The Heath Barnes Show

Mortgages Reimagined

with your host, Heath Barnes

How To Be A Better Loan Officer & Dictate Your Own Growth

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth


Today on the Heath Barnes show, we’re speaking with Steve Kyles, partner with Mortgage Marketing Animals, one of the top mortgage coaching programs in the country for Loan Officers, and top-producing branch manager at SMP. He’s also the host and founder of the energetic and value-packed Loan Officer Leadership Podcast, one of the top podcasts for Loan Officers across the nation. We had a great conversation about what it takes to succeed as a loan officer today and the mindsets you need to adopt to make the most of the opportunity.

Listen to the podcast here


How To Be A Better Loan Officer & Dictate Your Own Growth With Steve Kyles

I’m here with my good friend, Mr. Steve Kyles. How are you doing?

I’m doing good.

Loan Officer Leadership Podcast is the most successful podcast in the mortgage industry.

We’re in the top five. It’s moved. I’ve got a good buddy of mine who’s number one, the Loan Officer Freedom, which is Carl on and there are some other good ones. Phil Treadwell got a great one. We’re doing well. Good stuff.

I appreciate you being on the show. Steve and I are both in the same market. I wouldn’t say we’ve been competing against each other. We’ve been working together for many years to help each other become successful in the mortgage industry. We’re almost at the beginning of seeing success maybe a little bit.

Thank you for bringing me on your show. Heath and I have been great friends for many years. Cali Secure Mortgage in Houston, I think everybody came through that company. That was back in 2005. What’s great is Heath and I have been friends this whole time. There are some times you run into each other but friendship is what matters more. A couple of years ago, you joined me. We started the collective here in Houston and saw a ton of LOs and different jerseys coming together. What we found was it was the relationship that made us stronger.

We would have lunch and I’d say, “What are you doing? You’re killing it. You close that many loans. Your bridge is killing it.” With other guys, we talk about iron sharpens iron. You’re one of those friends. We did our event a couple of years ago. I remember I’m like, “I’m terrified to do this event in Houston.” You’re like, “I got your back. I’ll be there and show up.” You show up. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you.

I acknowledge you’ve got that event because you hadn’t been doing a podcast for very long and you came up to me. You had this big idea and you said, “I want to do this event and get all of these people together. I’m scared. What should I do?” I’m like, “Let’s do it. Come on. You got it.” Sometimes you got to put it out there and say, “I’m going to do it.” It doesn’t seem like it can happen but put your intention out there in life. You’ll be amazed at what happens often. If you don’t put the intention and the goal out there, you’re not going to show up.

That goes back to vision. People are afraid to move forward for the fear of failure. I can remember our good friend, Greg Gale. We were putting all this together. You’re one of the top five I called. I said, “We need to do something to help loan officers get better.” I wouldn’t have been able to move forward had I not had the courage of friends who were foolish enough to say, “We could do that and this.” It’s this synergy of, “We’re better together.” What I love about your show is its intent to help LOs get better whether you’re closing 2, 4, 10, 20 or 50 loans a month. Why we designed ours, the Loan Officer Leadership, was we wanted to be a resource for people to get better in this industry. It’s been fun.

Being a loan officer is all about being better together in this industry. Share on X

Our market is talking about getting better. It’s tough if you’re a loan officer out there trying to deliver value. It’s not even the Houston market but it’s all over the United States. There’s a lack of inventory and being able to provide value to the agents with whom you’re doing business. What are you finding out there in the market? What are the ideas that we can give to the people that are reading that are going to help them win more contracts?

There are a couple of things I was thinking about. I’ll hit all three of them. Let’s start with 2021 as a year of starting and 2020 was a gift that gave and gave. I don’t know about you but every loan officer who had a career in 2020 probably sold their best year ever. It wasn’t because of the activity they did. It was because of the gift of the market. When you saw rates hit lows that we had never seen historically, you could walk back into a Starbucks and say, “Have you considered refinancing?” They would say, “You can get a 2.5 on a 30. Yes, let’s refinance.”

It was a gift. I believe in 2021, we have to start over. When I say start over, if you do what you did in 2020, you will not get the same results. You’re probably already seeing a dip in those results, which would be lead count has gone down and then you’re saying, “Maybe it’s inventory or the market.” Those are excuses. The market doesn’t dictate our growth. The market dictates strategy. I determine my growth. You got to go back to the basics.

When I’m starting over, what are the basic things we do? We’ve got our qualified agent list, which is an agent that has more than eight buy-side transactions in a year. You’re calling 30 of them every Monday. What are you doing? You’re setting appointments and building relationships. It’s the three things every agent wants. They don’t want you to sign that AA with them or pay for their Zillow leads.

We did a survey through the Mortgage Marketing Animals of over 10,000 agents. Do you know what the top three were? Clear communication, “I want you to communicate with me when you got my loan, close my loan on time and have a dynamic follow-up system. I send you a lead. Call me back if that lead called you.” This is something a phrase coined TTL, TTP, which is Touch The Lead, Touch The Partner. Every time a lead comes in, we do a loan consultation or touch a file, whether it’s in processing, got a contract or searching and pre-approved and looking. Not some of the time but every time your loan partner calls a lead, guess whom they call? The agent. We had 10 leads come in so 10 agents got called?

What are they doing on that call? Some people reading are like, “I’m going to call them every time I talked to the lead.” For someone like you and me, that’s an opportunity for us to talk to someone that has more business. They might be on the phone with somebody and are like, “I got another lead for you.”

Remember, their top three are, “Close on time, give me communication and follow-up.” How many agents said, “Your guys are calling me too much?” Here’s what I would say. “He told me that if I don’t call you every time I touch a lead, he’s going to fire me. Throw me into voicemail. I’ll give you an update. Do you want to listen to it? No, but he’s going to fire me if I don’t.”

Here’s the way it goes. “Heath asked me to give you a call. We heard from Mr. Smith. He called a couple of minutes ago and I’ve got him scheduled for his 30-minute loan consult with Heath tomorrow at 2:00 PM. Do you have any questions for me? Fantastic. Listen. Do you know anybody else that we can help like we’re helping Mr. Smith? Can I count on you that if you run into somebody who’s looking to buy seller refi, you’d send them to us? Heath wanted me to tell you, thank you. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without you.”

I would add one other thing to that. Do not only call them after every time you talk to the lead. If you’re a loan officer or a loan partner and you don’t have anybody on your team, call the agent before you call the lead. “What’s going on? I know you sent me that lead. Thank you so much. We appreciate you sending me that lead. Is there anything I need to know about that client before we get on the call?”

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth
Loan Officer Growth: The market doesn’t dictate your growth. You determine your growth.


What you’re looking for there when you make that call is the agent might say something like, “They’re selling their house. Would you like me to find out what are they looking to sell it for?” They’re more inclined to tell a loan officer, “We’re selling our house. What do you think you’re going to get for? What’s the least amount so we can work for worst case scenario?”

I don’t think you can call them too much. Here’s what will happen. Even if I called them before it said, “What do I need to know? Fantastic. I’m going to call them now,” I wouldn’t even call them afterward and say, “Everything you said was spot on. It was a great call. We haven’t booked a consultation for Heat tomorrow. I’ll give you an update as soon as we have the loan consultation.” If you will touch the lead and then the partner every time, your business will grow instantly. We talked to ten partners. However many leads we get, we’ll touch another ten in every consult we’re doing, after every conversation, after every file moving forward and after every contract.

You’re touching your top agents without doing extra dial time. If you’re closing 4 loans a month, you need to be making 30 agent calls on Monday. If you’re closing twenty and you haven’t built your team yet, you may be don’t have the margin. This is what will give you the margin without losing the lead count. Here’s the second thing. “How do I grow my business?” I’m a Partner at Mortgage Marketing Animals. We’re a coaching company. We love it. We coach LOs to get better. One of the things that we have proven over the last many years of statistics will blow you away. How many past clients do you have in your database?

I’ve got 6,300. I’ve got almost 20,000 previous real estate agents.

What are you doing with your 6,300? How many are you mailing every month?

I’m not mailing to all 6,300. We only mailed to about 150 to 200.

You’re leaving money on the table. Based on the close client list, are you getting 63 loans a month from your database from your past client?

I’m not but I’d love to know how.

It goes back to the basics of running the database but here’s what’s interesting. This blew my mind earlier in 2021. My guy challenged me. I don’t know why but I’m always like, “I’m going to mail to 500 or 600, never more than 750 a month.” We follow a great process. We do a testimonial one month, share a heart the next month and then I do VIP gifts. The mailing campaign is super cool but Carl challenged me. He said, “How many are in your database?” I said, “I’ve not done a great job of managing it.”

As a loan officer, if you will touch the lead and then touch the partner, your business will grow instantly. Share on X

We went back and finally pulled it all together. I have about 1,700. Mathematically, if you mail to them every month, do your follow-up phone calls quarterly. Four times a year, you have a dialer, a VA or somebody on your team call in to check-in. Do your client appreciation yearly. Mathematically, through the Marketing Animals and many years of coaching, we have a bunch of guests, thousands of people. If you’re managing your past clients, you should pull at a minimum of 1 transaction per 100 per month with an upside of 2.7 per 100 per month. Let’s say they have 300 and are closing 3 transactions a month. You can double by actively marketing to your database.

There are a couple of things I would do. One of them has to talk to the brain like an engineer and one has to talk to the heart. You and I, in previous organizations, heard that it was evidence of success and then a letter of the heart. Every seventh of every month, the mailer goes out. One of the things you’ve got to do as well is every quarter, call your database.

That check-in call is super simple. You and I know this. It’s the basics. “I wanted to check in with you, see how you’re doing, make sure the mortgage is going well and see if you have any real estate questions. Is there anything that I could do for you? In the future, if you’ve got anybody who’s looking to buy, sell or refinance, I’d be honored to help people like you.” You don’t even have to make that call. We’re in the process of hiring a VA to make those calls, a Virtual Assistant.

If you read my show, I interviewed a buddy of mine. He’s out of Florida, a guy named Brady Webb. He hired a VA who set 42 realtor appointments in 10 days and 75% of them showed up in a brand new market. What we’re doing is taking that strategy to market to my database because for me it was anywhere from 17 to 43 more transactions per month by marketing to my database. The other thing we’re doing is we took every past client and added it to a Facebook list. In that Facebook list, you can target and add your clients. They’re the only ones that can see it. We’re putting a $ 10-a-day spend on it.

That means the 1,700 past clients that I have will see an ad for me. It’s a video I’ll rotate once they’ve had six impressions. I don’t want it to go more than six impressions but this one says, “Thank you so much for the opportunity to help you and your family. If anything comes up about real estate or mortgage, I am here to help you.” It’s an ad directed to my past client database. They’re the only ones that get it because Facebook allows you to add a name, email and phone number targeted ads to your database and list.

They’re the only people that can see it because it is targeted ads to a targeted list. Another thing that we started is doing the same thing. I have a qualified list of 4,000 agents in Houston that do more than 8 buy-side transactions a year. I have one that says, “I give you the competitive advantage through upfront underwriting approvals. I’d love the opportunity to help you continue to grow your business.”

Whether they ever click on the video or not, I’m going to keep rotating these videos. I’ve got Winning Strategies With Steve and Nine Ways To Capture More Listings In A Low Inventory Environment. They’re going to start seeing these ads coming directed to them. They’re going to be like, “This guy Steve’s everywhere.” My past clients are like, “I’m seeing Steve everywhere.” The truth is with my mailer, my color, my Facebook Ads and my yearly events, I’m going to start getting that.

I’m getting about one. My goal is to get to 2.7 per month in additional loans because we’re targeting our database. Number one was realtors. Number two is your database. Number three is we still got low-hanging fruit on the refis. More people in your database need to refi that didn’t take advantage of it. Even though it’s not the lowest, they’re still there. Here’s what we say. 70/30, 70% is purchased and 30% refi. Here’s the problem. When everybody’s refi went from 45% to 50%, they’re like, “I’m 50% refi and 50% purchase.” It’s a wrong strategy.

They should have kept driving their purchase business to match their refi to stay at 70/30. What happened is we got lazy and accustomed to the gift of a refi so we stopped making realtor calls. I stopped booking the appointments and going after brand new agent partners. The truth is that is the basic that will get you out of your business.

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth
Loan Officer Growth: You’ll make more transactions per month just by marketing to your database.


One more thing and I know this is a lot. When I’m talking about the basics, I hear loan officers say, “I don’t want to make those calls.” I don’t either. It’s what we teach our guys in the Marketing Animals and Freedom Club. “If you don’t have to, who would out?” Here’s what you want to do. We call it a try-out of awesomeness. It’s like, “What am I good at?” You need to make a list of what you’re good at. What I would ask you is, “What do you love to do?” The last question you ask and where all three of these intersect is all you focus on. “What am I good at? What do I love to do? What makes me the most money?”

Let me give you an example. I hear somebody on the phone who’s reading and saying, “I love going to the agent meetings. I can’t make any more calls. I hate those calls.” A buddy of mine, Richard Smith has a VA service. It costs $8 to $10 an hour you can hire a VA. It’s less than that. I have my VA starting. All they’re going to do is go down that qualified agent list. I hate making those calls and they are booking me for Zoom calls. Out of 4,000 agents, I promise you, we’ll find 30 or 40 that can work with us. Everybody has always said, “You got to make the call.” “Nope. I’m good at it but I don’t like doing it.”

You’re going to hire the VA and give them a script. What does the script sound like?

“Steve Kyles office. I’m from the mortgage team. Steve asked me to give you a call. We’ve seen you’re doing great business. We think we can help you in this market have a competitive advantage with your buyers. Are you open to a fifteen-minute Zoom call so we can show you what we’re doing to help sellers take our deals more times than they are on other people?”

What are you all doing that is special?

Closing on time, clear communication and follow-up. Honestly, we do upfront underwriting as well but it doesn’t even matter what you do. The fact is you get them on the call.

In making the calls, you’re going to get at least what?

Out of 100 calls, you’ll get 5 people to show up but it doesn’t matter because I’m not making the calls. The problem was where most loan officers stop. They are like, “I hate that.” If you hate it, don’t do it. “If I were to ask Steve Kyles, what brings me the most money and helps my team and branch and everybody grow? Whatever that is, did I spend any time doing that? How much?” If you were to say, “Call, book appointments and build relationships with the agent,” go back and say, “How much time did you do that?” They say, “I didn’t.”

You’re closing eight transactions a month and you weren’t intentional about outbound realtor relationship calls. What if you could do that for 2, 4, 6 to 8 hours a week? Getting back to the basics, how many guys are chasing pay stubs and W-2s? How many guys reading are saying, “I’m overwhelmed with all the stuff. I don’t get to focus on what I’m good at, what I enjoy doing and what makes me the most money?” That’s why you and I know coaching is invaluable. You got to be around other great people that are helping you break those barriers.

Focus on what you're good at, what you love to do, and what makes you the most money. Share on X

You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. It’s like the quote from Tim Ferriss, “You’re the average of the five people you hang around with the most.”

When we started that collective, I was playing catch-up with you, Nooney and Harrington. All of you guys are doing a ton of business. We’re all doing it. Somebody asked me, “How did you scale so fast?” We built a group. It grew significantly and we’re seeing some phenomenal things happen. If I were to point back, what helped me first off the first six years I was in coaching was to get basics.

These last years have been being a part of the Marketing Animals but when I wasn’t there, it was you, Nooney and Shauna. It was this group of people where I was like, “You are killing it. What are you doing there, James Beaver? That’s awesome. I’ve never seen it like that.?” That’s what helps us keep crushing and moving the needle.

It’s how you see the people around you. If you see them as your friendly competition, it’s a game that’s showing up every day. “How can I get a little bit better?” I love the virtual assistant. I was on the phone speaking with one of our virtual assistants. I was blown away to know that they have people in South America who will work 40 hours a week and have multiple degrees. That sounds spectacular and whatever you need them to do.

It’s remarkable. Put your group in there. That’s fine. Somebody says, “I don’t have $1,000 a month.” If you had a VA calling for you four hours a day, that’s all you need. You probably don’t even need four. Share the resource. The key is don’t do $15 an hour of work when your payment is worth $400 an hour. That’s what we have to focus on. To our readers, here’s what I would do. If you were to say, “How do I double my business in 90 days,” which is what I did, I would go in and say, “What do I love to do? What makes me the most money?” I would write everything you’re doing like checking your emails.

I don’t check emails anymore, do social posts or even have the same phone number. This is a phone number people don’t even have. My cell phone is the office mainline but I would list chasing conditions, getting pay stubs, doing loan consults, taking phone calls, following up and calling agent partners. I would list everything and then only circle what am I good at, what I love to do and what makes me the most money. I would who out everything else.

If it’s just you by yourself, then you know who your first hire is. It’s a loan partner who can take a third of the list. Once you can get profitable or share some resources, hire the next loan partner and they take the other third. You hire a doctor to sit in your chair, which is what I did. I don’t even do loan consults or run my team meetings and pipeline meetings. I am focused on building my branch, our influence and helping people through coaching. That’s what we do.

You’re doing what you’re telling everyone to do. You’re doing the things that you love to do. You want to move up and continue to do the things that you love in life because that’s when you show up with the most heart. You’re not showing up in your head. You’re giving everything you can to whomever you’re in front of. It’s all a stepping stone.

What’s happening too is I’m having more fun. It’s amazing. I honestly was spending an hour and a half on my emails. If you and I do the math, take your income and divide it by 2080. Think about this reader. Take your last year’s income divided by 2080. It’s 16 times more than that because you’re only doing 1 or 2 hours a week of the high-producing activity. This was a shocker for me. Let’s say somebody is making $750. That’s a healthy number. You make $360 an hour. Let’s say you pay somebody $20 an hour to do nothing but answer emails. I’m losing $340 an hour. How does it feel not to be distracted but lose $340 an hour because you choose to be in control of your email, which you’re not even that good at?

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth
Loan Officer Growth: The problem is people don’t show up for their agent appointments. They just jump on. Show up and let them feel valued.


We’re all scared. If you’re checking your email all day, what you’re thinking about usually is, “I don’t want to miss something. I want to get it right. I don’t want to upset clients.” When you let go of that and you say, “I live in a world and environment where I can only control me.” I can’t control the way my clients see our business but I can show up every day and give it my best. Frankly, when you have a pissed-off client, that’s the time in which you can show up in a way that you can solve the issue. Usually, if the client’s pissed off and you solve it the right way, will your relationship be better or worse?

That’d be better.

Depending on how you show up. For those of you that do not have the system yet, if you want a great system for managing your email, I found out about this. It’s called Spark. It’s a great system to sort your emails. I’m not that organized but this thing blew me away. I have an attachment called TickTick that will help you manage everything that’s going on in your business. Hopefully, those will help you.

We were talking about having a VA and getting call agents. Now, let’s talk about the agent appointment. In this environment, you show up to an agent appointment. What are the things that you’re doing when you show up? How long is the meeting? How do you show up with them on Zoom? It is the most impactful way to show up in the environment rather than in person. Show up at a Zoom meeting because you can have more meetings.

Think about this. What are the greatest appointments? The last start in the environment and society is the order of great questions, “How do I show up? I want to know about you.” First off, I always want to thank them. “Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend a few minutes. Did you hear what I did? In this fifteen-minute consultation, what I’d love to do is learn more about your business. I’ll share with you how I know we can help you grow your business and be a true partner with you. I saw you did 22 transactions. That’s unbelievable. What’s working for you?”

I’m being inquisitive. In every appointment, I want to know about that agent because it shows I care enough to research. “I see you’re over at RE/MAX Fund. I love those guys over there. We have been friends for years. I noticed you did 22 transactions and 12 were buy-side. In this environment, that’s phenomenal. Being in the business for five years, I saw you went to Texas. I’m blown away. What drew you into the business?”

You feel already honored and valued like, “This guy showed up.” The problem is people don’t show up. People just jump on. I don’t need you to jump on. A show-up guy somebody who cares enough to research can say, “You mean so much. I know about you because what I’ve told you is if you’ll jump on a fifteen-minute Zoom, I can help you grow your business.” My close at the end of it is, “Listening for this last fifteen minutes, there could be a great match. We can help you have a competitive advantage. One of the things we upfront underwrite is to do whatever your company does. It doesn’t matter what it is.”

There are 1 or 2 things that I feel like, “What are the three things I closed for? I’m going to close your loans on time and communicate every single Tuesday before noon. Every time I touch the lead, we find that the biggest complaints are they don’t close on time. They don’t communicate. We don’t know where they’re at in the process. When I send a lead, I don’t even know if the lead made it to you. I guarantee you, those are our service level commitments. We will do that every single time. Whom do you know that I could prove that and help you with your first client have a competitive advantage?”

You’re doing that every single time with every single agent, same meeting and routine. Don’t change it up. Figure out whatever it is that you’re doing. We’re doing something a little bit different. It’s this same general format, which is building some rapport, “How did you get into the business?” Everyone loves to talk about themselves.

If you show up to a meeting with a lender, you're already showing your buy signal. Share on X

My encouragement to readers is if you’re asking me to get on a 30-minute consult, that’s a lot of time in our environment. I’ll try to tee them up for what we already know. I’m not trying to build a best friend. I’m trying to build a business partner. If there’s a great fit here, we’re going to become great friends. You’re killing it in the business. “What’s your biggest struggle? What do you like is holding you back from doubling your production from last year to this year? What do you think is the greatest obstacle with the current lending partner you have? What’s your greatest win and success? What’s your biggest frustration?”

“It sounds like we may be a great fit. I love the fact you got a couple of kids. I do too. It’s a handful. I know when you’re working, you want to make sure that you’re closing more in less time because you want to be with your family. I’m in the same boat. We can do that by three things. We’re going to get you to closing on time every time, clearly communicate and have follow-ups dialed in. We can help you scale and grow your business because when you refer me to a lead, you don’t have to where it’s at. I’m going to close that lead so they stay sticky to you. What would it take for us to work together?”

7 out of 10 say, “I’ll keep you on a list.” It’s very cool. 3 out of 10 say, “Let’s go. Sit here. Breathe fresh air.” It doesn’t even have to be 30. You get them into fifteen-minute increments. You pop them on because what’ll happen is it’s a volume game and nobody else is calling their agent. Here’s what we tell people, “If they’ll meet, don’t cheat.” They did not come to a meeting with the lender not open to the ability to cheat.

If you show up to the meeting, you’re already telling me you’ve got a buy signal. Something has already happened. The other thing too with agents is we missed the title companies. Title companies know when it hits the fan. I would buddy up with the title rep and say, “When it hits the fan and you’ve got a great agent, let me know and try to win that deal.” You may not get that deal but you’ll sure know when you can go in and try to get a good relationship. It’s not rocket science. Who knew you could make $1 million by calling 30 agents on Monday? Are you kidding me? The more help you get, you mean the less I have to do what I hate doing. That’s an IQ test.

If you’re a younger loan officer, they’ve got a disconnect. You’re making $150,000 or $200,000. It’s super stressful. It’s just you. Your thought is, “If I make $500,000, $600,000 or $1 million, it’s even going to be more stressful.” That’s not even true.

If you’re that guy, go to I’ve got a guy who has been doing this. He has done a one-hour session. We were figuring it out. I had him on the show. I bet he’s done 10,000 strategy calls. It is a one-hour strategy call on how to help you figure out how to get it off your plate. At the end of the day, it’s like, “When I get to seven loans, I’ll hire somebody.” That won’t happen. If you’re doing three loans, you need somebody.

“I can’t afford it.” You can’t afford not to. Share a resource. Go to your manager or somebody and say, “Can we share resources?” You will not effectively go from 3 to 7 without help. If you’re closing one loan a month, do you need help? You just need to share that resource. It’s about who, not how and if you blow out the work, you will explode your business but you also got to do the work too.

Everyone needs help, whether it’s a team member, someone else in the mortgage business or a coach. When I was young in the mortgage business, I didn’t want anyone telling me how to run my business. The truth is there is somebody out there that is doing it better. If you would humble yourself, find someone that’s doing better and give up a little cash, you’ll find out that there’s life other than being in the mortgage business.

The way we do it is, “I’m not here to tell you how to do it. What I’m here to do is help you uncover what you’re good at, what you love doing and what makes you the most money.” If you’re looking for somebody to tell Heath Barnes what to do, I’m not here to tell you what to do. You got to want it. What we will do is ask good enough questions that help you uncover those three areas. If you can stay in those three areas, you will double and triple. In 2021, I will 5X my income. It’s already that trajectory and I make a healthy income.

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth
Loan Officer Growth: If you’re closing a loan, you need somebody or a resource. Go to your manager and ask if you can share resources. You will not effectively go from three to seven without any help.


It’s unbelievable but it’s because there are people not telling me how to do my business but asking me the right questions so that I can stay in those three areas. It’s up to me to do the work. If I wasn’t such a fast implementer, it’d take me years to get there. My superpower is implementation. I can implement the best of them. You don’t need a coach to tell you what to do. You need a coach to help you uncover what you’re good at, what you love doing and what makes you the most money. When you say, “I want to be held accountable for this result,” we can help you with that but the truth is you need to be self-accountable and self-aware.

You said something that I want to touch on, which is, “I’m a great implementer.” Somebody reading says, “I don’t feel like I’m a great implementer.” Why do you feel like you’re a great implementer? How do you implement something quickly?

It’s because I’m not scared to break the engine. Let me give you an example. One of my good friends at the end of February 2021 said, “Tell me your goal for twelve months.” I told him. He said, “That’s a beast. What if you could do that in 30 days?” Do you know what I asked? “You got goals and in twelve months, where do you see yourself?” You don’t have to say that but if you saw that goal and I were to say, “What if you could do it in 30 days,” my response was, “How?” It was a wrong question.

Here’s why. You asked why am I a great implementer. It’s because I’m not the one implementing. If I had to depend on myself to do all the things that need to be done, I’d be in bad trouble. Here’s what happened. He asked me, “What’s the one thing that if it were solved, it will solve 50 other things?” You don’t say it. As you’re thinking, “How do I do in 12 months in 30 days?” That’s a big number. If you were to say, “Wrong question. It’s who,” then here’s what I would say. “What’s the one thing that solves 50 other things?” How do I implement it so fast? What I did was I started moving the pieces into place.

Let me give you an example. I don’t care if you don’t have a team or you have a team. It’s always a who. I met my buddy. I did that show with Brady Webb. He said, “I had a VA set 42 appointments. Seventy-five percent of them showed up in a brand new market with a qualified agents list.” I called Sabrina on my team and I said, “Here’s the contact, the episode of the podcast and whom we’re going to use as the VA. I want it set up by July 1st, 2021.” Guess what happened. It’ll be implied.

I’ve got a good team. I can do that. Even if it were me as a loan officer, what would happen is, “How do I implement fast?” It’s always a who. Here’s where I would go. If I said, “ I need a loan partner,” most people would say, “How do I hire them? What do I do? What’s this?” Here’s what I would say, “Do you have an HR department?” I’d call Cardinal Financial If I worked at Cardinal and say, “I need a who.” “What do you mean you need a who?” “I found out I can go get us more business and make this company more money if I had somebody go chasing conditions. I’m in sales. You’re in HR. Do you think you can help me find a who to be a loan partner?”

I wouldn’t go internal to my team, even at my company. I would start pulling who’s around me. I’m building a branch. It’s interesting what I’m doing. I called the only person I know in the country while I’m in the process of doing it because I only know one person has done it. I called her and said, “You’re going to be my new best friend. Here’s where I’m at. I’m going to take a step at a step.”

I hired an ops manager. Guess who did my second interview? She did. Normally, I wouldn’t even hire at this level. She did it in four years. I think we can do it in eighteen months. I who out my second interview, called the co-owner of the company and whoed out another conversation. I want to implement fast but I’m not going to be the bottleneck. I need to make sure they see the steps ahead of me.

You’re empowering your team. It’s something that I always struggle with and I still struggle with it. I think about it before I say anything. If you’re going to give something to somebody, it’s your job to define the who, what, when, where and how.

Hiring the right who brings the how. Share on X

Can I say something that’ll change your perspective on that? Can I challenge you? This changed my business in 2021. I used to think I have to teach you how to do it. Where does all that pressure go? It’s on me. I can teach you. The right who brings the how. I don’t have to teach you about the database. If I got the right who, you’re going to show me the database.

Let me tell you a true story. My cell phone has been my business line here in Houston for many years. My cell phone is the office phone number. Here’s what I called Sabrina and said, “No more phone calls. Go to voicemail hiring and answer service. I’ve heard great things about VoiceNation.” If you do VoiceNation, anybody who’s reading and say Mortgage Marketing Animals, they’ll give you a discount.

I didn’t do anything. I took my team to Margaritaville. We did a couple of days of team building. I said to Sabrina, “I want the answering service. Never again do I want a phone to go into voicemail.” At 5:30 and on weekends, it goes. I didn’t even know how to do it. I just said, “VoiceNation is whom I heard was the best. We got a discount. Set it up.” The right who figured it out. She called me and said, “The scripts they’ve got are better than some of the ones we’re using.”

The right who brings the how. We get paralyzed because we’re like, “I got to show you my calendar, database or emails.” There are some things you may give as your language but if you have the right who, they’ll do it. If they can’t bring the how, you’ve got to find a different who. I used to get stuck in the who. I don’t do it anymore. You can’t scale teaching them.

You are figuring out the who.

The who is the linchpin.

If you’re out there trying to figure out who the right who is, hiring a virtual assistant is your first step. Don’t even think about it.

What I would do is I’d find somebody who’s killing it in my company. I would model after them. Somebody’s gone further than you have. I would say, “What are you doing?” I would invest dollars. I will hire somebody for $3,000 to$ 5,000 and say, “I need you to coach my team on this.” It’s rare that I ask people to coach my team without me writing a big check or at least a decent check. Those are small dollars for big dollars. I would encourage you. You’ve already done it. I love being with you. This is a great conversation. I’m going to check out Spark and Tick.

You talked about hiring a virtual assistant and doing some researches. If you had to give some people some nuggets other than the name and the cell phone, what are the 2 or 3 places you’re researching? Is there anything unusual other than LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram? Things that you’re researching before you show up on the agent calls like the virtual assistant. They’ve got the agent calls lined up for you. One thing you say is you want to do some research and besides the obvious, is there anything else that you’re doing as far as research?

HBS 8 | Loan Officer Growth
Loan Officer Growth: People will do business with people they feel honored and cared for.


In the calendar invitation, they’ll put the bio, agent’s info, number of units and if they’re on a team. The VA can do it all for you but it is LinkedIn and Facebook. What I want to know is, “Give me a picture of who this person is, a spouse, kids, where they work production, how long they’ve been in the business, the bio.” I want to acknowledge that I care enough about you that I did the research.

I remember when I introduced you. You were one of my speakers at Insanely Tactical. I worked hard on your introduction because who would have known, you had done Ironman, you had trained and you’re an athlete. Also, as far as the musician, piano. When I said things like that, whether you knew it or not, you felt honored. It was like a cared enough to look at the details of your life and what you want to do. People will do business with people whom they feel honored and cared for. That’s all you’re trying to do. Your VA can do that for you. They’ll set it up. There are many great things we’ve talked about here. Implement one of them.

Let me give you one nugget because you have thrown big pieces of gold everywhere for everyone reading. Hopefully, I’m going to deliver something to you that you can write down and take with you. If there’s a device, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Crystal Knows. It attaches to LinkedIn and scours the internet like Facebook and Instagram. It’ll tell you the personality type and exactly how to communicate with that person, especially if it’s a meeting. I’m a super high B, which is expressive. I don’t want stories. I want bullet points. If you’re a technical person, you are that person who wants to know exactly how you do it. Knowing that personality type will make that communication. I’ll send it to you. You can check it out. It will blow you away. I swear. You will love it.

I love it. That’s a great gift.

Before I acknowledge you, I want to let everyone know how they can get ahold of you.

All the social handles are @Steve_Kyles. The Loan Officer Leadership Podcast is probably one of the greatest. Our main purpose is to give value to the market. Send me an email at We’d love to have you on the journey. It’s been fun. Here’s what we believe. We leave logos and egos at the door because we’re committed to making a difference. My mission in life is to help loan officers close even more loans in less time.

We believe that loan officers should only work 32 hours a week. We have Freedom Friday. The only reason why I’m here is to be on Heath’s show. Other than that, I don’t work on Fridays. I believe loan officers should do more in less. It’s not by putting more on themselves. It’s by having whos that help you grow your business that are more effective, diligent and better than you are. You get to do what you do well by staying in those three areas. You’ll close more and have more fun doing it.

I want to acknowledge you for being always open to new opportunities, either from your people in the market, coaching or podcasts. You’re an open book for everyone. You’re always freely giving with your loving nature. You always show up on every phone call with me and the people around you as a loving guy. Last is being committed. I acknowledge you for being committed to other loan officers out there and bringing everything up to the forefront so everyone can see it and allow them to be successful like you’re successful. I appreciate it. Thank you for reading.


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About Steve Kyles

HBS 8 | Loan Officer GrowthSteve Kyles is a partner with Mortgage Marketing Animals, one of the top mortgage coaching programs in the country for Loan Officers as well as a top-producing branch manager at SMP. He is also the host and founder of the energetic and value-packed Loan Officer Leadership Podcast, one of the top podcasts for Loan Officers across the nation.
Steve is passionate about coaching other loan officers as he shares tools that help them succeed in their business.

Steve started in the real estate industry in his early 20’s buying and flipping homes. Being in the mortgage business for over 17 years, he has built a dynamic team that is highly committed to helping every client and business partner succeed. He is passionate about using mortgage as one more way to make a difference in the Houston community.

He is husband to his best friend, Stephanie, and father to three amazing kids: Ethan (10), Lucas (6) and Eliana (3). In his spare time, he spends time with his family tending to their farm and chickens.

Are you a Loan Officer who wants to close even more loans and do it without having to work nights and weekends? Let me show you the plan that works successfully for me and my team and for literally thousands of other loans officers across the nation. Just visit:

Who I Help:
I help loan officers put into action the proven marketing strategies that I have personally used in my own career that have worked to take my business to new heights, measured by hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue each and every MONTH.

How I Help:
I show specific how-to instruction to increase your monthly loan production & income while working only 32 hours per week. I do this by teaching people to hyper focus their efforts, and to stop doing useless activities that are not producing gaugeable results. By following the strategies that I provide, loan officers are able to rediscover the freedom to do the things they want to do. No more concern over when and where the next deal will come from.

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