The Heath Barnes Show

Mortgages Reimagined

with your host, Heath Barnes

The Why Of Money With Eric Mitchell

HBS 7 | Why Of Money

 

Today on the Heath Barnes show, we’re speaking with Eric Mitchell, Executive Vice President of Business Development at Gold Star Mortgage. We talk about his experience in the mortgage business, the developments he’s seen, and his view on the industry today. Eric’s the author of The Why of Money, an introspective look at how do you get out of your own way and finally earn what you deserve. He’s also an industry leader in marketing and business development, voted through the national mortgage professional magazine as America’s most connected professional for eight years in a row, so we also talk about the attributes needed to be successful.

Listen to the podcast here


 

The Why Of Money With Eric Mitchell

I’m excited about our guest, Mr. Eric Mitchell, Eric Mitchell. He wrote a book called The WHY of MONEY, an introspective look at how you get out of your own way and finally earn what you deserve. He’s with the Gold Star Mortgage. He’s the Executive Vice President of Business Development, overseeing about 500 employees. What impressed me the most is he’s a certified master practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He’s an industry leader in marketing and business development. Voted through the National Mortgage Professional Magazine as America’s most connected professional for eight years in a row. Welcome, Eric.

Great to be here.

I connected with Eric at Amplify. For those of you that have not had the privilege of taking Rene Rodriguez’s course Amplify, you should. It’s amazing. I know you’ve done six Amplify courses.

You’ve done 2, I have done 7. I’m going back for more. I keep learning every time I go back. I learned more and more. It’s a lifelong journey for me, for sure.

I’m curious to know about your introduction before we get into the book, which is why I wanted to get you on the show to talk about your new book, which I’m fascinated with. I want to hear more about your connection with Rene Rodriguez and what you’ve learned from him. Our audience could take many nuggets from this and change their career in the mortgage business.

My story with Rene, several years ago, I was running a mortgage shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My sales manager, who’s also my best friend, was the nicest, sweetest, and most compassionate human I’d ever met. This one morning, he burst into my office very aggressively, which was very shocking for him. It caught my attention really quickly. He said, “I met somebody you have to meet.” From shock value, I go, “Whatever this is.” I went to meet this person. It was a lunch meeting at first, and I recognized very quickly I was now in this person’s universe. I was in this person’s world now.

I said, “Do you want to meet at your office or in my office?” He said, “No. Let’s meet at this restaurant.” When he had to be close to me, I was like, “Sure.” I showed up at the restaurant. I’d never met him. I didn’t know what he looked like. I said to the hostess, “I’m here to meet somebody I have never met,” and she said, “What’s their name?” I said the name and she’s like, “His table is right over here.” When the hostess said that, I’m thinking, “He’s here.” I got to the table and there was no one there and I said, “I thought you said he was here.” She was like, “No, this is his table.” I said, “What do you mean his table?” She’s like, “This is where he eats every day.” I was like, “This is his office. This is interesting. Note to self. I’m his daily lunch appointment. Good to know.”

I sat down and then he came. The way he controlled the conversation was masterful. I was fascinated at how he had mastered language. I was like, “This guy is at a whole different level.” He had a workshop coming up. It was called Overcoming Procrastination. It was a three-hour workshop. I was like, “Let me go to your workshop.” I went to the three-hour workshop Overcoming Procrastination. At the end of that workshop, 60 days later, I lost 28 pounds from a three-hour workshop. I was like, “This guy, who is he? He’s from a different planet.”

I started going to his workshops. We became good friends. After a few months, and it was like 4 or 5 months, from his level of playing field, I said, “I want you to be my business partner. I don’t want you to come work for me. I want you to be my partner.” He graciously said no. He’s like, “No. You are not ready, but thank you.” I was like, “Look at this.” Meanwhile, I was at the time considered somewhat top of my field.

You had a mortgage company at the time, right?

I was crushing it. I was making more money than I’d ever dreamed of. I was like, “What do you mean? That’s new. No one’s ever said that to me before.” I spent the next two years begging. I’d love to tell you that it was asking. No, I was begging. This was early-2003 through 2005. We became good friends, and then in 2005, the opportunity presented itself. He said, “You are ready. I’m ready. We are ready. One condition.” I said, “Name it.” I was excited. I was like, “We are going to go through the roof.”

He said, “I need you to shut the entire company down.” Remember, I had 53 employees at this time. Processors, receptionists, and two offices, we were crushing it. He said, “I need you to shut the entire company down for two days, put everybody in a hotel room.” He didn’t tell me anything. He didn’t give me any details. Zero details. He said, “We are going to shut for two business days. Not a Saturday and Sunday.” Two business days, shut the entire company down, receptionists included. Emails and voicemails off. You can have voicemails on, but nobody’s checking voicemails.

I was like, “I can’t turn it off for two days. What are you talking about? That’s not even viably possible. You are asking the impossible.” He said, “Then you don’t trust me, number one. You don’t want me bad enough, and that’s okay.” I was like, “You are serious.” He goes, “I’m absolutely serious. Shut it down for two days or I’m not coming.” I thought about it for a couple of minutes and I made what I would consider one of the best business decisions of my life. I shut the whole thing down for two days without knowing why.

It doesn't matter who you speak to. Let your heart speak in sequence so they can hear the message. Share on X

There we all were. We all showed up in this hotel ballroom and there were a bunch of chairs in a circle and we all grabbed chairs and sat in a circle. We all knew him. By this time, everybody in the company had gone to one of his seminars. Everybody knew who he was. Everybody was excited that he was coming onto the team. We did have no idea what was going on. We went through a two-day life-changing and business-changing days and it wasn’t Amplify. Not even close to Amplify. People that go through Amplify think, “It’s like Amplify.” “No. Not Amplify. Something completely different.”

Several years later and everybody who’s in that room, we are all still friends. We still talk about it to this day, like the life-changing ripple effect of those two days, how it changed all of our lives. From that, that catapulted me onto the stage with Tim Braheem, Greg Frost and Business Plan in 2000, so December, 2006. He took over the stage in December of 2007, and then he’s been on the national stage ever since.

Whatever happened to Greg Frost? Is he still in the mortgage business?

He’s in Albuquerque. Still crushing it.

New Mexico. I haven’t heard his name in a while.

He doesn’t travel as much.

I’m like you. I find something and I did Amplify twice and almost the same month. I don’t know if I told you. I hired Rene to come to Houston in October to do an Amplify here for us.

Congratulations. That’s a worthwhile investment.

For those of you that don’t know, in a nutshell, what Amplify is it helps you understand the power of communication and how to formulate your communication so that the other person hears it and acts and responds.

You and I are a perfect example of that. My message to you fell like a thud. I was trying to communicate a message to you and it went surprisingly. I’m trying to talk to you about something, and you are looking at me square in the eye, saying, “I’m not hearing you.” You can talk to me too blue in the face, “Not hearing you.”

Learning to pick up on those cues, learning when that’s happening, what to do about it. Rene’s tagline for Amplify is, “Letting your heart speak in sequence.” You and I started to connect when you started understanding that I was coming from a good place. My message had a little bit of doom and gloom, but it’s not that I’m a doom and gloom person. I’m trying to show what I see. One of the reasons I go to Amplify is to get rid of that doom and gloom piece. I don’t want to be a doom and gloom guy. There’s a message. There’s a technology piece that I’m trying to communicate. How do I communicate it more effectively so that people can receive it?

When it goes to your customers, when it comes to referral partners, even if it comes to speaking to an underwriter. It doesn’t matter who you are speaking to. It might be you recruiting a loan officer. It might be a loan officer recruiting a realtor. It might be whoever. It might be you trying to communicate to your spouse, enrolling your spouse and kids in an activity. It’s all the same. How do you let your heart speak in sequence so that the person in front of you can hear the message? That’s what we are learning at Amplify and Rene is the best I have ever heard.

HBS 7 | Why Of Money
Why Of Money: Living a high-level life is not about balance. It’s about integration. That means multitasking but being engaged in the moment at the same time. By doing that, you’re able to get your own private time.

 

I knew that the moment. The moment I went to that Overcoming Procrastination workshop for three hours. Soon as he started talking, I was like, “This guy is at a whole new level. I don’t know where this guy came from.” If I have a choice between going to a Rene Rodriguez workshop or a Tony Robbins workshop, I will go to Rene Rodriguez every day, twice on Sundays.

The magical piece is these ten people. You are in a combined confined area, a lot of private attention, and we all think we understand how to communicate with other people because you think you do until he opens up.

Top-level people in that room too. This is not Mickey Mouse people in this room. These are top-level and high-level performers.

Understand that the value of being a leader in life are big time people.

Leading big teams. There are people in that room leading 100 plus people, and you would think everybody in that room is dialed in and we are all looking at each other going, “This is advanced stuff.”

I love it. That’s why I’m spending a little bit of money to have him come here.

Congratulations. That’s going to pay you back a hundredfold in team, family, and life. You are going to get it back a hundredfold for sure.

I’m looking forward to it. Onto your book, The WHY of MONEY. I want to hear the background. What inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea spawn from?

The very first moment that I can think back to was a conversation I was having in 2005 with Tim Braheem. Greg Frost introduced me to Tim Braheem. Him and I were becoming friends and he was mentoring me on the mortgage side of things. 2005, we are all crushing. I was feeling good about life and raw me. He said, “You are making all this money and doing all these things and it’s all great, but why? What’s it for?” I was like, “What do you mean? I didn’t even understand the question. No one had ever asked me.”

He’s like, “What’s the purpose? Do you want to have a family, want to have a big house, or want to travel? For what?” I still couldn’t understand the question. I’m looking at this guy, Tim Braheem, this god in the mortgage industry. I want to emulate him on any daily basis like, “What would Tim do?” It’s one of the mantras. I felt embarrassed. He asked me a question I couldn’t answer. I remember feeling very embarrassed.

I was like, “I don’t like this feeling.” I got to learn how to answer that question. Why do I want this? Then I was like, “This is a deep question.” I’m getting into the meaning of life. What is the meaning of life? Why do I want that? It started shifting my thinking in a very dramatic way. I started this journey of trying to seek out people that were living lives that I wanted. People with good marriages, people making lots more money than me. People that had what I perceived at the time as being balanced, but I have learned that there was no such thing as balance. It’s called integration. That’s what it’s called.

Task priority or focus priority.

Reach out to the 1% that is making money, and instead of asking, 'What do you do all day?' ask, 'What do you think?' Share on X

When you look at people that are living a very high-level life, what I call a high-level life, that’s my language. It may not resonate with everybody, but they are making well into seven figures. They have got a healthy marriage and healthy relationship with their kids. They have got a big team. They are functioning at a different level. There’s a different level of consciousness going on. There is no balance. That’s not what’s happening. They have integrated activities. That’s what they have done. I’m trying to understand that. What does that mean to integrate activities? It means being on the phone while you are exercising. It means playing with your kids and talking to your spouse.

It means you are multitasking but engaged in the moment at the same time. You are able to do multiple things at the same time and also able to get your own private time. There might be an hour a day where you meditate or go to yoga and get your own private self-time. There’s a methodology by which you do this. I seek out people that are doing this in some capacity. I was trying to figure out specifically the money piece. What I noticed was in sales, mortgage, real estate, and financial planning, the vast majority aren’t making any real money. It’s a very small number. I would even say 1%.

Why do you think that is?

I went on the journey of trying to figure that out. Why is that? The why of money. Why are only 1% of people making money? It’s because it’s the same playing field. Same market, tools, access, and time. Why was it 1% succeeding at that level of 99%, not when they have the same access? I would seek out the 1% and instead of asking, “What do you do all day,” I would ask, “What do you think? How do you think? Why is that important to you? What is your value system? Why is that important to you? Where’d that come from? Who taught that to you?”

Most of them would give you the stock answers. It’s all about team and family, and you got to care about people like the standard answers. It’s like, “Those are the standard answers. I get it. I’m not recording this conversation. There’s no camera here. I want the stuff that keeps you up at night.” It’s 2:00 in the morning, your eyes open and you can’t stop thinking about something. What’s that? A lot of times, I knew I was going to get a good answer when they do this.

Whatever is about that or whatever that is. Whatever that’s about to come, I’m taking notes because this is going to be a good one or whatever this is. After interviewing hundreds, if not thousands of these people, I noticed that it was always the same five categories. I was like, “That’s what these seventeen people said. This is what these 94 people said.” It’s the same five categories every single time. I’m going to tell you that it’s never, ever one time been about the money. Not one self-made millionaire ever made millions of dollars because they wanted to make money. Now the 99% want to make money and therefore, they don’t. I was like, “What are the five categories?”

I wrote down the five categories. A few years ago, I wrote down a two-page treatment table of contents. A rough thing. I threw it in a drawer. It was on my computer and I saved it and I didn’t do anything with it. A couple of years ago, I opened it back up, tweaked it a little bit, and I sent it to a couple of friends. One of my friends forwarded it to a book publisher without me knowing. The book publisher called me up said, “We are going to be in town. Your treatment looks interesting to us. Can we have dinner?” At that dinner, the next thing I know, they want to publish my book.

I hadn’t even written it. Two pages and a table of contents, so three pages. I sat there and described what it was. When you publish a book, it’s not about the book. It’s about distribution. It’s about, “Can you present? Can you speak on stage? How many times are you going to be on stage in a year?” It so happens that I’m on stage a lot. That all contributed to the publishing. It’s not just, “Can you write a good book?”

I’m not here to tell you I’m Malcolm Gladwell. He’s my favorite author. If you don’t read him, make sure you buy his books about Malcolm Gladwell. I wanted to get this message out to people in sales. It doesn’t matter if you are in mortgage, real estate, or financial planning. I don’t care if you sell photocopiers for a living. If you focus on making money, you’ll never make money. You won’t do it.

Most people get into the mortgage business because you can make a lot of money and they get into the mortgage business because they see someone making a lot of money and they say, I want to be that person, and they think their life is going to be different. Once you make that thousand, then the stress becomes not making $300,000, is how do I continue to make $300,000? Then it’s always more, it’s like, “How do I make $500,000? A lot of times, people attach their success to how much money they are making, and sometimes if they would focus more on who they are being and or who they are showing up as every day. They will find that the money will come.

First, I’d like to address the money piece and then I will get into the five categories. The money piece, in the book, there’s a graph that I put and it described something I learned to call The Ceilings of Complexity and Floors of Support. A ceiling of complexity is there’s something that exists in this world that I don’t know how to do yet. I’m going to figure it out. I’m going to break through that ceiling of complexity. The moment I break through it, it’s now a floor of support, meaning I know how to do it, so now I don’t go below it. It’s a floor. Now I got to get through the next ceiling.

Building your business is a constant battle of breaking through the next ceiling. Ceilings typically, and these are gross generalizations, but it’s a good basis of understanding if you think of it as dollar amounts, the first ceiling of complexity is $100,000 dollars a year. Think of being a loan officer. A brand-new person coming into the business, their first dream is to make $100,000 a year. Not always, but most of the time. “I’m going to earn six figures.” We hear that all the time.

HBS 7 | Why Of Money
Why Of Money: You have to completely change yourself to get to the next ceiling. You need to understand what you will do with your money and why that’s important.

 

They learn how to make six figures. They break through that ceiling of complexity and they make six figures. $100,000 a year is now a floor. They know how to do it. Don’t go below it. It’s now a floor of support. The next ceiling is $250,000 a year. I watched loan officers bounce between that floor and ceiling for many years. They sit there and bounce between that floor and ceiling forever. They don’t break through the next ceiling. I don’t know why.

I will tell you why, because it happened to me. I got in the mortgage business in 2002 and it wasn’t long before I was making six figures, and then I up to $250,000. I made that every year up until 2009 and 2009, I was struggling. It was super stressful making $250,000. In my mind I’m thinking, “Making more is going to be even more stressful.” I joined an organization which most people know. They call it The Core Training, which helped me. I went from $250,000 to $500,000 to $750,000.

What you did is you learned how to break through the next ceiling. Was it easy?

It was easy once I started following the steps.

Was change easy?

Define easy.

Is change easy?

Never. No, it’s not.

There we go. That’s the problem. To get from $250,000 to $500,000, did you have to change?

For sure.

Is change easy? No. Therefore people don’t do it. When they don’t change, they don’t get the new result. Therefore, they keep getting the same result. It is like that text message I was reading to you. I have been doing this for many years. I hear that and I go, “You’ve been doing this 1 year 26 times. You are getting the same result you got 26 years ago. You are not in the business 26 years because you are not learning, adapting, growing, and improving. That’s not what this is.”

How do you break through the next ceiling? $250,000 is the next ceiling, $500,000 is the next ceiling, $1 million is the next ceiling, $2 million, $5 million, $10 million, and all of it is changing into the next ceiling. You have to completely change your behavior, activities, team structure, and everything to get to the next ceiling, so it requires a radical, massive shift to get to the next ceiling. When you are making $1 million a year, you’re just like, “I’m making $1 million a year. That’s great. Why would I change?” That’s what’s stopping you from getting to the next ceiling.

If you focus on making money, you'll never make money. Share on X

Why would you change unless your why changes?

The only reason you are going to get to the next ceiling is if you understand what you are going to do with the money and why that’s important. That’s the only thing that’s going to drive you to that next ceiling. Now the whys. If you are reading this, you can have more than one, but you got to have at least one. More than one, but you got to have at least one. For them, you might look at and say, “that’s not me. I don’t care. It doesn’t hit me at all.” That’s okay. That’s not you, but one’s got to drive you.

First is what I call lifestyle enhancement. It doesn’t mean you want nice cars or a nice house. That’s not what it means. It means you came from a bad place. You came from a third-world country, you slept on a dirt floor. You were beaten as a kid. You came from poverty. You came from a really bad place, and you are going to work everybody because you are never going to go back there. It’s like, “It was so bad what I came from, I’m never, ever going to go back to that. I’m going to work for you. I’m going to grind you. I don’t care.” You and I know those people. We know and met those people. It’s crystal clear when you meet these people and there’s nothing that will stop them.

It’s like you went through something super painful and you identified in order to get to where you want to go to be successful.

They will overcome any adversity. They break through ceilings of complexity like it’s nothing.

I’m going to let you continue, but I’m curious to know, and I want to revisit this. What is it for you? I will share what I think it was for me. Keep going. First is that you came from a bad place.

I call it lifestyle enhancement. You are trying to have a lifestyle that is not what you came from. You can see that in society. You look at Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, those guys. They came from a place that they are like, “Hell no. Never going back, just going to work you. I don’t care.” They work out, grind, and achieve at a high level because they don’t care. They are going to work for you. That’s number one.

Number two is emotional gratification. You are looking for a specific moment in time to satisfy a need. Do you ever see a football player come to a podium when they get their NFL contract and be able to like, “How did you do this? You all work everybody. What drives you?” He was like, “I want to buy my mom a house.” He doesn’t care about the money. He wants to buy his mom a house. He wants to buy a house, hand the keys to his mom. That’s it. There’s nothing else that matters.

It could be the opposite. It could be that your grade one teacher told you you were stupid. You want to prove your grade one teacher wrong. It could be whatever. Rene tells a great story about the woman applying for the CEO job. She writes about her getting good grades in her last year in college. She claimed the frame. Every adult tells you your superhero life and you tend to believe them.

I decided in my last year of college, I’m either going to believe them and live the rest of my life this way or I’m going to choose to be different. In my last year of college, I buckled down. I got straight As in my last year of college. What that means to you is that if I come to work for you and your team, I’m going to take that same mentality and I’m going to crush it for you and your team as well. They are going, “Where’s it?”

That was a big driver for me. My dad, my whole life, told me I was never going to achieve what he had achieved, my whole childhood. There’s this huge driving force to prove him wrong. It took me 30 years, but I beat him, but that was a huge driving force. This emotional gratification needs to prove him wrong. It wasn’t about the money. It was all subconscious. I wasn’t doing it knowingly. It was driving me underneath. That’s the reason for the subconscious is that you are not aware.

For me, it was the same reason, but it was not about what my dad told me that I couldn’t do. For me, I felt that I struggled with making friends. What I noticed around me or the people that had money seemed like they had friends. What I realized much later into my early-30s is the reason I was struggling to make friends is because I didn’t identify like how do you have a conversation with someone? How do you get someone to like you?

HBS 7 | Why Of Money
Why Of Money: Value the power of the data. You can access consumers’ buying patterns, credit history, asset allocation, and insurance needs with data.

 

You got to be interested in them. We are all here to be in relationships. Most of us are spending more time talking than we are listening. Everybody’s waiting to talk. I learned that and that changed it for me, but that emotional anchor inside me of wanting to make money, I don’t know if it ever went away. I understood why it was there.

I would say you and I could do a deeper dive on that. That’s not deep enough. That’s not a driver. That’s a surface why. That’s not deep. Number three is caring for your parents. For some people, some cultures, some families, caring for your parents is a very big deal. You are recognizing that your parents aren’t going to be able to care for themselves later in life. Medical and housing needs, and so you got to earn a lot more money to be able to care for them. That’s a driving force.

Number four is opportunities for your children. Living in the right school district, being able to start a business so you can pass it on to them, creating multi-generational wealth. Whatever that is. There’s a driving force for some people to create opportunities for their children. That’s a sensitive subject. Do you remember our very first conversation where I’m talking to you and it was a thud where you are like, “No. I’m not having it.”

It hits a thud. When I talk to parents and I say, “What are you prepared to do for your children?” Most parents say anything. “I will do anything for my kids. I love my kids. I will do anything and everything for my kids.” “If that’s true, why do you watch TV? You are zoning out. You are escaping. Why? You could be using that time to either spend with your kids, like go play baseball. Go build a business. Build a side business. Go prospect more, make more money, and create more opportunities. Why are you sitting on a couch watching TV on a Sunday? You watched three football games. You are going to sit there and tell me you can do everything for you kids.”

It gets a little controversial because it doesn’t feel good, and I say, “That doesn’t feel good.” It was like, “Meanwhile, you are living paycheck to paycheck and you are watching three football games on a Sunday.” I am watching three football games on a Sunday. I got no time for that. That’s not my priority. That’s not what I’m going to do. I’m not saying that’s a bad person. I’m saying they are not clear on their why. That’s all that is. There’s a lack of clarity. I don’t progress that. When Tim Braheem first talked to me in 2005, I wasn’t clear. I didn’t understand. Nobody taught me. That’s part of the purpose of writing the book is I don’t want people to feel that same moment that I felt.

Number five, the last one is legacy. Something that’s bigger than you. Some have to do with you. You want to build a school. You want to build a hospital. You want to build a battered woman a shelter. You came from something. I volunteer for this school for kids in underprivileged neighborhoods in Los Angeles. I spend time on Zoom calls and stuff helping the kids.

I was doing mock job interviews. I said to this one kid, “What’s your dream job?” He said, “I wanted to be a biochemist.” I said, “That’s very specific. Why a biochemist?” He said, “I want to learn how to fix diseases.” As soon as I hear that, there’s a reason. That’s not coming from nowhere. I said, “Who’s sick?” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Who’s sick?” He said, “My sister.” It is predictable. I said, “What’s wrong with your sister? He says, “Something wrong with her stomach.” I said, “How important is it for you to cure that?” He says, “Really important.”

If I’m running a biochemistry lab, am I going to hire this kid to be a biochemist? Yes. He’s committed. This kid is going to sleep in the lab. He ain’t going home. I can set up a cot in the lab. If I put a shower in the lab, he’ll never eat. I will slide pizza under the door. He’ll never leave because he’s clear on his why. That’s a driving force for this kid. He’s young, like sixteen.

Imagine being a loan officer and you get clarity like that on your team, realtors, and borrowers. Imagine I have a conversation like that with your borrower. Why do you want to buy this house? I see it’s a three-bedroom house and you’ve got two kids, are you guys done having kids? Imagine having that conversation? “What do you mean that we are done having kids?” “It’s part of my job. It’s a three-bedroom house. I got to know how long you have been in the house to know what mortgage to structure for you.”

“If you are not done having kids, you are going to run out of bedrooms. You are going to buy another house in a few years. I’m sorry. I care enough to be unreasonable. I want to have an unreasonable conversation.” No loan officer has that conversation. You want to stand out and be memorable, care enough to be unreasonable and have real meaningful conversations with your borrowers.

I remember being in the main event with Joe Stump when I first heard that why message about how you get to the understanding of why someone’s buying a house. You’ll start off saying, “What’s it about this house?” “It’s a five-bedroom. It’s got three baths. It’s perfect for us.” Ask them again, “What is it about the house? I understand it’s got five bedrooms and three bathrooms, but besides that, what about this house is important for you?” “It’s at the right price.”

If you continue to dig down, you develop that conversation. You get to a point where it’s like, “The schools are amazing and my kids are going to go to this great school, and what’s important about them going to a great school. When I was growing up, you get to that conversation where they tell you the story about what’s driving it, and most people don’t even think about it. They don’t spend time reflecting.

You don’t even know how to have that conversation. That’s part of why you go to Amplify. It’s to learn how to have that conversation.

If you want to stand out and be memorable, care enough to be unreasonable. Share on X

If you can get a better understanding of the individual on the other side and understand that, “He’s doing this. He’s buying this house. He’s getting this mortgage because he wants a better life for his kids than he had.” Then when you get into a negotiation and it’s about an extra $10,000 that they are negotiating on this house. You can have the conversation with your client say, “Mr. Client, you are going to let $10,000 keep you from moving into this house and giving the kids an education you never had for $10,000, and you are going to live in it forever? Is it only about the $10,000 or do you want to win this negotiation?

It’s not about ego. It’s about a life for your kids.

That’s powerful to understand. Those that are reading, if you don’t read anything else, understanding why people are doing what they are doing, everyone has a reason, and that’s a powerful compensation. I wrote that down when you were talking. We are talking about how you get to the why.

The more you practice it, the faster you can get there.

I can tell you practice it a few times. You had enough intelligence to understand when he said by bioscientists or biochemists. Tell me more.

You are going to choose that out of the blue. That’s not a random choice.

Most people let it go. They don’t go deeper, like when it gets to the point where you are talking about someone else’s emotions and what’s driving them. That’s a great conversation because people haven’t thought about that often. I was having dinner with a friend of mine and they are buying this massive house, a $3 million house, and they are putting $2 million down.

In Colorado, the rate they are getting is $2.75 million. They are not doing the mortgage with me and I started having the conversation of, “Why are you putting $2 million down when we are in an inflationary period, where inflation is 4.5%? Why would you put so much money down? Why would you not keep the money in your bank account and do something else with it, like invest it? Which makes a lot of sense if you are going to own the house.” What I figured out by asking more questions, her father went bankrupt when she was nine years old.

Emotional trauma and safety. “That’s never going to happen to me.” I had that conversation with her, but it didn’t change her mind. I said, “I’m not here to change your mind. I want you to be aware of why you are making your decisions.” There’s a chapter in your book that says How to Adopt Technology. I want to hear more about that. There are a lot of readers who say that the technology is coming faster and faster every day. Change is happening and it’s going too fast.

One of the things that I would encourage everybody to understand is there is a scientific understanding of adoption. If you Google Adoption Bell Curve, you’ll see it’s a very common bell curve. It’s a chart, a graph. You can see it. It’s all over the place. There’s something called innovators, which is a small percent of the population. You’ve got early adopters. You’ve got the early-majority, late-majority, and laggards.

I used to be a laggard. I will let everybody else adopt it, then if it’s still around, then I will adopt it. There’s too much coming and going. I was the guy that bought a Beta. Not a VHS because Beta was better, and then VHS beat Beta, and so I said, “I’m never doing that again. I’m never going to be an early adopter because it’s not the best that’s going to stick around.” That was my lesson for that. Bad lesson. It was a stupid lesson, but that was the lesson I got from that.

I remember it was 2011 and I was still using a Blackberry. iPhones were out and I was still using a Blackberry. I was in my office and we had a bunch of techie kids, coders in our office at the time. There were about ten of them and they were all 21 and 22 years old. My phone rang and I reached for my phone and I went to answer my phone, and behind me, I heard a bunch of snickering. I turned around and they were laughing at me because I was using a Blackberry. I was the old guy that the kids are laughing at. That was my moment. That afternoon, I went to the store and I got an iPhone. I hated it, but I got it out of ego because I didn’t want to be laughed at.

HBS 7 | Why Of Money
Why Of Money: Every cell phone number has a corresponding IP address. As a loan officer, you can monitor the cellphone activity of the people in your database.

 

It wasn’t a decision of I’m trying to adopt technology because it’s good for my business. I have tried to adopt technology because I don’t want to be laughed at. It was a defining moment for me of, “That’s not a good way for me to run my business.” I’m making decisions based on bad criteria. That was a moment of, “I got to stop being a laggard. If I want to be a leader in business and in what I’m doing, I have to be in the front, not at the back. I need to figure this out.” It’s a silly story that was a defining moment for me in moving from the back to the front.

What are the behaviors or what did you change? I don’t understand you say, “I don’t want to be a laggard.” You want to be at the forefront. What are you doing to do that?

A lesson that I learned was understanding the power of data. My data lesson came in 2008. Up until 2008, I was the guinea pig poster child of a company called PushMX. It was a plugin to Calyx Point and it was an automation cycle to automate the entire mortgage process. It was a plug on top of Calyx, and so we’d automated the entire mortgage process.

I had created this business plan where you could take that type of model, put it into one system and sell the licensing rights. I created this whole business plan and got an appointment with a hedge fund in San Jose. My number showed. You could make a couple of hundred million dollars a year pretty easily. I was excited. That number, to me, was exciting.

I remember presenting to this room, this hedge fund, the CEO of the hedge fund was there. I was excited that I got the meeting and I did the presentation. In the end, I could tell that I missed. The look on everybody’s face like it was a thud. I’m like, “I missed.” The CEO said, “Based on what you’ve presented and what I’m looking at, you are telling me, you think the play here is to sell the licensing of the software.”

I was excited. I was like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “You don’t even know what you are selling.” “What do you mean?” He said, “You are showing us a business model based on what you could build that would generate a couple hundred million dollars a year, but what the value is in the power of the data. You are telling us that you’d have access to every consumer buying patterns, credit history, asset allocation, and insurance needs. The power is in the data. That’s a $1 billion idea, not a $100 million idea. You don’t even know what you are selling.”

I remember feeling embarrassed. I’m in a room full of people that are smarter than me, which is always the room I want to be in. I always want to be the dumbest person in the room because that’s the room I’m going to learn in. I left the room, and then in 2008, everything crashed, went South, and nothing ever happened, but I will never forget the lesson I got that day. The power of the data.

When you look at what’s going on in the mortgage space now because everyone has been talking about automation. Everybody has been talking about that for many years. Everything’s changed. Day one, certainty changed a lot of things when day one came into play. Now CRMs are a lot more automated.

Quicken, in their IPO, they are predicting that they are going to have a 25% market share by 2030. That’s what they were predicting. The CEO of Zillow used to be the CEO of Expedia. He’s predicting that he can automate the entire mortgage process. The whole process. Soup to nuts. The same thing he did with Travel.

This stuff is coming, but there’s a tremendous amount of technology that exists right now. Now, the loan officers aren’t adopting. There are tech plays that loan officers can adopt right now, like me scrapping my Blackberry and going buying an iPhone. I did it in an afternoon. I had to decide to do it. It was available to me the whole time. I didn’t decide to do it. There’s technology that’s available to loan officers right now that you can analyze your entire databases activities daily, and it’s done for you.

When you say you can analyze your entire database, do you say activity? Give me an example.

Somebody you know, past client, a friend, the manager, your favorite restaurant, your doctor, or your dry cleaner, they applied for a mortgage.

How would you know that?

Stop being a laggard. If you want to be a leader in what you're doing, you have to be on the front, not the back. Share on X

You can plug into systems where the system will tell you. All that’s available right now. You can plug into it. MonitorBase is one that you can go to if you go to MonitorBase.com. $99 a month.

What other technologies are out there?

I geeked out. I came across some engineers that they were involved in the Google Facebook stuff, the monitoring and all the crazy backend stuff that got built. That’s not conspiracy stuff. They are doing it. I was asking them, so in the mortgage space, how would that apply? They said, “What would a loan officer find valuable?” I said, “Let’s talk about it. I’m a loan officer. I’m doing with realtors primarily, borrowers, have a database.”

They say, “Database. What do you mean a database?” I said, “I have a CRM. There are lots of different CRM companies, but I have got some centralized CRM. Somehow in some way, it’s web-based. More often than not, it’s on the internet.” He said, “Are they API? Can we plug stuff into them?” I said, “You can plug stuff into them.” “We can plug into them. Great. There’s data in that CRM. Can we get a cell phone number?” I said, “Cell phone numbers for sure.” “Here’s something we could do. If I’m a loan officer. I have a database and I have past clients, friends, family, or whatever’s in my database, we can monitor their cell phone activity.”

I was like, “How’s that work?” He said, “A cell phone number has a corresponding IP address. It doesn’t work if you are on a WiFi. When you are on your cell phone, on your carrier, Verizon or AT&T, you are on your IP address. When you are on your IP address and you go on the internet, you are in a public forum. You are monitored. It’s not private.” The other stuff you do on your phone is private. What you do on the internet is public. The moment you pull up a web browser, you are on your IP address on the internet, you are in a public domain. If you go to Quicken.com, Realtor.com, or Zillow.com, you are in the market.

You have access to that data.

What we did was we plugged it into our loan officers’ databases. We notify our loan officers the moment anybody they have ever met ever is in market. They are monitoring cell phone activity. That’s what I mean by the power of data. If you are not doing this, there are companies that are. You are going to lose your clients to them because those companies are calling your clients when the clients make a decision, you are not.

HBS 7 | Why Of Money
The WHY of MONEY: How to Get Out of Your Own Way & Finally Earn What You Deserve

The lesson here, at least for all loan officers. I remember when I started out, I didn’t keep a great database like I should’ve. It wasn’t until several years ago I started keeping my database in order. If you are a loan officer out there and you are not keeping control of your own data, that’s a problem. Even if you are changing companies like when I came to Cardinal, I said, “All the data that I bring in and all the data meaning my clients that I accumulate, I take with me, it’s mine. It is not yours.” That was number one on the list when I went to work.

It’s the only asset you have as a salesperson. Here’s another asset. It’s the size and the quality of your database is the only asset you have. If you are not building it and protecting it, you are not in business. You are not running a business.

I appreciate you being here. We have gone a little bit over. I hope that’s okay, but for sure, we are having you back. It’s been my pleasure. Before I let you go, I acknowledge you for who you are and what you are doing for our industry. I’d like you to share with our readers, if somebody wanted to contact you, what’s the best way for them to do it?

If you go to the TheWhyOfMoney.com, you can see information there. You can also see me on LinkedIn. Search Eric Mitchell. Look for the guy with the shiny bald head on LinkedIn or you can call (888) 696 1344. You can reach me that way as well.

I want to acknowledge you for your thirst of becoming better in life. You are a great example of someone that shows up and continues to play in a space that most people find difficult and daunting. Doing Amplify, not 1, 2, but 7 times is amazing. For writing a book that nobody else has written The WHY of MONEY. You care enough to get into the heads of those people that understand why they are doing it.

For being an amazing friend, when we first met, I was thinking we went through this period where like, “I don’t like this guy,” and what I realized is I didn’t like about you is that you were right and it scared me to death. Having the conversations that we have had, I see there are a lot of similarities in both of us. I’m looking forward to having you on again and continuing to connect with you. Thanks for being on the show.

Thanks for having me.

There you have it, another great episode. That’s it for this episode. We’ll talk next time.

 

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About Eric Mitchell

HBS 7 | Why Of MoneyAs Executive Vice President – National Retail for Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, I am charged with employing our growth strategy, outreach and long term development by attracting and developing the highest caliber mortgage professionals and branches.

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