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A lot of people are jealous of how much loan officers can make. And maybe you want to quit your dead end job to start a new dream career.

But most people are not willing to put in the hard work it takes to do that.

Chalamaine Armstrong got her first job as a mailroom clerk. She transitioned into an underwriter sitting at a desk. But she wanted to help more people.

She took the jump to loan officer. And now runs a multi-million dollar office as a MLO helping out thousands of clients. She shares with you how to make the leap as well.

In this episode, listen now to discover how you can quit your dead end job and start your MLO career today!

Show highlights include:

  • How helping people in a soul-killing customer support role creates the relationships you need to build a successful business (2:42)
  • Why having an authentic personality sets you apart from other LOs (4:31)
  • How consistently emailing and texting real estate agents shows your maturity to earn their business (6:36)
  • The “Feel The Glow” method that lets your teammates vibe with each other (and skyrocket your business) (10:43)

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: Hey, hey, hey. Hello everybody, this is Scott Hudspeth with Millionaire Loan Officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and the Loan Officer Breakfast Club. Super excited to have a rock star on the call with us Chalamaine Armstrong.

Chalamaine: Hey everyone.

Scotty: Who is just, I believe crushing it. And you know what, tell us about you. Where are you located at? [0:48.3]

Chalamaine: So, I'm located in the DFW area, but I'm licensed in several states. I moved to Texas back in 2000 from Seattle, Washington, but I think I'm an official Texan now.

Scotty: All right.

Chalamaine: They can't run me off.

Scotty: All right. Sounds good. So how long have you been in the business so, to speak?

Chalamaine: 27 years, a long time.

Scotty: Wow. Okay, awesome. And, you know, congratulations on an amazing year, you know, you again right around 76 million in production.

Chalamaine: Correct.

Scotty: And the crazy cool part is most of that's your production.

Chalamaine: Correct.

Scotty: About 50 million of that. What would you tell somebody like we all started at zero, right?

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: I guess I gotta ask you, cause I didn't know this is most of your business still from Washington or is it in Texas?

Chalamaine: So, most of my business comes from Texas, but I do do a small portion of business in Arkansas, Florida, California, Louisiana in Oklahoma.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: And I'm branching out into other states as well. [1:44.7]

Scotty: Wow. So, did you build a business in Washington and just leave it and then start over? Or how did that all work?

Chalamaine: So, in Washington actually is where I got my start and I actually started in a mail room of a mortgage company. Okay. A friend of mines called me and was like, Hey, you get paid per hour, and you get bonuses. I was like, okay. So, when I left Washington, I actually was actually an underwriter.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: So, I actually have my de in my lap. And so, when I moved to Texas is when I said, you know what, let me come to the dark side, just teasing Let me try something else. You know?

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So, I definitely had the, the pleasure of wearing many hats in this industry and which, and much of what I attribute to my success because I have done several positions. So, I understand the front and the back. [2:32.2]

Scotty: Beautiful. So, you know, it's funny, some of my best friends are processors, you know.

Chalamaine: Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: That were processor. I have yet to talk to an underwriter, that's Uber successful as a loan officer. What was it that you said, like, when was that tipping point when you said, all right, I like the de part, but I'm gonna go sell.

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: Which is a totally different opposite into the world, right?

Chalamaine: Right, it is. It really, it really is. So, I always tell people that I'm shy and everybody goes Chalamaine, you're not shy, but I use my shyness to propel me in, in front of people. And so, when I was underwriting, I would talk to people and I would often be told you're on the phone, talking to people too long. You're trying to help 'em I'm like, yeah, I'm trying to help 'em. I thought, well, I can help people.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: So, I said, let me go ahead and make that transition so that way I wouldn't be told I'm on the phone too long.

Scotty: That’s awesome.

Chalamaine: Trying, trying to help people.

Scotty: Interesting.

Chalamaine: Cause you know, obviously underwriting is definitely about production and they don't want you be on the phone talking to someone for an hour.

Scotty: Right. Beautiful. So did someone say, Hey Chalamaine, come on over to the sales side or did you approach somebody and say, Hey, I wanna do this. Like how did that all, how did that all happen? [3:40.4]

Chalamaine: So honestly, I really made that decision on my own. I woke up one morning and had a very good job, you know, making almost three figures as an underwriter.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: And I told my then husband at the time, Hey, I'm gonna quit my job and become a loan officer and do this full time That conversation didn't go very well. I was like, you're walking away from a position that most people would kill for. Like, yeah. But you know, I really prayed about it and God made me feel comfortable in my decision. And I felt like it was the best one. And, and I consider I've never made less as a loan officer than when I was an underwriter. So, I definitely feel like it was a good decision and God has continued to bless me.

Scotty: Beautiful thing. Beautiful. So, like, I think the title of this thing is gonna be ‘Mail room to DE underwriter to Uber successful loan officer.’ Unbelievable.

Chalamaine: There you go.

Scotty: I love that. So, what would you tell somebody that's on the fence? Like, you know, there's a lot of loan officers that are loan officers.

Chalamaine: Hmm-hmm

Scotty: And I think that, you know, I made my son start as a loan partner just to learn the business, cause I think it's a beautiful way to learn.

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: What would you tell somebody that's thinking about maybe getting the business already in the business, maybe struggling a little bit. What were the, what took you to 50 million in production, 76 overall as a branch.

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: What's your secret? [4:55.4]

Chalamaine: So, I believe that there's a lot of everything, right? You know, if you go to, I'm gonna just kind of bake it just bare minimum. But you know, when you go to the grocery store and you open up, you, you want some milk, you're gonna, you can see all these different brands of milk, but it's all milk, right? Say what bread, cheese. So, our field is definitely saturated, but what makes anybody different is them themselves.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: And so, we all have a network. We all have people that we know and people love doing business with whom they know.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: So, if you can become that resource for them, then you have a book of business. So that person who's struggling, I feel like they're not reaching out to their circle, letting them know that they're there for them.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: Someone thinking about getting into the business, they need to tell the people that, Hey, I'm getting ready to do this and I would love your support. You know, as the old folks used to tell me a closed mouth, doesn't get fed. So, you have to open up your mouth and you have to tell your circle, cCause that's where it begins. Grassroots is your circle. Your friends, your family, your neighbor, you have to get to know people so this job requires that. So, I say that you have, if you are shy, you have to use your shyness to propel you, to speak to people. Use that nervous energy for action. [6:13.5]

Scotty: Interesting. From the first time I talked to you until right now, I don't feel any ounce of nervousness or shyness.

Chalamaine: Ahhh.

Scotty: So just saying, I don't know if that's just the.

Chalamaine: I know everybody always tells me I'm lying.

Scotty: I love it. I love it.

Chalamaine: But guess what? They say, it's BS. And I say welcome to my belief system.

Scotty: Ahhhh.

Chalamaine: Cause and you flip it, you know?

Scotty: Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. So, start with your sphere of influence is what I heard. Connect, engage, interact with. Like, so you obviously are having a lot of conversations. You've built a lot of relationships.

Chalamaine: Correct

Scotty: Is most of your like, is it just reaching out? Like how did you build be it relationships? You just make phone calls. Do you do events? Like how does that look for you? [6:53.2]

Chalamaine: Well, in this industry you cannot ever let anything be by half instance. It really has to happen because you stepped into that room and you, you know, you really walked up to someone and made a connection. You knew that they were shewing you off, you were asking for a card. And I, when we, you and I spoke, I told you about me buying and I feel like I'm grandfather in to follow my clients, you know.

Scotty: Yeah, yeah.

Chalamaine: An old CRM database.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So, anyone that I met, you know, if I, I just on purpose once a week, took all those business cards and put 'em in there. And then every week on Monday or Tuesday, I would send out an email just saying, Hey, we met, we didn't meet. Somebody told me about you and this is what I have to offer. And you know, of course you were gonna say unfollow, or I didn't ask for this, but there's some people who are not. And so, I can say that over years of me emailing the same people, one person finally said, Hey, I'm gonna give you a shot. I was talking to Century21 Galloway here in this DFW area. I was talking to one of the people who had been in the business for about 40 years. And I, we, me and him were laughing about when I first went to their office and said, Hey, I'm Chalamaine. At the time I was, you know, car, I would like to get some business and they say, go away, young grasshopper, you haven't matured yet. You know what I'm saying? But you know, because I was persistent and I kept emailing and they back in. Cause back then that's all we had, right? [8:21.8]

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: Was email. And you could text someone

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: We weren't big on social media.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So, I would email and I would text, I would email and I would text. And people time people would say, would you stop texting me? Thank you for letting me know to stop texting you.

Scotty: Amen. Amen. Very cool. That is so, so persistent, consistent is really what you're saying.

Chalamaine: Yes, it is.

Scotty: You just, you just didn’t give up and like, I think. Why is it so hard for people to just maybe the DE and use the organized detail-oriented part of you said, I need this for, to make me feel good and I know maybe it'll work. You didn't really know.

Chalamaine: Yeah.

Scotty: You didn't know that putting them.

Chalamaine: I did not know.

Scotty: Into that database would not know, you know?

Chalamaine: Yeah, but.

Scotty: It's interesting.

Chalamaine: There's, there's certain things that, that we do out of habit. We're creatures of habit.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: This is why I even tell my borrowers, you know, don't tell me to tell you what you can afford. I wanna know what your budget is. What it, that you can afford, where you can still travel, you can get a cheeseburger if you like, you know, you know, you can still enjoy life because one thing that you don't wanna do at home ownership is say, you know what? I can't have cable anymore.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: I can't afford to Netflix and chill. Like, that's just not something that's a good feeling. And referrals come because you create home ownerships for a lifetime, not season, you know?

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: So, what I try to do is make sure that whoever I come in contact with that. I'm not here just for a season, I'm here for a lifetime, right.

Scotty: Wow. Wow. [9:45.6]

Chalamaine: And then let those things grow. So , that's, that's the advice. So be a creature of habit and whatever you do out of habit is what you need to make sure that you're growing your business from.

Scotty: You know, I think the tough part and again, I go back to you being a DE I think that detailed part of you where you're systematic, right? You're systematic approach.

Chalamaine: Hmm…hmm.

Scotty: Where and I say this all the time, a good salesperson typically is in detailed.

Chalamaine: Hmm…hmm

Scotty: So, for them to take time, to put people into a CRM and do something persistent, consistent that’s so out of their comforts, not even necessarily comfort zone, but I think.

Chalamaine: on the back. Huh?

Scotty: You need to, well, I think you're blessed with both. I mean, like not very many DE underwriters turn into a successful loan officer, you know.

Chalamaine: Yeah.

Scotty: And vice versa. Well, some loan officers do go DE because they're not, they're not a sales.

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: But they're detailed oriented. So, they just miss the, but you have both like you.

Chalamaine: Oh, Thank you.

Scotty: Like, oh, it's very impressive to see that. And you know, just that systematic approach, I think is so powerful. What does a team look like closing 76 million? Like, did you build that? Did somebody help you build that? What does that look like? [10:50.6]

Chalamaine: So, I don't actively recruit. So, everyone that worked me sought me out. Either they met me in an event or nowadays they saw me online and they just said, Hey, will you please help me glow? You know what I mean?

Scotty: Oh…

Chalamaine: Like really, really glow make me stand out so I can get business. Cause we're all growing, but how do we glow? How do we stand out? So again, those loan officer is that do work, me, sought me out. And I said, you know what? You know, you can vibe with us, you know? Cause we're a happy group we share with one another. We don't just talk about mortgage. We have our weekly meetings, you know, we talk about everything. We talk about life because life is what makes people wanna buy houses, you know?

Scotty: Yeah, yeah.

Chalamaine: Right.

Scotty: Right on. So, like as far as loan partners, processors, is that something like, you obviously know what a good DE underwriter is. Cause you're all one. Did you like go out and recruit, cause you know, the one thing about successful as successful as you are, is you have to have a team behind you, loan partners, processors, underwriters, all that stuff.

Chalamaine: Correct. [11:55.7]

Scotty: Did you go find that team or did you plug into a.

Chalamaine: I did.

Scotty: You did. Okay, okay.

Chalamaine: So, I trained both my processors.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: And gave them my DE eyes. I handed in my de goggles, you know, my lap goggles and said, this is how you're going to process. And let's really, I'm a big reader. I'm a nerd. I read every morning. I teach to have my beta planning period. And that's every morning typically between four and six where I'm reading guidelines.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: Or I'm just reading information that I love.

Scotty: Hmm.

Chalamaine: And so, I make sure that my processors know the guidelines. And if there's anything changing that we're reading together, because in this business, it's definitely about comprehension. And we have to understand what our abilities are so we can serve people.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So yes, I did go find my processors, my processor assistant, my appraisal department.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: I found all those people and train them. [12:50.7]

Scotty: Wow. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

Chalamaine: That's why my processor now has been with me, I think now what, 12 years, you know?

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So, and that's hard to find, you know, but because I train them and then they know I tease and say, they get to eat with Chalamaine. They won't get laid off. so that creates longevity too.

Scotty: There's so many mic drops.


Scotty: So many, you get to eat with Chalamaine, yeah. That's that's awesome. That's right. Congratulations on that. So, you have so many amazing traits. You talked about glow, which we talk about visible. Like you obviously are out there. You're visible, people see you, people enjoy you. People are attracted to you. What do you tell people that maybe need a little more visibility? Like what advice would you give them that they're kind of like, I'm not sure, like can't do video. Like what would you tell somebody like that? [13:36.7]

Chalamaine: I love that. I love that because many people do struggle with videos or even pictures. So, you don't have to reinvent what's already there. There's all these websites out there where you can buy pictures and you can even use a, a website called Sharethrough where you can kind of play with the, of words to use for pictures. So, for that person, who's just not great at it., you can buy it. that content is there. So, you could take a picture of a, a loving family and you share through to find a caption and put your information on there. Of course, video is definitely the way of the future, so maybe you compile pictures and make it into a video and make it run. So, there's many ways to create the, I hate to say the illusion, but there's many ways to create what will allow you do to glow and to be seen.

Scotty: Beautiful.

Chalamaine: So, you don't have to be stuck and just I'm nervous.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: Cause you can use somebody else picture and still make an imprint. [14:40.8]

Scotty: Awesome. Awesome. And what's it called Sharethrough?

Chalamaine: Sharethrough.

Scotty: Sharethrough.

Chalamaine: Uhhuh.

Scotty: Okay, beautiful and you remember anything?

Chalamaine: And then there's another app that I just recently learned about is called photo feeler. And that's, you know, you have spell photo, but feeler is F E E L E R. And you would actually put your picture in this app and it will grade in your, your actually your community would grade you and it's not just your community, but anybody who's on that app will look at your picture and tell you if they feel like you look friendly.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: They would tell you if you need a background or you don't need a background, it'll give you in pretty much rate how many people are gonna, when they're scrolling through social media, are they gonna look at your picture and want to engage?

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: So, there's lots of things out there to help salespeople make their pages that more advantageous, you know, that more, much more friendlier, to people want to engage. [15:34.0]

Scotty: Unbelievable. Very cool photo feeler and sharethrough. So that's two mic drops right there. Thank you for sharing those.

Chalamaine: No worry. No worry.

Scotty: So, what's next. I mean like you're knocking it out of the park.

Chalamaine: Hmm…Hmm

Scotty: Huge numbers. You got it going on. You're visible. You got an amazing team. You built your own team. Like what's next for Chalamaine?

Chalamaine: I'm glad you asked that. So, I've really been praying about what's next for Charmaine, because I do have a, a TV show where I've been playing with a couple of episodes and they're out there.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: People can watch that on, you know, Roku, a TV or a fire TV. And so, I've really wanting to show people that home ownership is possible in that business is possible, right? Cause even if you're not wanting to be, to do home ownership and teach people how to buy homes and how to invest, but business is possible. So, I love this area because I get to help families grow and create that generational wealth. So hopefully what's next is maybe a little bit more speaking and you know, and giving people insight into creating those habits that can make you successful in business, right? [16:38.9]

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: So that's,

Scotty: So, this shy Chalamaine.

Chalamaine: Very shy.

Scotty: Is done very shows now like TV show, like there's a Roku and fire TV. She's on TV, doing TV shows.

Chalamaine: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Kiss Wealth Now.

Scotty: Like, holy smokes. Yeah, I would've never guessed. So, congratulations on that.

Chalamaine: Thank you. So, is it necessarily double on the volume? Is it staying the same and just maybe more freedom in your life?

Chalamaine: Umm.

Scotty: Travel. Like, what's that? What about that?

Chalamaine: Well, I’m trying to do all of that.

Scotty: Okay.

Chalamaine: I plan to definitely increase my volume, travel for sure.

Scotty: Okay, all right. [17:28.5]

Chalamaine: I love working. I love helping people. And so, I'm gonna keep taking, I teach and say, take my Ginga. Was it Ginga or Boboloa what do you call that to make sure I have enough memory space to compile all this stuff. The Gingala Boboloa

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: I compile and I teach and say, I have a five head. I got a really big forehead. I don't have a forehead. I have a five head. I have storage space for all the stuff that will come across it, yes. I definitely plan to grow my team, grow my business and put that travel in there.

Scotty: Wow. Amazing. Amazing. Well, Hey, if you ever want to come to one of our events, I don't know if you've ever been to one I'd love to comp your, your.

Chalamaine: I’ve not, I’ve not.

Scotty: Thing to come. So, we anytime you wanna come.

Chalamaine: Yeah.

Scotty: Just lemme know this, stay in touch. I really sincerely have enjoyed getting to know you. I think it's unbelievable what you're doing.

Chalamaine: Thank you. Thank you.

Scotty: There's so much there. I'm so glad I asked you to be on my podcast.

Chalamaine: Me too. I appreciate the opportunity.

Scotty: Yeah. Yeah. And I might introduce you to Frank, who has a podcast that's gizmos and gadgets, which I think those two would be amazing just for people.

Chalamaine: Yeah.

Scotty: Because if you're looking for, what do I put up there? Will it work? Will it not work? That's a great way to do it and then sharethrough stuff like that, so.

Chalamaine: Exactly.

Scotty: I'm sure you have other stuff.

Chalamaine: I can definitely show them.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: Yeah I have, I have other apps that I use.

Scotty: Yeah.

Chalamaine: I edit my own videos.

Scotty: Wow.

Chalamaine: So, people say you, how you find time to do that. [18:25.4]

Scotty: Yeah, you just make it a focus and then, and then the best part

Chalamaine: I’m a nerd, I told you.

Scotty: Yeah. Yeah. You read like guidelines. Like that's what I do for fun in the morning from like four to six, I read guidelines. I'm like. Okay.

Chalamaine: I know, but lemme tell you what I don't do.

Scotty: Okay.

Chalamaine: Lemme tell you what I don't do. I do not watch TV. So, if people will walk up TV and say, have you seen this show? I'd be like, I have not.

Scotty: Ahhh…. There you go. So, the time that they watch TV, you're learning in and growing and progressing and being more visible and stuff, so.

Chalamaine: Yeah. Yeah.

Scotty: Thank you so much Chalamaine Armstrong. You're unbelievable.

Chalamaine: Thank you.

Scotty: Thank you, yeah. Sincerely appreciate meeting you and just being a part of your journey.

Chalamaine: Thank you.

Scotty: Can't wait to follow. I love your video marketing. So, I that's how I actually come across you. I'm like, oh my God, I gotta, I have to talk to this beautiful lady.

Chalamaine: Thank you.

Scotty: So just to video, so great. Congratulations, sincerely.

Chalamaine: Again. Hey, today is national spouse day. So, for all the spouses out there, make sure you tell your spouse you love them. Don't have to spend no money.

Scotty: Aww.

Chalamaine: But tell 'em you love 'em

Scotty: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. All right guys, Chalamaine Armstrong. Mail room to de underwriter to amazing successful loan officer powered by Mortgage Marketing Animals and The Loan Officers Breafkast Club. Guys, thanks for listening. Appreciate you guys. Be safe, stay safe, and we'll see you on the next episode. Thanks so much everybody. [19:37.8]

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. [19:57.1]

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