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  • Writer's pictureScott Peckford

Dec 2022 - Journey to $1 Billion




We are on a quest to transform the mortgage industry.


We believe there needs to be more transparency, which is one of the reasons why we decided to share a monthly report on what we have learned, what worked and what didn’t, and what’s next in our plans to grow a Billion Dollar Brokerage.


We hope you find a few useful ideas and tidbits to help you in growing your own mortgage business.


Welcome to Dec 2022

 

December Report


Production since August 1, 2021

Total Volume: $306,221,811

Total Units: 671


Agent Stats

Rookie Agents: 127 (0)

Pro Agents: 49 (+19)

Total Agents: 176 (+19)


 

Funding Update

We launched BRX Mortgage on August 1, 2021. Since then, we have funded 671 mortgages, for a total volume of $306,221,811.


We added no net new rookies this month; however, we did have 3 rookies exit and 3 rookies join.


However, of the 3 that left 1 left the industry entirely and the 2 left for another Brokerage. Of the 3 agents who joined us in December 2 were previously at BRX left and have since come back. (We have seen this happen at least 3 times so far)

We added 19 new Pro agents. This is the most Pros we have onboarded in a single month and matches our single-month record of 19 new agents in November (and January may actually beat both months).



Also, the 29 most recent Pro Agents who have joined us funded a whopping $726,000,000 in 2022!

Now, I am not naive enough to expect that to be the same for 2023, as this is a different market. However, this does help us to maintain lender access and volume requirements.


We are thrilled with our growth so far.


 

Our Company has ADD and yours should too...


You may be thinking, “A company with ADD sounds like a nightmare.”

Hold on, let me explain.


We recently launched a new initiative called “Agent Directed Development,” which I like to affectionately call “ADD.”


What is Agent Directed Development?

Basically, we survey our agents, asking them this question:


“What are the top three things you would like the brokerage to help you solve?”


The idea is to identify any common struggles or challenges that we may be able to help solve at scale.


We want to give all our agents a voice in what we build next.


This survey revealed several opportunities for us to level up our agent experience and increase our value to them.


I will share with you one unique solution that came about because of this ADD process.


In our survey, we identified Pro Agents who were looking to hire an assistant.


We also identified Pro Agents who currently have an assistant, but whose assistant is not working at full capacity because of the slower market.


We decided to tackle this challenge in three stages.


Stage 1 - Tinder for Assistants

We launched “Tinder for Assistants.”


Okay, maybe it’s not the best name, but I think the concept is sound. :)


We created a form for our agents who are willing to share their assistant with another BRX agent.


We asked questions about the submission platform, rate and type of pay, whether they are licensed, etc.


The idea was to create a profile of any assistant who has unused capacity.


Our agents in need of an assistant could use this to find a potential match. We would then direct the agents to connect with each other to work out the details.

We have already successfully connected two brokers with assistants by using this format.


BRX Agents can submit requests below:

Cost for our agents = FREE


Stage 2 - Assistant Training Program

Our agents also indicated that they would like help with how to train assistants. We decided to launch an eight-week assistant training program, to share best practices and help improve their overall efficiency.


As they say, a rising tide lifts all ships. Increasing assistant efficiency will directly improve our agents' efficiency and productivity.


This ties perfectly into our company mission of helping our agents earn more revenue per hour.


Cost for our agents = ($500)


Stage 3 - Fee-Based Closing Specialist (In Process)

We are also rolling out a Fee-Based Closing Specialist service. This will help our agents avoid having to find their own assistant, and instead plugging into services such as this one.


All three of these upgrades came from simply asking our agents how we can help.

We plan to launch this in Q1 of 2023.


We will continue to use this ADD method, to identify areas we can improve and add value to our agent partners.


 

Tech Support Update


We launched our Live Tech Support on November 21, 2022. Since its launch, we have completed 98 support tickets.


The five most requested tech support tickets were:

  1. Customizing Google Sheets (22 Visits)

  2. Zapier Walkthrough (13 Visits)

  3. Zapier + Finmo Webhooks (9 Visits)

  4. Google Drive Walkthrough (8 Visits)

  5. Google + Zapier Integration (6 Visits)

We had another 24 tech tickets that were one-off requests. For example, one of our agents is using Jungo and we helped them set up Zapier integrations.


The data allowed us to determine which tech problems were likely solvable with a simple video walkthrough.


This has led us to begin building a library of video walkthroughs for our agents.

We now have two options for solving any tech problems that our agents encounter:

  1. Agents can still book live tech support for help,

  2. or they can get instant help from our library of videos.

In my experience, most people are happiest when they can solve their problem quickly.


To see a sample video walkthrough, check out the link below.


 

What do Chess Grandmasters and Top Underwriters Have in Common?


Just like the best chess players, the best underwriters are really good at pattern recognition.


I heard of a Grandmaster who played against 20 opponents in a gymnasium, walking from table to table and making one move at a time.


Each opponent would make their move and wait for the Grandmaster to return for his next move.


When he came back to one of the chess boards, the Grandmaster immediately recognized that the player had cheated and moved a chess piece.



You may be thinking, “How on earth could someone keep 20 chess matches in their head at the same time?” A fascinating study was done by Dutch psychologist Adrian de Groot on the memories of Grandmasters.


It turns out that chess Grandmasters don’t have memories that are any better than the average person.


Instead, they memorize large chunks of the board, but not each and every single piece and its location.


I think of this as advanced pattern recognition.


It is similar to how we can remember a phone number much easier than seven random letters and digits.


We memorize the entire sequence in a chunk.


I believe that good underwriters have also developed this skill of advanced pattern recognition… which is why the good underwriters are considerably better than the average ones.


If underwriting is like chess, the documents required to fund a mortgage are really like the pieces on the board.


Understanding the documents is similar to knowing how all the pieces move, which is fundamental to being able to play chess. Forget about strategy, opening moves and closing moves. The very first thing you have to really understand is piece-mobility.


In underwriting, documents are the fundamental piece that you must understand before you can ever learn the strategy.


Now, in chess, there are only six different pieces.


However, to fund mortgages, there are at least 62 different types of documents that may be required.


So, we created the BRX Document Index which includes the following information about all 62 documents:

  1. What is the document? (Short explanation)

  2. Where does the client find it?

  3. What are the important notes about this document type?

  4. What should be on a checklist when reviewing this document?

  5. A sample of the document to view.

  6. Tips on catching fraud (Thanks, Patrick Walker, for your help with this).

You can see a walkthrough of the BRX Document Index, here.


The Document Library is for our agents and their assistants, to help them master the fundamentals more quickly.


We hope to help create many Grandmasters of underwriting over the coming years.


 

Next Month:

  1. One Inbox

  2. Agile Development for Mortgage Companies

  3. Live Kelowna Accelerator

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