The Heath Barnes Show

Mortgages Reimagined

with your host, Heath Barnes

Back To Basics: How To Maximize Your Day To Find Leads With Randall Mills

HBS 24 | Back To Basics


Are you a loan officer struggling to get deals, missing phone calls, and just feeling lost in your day-to-day life? Then it’s time to get back to the basics with a color-coded calendar to help maximize your day. Make those calls to get those appointments with realtors. Follow up to get leads. Go to social media and market yourself. The things to do are endless!

Join Heath Barnes as he talks to his former student and Branch Manager and Senior Loan Officer at AmeriFirst Financial, Inc., Randall Mills. Randall has 20 years of expertise in the residential/commercial finance and development space. Learn a thing or two today on how you can manage your week as a loan officer. Find out how you can make a super referral list so you never have to cold call again. Discover why video is the best way to market your brand. And find the right people to work with. Go back to the basics today!

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Back To Basics: How To Maximize Your Day To Find Leads With Randall Mills

I’m excited to have our guest, Mr. Randall Mills. He is a former student of mine who surpassed me in the mortgage business in only eight short years. He works for AmeriFirst Financial out of Phoenix, Arizona. I’m honored to have you on, Randall. Welcome.

The honor is all mine. Heath was one of my first coaches in The CORE, a mentor, and a person I still look up to. I was super excited to get the show, be on mortgage lending, and reimagine.

One of my earlier memories of you is you being on the level two coaching, and you were like, “Can I come in for a site visit?” I’m like, “That’s for level three.” You are like, “I will bring my CRM, girl.” I’m like, “Don’t tell anybody but I will let you come down.” You came down and soaked it all up. I can already tell you’ve implemented many things. I don’t think I’ve ever heard how did you get into the business and maybe share with some of the people that are on the show because we are going through a tough time, maybe a tough time that you went through and something that you might have learned. Take it away.

Things are a little tough but chase your mentor. I chased Heath so hard. I wanted his praise and acceptance. I did everything I can to get in front of him so that I can extract as much as possible from him. During the site visit for him, I gave him a shiny object where I had a level three program or CRM that was amazing on staff. I was giving it to him. Also, givers get. I was the one down there using him for all the information I can to build up on this. I thank him for allowing that.

Chase your mentor. Try to get in front of them so you can extract as much as possible from them. Share on X

The tough thing with the mental space we have taken up is where we are at. We came out of a biological pandemic in the world. In our industry, we are in a mental pandemic. Things are down and bad. A good month in Phoenix Metropolitan, which by the way, is about the size of Delaware, the state. Phoenix Metropolitan is huge. We do about 10,000 transactions. We are down to 7,500. That means I’m thinking, “Inventory rates are bad, and everything is bad. What’s my real problem? Is it inventory, rates or market share?”

It’s market share. I’ve had a mental pandemic going on in my head, as other ones do. It’s like, “It’s because rates are high no one is buying homes.” We got to be truthful with ourselves about what’s going on out there. No matter what market or you can be in the smallest town in the world like that, all you have to do is squeak out 5, 10, 15, 20 or whatever your number. If there are five deals happening in your market, you can get those. There’s mental clarity to chase them.

HBS 24 | Back To Basics
Back To Basics: You have to squeak out those deals no matter what market you’re in. If there are only five deals happening, go and get those five deals.


You have 7,500 opportunities. That’s pretty good. I love what you said, “Chasing your mentor.” When you first got into the business, who were you chasing? How did you get in, and what were you chasing? Why did you want to be in the mortgage business in the first place?

I was in the commercial world eight years prior to that and did pretty well in the end. All of a sudden, ‘08 hit, and then ‘10 hit right behind because the commercial world chases the residential world by a couple of years. Financial blunder at everything. I had the big house, boats, cars, and motorcycles fully leveraged, credit lines, and the whole thing then stopped.

In 2012 I woke up. I went on a vacation with some friends and came back. My job was no longer available in the commercial world because they were going in a different direction. Meaning all the deals I had worked on for a couple of years were going to go ahead and keep in-house and just get rid of the sales guy before they closed.

In the commercial, you get big hits but you get them far between. I was planning this money for living. I was destitute. I talked to my buddies that were in the residential world and finance and said, “How are you doing? This a good time.” I had to humble up, go to my best friend who I’ve known since we were eighteen, and ask him to borrow $1,000. That’s all I needed to get my residential license. I busted my butt two weeks later, took the test, passed the test, and got out there and started. I went to interview for a job for a company in Nova Home Loans with a great friend of mine, Greg Gale and Mike Soldani. They were the big producing guys there.

I go interview for the job. I thought I nailed it then I called back the Regional Manager. Her name is Geri Farr. We are good friends now. She said, “You are unhireable.” “What do you mean unhireable? I’m a loan officer. I’m creating my own business.” She goes, “You’ve done a little bit of refinancing stuff out of college. You’ve never done purchase, run a team, and know how to prospect. You have nothing in your database. You didn’t even have people. You have your phone.”

I go, “You give me a job. I need a desk and a computer.” Greg and Mike were super cordial. They called it the regional manager and said, “He’s on us. We will take him on. If he fails, we will take on the salary.” You have the window aisle like the window offices here for the big producer. You have the interior offices for your loan officer assistance, and then you have the cubicles down the center. I got a desk and pushed up against the wall behind the cubicles of the assistant processor division.

That’s all the motivation you need.

I started dialing. Three months into it, I started getting some rhythm, and they moved the wall back on me 8 inches. Now my back was pressed up against the wall behind me. I already had to get a chair with no arms on it so that I could get in and out of my desk, and then they started construction on the other side of the wall to expand the office. I had construction dust raining down on me all day long.

I’m in a suit and tie on my arms on a hinge, making calls, doing what I’m supposed to. I have to get up at lunch every day, clean my entire desk and take all the dust off me. I out-called everybody. In my first year out, I did 88 transactions. Not knowing anybody to do that and climbed at the end of the year to averaging 10 deals a month for 3 months, so I could get that window.

I saw those guys, a big producer sitting in window offices. Those big guys weren’t easy. I was having a meeting on the floor, learning in the corner with an agent next to me. It is super embarrassing. One of the big guys walked up to the agent and handed her a Christmas gift and said, “Good to see you. Come by my office when you are done.”

Talk about being this little guy deflated. I’m sitting with Oliver. We are great friends, and we are having lunch but I never let him forget that. Like how you stepped on a little guy when I came in the door like that but we are good friends now. It was an evolution and very humbling. Calling money from your best friend to get a license, sitting on the floor, going from a big glass office building to sitting in the corner.

I watched the Tony Hawk documentary on HBO Max. What I was impressed upon is how tough it was for him to fit in, and that’s what made him great. I wonder whether or not your getting that small desk to push up against the wall and your determination to, “I’m going to get that corner office,” is what propelled you and made you great. I acknowledge you for that. I could tell, from the short time we were coaching together, that you had that drive. Where did that come from?

It’s one of the things that chip on your shoulder helps out a little bit and proves to everybody that it can be done. As a background, I come from a police family. My father was a police officer and a hobby cop. He was an officer for years, then a hobby cop. Dedication to the fact that I go, “I want more for me.” I saw this great quote, “Before you buy something if nobody else could see it, would you still buy it?” I’m a private person when it comes to those things.

I got myself a reward gift for being brought up as a coach. Never post on social media or tell anybody about it. That’s a personal thing for me. It’s personal drive things that if I’m going to get into it like I do professional offroad racing and rock crawling, I’m going to go full-blown. I’m going to make sure I’m the best that I can be on it and push myself harder. Literally, I’m doing life with work.

I give it 8 hours a day, sometimes 9, and we are getting busy. I make sure my 8 and 9 hours are fully focused. People talk about work-life balance. I do not believe in that at all, either I’m fully at work or home off work. I don’t mix the two. I don’t try to balance either one. I give it all at my office all day long and check it out when I’m done. When I’m at home with the family, I am fully home with the family.

There's no such thing as work-life balance. You're either fully at work or fully at home. Don't try to mix the two. Share on X

No such thing as balance. You are either all in or not. When you are at work, you are all in. For those that are going through a tough time, we talked earlier about getting back to the basics. For me, that’s making phone calls. You are probably an expert at making those phone calls. For our readers, what are you doing right now to get back to the basics?

A lot of it comes down to the calendar. Everything is color-coded down to the last minute. There’s no white time in my schedule or there’s free time on it. I even have a chess clock that sits on my desk. You have a red and a green button. I time myself. How much true green time during the day? Social media is only digested during the day. For a fact, we are all real estate pirates. I get my ideas for videos and everything.

From social media, you get on trends but don’t copy and paste them. I have five theme days coming from our coaching program that I adhere to, and I make sure I don’t deviate from it. It’s a simple plan. We make phone calls to get appointments with realtors. We make follow-up phone calls to get leads from realtors. We are overcomplicated with everything else the world has to do. Make more calls to more realtors to get leads for realtors and follow up.

What you are saying is, “Use your calendar, follow your calendar, and do what you put on your calendar.” For our readers, what are the colors you use for your calendar, and what do they symbolize?

Yellow is the most attractive color to the eye. You can see a lot of yellow in there. Yellow is all my face-to-face meetings. That way, I can look at weeks ahead of time to make sure there’s lots of yellow. I’m doing good. Green is my true marketing time. I have my theme days, not just, “I need in green time.” “Here’s what you are doing at the green time.” Red time costs me money. I have got a Friday on that stuff. I’ve got a town hall meeting coming up for our company. That’s red time for me. It does not make me money to be in a town hall meeting.

Team meeting for me is blue is neutral. It’s not making or costing me money but is something forward in my business. I minimize the red, maximize the green, and yellow is got to be everywhere. I’ve got to be face-to-face with my people and even manage time because people are like, “I’m out of the office so much.” Every drive is 20 to 30 minutes each way round trip. My assistant will load my calls into my phone and my email. It doesn’t have to be fancy. When your email sees a phone number, it makes it click to dial.

She knows if I have a 20-minute drive, I need 20 phone calls loaded in my phone for each direction. When I get in the car, I walk down the stairs, am on my first call, and click dial. Even when I’m going to appointments, I’m going back and forth. If I show up five minutes early, I’m on the phone, dialing people. I’m not on social media jacking around on that or calling my girlfriend or calling a buddy like that. Even my girlfriend, “Don’t call me during the day.” She’s like, “The house is on fire, not a fireman. I have a heart attack, not a doctor.”

If she leaves me alone for 8 hours during the day, I can give her 8 hours at night. If she intrudes into my 8 hours during the day, then I have to intrude on her 8 hours, “It’s because you sleep 8 hours, you wreck 8 hours, and you work 8 hours.” Do you want me to take time away from us? Call me during the day. I got to work longer. Minimizing distractions, making sure you know who you are going to call, and optimizing every minute. You can make 1 or 2 phone calls or messages or get ahold of somebody just walking into your car. Why wouldn’t we maximize our day? When we punch the clock, we are done.

What you are saying is NET or No Extra Time. You are utilizing every minute of the day. For those reading, if you don’t have an assistant, you could send yourself a timed email when you are going to be in your car. I like that. I’m going to steal that from you. I love that email idea. Some people might not know what theme days are. Roll through those theme days real quick.

Monday, I call my top 40 agents. Those are the ones that I’m in a relationship with that I am their guy. I’m not 1 of 3 or 1 of 5. Those are the ones that I pour into most. I have realtor prospects or all my listing agents. The Monday after we close the transaction, they automatically go to my list. If you don’t have a CRM to do it, you can do it in Excel. Keep putting them under your list with all your prospects who you need to stay in front of and whose names you see on social media. Like I chase Heath to be in his circle, I chase whales. I’m a whale hunter to stay in their circle, in front of them, make sure I get to know them, and be of value to them. Monday, the theme day call, is the top 40 in realtor prospects.

Tuesday, I call everybody in the transaction. I call the buyer’s agent. Even if I talked to the buyers’ agent yesterday, I call them and say, “It’s Randall for Tuesday’s update.” My top 40 heard this for 8 years. I still announced that it’s a Tuesday update call. They know what we are talking about. I call the clients and update them. I cumulative on the week, what has been happening.

Do not hand these calls off to your team. You are the salesman. This is your time to shine them this time to get your CCR or what we call Current Client Referrals and stay in front of him, then there’s the listing agent. They have to take your call. If you call them, you leave a good enough message, “It’s Randall from AmeriFirst. I need to talk to you about 123 Maple Street. Give me a call as soon as you can.”

HBS 24 | Back To Basics
Back To Basics: Do not hand your realtor prospect calls, client calls, or buyer agent calls off to your team. You are the salesman. This is your time to shine. Get those current client referrals and stay in front of them.


They will call you back, update them, and stay in front of them. That’s how you grow your business because even if you only do five transactions a month, can you imagine if you got all five listing agents to work with you after that every month on that stuff? That’s 60 new agents that can average 2 to 3 deals. There’s no excuse for saying, “I’m not big enough to do it.” It’s, “We just don’t convert enough. We don’t sell hard enough.” That’s a big day.

One thing I heard from someone is that they added to call the listing agents. They look up the seller and call the seller directly. As soon as they get the contract, they will call the seller and introduce them. I thought that was brilliant. You might step on some toes but I love that idea because you are calling the seller saying, “I want to make sure this is closed on time but I want to introduce myself.” He said that at least 1 out of 5 he ends up at least quoting them a new mortgage.

I don’t know if I’m strong enough to call them but sending them a piece of mail, “Could you know the name and the address?” Sending a piece of mail introducing yourself and a lot of stuff ready to see if you get a response. I’m writing that down.

On most contracts, the seller’s email will be there. You can easily input that information into Google and typically find their numbers. What do you do on Wednesdays?

Wednesday, hot leads and prequels. Here’s where I think we are broken as an industry, and this is going to be everybody, you, me, he, and all my friends. We always track lead to application, application to prequel, prequel to contract, and contract to funding. Lead to contract, what’s a good number? We are usually pretty happy with 30%, 40% or 50% of your prequels. We are okay with that industry.

Where did we get so bad? Where we realize that we spend all our time finding a realtor that liked us enough to give us a lead and a client that answered the phone, gave us documents, and then qualified with us. We qualify them. We, as an industry, say, “Call us when you find something,” and then we rush, go back and find another agent with another lead and chase down another client instead of incubating and talking to that prequel.

I’ve changed my entire business practice, and my number one day is now prequel calling over Mondays. We used to be Mondays for getting new stuff. It’s the bird and the hand theory. If I want to double my business, I don’t have to make one more call, talk to one more agent or get one more lead. I need to close the prequels I have. That’s simple.

I built out a follow-up system, 360 days, and it’s over 100 points on a prequel follow-up system. I just implemented this because I looked up my numbers and was sick to my stomach of, “I’m letting go of over 1/2 or 2/3 of my business because I’m so worried about getting something new versus taking care of what I have.”

One of the things that I’ve done to change my prequel routine is I find that if a new lead comes in, you prequel and give them a letter like you are not calling them back, I try to take every prequel through the underwriting process. I keep them on my calendar until they are 100% approved. Every two weeks, they are all on the calendar at the same time. If you are having trouble keeping track, that would be my suggestion. Who do you call on Thursdays?

Thursdays on that we are calling our past clients. Get into past clients and make sure I stay in a relationship with them. Now it’s the point in my career where automatically, I have the anniversary stuff pop up every week. After years, you are going to have 20 or 30 people pop up every week because they keep gaining bigger and bigger. Stay in front of them. Talk to them. Now it’s always like, “What do I talk to my past clients about?” “Heath, it’s Randall Mills of AmeriFirst. I’m calling to check in.” This isn’t a Twelve-Step program that we need to call and check in on our clients. They don’t want to hear from us or anything. Call with value and purpose.

I do an anniversary call, a birthday call, and a sandwich in between there and do a Homebot call. If you guys are not on a Homebot, you are missing the boat. My open rate on Homebot is over 86%, and that’s a true open rate. It gives me reports and everything. We can talk about that. I will call them and say, “I’m calling to check in on your Homebot. I noticed your value has gone up. I can see you have been looking at it. We can see the whole thing.” A valuable call to them.

Anniversary calls are like, “I can’t believe it has been two years. By the way, you just made a bunch of money because two years in, you don’t have to pay taxes anymore to unoccupied property. In three years, what’s changing your life? Is your family getting bigger?” Whatever it may be but it’s always what purpose. Birthday calls are only birthday calls on their birthday. That’s the only time I break my theme day calls with past clients. Anniversaries hit it pretty close. Homebot calls bring value to them. Quit calling to check in on them because they can smell the commission breath if you call and check in. They are saying, “I’m starved. I need lead.”

Those ones that I am in good relationship with, I’m like, “I’m struggling a little bit right now with business. Can you do me a favor? Send me down anybody in real estate. Do you have any friends that are renting?” Be specific and targeted with your questions or, “Do you have any of your friends that have lived in their house for over five years? Do you know what that tells me? They’ve got about 60% equity if they haven’t tapped.”

Especially with as much as the market has gone up. I did start, which our readers might get some value from. I took all of my FHA files. I have about 150, and we called all of them and said, “We noticed your value has gone up, and we think it might be a good time to look at refinancing.” If you look at the MI and its interest rate. If you figure out what’s their real interest rate. It’s going to be between 4.5% and 5.5%.

I can’t tell you how many I’m refinancing to a higher interest rate because either we are going to refinance their student loans. For those reading, if you don’t know if you refinance a conventional FHA loan, you can include student loans without it be considering a cash-out. I don’t know if that helps. FHA calls it has been a home run for us. Thank you for bringing that up. I love previous clients. How about on Friday? What do you do on Fridays?

Fridays are VIPs. That’s people that refer us outside of real estate agents. A lot of people are like, “I don’t know where to get those.” I’m going to give you your second little golden nugget here. How to build your VIP list? This is super easy. You get ten categories. Let’s say it is CPAs, trust accountants, and accountants, divorce attorneys, ten good categories, then you go to Facebook. Divide your city into five quadrants, North, South, East, West, and Central.

Go to Facebook and say, “I’m looking for a licensed CPA in the North Valley and West Valley. Please only refer if you use them.” You will get 2 or 3 referrals because everybody loves referring people remember this. In your business, people love referring people. I call it a warm lead like, “I had a guy, Rick Ruby, refer me over to you for CPA. Do you know Heath? Heath was nice enough. We are connected through social media. Can I come by your office for fifteen minutes to talk? I’ve got clients that are going to need your help, and I want to come by and meet you first.” What do you think their answer is going to be 100% of the time?

“Come by.”

They need to market them, and you don’t tell them what you do. Stop the marketing mode. Don’t even wear your name tags. Go on their dress professionally. Ask them about their business. What do they do? What do they looking for? If they are going to be a good referral partner back, they will say, “What can I do for you? What do you do?” “I’m a loan officer. I’m a real estate agent.” That’s for realtors too, “I’m going to have clients that have needs. I will check in with you every once in a while to see if anything is changed and things I need to know and talk to my clients about. I’m going to be on the lookout for you. That’s okay.” Wait for them to say, “I will do the same.” Every five weeks, follow up with them.

HBS 24 | Back To Basics
Back To Basics: If you want to create a strong VIP list, you need to look for good referral partners. Find people who will look out for you and do the same back to them. Follow up with them so you can build your referrals.


Call them every Friday. Every five weeks, follow up with them, “I haven’t seen anything out there for you. Anything changes in the CPA world, the divorce world or the trust world?” or whatever they do, “I’m looking out for you.” If they say the correct thing without asking, “I’m looking out for you too.” If they don’t, go back to Facebook and find somebody new. You can build a 60-person referral list out of all those categories and then keep growing it. Now it’s a warm handoff.

We don’t have to worry about cold calling and be scared about it. You have a whole new revenue source because divorce doesn’t care where the economy’s at. There are three transactions sitting there, a sale and two buys. Wouldn’t you love to go to your realtor and say, “I’ve got a sale and two buys for you?”

What you are saying is getting back to the basics, and the theme days are Monday, you have a top 40 list or top agents. Tuesday, updates. Wednesday, preapprovals. Thursday, previous clients, and then Friday, VIP. I’m going to steal that idea with Facebook. Let’s shift gears a little bit. When we were talking earlier in the show, you were telling me how your routine in the morning with social media. That would be super valuable for our readers. Tell me what you do as far as social media and how you review social media in the morning.

When I get up in the morning, I’m sitting there with my coffee. It’s my quiet time, and I do not worry about anything. I will review social media because it’s a twofer. You want to be on social media cause we all want to be connected and all that stuff. I was screwing off time, but I’m looking for good things out there. There are a lot of things trending in real estate. We had that whole, “Marry the house, date the rate.” That went on social media.

The worst thing I saw where people copying and pasting the exact page with the exact emojis and putting it out. I was like, “That’s good.” All of a sudden, if you know more than 1 loan officer or more than 1 realtor, you see that coming in the exact same thing from somebody else, it lessens your whole value because you are like, “Randall is nothing about a copy and paster.” I even tried it myself. I came up with original content with emojis and everything very specific. Put it out there. It got copied and shared over 200 times with people that I know.

That light went off my head. Instead, what I do, I take things that are trending out there, and I take a screenshot. I’m on social media, click the phone, take a screenshot, and put it in a folder in my email called Randall’s Video Action Items. When I’m ready to shoot a video, I will go into that folder and look at things that excite me for the day or whatever I want to shoot because I’m a one-and-done shooter. I don’t overproduce it.

I know where to put my lighting and sound. I shoot it and send it. I will give you a couple of tactics on that. Get what’s trending out there. Do a video every time because nobody can copy and paste your video. Your video will get shared with your partners. Therefore, for us, for social media, I truly believe that for loan officers is brand recognition. We are not going to generate many leads, maybe 1 or 2 a year if we get lucky.

Being in social media as a loan officer is important because of brand recognition. That is how you generate your leads. Share on X

We are not realtors that are generating clients off it. I want brand recognition. When that realtor thinks about something, they are like, “Randall said this. He is on top of things. He is out there. He’s a good person,” like with your show here. You get a little more eyes on you, then all of a sudden, you are now the expert in your field in your area. You’ve got great brand recognition.

What are you thinking about when you are recreating these ideas and posting these videos? When you think about your brand, what do you go through in your mind? Do you have a checklist that you go through? What are you thinking before you post that video or shoot it?

The big things are sound and lighting. Lighting and backdrop. If you have a nice backdrop like behind me here, I have the light on the wall. Everything is worked out nicely. I know where I’m shooting my office every time. I can set it up in two minutes. I shoot at one time. iPhone 13, if you don’t have one, get one. It’s because this has the same powerful camera as one of those DSLR cameras that are $5,000. You get the same quality. It’s got a cinematic view on it. It gives a sharp, clear, and crisp picture. Optics are everything. If you are scrolling through Facebook and you see something sharp in resolution, the right lighting, and the background, you will get people to stop.

Second, after I shoot that on my phone, then I upload it into Instagram because Instagram will do the captioning for you. Let’s think about it, guys. Let’s be honest. Most of the time, you are listening to the audio on there. You are usually listening to a place you should be listening to the audio like in a meeting, in a waiting room or sitting at a restaurant. You are not going to sit there and listen to it or put your earbuds into it. You are going to be reading the caption.

Have you ever been to a restaurant that has a close caption on TV, on football, and you find out that you are reading football more than you’re watching football? We are trained to read. That captioning is key to my audience so that way they can digest it in a lot more places. You got to have that now and a good sound too because if they are listening to you. Even before I came on your show, you asked, “Do you have a professional microphone? You are coming across clearly.”

Those are the tips on it to make sure lighting, sound, captioning, and make sure it’s visually interesting because I will even put little emojis or things popping up and moving that create movement. Instagram is a great editor for that, but honestly, I shoot it once and send it because even if I make a mistake and stutter like that, the captioning won’t pick it up or you can fix it captioning. They are still reading slides right through it. I never like start, stop or editing. Basic stuff but get it out there. Just shoot it.

How often are you posting?

2 or 3 times a week.

What platforms?

I’m almost all Instagram and Facebook because I was sending stuff out of my database, and I realized it’s easier to pull a rope than it’s to push a rope. If I’m pushing things on people, I’m invading their space, and I’m invading their email. When people go to social media, what are they there to digest? Videos and content. They are asking for something to come to them. That’s why they are there. I changed my entire strategy to a digestion platform instead of me trying to shove my way into it.

HBS 24 | Back To Basics
Back To Basics: It’s easier to pull a rope than to push a rope. Stop pushing things on people online and invading their space. People go to social media to digest content. They’re asking for something to come to them.


Social media is a place people go. I was on a call with a guy who was looking for a commercial lender. He had found a bad commercial lender on social media and wanted to go back to social media to find another lender which was commercial.

That’s where we get our news and facts from. It’s crazy. I like to be present there because most people are going to fact-check you. They are going to see your name. They are going to type in social media. I talked to a client. We are connected because I have that whole offroading fabricating racing side to me. He did the motorcycles and cars thing. Literally, within twenty minutes of me hanging up with an Instagram, “Anthony wants to connect with you.” He looks me up immediately because he wants to see, “Am I the real deal about the offroad racing stuff I talked about? Am I the real deal on mortgages?” It’s got to be a good balance on both sides. I have personal and business but you have to be authentic on both sides.

You saw me back in the day when I came to chase your office. He was probably laughing his tail off of me because I come in full suit and tie, this, that, everything super stuffy. I had to think that I had to be perfect. My presence had to be all polished. I will be honest. At that point, I was barely doing any business. I couldn’t afford the girl that I had with me on my marketing team. I was strapped to get that. I was a duck to stay smooth on the surface and paddling underneath to stay alive. I got to one point, then one of my coaches finally, Jimmy Reed, is like, “You are so unapproachable.”

That hit me hard. I’m like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “You are too perfect. You got this perfect life, your hair, suit, and tie. I’m a coach, and I’m scared of you.” There have been those transformational minutes and people you talk to in your life. One of my former coaches was like, “Why don’t you listen to what I told you to do? Do I make more money than you?” “Yeah,” “Do I have a bigger business?” “Yeah,” “Am I more fit?” He goes, “I am. Why don’t you listen to me?”

The thing there is, if you are going to find someone to follow, you don’t go to the biggest or the most overweight person and say, “What are you doing for your health?” You don’t go to the broker’s person asking for financial advice. Who gives you the most financial advice online? People. All the talking heads out there, the head of our coaching program, when it looked for all the talking heads on TV telling you what to do with your money. He said, “There are only two people that have more money than I do.” I listen to those two people, “If you don’t have more money than me, I’m probably not listening to you.”

Find that good mentor, that platform, and that person that connects you. Do this because overweight people always want to tell you, “Here are my health tips and advice. “You are like, “I love the fact that they are trying hard but if I’m finding a personal trainer, I want the guy to look like what I want to look like or her, whatever it may be. I’m going to find someone that’s financially healthy that can find me through that.”

You had Justin Brown. He is one of the smartest guys out there when it comes to buying investment properties and strategies and all that stuff. He’s a person I trained in the business. He rockets it past me. He’s big and good at what he does. He is smart. He’s authentic but he’s that expert in the field that I’m going to go find to do these things because he has the portfolio that I want to have someday. Find your people.

It looks like that duck is turned into an eagle through listening to feedback. It’s nothing better in life than to have someone give you direct feedback. Feedback is not good or bad. It’s just information. For those reading, when it hits home and it hurts, that’s because it’s probably true. My hat’s off to you for listening to that feedback and making some adjustments. I appreciate you being on. Before I let you go, if the audience would like to reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Social media, you could always get me on there. On Instagram, I’m @PhoenixMortgageMan. You can reach me directly at the phone number (602) 717-1007. That’s my direct cell phone. I help people out. I’ve had so many people look forward to me that I want to pour back into people. It’s the paid-forward here. I’m here now because Greg Gale and Mike Soldani said, “I will stand up for you as a friend.” I’m here because my buddy Michael Messer lent me the $1,000 to get my license. The fact that I went and fought for my job with Geri Farr when she said, “You are unhireable.”

I’m like, “I will take the smallest corner desk. Just give me a phone on a computer. That’s all I need. No other money.” I appreciate all those people because they have been the building box of transformation in my life and everything for The CORE. One of those things they say is, “You do the work,” but without the brother and sisterhood there and everybody pouring into me everything I’ve done with that, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Before I let you go, I would love for you to leave with the audience a favorite book or quote, something they could take with them.

I read John Maxwell’s, Leadership Promises for Every Day. It’s always gone to a good message. Even now, it talks about the topic in our industry. When you fail, fail forward. Everybody fails, errors, and makes mistakes. You’ve heard the saying, “To err is human.” Rule 1) Learn the lesson. 2) There are no mistakes, only lessons. 3) A lesson is repeated until it is learned. Let that one sit in.4) If you don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder. 5) You will know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.

It’s those little things. That’s why I like this mess every day. It’s very brief and also has a little difficult thing up on top of if you want to get into that side of it. It’s amazing how those things time out because everybody has problems with their teams, clients, industry, and all that stuff. The big rule I have with everything with my students, and everybody else is don’t fail twice.

You are going to fail once. That’s great. Have your pity party for five minutes like the book, The Gap and The Gain. Live in the gain, not the gap. Look at where you come from. Don’t worry about where you haven’t been, and get over your pity party. You get your five minutes like that and then get back in there. Stand up and do what you need to do.

You're going to fail once but don't fail twice. Get over your pity party and do what you need to do. Share on X

It seems like you have been doing what you need to do. I appreciate you being on. I got two pages of notes. I’m looking forward to the next time that you come on because I would love to have you back and talk more about social media. Thanks for being here, Randall.

I appreciate you. It’s always good to see you.


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About Randall Mills

HBS 24 | Back To BasicsWith an extensive background in finance, Randall brings over 20 years of expertise in the residential / commercial finance and development realm.

Currently with AmeriFirst Financial based in the Gilbert office. AmeriFirst has served the needs of homeowners and home buyers since 1998.

AmeriFirst Mission: To be the lender of choice for real estate agents and their clients in all markets in which we operate. We offer the best mortgage tools available with easy, convenient, online shopping for the best loan programs and most current rates available. Our dedicated loan officers provide guidance and expert advice through the process of selecting the best loan program to meet the needs of each family.

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