By: Megan Anderson, Vice President of Public Relations
I recently had the chance to speak to a group of industry experts about Visioning for Success, which is a perfect topic for the beginning of a new year. And when I really took a moment to think what visioning for success looks like, I realized there are three critical steps we need to keep in mind.
The first step is Having aVision. This is our foundation for planning the future we want to experience. Through wisdom and imagination, our vision is the future we want to be living. It's our desired end result.
The second step is Achieving our Vision. This is where we take time to understand and plan the right actions and efforts that will be needed to gain our desired result. We set daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual targets, and then we plan our time and our days in furtherance of these specific actions and goals.
The third step is Maintaining our Vision. This step speaks to the importance of regular check in's to make sure we are staying on track with the specific goals we've set to help make our vision a reality. It's where we can course correct or make adjustments if needed to further support our vision. And we recognize the need for continued learning and growth by investing in the right tools and expertise that can help us grow our business.
I learned many things from my parents while I was growing up. And like many of us, I've come to realize that in some instances, I didn't learn the actual lesson until years later. When I’ve reflected on my parents' experiences with their visions and achievements, I realized they had opposite experiences in two critical ways.
Growing up, it was evident to anyone who knew my dad that he had a strong and clear vision. As an entrepreneur, he started a contracting business because he wanted to help families move into their dream home. I remember how he could envision a home simply by looking at an empty plot of land, from knowing where to build and how to build to achieve proper air flow. He had vision for things the rest of us didn’t even see.
Yet, setting specific goals to achieve an ongoing and sustainable business was more of a challenge for him. He didn’t know how many people he had to prospect to close a deal. He didn’t know how much money he wanted to earn each month or each year. The lack of these specific goals kept him from developing a sustainable path he could navigate and adjust and, ultimately, hindered his vision of building a lasting business.
My mom was the opposite. When I was growing up, she was the Vice President of a local bank and she still originates today. And while she's always known how many people she needed to call to hit her monthly and annual sales goals, she never created a longer-term vision for what she wanted to achieve or do next. Only recently, as she's started to think about retiring, has she begun to vision more about the future she wants to create.
We can learn from their differing experiences by recognizing the need and the importance of having a vision, achieving our vision, and maintaining our vision.
Recently, I was speaking with MBS Highway’s CEO, Barry Habib, about how it's possible to have exponential growth in today's market. The key, Barry shared, is understanding how to remove points of friction.
First, imagine an "S" curve. You have the bottom part of the "S" and then you have this big move higher and then there's the top part of an "S." Oftentimes in business, you're going along, like at the bottom of an "S" and then a point of friction occurs and you find a way to remove it.
And you experience an amazing growth spurt as a result.
As Barry explained, sometimes points of friction are removed for us, like during the pandemic when interest rates fell, that point of friction was removed for many buyers. Many originators benefited with huge growth as a result.
But often what can happen is we reach the top of the "S" and we can level off. That's where jumping the "S" curve comes in, so that the top of one "S" curve becomes the bottom of another, which can lead to the removal of additional points of friction and, ultimately, exponential growth.
The high demand and low inventory of homes we’ve experienced around the country have helped home prices appreciate – which means there are many points of friction that potential buyers are experiencing. Just some examples you may hear from your clients right now include:
If I bid over asking price, am I going too far?
I'm afraid there's a housing bubble.
I'm afraid I can't afford a home.
I can't find a home and I'm discouraged.
I don't have enough money for retirement, I can't afford to spend more.
Prices have gone up so much, they just have to come down.
Rates have risen and I’m afraid I’ve missed my opportunity.
There are so many cash buyers out there. How will I ever compete?
Things cost so much more right now and I’m worried about my budget.
Identifying today's crucial points of friction is a critical step – but like "Having a Vision," it's just a first step. It's also crucial to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to help you remove these points of friction, so your clients can actually realize they have a chance to benefit from today's market – despite what they may have heard from the media. This is where Achieving and Maintaining Your Vision also come to fruition, because you gain the knowledge and tools you need to hit your targets.
For example, one way to remove the point of friction that, "Home prices just have to come down" is to explain that supply and demand are the basic driving forces in the market. And we currently have a lot more demand than supply. Plus, if we look at demographics, they suggest that the demand for homes will actually become stronger over the next few years because of birth rate statistics.
At the same time, supply is not really coming up to meet that demand because prices to build are escalating due to rising lumber and labor costs and ongoing supply chain issues. This has made it more difficult for builders to build homes, especially lower-priced homes. All of this points to additional increases in home prices, with high demand and tight supply leading to forecasts of mid to high single-digit appreciation in 2022 while interest rates remain historically attractive.
Being able to share this market know-how with clients is crucial to removing so many of today's points of friction. Investing in an MBS Highway membership – where you'll have access to tools like our Bid Over Asking Price, Buy vs. Rent Comparison, Loan Comparison tool, daily coaching videos, lock alerts and more – means you'll have everything you need to turn prospective homebuyers into clients and become the type of advisor they need to guide them in today's market and for years to come.
Whereas so many of your competitors will lose potential clients because they haven't learned how to address the points of friction happening today, you will succeed – and succeed exponentially – and your vision will remain on track.
I wanted to leave you with a parting thought. As important as our vision and roadmap for achieving our vision are, it's also important to celebrate when we hit our goals and milestones.
It can be so easy to get caught up in our daily lives and to do's – too easy, in fact. Don't neglect the importance of celebrating milestones with colleagues and loved ones who support you and your vision. Appreciate the growth you achieve and the lessons learned along the way. Celebrate it and celebrate yourself and your success. You've earned it.