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Wouldn't it be nice to live near the ocean or in the mountains or in the city you've always wanted to move to, while writing loans in your home state?

In today's technological world, it can be done. But, the key is having the skills and relationships to do so.

Michelle Shaman escaped the high tax state of California. She moved three hours away to northern Nevada. Now she writes more loans than ever before because of the move.

In this episode, million dollar loan officer – Michelle Shaman reveals how to grow your mortgage business – while living where you want to live.

Show highlights include:

  • How to live like you're on vacation year-round (even if you're working 80 hours a week) (3:50)
  • Why keeping secrets from your realtors closes more loans (4:52)
  • The “Homebase Model” that lets you live where you want to and write more business in your home market (5:37)
  • Why buying your own home fills up your pipeline with all of your listing agents' other homes (9:12)
  • How having a marketing firm streamline your marketing packet gets you more clients (12:04)
  • The “How to Get Started” method that connects you with a veteran loan officer who teaches you the ropes  (14:04)
  • Why sending tons of emails, texts, and direct mail from your CRM to every person you know gains you trust (14:40)
  • How a local news bulletin with your business card attached quadruples your portfolio (15:38)

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, super excited to be here. I'm most excited about my special guest Michelle and I might mess this up Shaman.

Michelle: Shaman.

Scotty: Shaman. Michelle Shaman. I probably should ask that before we started, right. So excited. Michelle has an amazing story and I'm super excited to tell you about it. She is in the beautiful state of Nevada, right?

Michelle: Yes.

Scotty: Well, tell us about yourself. How long have you been in the business? Kind of like that, I know you were back from the corporate world, but tell us a little bit about yourself. [00:59.8]

Michelle: So, in 2000, I think it was 2001, I left Corporate America because I had my second child and I couldn't travel around the world as much as I used to. And I didn't want to miss those baby fun things. So, I had a friend that said, Hey, you should get into the mortgage business. And at first, I'm like, I have no idea. And then he told me what he made. And I'm like, how do you get into the mortgage business? It was like, bam, I'm like, this sounds great. And I jumped in head first and I've been there ever since. Just, you know, originally started off buying into his company and we had a mortgage and a real estate company. And then I opened it an investment firm and it was like learning with a fire hose. And back then, you know, we made more money than we do now, because the regulations were different. So, I didn't care. I was just doing full bore, pedals to the metal. Let's see what we can do with this. And I fell in love with the business. And then in 2008, when a lot of the meltdown happened and the industry and rules and regulations changed, and we shut down the real estate and I shut down my investment firm and I just decided to go run branches for larger mortgage bankers, because I'll be honest, it was too difficult as a small little mortgage company to pay the attorneys, to read all those regs that they put in in [02:24.8]

Scotty: Unbelievable.

Michelle: So that's what I’ve been doing since.

Scotty: So, it was one of those things where, okay, you show me that you made 75,000 last month and I’m in

Michelle: Yes. That’s exactly what it was.

Scotty: Yeah.

Michelle: It was like let me see a paycheck and I’m like, okay. How do you do a mortgage? I’m like definitely do this.

Scotty: How do you spell that again? Is that one

Michelle: Right.

Scotty: I love it. I love it.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: Michelle so, the most exciting part that I love is you, you lived in California. How long did you live in California?

Michelle: My whole life.

Scotty: Your whole life. So, you're born and raised. [02:55.4]

Michelle: Yep. Yep. Born and raised in California. Lived there my whole life. Until just about three years ago when I decided I can't afford to retire if I have to keep paying those taxes in California. And so, and now that we are here, they're even going up even more. So, I decided Northern Nevada was close enough to California where I could visit family, but far enough away where it was kind of like being on vacation every weekend. You know, just seeing kind of like with you in Colorado, you know.

Scotty: Yes.

Micelle: Now it's like, you're finding like all these new little fun, exciting little lakes and things to do and.

Scotty: It’s unbelievable.

Michelle: Activities and yeah. So, I moved up here and opened a branch for CNG financial, and it's been, it's been a blessing. It's been really awesome.

Scotty: So much fun. So, was it really the tax reason or was it like, I want to live like I'm on vacation in Nevada or a little bit of both? Like, was it a little bit of both?

Michelle: Hmm…it's kind of both.

Scotty: Okay. [02:52.7]

Michelle: I think, you know, the cost of living in California, I didn't realize like almost everywhere else in the U.S except maybe New York is cheaper. Like when you live in California, you don't realize it until you branch out. And I had I just looked at Nevada and I'm like, okay, financially, this makes the most sense for me. I literally didn't know anybody. I just, I'm like, well, I'm friendly. I'll just go make friends. And just started coming up and visiting the states for about six months before we started buying properties here.

Scotty: Ahh…so.

Michelle: Yes.

Scotty: For everybody listening, if, because I talked to a lot of people and I'm sure you do too. And they're like, you know, I like it here, but I'd really like to live there. And my business is here in my backyard and so what preparation did you do before you left California to move to Nevada? Was there any, like you said, you started visiting there, but did you start calling realtor partners or just like, what was the process? [04:52.9]

Michelle: Yeah, so I'm licensed in 25 states. So, I'm used to doing business with realtors that I never met, or I've never gotten to see, so that actually helped. But I'll be honest, the majority of my business was from California originally. And so, I didn't tell my realtors, I moved up here. So at first I would go back and forth and back and forth, cause it's only a three-hour drive from toggle.

Scotty: Okay.

Michelle: Back down to the Bay Area. So, I would go back and forth and, you know, make sure I was still, you know, connecting with my big referral sources and letting them know, yeah, you know, I'm, part-time up there right now. And you know, eventually I'll be full time, but you know, you guys are three hours. You're more than welcome to come up or I'll come down and visit you. Just the ones that you become friends with, I think the biggest thing that you have to put in place is touch points with their realtors. You have to super over communicate when you move away from where your base is, because you still don't want to lose that face.

Scotty: Right. [05:55.4]

Michelle: You know, most companies that if you're going to switch mortgage or whatever, most of them are licensed in a lot of different states. So, you can actually move to a different state and it's not a big deal. I think the biggest thing is communicating with your existing referral base consistently during the loan process so, they feel like you're still there, even though you're not posting, you know, happy hours once a week. All that went way in COVID anyway. So, it should be easy.

Scotty: Virtual happy hours, just we want to enjoy virtual happy hours. So, it’s all good.

Michelle: Yeah, and then when I started coming up to Reno and decided I actually wanted to open an office, I just started researching who are the loan officers that are doing the most business up here.

Scotty: Hmm.

Michelle: And I always search when I'm hiring for purchase business loan officers, because even in a refi boom, you know, they're doing great and when that part drops off, they still have their purchase business.

Scotty: That’s right.

Michelle: So, I was lucky to, I probably interviewed maybe eight or 10 of them before I found one. And it literally took me probably four months or more to convince her to jump to the new company. And then when she did, she doubled their business because some of the stuff that we have in place, but it was worth it. And you know, it's just a matter of networking. You got to get out there when you want to hire people, but don't forget the people that are back in your home state. [07:16.1]

Scotty: Can I share your numbers and then talk about those a little bit. Do you mind if I do that?

Michelle: Sure.

Scotty: All right. So, you moved from California to Nevada. Was it your first year in Nevada?

Michelle: Yes. Yes. Last, 2020 was our first year and we opened in like October of 2019.

Scotty: Okay.

Michelle: So, 2020 was our first full year.

Scotty: And you closed the 120 million.

Michelle: Yeah, just over 120 million.

Scotty: It’s nice, I like that.

Michelle: Yeah, pretty excited.

Scotty: If I can clap and just happen it be okay and nobody's ears would break, I would just be clapping really hard right now. So that's, that's so awesome by the way Michelle, so.

Michelle: Thank you. Thank you. I swear I can't take all the credit.

Scotty: I know.

Michelle: I recruited some good people and surrounded by amazing staff, so it helps.

Scotty: How much of that business was in California. And there, was there any in Nevada?

Michelle: That is a great question. I still do a lot of business in California. As far as the business in Nevada, I came up here and I was lucky enough to land two pretty good producing realtors within the first couple of months. And they're the ones that I get a lot of business from right now. And then, you know, taking care of the real of the listing agents, it's kind of been a snowball thing. It's like, you know, you take care of your agents on your buyer's end and then when you start communicating really well and closings are on time or early, the listing agents start to call you. And that's a good feeling. And I have a marketing person that sends stuff to the listing agents and says, Hey, we closed early or we closed on time. And you know, we would love to do more business in this area. And so, it's just been blossoming. As far as how many, I'm not sure, but I could look that up. [08:55.0]

Scotty: No big deal, no big deal.

Michelle: That’s a great question.

Scotty: Well, you opened up a can of worms, I'm sure for all our listeners, you landed two big agents in Nevada. So, what does that look like, if someone wants to know how to do that, besides being an awesome person like you are, but how would someone go about going after two nice producing agents?

Michelle: So, I have to say persistence and one of them, I was just lucky. I came up here and I needed to buy a place. I wasn't sure where I wanted to live yet. So, I thought I'll buy a condo. And instead of staying in hotels and just use that as my home base and search, which parts of, you know, Reno I want to live in and the realtor and I kind of clicked. She was the listing agent. Originally, when I looked at was one of her condos that she owned. And so, we just connected and became friends. And I was just, you know, I think a lot of it is personality and then also I have pretty good volume and I run, you know, a lot of the builder business for CMG. So, I think a lot of that makes them feel more comfortable. Like I'm not like a brand-new person coming in. And they’re and I tell them, you know, we're here to take care of you. I've got staff they're here, if I'm not answering, they're answering the phone. [10:11.9]

Scotty: Wow.

Michelle: So that's the biggest thing, is communication and answering the phone. And I wish there was a secret, but I don't know, maybe it's because I bought properties and I was looking for them at first, you know.

Scotty: Spend money to make money.

Michelle: Make friends with the listing agents.

Scotty: So, what you're saying is just, Hey, if you're a new LO go buy six houses, build 600 relationships and just don't go nuts, right? Is that it?

Michelle: Yeah. Maybe not six, but yeah.

Scotty: Yeah, yeah, all right.

Michele: If you're moving out and you got to buy something, I would definitely visit all the realtors, let them know who you are, how successful you are, what do you, you know, what you bring to the table, how you differentiate, you know, why you're moving into their town and let them know your excitement for their area. And then you kind of, you'll find people that you connect with. And when you connect with them, that's when you know, okay, if I'm not just their loan officer or whatever, I'm actually their friend now. That helps a lot. [11:05.5]

Scotty: I love the persistent part, cause that's then, you’re right, there's no secret. I mean, you touched on something special is the personality, and I'm sure that you meet people all day every day that you're like ehhh, it just doesn't work. Would that be a fair statement? Right? Like I don't want to really work with this person.

Michelle: That’s fair.

Scotty: Right. Okay.

Michelle: Yeah. There's a couple listing agents, sometimes then you end up dealing with them on a closing and everything gets closed and you call your marketing person and go, you know what, they're a great listing agent, we just, I don't think our personalities are going to fit. You know, you don't need to market to that one, you know.

Scotty: Wow.

Michelle: And then others you're like, please, please go get that agent. I really, really want that one, yeah

Scotty: You're a stalker. You're a stalker.

Michelle: Yes.

Scotty: Why are you not stalking him.

Michelle: Stalk him on Facebook.

Scotty: I love it. I love it. So, you have your own marketing person.

Michelle: Yes.

Scotty: Specifically, for you that does all your social media. Can you walk through a couple of things that they do for you, that has, you think, has you at an advantage over your competition? [12:04.8]

Michelle: Sure. So, he's not solely mine. He, I share him with four other top loan officers in the company. So, what he does, what every, he literally does everything. He does my posts on Facebook, except for like the ones you saw over the weekend, where I was out with one of my friends, but he does like my business posts on Facebook. He posts up all of our five-star reviews when we get them. Actually, he'll make single sites, which are just the single site websites for listing agents that I'm trying to go after. And then he sends a big old marketing brochure to those agents saying, Hey, you know, as a courtesy, I sent you this single site, feel free to use it. It's up on the website, I'll post it and hopefully, you know, help us sell this house faster, which in this market you don't even need that. You just need like, Hey, I'm selling and it will sell with 20 offers, but he does that. And then when he sends them the packet that has all the information that we provide for the realtors that we're working with, that's kind of nice. And all that stuff is really time-consuming. And the fact that I don't have to do that, it just helps me. So, I can focus on recruiting and going after builders and stuff like that. [13:21.7]

Scotty: I love it. I love it. So, five-star reviews, business page, single property websites, which has been a, I've been a part of that for 10 years now.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: So, it's just an amazing tool, that's still to this day so many agents don't take advantage of it just boggles my mind. And then the marketing brochure, awesome. I'm sure everybody would love a copy of the marketing brochure. I don’t know, I might have to bring a check for that one, but maybe I'll just become a realtor in your area. So, you'll send me one, I don't know.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: There's a new realtor in town, his name is Scott Hudspeth, I feel like I know that guy, yeah.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: So, Michelle talking to somebody that's been in the business, maybe struggling a little bit, maybe they're just getting in the business, knowing what you know now, what would you tell them to do first? [14:05.2]

Michelle: So brand new people in the business. The first thing I tell them is you have to connect with someone who's been in the business a long time. Even if you're just like, Hey, can I ride your coattails? Can I sit in your office and listen, how you talk to people, how you talk to realtors, how you explain different loan products? That's something you really can't learn in a book. You know, you have to listen to people like listen to your podcasts and listen to the person sitting in the office next to you who's closing, you know, crazy amount of money every month. That helps. The other thing I tell them is get your CRM together and put every single person that you went to college with, all your friends, all your family members, your relatives, because even if you're not going to do their loans, if you're sending them messages saying, Hey, you know who at your work is going to be moving? Or who at your work needs to refinance? Or who, you know, you're asking them, who's the next person that, you know, that's going to move kind of thing. That just helps when you're brand new, because the only people you're going to get referrals from when you're brand spanking new are going to be the people that know you love you and trust you. And those are the people that are going to go. Yep. She's smart. I'm going to refer someone to her. And that's literally how I started in like 2000. I think it was 2000 or 2001, because I literally just went out and refinanced my family first. [15:31.0]

Scotty: I love it.

Michelle: But then I told them, you need to take all the, you know, tell everyone at your work. I used to send little gift baskets of balloons that said congratulations to their work, not to their home. And I would staple, I did all of this by hand when I had time. It was so cute. Staple my business cards on the little congratulation balloons.

Scotty: I love it.

Michelle: And it totally helped.

Scotty: Well, I would be honest. I think that that would work for anybody that's struggling right now. I mean, that's everything you just said is something that new, been in the business forever could do and get more business.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: Instantly, right?

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: Anything that for somebody that's been in the business that you would recommend, I mean, I don't know if I'd change anything. I'd probably say the same thing. [16:11.6]

Michelle: I know, really. If they've been in the business a long time and they just hit a slump, they have to figure out, you know, we all go through it. You know, sometimes it's like, you take a vacation and when you come back, you're kind of like still relaxed in vacation mode and you're paying for it 30 days later when you're like, oh shoot, I didn't make my numbers this month. So yeah, I mean, I would say when you've been in the business a long time and it does slow down, you got to figure out what is slowing down in order to fix it. Is it my refis that are slowing down cause rates are going up? Is it my purchase that's going slowing down? Did I lose a realtor? Did I lose a builder? Like what caused that slow down and then fix it, you know. And if you can't fix it, then you got to turn your marketing hat on and you have to really go outside of your comfort zone and start calling realtors or calling builders or calling financial advisors. So, you know, whatever your niche is, that your programs, that your company has figure out the best couple of programs and just start calling. If you don't pick up the phone and call, I guarantee you won't get anything. But at least, if you pick up the phone and call, you might get, you know, one or two out of five phone calls, might go, Hey, that's a cool product, you know. [17:23.4]

Scotty: I love it.

Michelle: I have people that can use that.

Scotty: I love it. And you say a lot about builders, so you must have a knack for, I think that comes from the corporate world, right? B2B, like you're good with, yeah, so, you haven't. Do you love that part of it?

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: I mean, you seem like you love that part of it. What would you recommend to somebody that's looking to get into the builder business cause I think we're, the next two to three years are going to be phenomenal for builder business?

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: As you already know. [17:44.6]

Michelle: Yeah, it is. I do quite a bit of builder business. I think that's kind your sustainable business because no matter what happens, builders still have to sell, especially the ones that report to Wall Street. So, whether the prices go up or the prices go down and they still need to close deals.

Scotty: Hmm.

Michelle: So, builder businesses, the toughest business to get into, I used to build subdivisions so, I kind of speak their language and I know what causes the pain, you know, when it's not selling. So, I think it helps. The one thing I have to say with builder business is do your research on the builder, know everything about that builder. Who's getting all their loans, what percentages there are going to their in-house, what percentages are going to others, do your research and figure out how you want to go market to that builder before you ever even pick up the phone and make the first phone call. It's a lot of research upfront. And then to close a builder, you have to be overly persistent. Like I would say it's at least 10 times harder than closing a realtor.

Scotty: Wow. Okay.

Michelle: Because builders already have their favorite people. They already have, you have to come to the table with something that's going to be better for them, for their business. [18:52.9]

Scotty: Yeah. Amazing what you've done with your, in a very short period of time, cause you haven't been in that long, right? I mean, like you just talk the talk, walk the walk. I keep hearing persistence.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: So, it sounds like that's the secret sauce is being persistent. Do you agree?

Michelle: Yeah, yeah. You have to have drive. If you don't have it, get a coach and your coach will push you and it.

Scotty: That’s right.

Michelle: And you will love your coach for it. Like seriously.

Scotty: It's funny how people they want accountability, but when they have accountability, they're like what…what I got to do what?

Michelle: Like stop, you know. Stop calling me every Tuesday and reminding me, I didn't do my goal for last week.

Scotty: I know.

Michelle: Nah…I think you’re bored of it.

Scotty: Yeah, so what's next for Michelle? Like I love putting these LFS in this question because now it's recorded and it'll be on my podcast. I can look at these years down the road and go, Hey, remember when you said what's next for Michelle? [19:42.3]

Michelle: Yeah. So, I think right now my new goals, my short-term goals is I would love to open another branch in Utah. And then I'd like to open a branch up in Incline Village on Lake Tahoe.

Scotty: Uff.

Michelle: Cause those are, I could get to them pretty quick. I think there's a fantastic opportunity in Utah with the new home construction that's going out up there and Lake Tahoe is on fire because the COVID everyone's moving there. So, I think it would be a great opportunity up there as well.

Scotty: Got to get back to I would love to see that office there sooner than later and like in Lake Tahoe so.

Michelle: Yes. Yeah, you can do a live interview there.

Scotty: I mean having that open house, we're like, what can we put that on the calendar, when's the open house?

Michelle: Absolutely.

Scotty: All right.

Michelle: This weekend, this weekend, I'll be up there doing stuff.

Scotty: I’m there, I’m there. All right, I'm there. So, Michelle, how does if you want, but you don't have to, but if someone would say, Hey, how do I get ahold of Michelle, if man, like, you know, I'm in Utah. I want to talk to Michelle or I'm in Lake Tahoe, I know that area better than anybody here.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scotty: How would someone get a hold of you? [20:43.3]

Michelle: You can shoot me an email. It's M for Michelle and then my last name. S H A M A N @ Cas in Charlie, M as in Michael, G as in George, F as in Frank, I, as in igloo .com (mshaman@cmgfi.com)

Scotty: .com. Awesome. And Michelle, it's been an awesome time getting to know you over the last couple of conversations and just hearing your story. And I just wanted to share it with the world that I think it's, anybody looking to move from one state to another man like you just nailed it. Just be persistent, visit. Just keep it going. So, congratulations on, I'm sure that anything you do and from here on out will be successful. Anything you touch, any anybody you work with just seems like they're doing extremely well. So, congratulations.

Michelle: Thank you. [21:26.8]

Scotty: All right my friends, that was Michelle Sheuinn. Did I say that right?

Michelle: Shaman.

Scotty: Shaman. Shaman…Sha…man. All right, Michelle Shaman. Guys, thanks for joining us here at Millionaire Loan Officer, don't forget to visit MLOlive to get your questions answered live once a week with me and maybe, maybe I could get Michelle to visit me one day on the Q & A and that'd be kind of fun. So.

Michelle: That’ll be fun.

Scotty: Guys, thanks for joining us, Michelle. Thanks again. I appreciate you more than you now.

Michelle: Thank you.

Scotty: And I will see you on the next Millionaire Loan Officer. Thanks so much everybody. [22:01.4]

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. [22:21.3]

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