am the mother of three adult children. Two of them are in the mortgage business. One's a creative writer and all of my kids have been in the mortgage business with me for 20 years. I stopped originating about four years ago, but since 2012, we opened and started The Freedom Club. And so, I was the first coach for a year and then Carl and Tammy, and now we have tons of coaches and tons of people. It's so amazing to see what has happened in The Freedom Club over the last 10 years almost. It's almost been 10 years.

Scotty: It's like surreal. That's so surreal.

Irene: It is.

Scotty: So, for everybody listening, if you don't know what The Freedom Club is it's, I don't know, I think it's the number one coaching platform in the U.S if I'm not mistaken.

Irene: Yeah. [2:38.6]

Scotty: And whatever, but it sure is. I know that Carl has the number one podcast.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: In the U.S so it's just. You know, Irene, like you've done so much and you're still doing so much for so many people. Tell me about when you have two live classes, one of them's called LoanTeamTraining.com guys, take notes, LoanTeamTraining.com that come tell me about that one.

Irene: So that one is a class that is a, it's pretty much a communication class. I started it out for Loan Partners. There was a need, as I was coaching. I saw a need for loan partners to be trained, kind of getting them up to speed with all the things that the loan officer's asking them to do, but kind of just explaining to them from a different perspective, how important their role is in building the business, growing the business, building the team culture, wowing the clients. We call that the Wow class, Wow training class. And it started out just for loan partners, but we ended up, people said, can I send my processor? Can I send my DSP manager, my marketing assistant, my business development rep, can I send them? And I said, absolutely. If they are client facing, if they talk to clients and communicate with clients, which some processors, don't. The ones that do, they'd come to the class and they've gotten a lot out of it. [3:52.2]

Scotty: Unbelievable. So, it's live. So is it a couple of classes, one class, or like, what does that look like for

Irene: Yes, we used to do it live here in Phoenix and people would send their people to us pre COVID.

Scotty: Uhh…huh…Okay.

Irene: Thanks to Kevin Gillespie in The Freedom Club, we started in October of 2019 doing it on zoom because he kept pushing me to do it, thank goodness. We were ready for COVID. So, we started doing it on Zoom. It's live, the trainers are on the course, everyone's live there's video and audio, but it's on zoom instead of in person.

Scotty: Yeah, and I hear nothing but amazing things about LoanTeamTraining.com. So really who would be the perfect person to take this class?

Irene: The support staff of the loan officers, not the loan officers, cause we don't want to get into a lot of sales. You know, it always turns into sales when loan officers are on there. So, we keep it with just the support staff and we tell them how to wow clients. So, people want to work with that loan officer's team.

Scotty: Excellent. [4:50.1]

Irene: And we give them information. We go through all of the DSP calls, how to make those calls. We do role-playing, we'd cover all kinds of things, communication things like if they go to LoanTeamTraining.com, they'll see a long list of things that we cover, but we always, every class I do cover Self-Talk.

Scotty: Gotcha.

Irene: That’s one of the first foundational things we do. And that's eye opening for most support staff cause loan officers have a lot of things that they go to, but the support staff doesn't always have that. So that's been one of the biggest eye-openers. And so, we do that, we talk about clearly defined roles, how to be a great loan partner, how to do follow up, how to use checklists, how to turn loans in right the first time. We go through a lots of checklists and they go through scripting, dialogues, how to say things, what words to use and what words not to use when you're talking to clients. We just go through mindset, relationship building, how important it is for them to build that relationship with the client as well on behalf of the loan officer.

Scotty: Wow. [5:56.6]

Irene: And then how to use the Dr. Butler script that we talk about in The Freedom Club, where they're using the loan officer's names, so that the loan officers more connected to the clients, even though they're not involved at that moment. So, it's a big deal.

Scotty: You had me at hello. So, at what point, and I know, you know, this like, well, what point should a loan officer start looking for a loan partner?

Irene: Right away. If they don't have a loan partner that should be their first hire.

Scotty: Yeah, for sure. That’s what I hear all the time.

Irene: They're limited otherwise. They can't get out, they have no freedom, they're doing everything. And so, a loan partner can make a big difference. Some of the loan partners that come are the ones that do the loan consultation for them, for the loan officers, so that the loan officer can just be free and get out and get more business. And some of the loan partners that come are the ones that take it from contract to close.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: So, there's different models. And when we're teaching them and training them, we always tell them to refer back to the loan officer because there's no just one way of doing it. So, we give them examples, but we always tell them, go back to your loan officer and make sure this is, you know, you know exactly how they want it done. [7:04.6]

Scotty: Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. The second one. So, guys, if you're seasoned, I mean, like you have seasoned LO’s, just getting loan partners or they have loan partners like, I don't know if there's anything that exists that you actually provide for loan partners. I mean like, so anybody that has any team whatsoever, like any and I heard processor, I heard loan partner, DSP manager, you guys, if you guys don't know this term, just like somehow find a way to get me or hop on the Loan Officer Breakfast Club. You'll we talk about it every single day, Monday through Thursday. So unbelievable. Yeah, that's insane what that's turned into. Another epic transformation from Irene, right? The second class is called Client ConversionTraining.com. Did I say that right?

Irene: Yes. Client ConversionTraining.com. And that class was designed for the people on the team that either they already know the loan business, they either want to become the person, the loan officer wants them to become the person that converts the client.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: Then talks to them, pre-qualifies them structures the loan and gets them to say, yes. [8:09.6]

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: That's what that class is.

Scotty: Holy Smokes.

Irene: So that is mainly what that class is. So, we tell people if they're brand new to the business, they might get a little lost in that class. But if they've already been working in the business and they know pretty much how to do things exactly in converting people like being the one that is going to do the prequalification and the loan consultation and that type of thing. But we go over how to convert people, emotional intelligence, how to build a trustworthy, honest reputation with clients and referral partners, building competence of course, mindset, we always go through that. Scripting dialogues, how to overcome objections and how to connect with clients on a deeper level. And then we go through the buyer consultation, how to do that and how to handle all types of clients. Proactive communication, checklists, you know, the whole.

Scotty: Holy smokes.

Irene: We also cover some tools like mortgage coach. We cover mortgage coach.

Scotty: Wow. [9:12.0]

Irene: Because it's a really important tool to be able to convert people. My son, Kenny actually teaches that class more than I do.

Scotty: Okay.

Irene: He actually created it and teaches it more than I do. I'm on the class with him most of the time, but he teaches that cause that's his role every day.

Scotty: Wow.

Irene: That's what he does.

Scotty: Okay. So, this is for somebody. This is for an LO that is ready to step away or somebody that keeps getting pulled in, because if they're doing the sales activities, obviously you build, you're building more relationships, deepening more relationships, and you're getting more frozen, which is going to pull you back into the minutia.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: So, this person is trained to keep you from getting pulled back in and kind of become you.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: That'd be correct, okay.

Irene: That's exactly right. Or the person that wants to the loan officer wants them to take that role and they're not confident in it yet. As long as they know the loan business a little bit.

Scotty: Yeah, yeah, okay, okay. [10:09.1]

Irene: We've actually had a couple of LO’s that are kind of new, that haven't learned how to convert yet. This wouldn't be a class for somebody who's seasoned loan officer, seasoned as a loan officer, because we're not teaching them anything they don't already know, right. But for somebody who's new to converting.

Scotty: Well, I don't know, Irene, like I might, what if my conversions aren't that good? Right? I mean, like.

Irene: That’s true.

Scotty: I have a ton of business coming in, but my conversions are, I dunno, say less than 70% or maybe wouldn't be a bad idea for me to take the client conversion training.

Irene: That’s true. You're right. I didn't think about that, yeah. My limiting belief, right?

Scotty: Right.

Irene: It is only for these people, but yes. You're right

Scotty: That's right. That's right. So, we got LoanTeamTraining.com, which is for loan partners.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: Brand new or seasoned.

Irene: Right.

Scotty: And then we have Client ConversionTraining.com, which is for a loan partner. That's ready to step into the shoes of the loan officer to help qualify that pull credit, put a complete file together for the loan officer, so to speak.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: And then walk it through all the way through to, from cradle to grave.

Irene: Yes. There's quite a few people that have had that role, but they just need to learn to convert better, so then they come to the class as well. [11:18.7]

Scotty: Hey, I've got a question for you. Do you find that LO’s have a hard time giving that up because it's part of their significance?

Irene: Yes, yes, we do.

Scotty: Right.

Irene: Hmm…hmm. Yeah. As a coach, it's really interesting to talk to people because some people want to give it up and some people want to hold onto it because it's their baby. They've been doing it all along. It's part of their significance and they feel, and many of them do convert better than somebody that they put in that position. So, this teaches people how to convert better along with the training they get from the loan officer. And so, yeah.

Scotty: Wow.

Irene: Loan officers have a hard time giving that up. But if they feel like there's training, it's much easier for them to give it up.

Scotty: What do you tell loan officer that is scared to give it up because now I'm not really part of the, I mean, I'm not even talking to the client up front, I'm not qualifying them. I'm not updating them. I'm just pulled in. If there's a major catastrophe, like how do you teach an LO to give that up, cause that's a scarcity thing. [12:16.9]

Irene: Yes, we do it one step at a time. So first we get the person trained. We get the right person on. If they don't have the right person, they'll never give it up. They have to trust me that person's going to do it. You and I both know, right from experience.

Scotty: Oh yeah. Oh yes.

Irene: You get that person in; you get them trained. And one step at a time, they don't have to give a ball up. They don't have to stop talking to clients all at once. You know, that's it, no more clients. They can do a few at a time. They can send one to the loan partner that converts, and then they could do one so they can sprinkle themselves in as they want to and do it one step at a time instead of just a hard stop, give it all up and then they never talked to the client. That’s how we do it.

Scotty: I know. And you know, as well as many loan officers that we talked to you, that's the hardest part is given that part up cause now I'm not.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: I'm not part of the equation like Suzanne Downs, perfect example. I love this story where she comes to work one day and it's, I don't know what time, 9:30, 10:00 and there's a big party going on and balloons and cake. And she's like, what's going on? There was a closing, her closing that she had nothing to do with.

Irene: Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: Like all upset. She walks into her office, closes the door and on her desk sits the check from the closing. Just like you did big old [inaudible]. Okay. That was cool. [13:34.2]

Irene: Yup, I can handle that. The other things Scot that, that you asked about is a loan officer who's doing that little by little, getting that part of it up, they can still call the client once in a while and check in, Hey, is my team taking great care of you? How are you doing? I appreciate you. Thank you for coming back to us or thank you for being our client. Just a warm call. If they want to, they don't have to, but that's part of giving it up one step at a time.

Scotty: And wouldn't you say the Dr. Butler script works perfect for that like.

Irene: It does.

Scotty: Cause they're using the loan officer's name and again, if you don't know the word saying a lot of terms, I would just highly recommend go to the Loan Officer Breakfast Club. We talk about this stuff all the time.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: So, check it out. But yeah, that's actually cool. So, you got the most excited of all those classes about this new one.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: It's not live, but it starts in January.

Irene: Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: So, like I'm part of a movie like new series coming up. Here we go and it is like Irene’s got a new show, here we go. That's called, correct me if I'm wrong Loan, Assistant Bootcamp. [14:40.1]

Irene: Yes. Loan Assistant Bootcamp. It's not live yet.

Scotty: Okay.

Irene: It's going to be coming out in January.

Scotty: Okay.

Irene: But it is going to be an amazing class. What going to do is teach a brand-new loan assistant, how to be a loan assistant.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: In the Freedom Club, we call them loan partners. I don't like to call people assistants, but that's a mortgage term that's used widely throughout the industry. So that's why I called it Loan Assistant Bootcamp.

Scotty: Wow.

Irene: But what it is is it teaches them A to Z the simple way you know, mortgage terms. I mean, there's all kinds of things that it teaches. Mortgage terms basics on conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, all of the scripting, how to actually be a loan partner day to day. What is the life of the loan partner look like day to day? Checklists, scripting, everything that they're going to need to be a brand-new loan partner. We're not going to overwhelm them. It's not a loan officer training.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: But it's to train them specifically. I don't believe there's a training out there yet. I could be wrong, but I don't believe there's a training specifically to teach a brand-new loan partner, how to step into being a loan partner after they'd been to class. [15:53.9]

Scotty: So is this converting like a brand-new person didn't know mortgage has two G’s, geez. I think it has two G’s doesn’t it?

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: Yeah. Like going from like, Hey, I just started answering phones. Hey, I really like this business. How do I do that? And so that's that person.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: Okay. Okay

Irene: It’s that person.

Scotty: All right.

Irene: Or it could be a person that says, you know, I've heard a lot of good things about the mortgage business. I don't want to be a loan officer on commission, but I'd love to be an assistant. And there’s such a need. Isn't there Scotty? For loan partners that are trained, they're not.

Scotty: Yeah.

Irene: Unless they have years of experience and you're going to pay them really, really well, which I think one partners deserve to be paid really well.

Scotty: Absolutely.

Irene: But unless you're going to find those people, which are hard to find, then you can bring someone in that has the right experience background. You know, people that have been servers, people that have worked at Chick-fil-A people that have worked at a Starbucks, anyone that has the right capability, the right attitude, the right teamwork, all the values that a loan officer is looking for, they can find that person and then put them in this class and then bring them to their team after they've attended the class. [17:02.0]

Scotty: You know, you can go to a restaurant and you have somebody waiting on you. You're like, oh my God. If I could get that person in my, my son on my team.

Irene: Yeah.

Scotty: I would, she'd crush it cause she's still good with people.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: That's kind of the person you're looking for right.

Irene: That’s the person you are looking for.

Scotty: Hire the person that waits on them at a restaurant over and over and over like, all right. Hey, are you open to a conversation?

Irene: Absolutely.

Scotty: You hear the same thing.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: So that's what I'm going to do is take somebody green, turn them into a pickle. No, I'm just kidding that’s Carl, that’s a Carl thing. So yeah.

Irene: Yeah.

Scotty: Pickle Pickle. Unbelievable. So, I want to finish with probably the coolest part about you, which you've been so instrumental, so powerful in the self-talk. How did that come about? Like w was it some training you had or like, where did that come from to always find the positive in every single thing that you do? Cause I'm, I've never seen you upset. I've never had it heard a negative thing. Like how do you do that? [17:53.6]

Irene: Years of practice, right.

Scotty: Yeah.

Irene: Some people will say, I remember my husband telling me one time, you're automatically just a positive person. And I kind of was, I don't know if I was in a mood or what, but I said, you know what, it's not automatic, it's practice.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: Every day, practicing, practicing, even my own husband I had to tell him that. But it's the truth. One day I just told the story for the first time, the other day. One day I was walking in a bookstore when I was in my early twenties. And I saw this book and it caught my attention. It said what to say, when you talk to yourself. And I went, it's kind of interesting. I wonder what that is. So, I picked it up and looked at it and I bought the book and I read it and I devoured it. I just loved it. It talked about when we talk to ourselves, what we say matters. And how to change some of the things and reprogram what we say. So, I found it intriguing. And then a few years later, I ended up seeing Shad Helmstetter who wrote that book live. And I got even more from it. And then I heard him do interviews and he became my mentor. Just even though I didn't know him, he became my mentor. And it's just every day, reprogramming. Stopping yourself, when you say something, you know, is not helping you and rewording it to the opposite as if it's already happened. Like if I say, oh man, I hate working with clients. Then I would say, I love clients. They feed my gambling. [19:16.1]

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: Not I'm gonna love clients. I love clients. So, if we say I love clients and we go around all day long, saying that to ourselves, how are we gonna feel?

Scotty: It's life changing you know and I.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: When I think I got this from you, I heard like write down the 10 things you're appreciative of, right? Cause your brain can only hold so many thoughts.

Irene: Uhh…huh.

Scotty: So, if you write down the 10 things, you're appreciative of, and you're having a bad thought, pull out your 10 things, read them out loud and it's literally the thought goes away because it can only hold so much you know.

Irene: Yes. So, gratitude is a big thing. A lot of people do gratitude journals every day. And that really helps.

Scotty: Yeah.

Irene: The thing to remember is that our thoughts create our emotions. So, what we think about makes us feel a certain way and then our emotions create our actions. So, what we're feeling is going to make us act a certain way.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: And then our actions create our results. So, if we act a certain way, we're going to get results that are consistent with that. So that's why it's so important to put the right thoughts into our mind intentionally so that we don't get off on a bunny trail somewhere and end up having a bad day. [20:21.1]

Scotty: And I know you and I could talk to you about this, like all day and twice on Sundays.

Irene: I know.

Scotty: But isn't it weird how the people that we work with, the people we coach, the uber successful ones, just have a different attitude and mindset.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: And that little tweak of, I don't, I don't really care for the word, fake it till you make it, but it's kind of it is what it is.

Irene: Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: But just the thought of, you know, when I don't know who I learned this from Irene, and maybe you can help me. Somebody said, think where you want to be.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: Instead of where you are. Like I'm at 20 loans a month. I close 20 loans a month.

Irene: Exactly.

Scotty: That's what I do.

Irene: Yes.

Scotty: And [inaudible] and when you live in the moment of what you, where you want to be, and it's funny, write it down, uou have all this planning in a year and it's funny how your mind takes you there because you have to do different actions.

Irene: Exactly.

Scotty: And it makes you feel a certain way. And then you do actions that are consistent with that and then you get the results of what you want. So, you can get good results or you can get bad results, it really depends on your self-talk. And in other words, you don't just graduate and you're okay with self-talk. It happens your whole life. I am still working on my self-talk. I'm working on certain things that I haven't conquered yet. And all of us do, it's just part of life. [21:32.3]

Scotty: Yeah. Amazing stuff. Irene, you're just a huge inspiration to myself and to so many people.

Irene: Thank you.

Scotty: And I'm Uber excited to see you in a couple of weeks.

Irene: Yes, me too.

Scotty: So exciting. It's going to be maybe I think the biggest one ever, I'm hearing.

Irene: I think so, yes.

Scotty: And just to touch a little bit more on that Self-Talk man, I keep telling myself where I, my weight is, it's not it's not working so.

Irene: Mine isn’t either.

Scotty: Maybe we can have a little power on that, like helped me out there, but Hey.

Irene: Thank you.

Scotty: Thank you so much. I can't wait to for everybody just as a repeat LoanTeamTraining.com, go to the website. Client ConversionTraining.com, check out the website and then January checkout Loan Assistant Bootcamp, all different for all different walks of life. For LPs, processors, you name it that, maybe loan officers if you're having a problem in conversion. Check them out Irene's the master of all these and she's instrumental in so many people. So, thank you so much, Irene.

Irene: Thank you.

Scotty: Any final words for this, everybody listening. [22:33.1]

Irene: I would just say, just keep going. Don't give up, be consistent in what you're doing as a loan officer, what you're doing is working. Just one step at a time. Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember that you can change your identity, by the way you talk to yourself.

Scotty: Hmm.

Irene: The things that you say. So, like you said, it's interesting. I'll end with this one. When we first met Scotty, we met on a webinar with Carl and then you called me, we talked on the phone and stuff and you really helped me as a loan officer, really helped me. I lived in a small town in Arizona. I'm originally from LA. So, I miss being in the city with everybody. But I had this connection with you and with Carl. And I remember you said, if you want to close 10 loans a month or 20 loans a month or whatever it is just let's write it out. Just put it up on your screen. So that's what I did. And I looked at that every day, I read it every day, I set it every day and it happened.

Scotty: Thank you.

Irene: And so, you were instrumental in, in doing that with me. And I appreciate it as my life has changed since I met you and Carl. It’s just unbelievable.

Scotty: You and me, both. [23:35.0]

Irene: So grateful. And I'm so grateful to help other people on this journey.

Scotty: Amen.

Irene: That's what I love about it is helping other people who are, they're not spending time with their children right now. They're missing out on so much. And when they joined The Freedom Club and get coached, they learn how to do that. There is a way just remember, there's always a way.

Scotty: Hmm…Excellent. Excellent. Excellent, Irene. Thank you so much again, guys. Thanks for being here and listening to Millionaire Loan Officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and Loan Officer Breakfast Club. Appreciate you be safe and we'll see you on the next podcast. Take care everybody. [24:09.4]

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. [24:29.1]

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