3 tips for loan officers to finish the year strong

The year is rapidly coming to a close. Are you finishing the year strong? To help you end this year with a bang and ensure that next year is your best year yet, I have put together my top 3 tips to finish the year strong. 

1. Review your why 

Are you crystal clear on your WHY?

Your purpose, or your why, is defined as a central, self-prioritizing life force. Central in that if present, purpose is the central theme of a person’s identity. In the 14 Laws of High Trust Selling, my first is The Law of the Iceberg. This law states “The truest measure of your success is invisible to your clients.” 

The reason is because your “why” is the foundation on which all success comes forth, in everything you do – but it’s below the surface, inside of you, invisible to the outside world.


"Your “why” is the foundation on which all success comes forth, in everything you do."


Since the year is almost over, now is the time to review your why and how you did in business this year to finish the year strong and best prepare for next year. 

Ask yourself the following, and make sure you separate out your business and your life. 

In business:

  • What worked? 
  • What didn’t?

In life:

  • What worked? 
  • What didn’t?

What did you accomplish that you are most proud of?

What were your top 2-3 lessons you learned that will never again be repeated?

In which business relationships do you need to invest more time?  Which ones should be terminated?

2. Review your hourly rate

This is something I get asked about a lot. You need to keep this in mind: “You’re not paid by how many hours you work, which is generally where burnout occurs. You’re actually paid on what you do for every hour you give to labor.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at your own hourly rate. 

What was your hourly rate for the year? Do you like it? Can it be improved? Where would you like it to be in one year?

Now consider your team, if you have one. What changes can you make with your team and your delegation to improve inefficiency?

What about your personal life? What changes can you make with your personal and family off the job time?

Complete the Life Mastery Top 20 Questionnaire

Rate the following areas of your life on a scale of 1-5, with 5 indicating that this area of your life is working at a maximum achievement.

  1. How is your life working?
  2. How are you doing spiritually?
  3. How are you doing as a wife/husband?
  4. How are you doing as a father/mother?
  5. How are you doing as a son/daughter?
  6. How are you doing overall as a family unit?
  7. How are you doing with your physical body?
  8. How are you doing with your diet?
  9. How are you doing with your presented image?
  10. How are you doing in your profession?
  11. How are you doing with your “daily rhythm”?
  12. How are you doing with your income?
  13. How are you doing planning for retirement?
  14. How are you doing with recreation?
  15. How are you doing with your passions and gifts?
  16. How are you doing with “sacred rituals”?
  17. How is your friendship circle?
  18. How is your pace of gaining knowledge?
  19. How are you doing taking care of you? 
  20. How are you doing with personal and professional accountability?

3. Begin the year strong

To finish this year strong, you need to begin next year strong.

We’re nearing the end of the year, so it’s time for you to complete a self-assessment. 

Answer these questions:

  1. What is your average loan amount?
  2. How much money will you be earning this year?
  3. How many funded loans will it take to make your income goal happen?
  4. From how many strategic sources will you be getting that business?
  5. How many hours per day will you be working?
  6. How many days per week will you be working?
  7. How many weeks of vacation per year will you be taking?
  8. What will your perfect day look like?
  9. What do you want your brand to reflect in the marketplace?
  10. When do you want to retire?

Then, get these metrics figured out as soon as possible:

Simplified Business Plan

We’ve included sample numbers, please adjust them to your business and goals!

Part One: Volume Goals
Average Loan Amount: $200,000
Average Closing Dollar Goal: $40,000,000
Average Closing Units Goal: 200
Pull-through %: 90%
Annual Origination Goal: $44,000,000
Annual Origination Unit Goal: 222
Part Two: “Chunk Down”- Building Consistency
Annual Units Goal: 222
Monthly Units Goal: 18.5
Weekly Unit Goal: 4.625
Daily Units Goal: 1
Part Three: Referred Pre-Qual Conversation and Follow-up
Daily/Weekly Loans: 1
Conversation to Application %*: .25
Daily Referred Pre-Purchase Consultations Needed: 4
*This is the #1 thing on which you should focus
Part Four: Referral Standards for Partners
Monthly Referred PPC Conversations Needed: 80
Minimum Referred PPC Goal per Partner: 8
Total Referral Partners Needed: 10

Bonus tip: Get started today

It’s hard to believe that this year is almost over. When you’re busy, time moves quickly, and the end of the year will approach before you know it. 

The best thing you can do to finish the year strong and prepare next year is to start today. Don’t put this off; follow the prompts above. You’ll be glad you did. 

For more tips and resources, visit toddduncan.com.

Listen to more insights from Todd about the powerful mindset of top mortgage loan originators on Mortgage Connects:

Listen to podcast


The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Todd Duncan, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose.
headshot of Todd Duncan

About the author

Todd Duncan, CEO, Coach, Author

Todd is a sales entrepreneur with over 5,000,000 students around the globe that he has mentored and taught in real estate, mortgage, banking and financial services. He started his career as a real estate broker and loan originator, successfully negotiating and financing over 5,000 real estate transactions in 12 years. He then took that success and launched The High Trust Company with a vision of transforming how sales professionals build high performing real estate and mortgage practices. 

Todd is a highly sought-after speaker and the author of 17 books, including the New York Times bestsellers "Time Traps: Proven Strategies for Swamped Sales People" and "High Trust Selling: Make More Money in Less Time with Less Stress". Todd has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sydney Morning Herald, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Seattle Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, FOX, CNN and more.

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