Monday, July 10, 2006

My New Blog... New look, new format, new content

I've made the leap to my own server and changed blogging platforms. Here is the link to my new blog:

http://lotech.usethisinfo.com/

Just a heads up, I've not yet archived the posts from this blog on the new one but should make that happen shortly.

Friday, June 30, 2006

FRIDAY FUNNY ON BLOGGING
Today's Family Circus Comic Strip - ArcaMax Publishing


Today's Family Circus Comic Strip - ArcaMax Publishing: " ArcaMax Publishing > The Funnies > Family Circus - 06/28/2006



Family Circus Partnership. This feature is presented with the permission of King Features Syndicate, Inc. and is furnished solely for personal, non-commercial use. Redistribution in whole or part prohibited.
Click here for your favorite comics, puzzles and editorial cartoons from DailyINK. "

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TEMP FIX
I've "Patched" my blog

I applied a "bandaid" to my blog

Regular readers know that my blog has been missing the right column for some time. Well, I tweaked the style sheet so it, at least appears. Other items in the header and such are a little messed up, but, at least my mug and blog roll are showing. Look for a new design and location in the next weeks.

WORK CENTER ANNOUNCES PENDING RELEASE

The following is an email I rcvd from vForms

Pre-Release Courtesy Bulletin:
As a WorkCenter user or tester, I want you to be the first to know of our upcoming WorkCenter 2.0 release!
It's the one you've been waiting for!!

www.WorkCenterCRM.com
Call us toll free 877.498.6888


WorkCenter CRM 2.0 Version Coming Soon!

Enhancements and much more have been added to the 2.0 version of WorkCenter

Contact tab removed allowing increased database speed and options
Individual contact screens better organized for data access and usage
Password protection capabilities on all databases
Owner box added for lead distribution and management
13 custom default image fields for automatic importing of headers, footers, logos and pictures
Data export capabilities to a FNMA 3.2 file format for LOS importing
Sue Woodard English and Spanish marketing libraries available as an add-on
18 Sue Woodard automated action plans for use with the Sue Woodard libraries
Availability to set a default directory for backup database files
Daily database backup option
Option to rename custom fields
Ability to rename default headings inside WorkCenter
Contact specific annual calendar display
Redesigned contact loans tab displaying more information
Enhanced and additional script files for data synchronization and classifications
Contact document tab for linking computer files to individual contacts
Ability to set a letter as your Default Email Signature inside WorkCenter
TQS and BytePro LOS data synchronization into WorkCenter
Microsoft SQL Express compatibility for small business groups

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

MORE ON EQUITY SUMMIT
Savage Insights Blogs on Equity Summit

Mortgage Coach Hosted an Amazing FREE Pre-Summit Workshop that delivered insane value. Dave's blogging about the event and even provides a FREE powerpoint of his session.

Savage Insights: "1800+ Mortgage Professionals Unleash the Power in Vegas!
What a week I’ve had! The excitement started in Las Vegas on Wednesday with the Mortgage Coach Superstar Training Workshop followed on Thursday and Friday with Steven Marshall’s Equity Management Summit. Both shows were huge successes with more than 1800+ mortgage professionals in attendance. There were great speakers and sessions, great networking and great parties! But most of all, the lessons learned were invaluable. "

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

INSIGHT BY ENRIGHT ON EQUITY SUMMIT
I was about to write a blow by blow... but Jim's is great!

Jim Enright from Lenders Insight (a tool for every originator) gave me permission to post his dead on review of the Equity Summit.

What better way to start off a convention at 8:00am than with Elvis singing
Viva Las Vegas as the opening? Then throw in the Wheel of Fortune with prizes
like a Harley Davidson, convertible Chrysler, $50,000.00 in cash, numerous 4 day
weekends at $2,500.00 per night multimillion dollar homes in NYC, Mexico, and
Hawaii, money exploding from the ceiling, $100,000.00 cash piled on a table,
much of which was thrown out to the audience. Did I mention the giant
python?
That was just to get you in a heightened state of mind for total
learning immersion and fun.
Steven set the stage for what you would
experience and the mind set for equity management. Dispelling objections and the
“Faster, Higher, Stronger” theme stuck with me. He posed an interesting thought
(among many)...”Have your clients pay you for your advice independent of the
mortgage commodity.”

He had three goals – deliver massive value strategies; educate in a
high energy and entertainment environment, and create a walk away implementation
plan.

WARNING! It’s easy to be jaded about conferences, especially if you’ve
been to more than two, and have seen the same speaker three times. Maybe you’ve
over heard the ...”nothing new,” “same stuff, ” comments that happen
occasionally when people are looking for the “one stop 15 minute
silver bullet fix” of mortgage lending. When I find myself in that
mode (“I already know that...”), the next question I ask myself is “What have
you done with that knowledge? Is it implemented in your practice Jim?”
That immediately settles me down, unless I have indeed done it.

Todd Duncan opened. “Everything has changed and nothing is different.”
Powerful and insightful as you would expect. High level, yet very down to earth
in daily applications. He made five key points all tied back to daily business.
The one that impressed me was #5 - “Truths and Trends” – “there are more options
for financing and there is more confusion about financing. Although it is not
everything, presentation is the main thing. You can’t fake mortgage planning for
long.” Sorry I missed his Friday wrap up.

Barry Habib opened after lunch with a new presentation for the
conference. Barry has the unique skill of taking complex economic data, trends,
reports, and forecasts, and tying them all together. Then he simplifies this
data in a way that Bart Simpson would understand (necessary for me and one
friend in Texas), all the while weaving in tax and investment strategy that is
informative and at times causing a “wish I knew that last week when I was
speaking with my client..” response, as he continues to raise my
understanding. With a little bit of extra study (subliminal tape series
with mini pillow speakers for accelerated maximum subconscious absorption during
sleep time) you could become the expert in your market. Or you can just
listen to the many MMG CDs in your car. Barryism “Don’t do what banks tell you
to do, do what the banks do.” That sentence alone will create separation for
you.

Barry emphasized knowing 3 things and being able to explain them
clearly – Where rates are now. Where they are going. Why rates go up (or down).
But of course we are professionals, and already know those answers. He was just
reminding the new LOs. Was reminded of the power of the Velocity of Money
Calculators, an under utilized resource for me at the Mortgage Market Guide
member benefits page. This will project future financial outcomes using equity
management strategy. Next time I’m asked for a GFE, think I’ll send this.
An example of what I may have heard before was his point to understand
your local market by using “realtor.org/research”. Understand the job market,
know the unemployment ratios, and owner occ vs investor. All little bits of
information that create expertise and professionalism for you.

There were more key chunks of information than I can write about here.
But mark your calendar for 2007. Barry predicts we will be going into a
recession and back into refinance mode. Build those databases and don’t be a
stranger to your clients.

The “Implementation Coach” Session had to be skipped. After all, with
great speakers, prizes, and showbiz, time ran over and you just must have a
little more fun. The Equity Management Panel (Steven, Jim McQuaig, John
Bell, Ron Quintero, Sue Woodard, and Tom Bass) – Challenging to summarize here,
but all were clearly dealing in higher level conversations with both their
clients and themselves.
-Tom Bass – “from customer retention to customer engagement over a long period.”
John Bell
– giving clients “self autonomy and how to have more self
rule”
Jim
McQuaig – “give more life value than transaction
value”
Ron
Quintero – “find someone “in motion”
already.

Sue Woodard – individual professional campaigns
Tom B –
don’t delegate the
conversion

John Bell – Liquidity and the Family Banking Fund
Sue
Woodard – record your self.

Steven had a 4 CD interview give away for all 1800 attendees, including
a new Tax Strategies series, as an intro to his monthly program. (If you picked
up my CDs by mistake, please send them back.)

It was a totally packed day. No fluff or wasted moments. The hallways
were empty during the session (fabulous prizes have a way of doing that!).

The best part of any conference is the old friends you see again and
the new friends you make, all that lead to a richer life and business.

Disappointed to leave early Friday morning but my daughter was
graduating from high school at 9:00am Saturday and my son was flying in from
California after finishing 4 years as a Marine with 3 tours in Iraq. It was a
great weekend!

Next years Summit is already planned – June 7-8, 2007, Las Vegas. Ric
Edelman, Sandy Botkin, Todd Duncan, and a mystery keynote guest that Steven paid
$150,000.00 for a 3 hour presentation and had to fly him out in a private jet
for a preliminary interview.

Steven mentioned that he has doubled his entertainment budget for next
year and ticket prices will go from $299 this year to $499.00 (or there abouts)
next year. A bargain either way.
Scott Korbin will have an update on the last
day at the Equity Summit.
Show the Way,
Jim
Enright
www.lendersinsight.com

Monday, June 12, 2006

OVER THE TOP VALUE
Strategic Equity Conference Sets New Standards for Value

Steven Marshall Takes Mortgage Planning and the Seminar Experience to New Heights

I'm coming back from the Strategic Equity Summit in Las Vegas, hosted by Steven Marshall's Strategic Equity Group. A week of blog posts wouldn't be enough to lay out even a remote sense of the experience. Over the top, sensational, supreme, high value, extreme execution. Yikes, I was impressed beyond the level I normally can be moved out of my cynical nature.

The Strategic Equity Summit was 1800 mortgage professionals receiving education, training and motivation to avoid the commodity trap in their mortgage practice by delivering higher levels of value and customer experience. Mortgage Planning, for those curious, is about integrating a client's mortgage into their overall financial an life plan. And Strategic Equity is about enabling the mortgage planner to optimize that integration through best practices, sound strategies, and unique insights that are well outside the mainstream of even most mortgage professional's thinking.

The conference brought together the best minds in the industry, including Todd Duncan, Dave Savage, Barry Habib, Daniel Harkavy, Jim McMahon, Sue Woodard, Ron Quintero, Jim McQuaig, Tom Bass, John Bell, and the father of Missed Fortune, Douglas Andrew. Every speaker was incredible and the theme of the conference was tightly integrated into a cohesive message unusual for these types of events. Interwoven with the speakers was a planning process that Steven Marshall walked the group through starting with ideas/brainstorming and ending with implementation. In-between, mini-workshops about problem solving and increasing delivered value to derive increased income were also presented by Steven. Steven's not an over the top type of guy a la hype and enthusiasm. But this truly was Steven's element. A sincere joy emanated from Steven as he delivered over the top value with style, flair, and creativity. From chocolate dollars on the seats after a break, to money falling from the ceiling, to free CD's and the chance to win a Harley Davidson, it was quality content mixed with wow and fun.

Next year, the keynote speaker will be revealed in the next several months, but I've heard this speaker alone could sell out the venue, and the rest of the line-up includes Tim Braheem of Loan Toolbox, as well as well known authors Sandy Botkin, and Ric Edelman.

While this blog isn't about endorsements or mortgage strategy, I feel it is important that the value and mindset behind Strategic Equity are given visibility as I believe they are critical for the mortgage industry. I uniquely give the Strategic Equity Summit my full endorsement.

Time to sign up for next year.

Monday, June 05, 2006

DenverPost.com - Owens OKs mortgage brokers bill

DenverPost.com - Owens OKs mortgage brokers bill: "Owens OKs mortgage brokers bill
By Margaret Jackson
Denver Post Staff Writer

Gov. Bill Owens on Friday signed a bill requiring mortgage brokers to submit to criminal background checks and register with the state by Jan. 1. "

MATT SAYS - A step in the right direction to protect consumers. Good job Guv!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

BLOGGER BLUNDER
Is Google taking its eye off the ball?

My frustration with blogspot grows

Google is a cool company. Google does some great things. If it weren't for Google I would probably never had started this blog and the 1,000 or so of you who read it each month would have a massive void in their knowledgeshere ;-)

That said, my blog is suffering due to pervasive technical "demons" in the blogspot software. For example, the entire right column has disappeared. Because it s a free service, tech support isn't available. As a result, I've purchased a domain on Yahoo and will move my blog there in the next week or so. Keep checking back.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BLOGGER UPDATES NOT WORKING
It's time to switch

After a week of posts that continue to just not show up but ARE getting sent to my feeds, I will be switching to a new blog service. Look for a forwarding link in the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

GET TRENDY
Intelligence for website Search Engine Optimization

Most Originator Websites are Red Ink... here's one tactic to turn the corner to black

Dave Savage beat me to the punch on spreading the word in regards to ANOTHER new Google tool that can help originators more effectively position their website for search engines.

Now, if Google can solve the problems with my blog updating randomly, and usually only every 24 t0 48 hours, I'll give them full kudos for moving forward. I guess I can't complain... blogger is free.

MAKE LOAN RESEARCH MORE EFFICIENT
Google's new NoteBook Tool can help keep track of research


Here is a great example of how you can apply new technology to streamline a process that usually is, quite frankly, a pain in the *%$.


Google this week released a new tool in the Google Labs (google labs is where technology debuts and then once it matures and is relatively bug free, it graduates "out" of the labs) called "Google Notebook." With Google Notebook, you can browse, clip, and organize information from across the web in a single online location that's accessible from any computer. Planning a trip? Researching a product? Just add clippings to your notebook. You don't ever have to leave your browser window.

The way Notebook works is by downloading a plug-in that allows your browser to maintain and icon in the lower right as well as a right click menu option. The simplest way to add a clipping is to highlight the text and/or image, right click, and then choose "Note This". You can create different notebooks for different purposes (ie-borrower research), and then add section headings to divide up the notebook (ie-borrower's name).

For Example, below is a screenshot of how I used NoteBook to catalogue some program guidelines for a client who needs to use Stated Income.

Changing the way you work is often difficult. However, for the 30 seconds it takes to install the notebook browser plug, it's worth trying out. I'm impressed and can imagine other uses for this tool surfacing in the future.

Friday, May 12, 2006

BETTER WEBSITES
Myers Updates Sites with New Tools

Myers adds a few features to beef up their offerings

Todd over at Lenderama.com gives us a heads up on new features. I'm not sure what an SEO stands for, but, I agree with Todd... blog tool would be a real killer app for them.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

VALUE CRM #2
LoanCommander... CRM/Loan Status and Tracking

Another interesting tool where the 80% is pretty tempting given the price

At only $15/mos (single user) and $50/mos (unlimited users), this is quite a value.

What I really am amazed at is the ability to create a loan status system where your client AND partners have access to the status of a loan in an online portal. Additionally, you can proactively email status reports. This is a unique feature set that isn't even included in the most expensive of CRM tools.

I'm bummed by the lack of online help or user guide and the interface needs some work, but, this is a great tool that, for pipeline management and customer status alone is worth considering. If you use a white board and/or outlook to monitor your transactions, this might be your way to go to the web.

2006 is the mortgage industry's year for CRM. Focused tools like this are sure to put pricing pressure on the larger, more complete systems.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

VALUE CRM
AllClients takes focused value to a higher level


A most affordable CRM for the Web

I've always believed ASP's should either be the most complete or the most affordable solutions. ASP stands for "Application Service Provider." Usually, these are hosted applications like SalesForce.com or LoanToolbox.com.

AllClients.com is, for all intents and purposes, one of the best bangs for the buck ($16.95) that I've seen in Customer Relationship Management/Contact Management on the web. Is it everything? No. But that's the point. Value is about hitting the 80, not the 80 and the 20. That extra 20% can end up costing you a bundle and requires justification and typically adds complexity.

While I've not used AllClients enough to give it an endorsement, I'd strongly recommend those LO's needing to simply move their systems to the web and share their data w/in a group give this tool a review. A Free 30 day trial is available w/out handing over your credit card.