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  • Writer's pictureScott Peckford

Jan 2023 - 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 January 2023

 

January Report


Production since August 1, 2021

Total Volume: $318,179,286

Total Units: 704


Agent Stats

Rookie Agents: 133 (+6)

Pro Agents: 57 (+10)

Total Agents: 190 (+16)

Licensed Admin Support: 7 (+7)


 

Funding Update


We launched BRX Mortgage on August 1, 2021. Since then, we have funded 704 mortgages, for a total volume of $318,179,286.


We added 6 new Rookies this month and 10 new Pros. We also decided to start tracking the number of admins we are adding each month.


We now have 7 licensed admins. We decided to track this number separately to keep our agent count more accurate.


The increase in the number of licensed admin assistants ties into our Tinder for Assistants program as well as our future plans to create a robust assistant training program.


 

Agile Development for Mortgage Companies


One of the challenges of working with a completely remote team—whose members live in five different time zones—is getting everyone on the same page when it comes to completing projects.


My CFO, who was also a management consultant, explained to me that there are several different project management methodologies.


He encouraged me to simply pick one and adopt it.


Since I am a bit of a nerd, I decided to do some research on the different project management methodologies.


Truthfully, not having run a business with this much complexity before launching BRX, I had never needed a project management strategy.


I typically ran small, efficient teams, where we could adjust and adapt in real time.

I looked into three different methodologies:

  1. Waterfall – A linear project management methodology.

  2. Lean – A methodology that focuses on reducing waste.

  3. Agile – A methodology that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and iterative delivery.

We ended up adopting the Agile methodology.



To be fair, Agile is typically used in the software industry, whereas we are a fast-growing mortgage brokerage network.


What I like about software is that it is never truly done, unlike funding a mortgage, or even building a house, which has a clear beginning, middle, and end.


I felt that, like software, our company is going to have to continue to evolve rapidly, to adapt and grow.


Plus, when your company surveys its agents for what to build and do next, the list is nearly endless.


How do we do Agile?

The first thing to be aware of is that we take a bigger project and break it down into smaller, bite-sized tasks. The goal is to commit to getting your tasks done for each week.


If the smaller steps are consistently completed, the project itself will be completed much more quickly.

We use software to keep track of our sprints, and hold two live meetings a week.


The Sprint Planning Meeting – Every Monday, our entire team meets for 15 minutes to prioritize the one-to-three tasks we are going to commit to getting done for the week. We now set a timer for this meeting. (Thanks for the idea, Monica.)


The Sprint Review Meeting – We meet for 15 minutes to see if we have completed our projects, demo any results, and plan the next week.

In a future post, I will take a deeper dive into how we are applying this to our brokerage, including the software used, meeting templates, etc.

I have already seen three big improvements from applying this.


1. Projects are completed each week.

Last week was the first time that I thought, “Dang, this is starting to work.” I could not believe all the projects the team finished in the week.


2. Every team member has a project.

Every team member has a project, including our underwriting coaches. After all, the reality is that there are projects in the business that UW coaches are the most qualified to complete.


This is the equivalent of everyone in the boat putting their oar in the water and rowing in the same direction.


3. Everyone sees what everyone else is working on (which creates accountability).

In an Agile team, everyone can see what others are working on. This helps to avoid surprises when a new project is completed because everyone knows the steps being taken to finish it. Additionally, this transparency helps to hold team members accountable for completing their own projects, as others can see their progress.


I have to admit that I was the worst one—the team can attest to how long it took me to set up our account with KEB Bank, as we were required to send original signed documents to their office in Toronto.


I am happy to say we are now live with KEB Bank. I will keep you posted on how this is working for us.


 

One Inbox to Rule Them All

At our recent Broker Talks event, my team and I were chatting with Denise Laframboise, who was sharing how she saves up to two hours a day by having one inbox that her entire team shares.


This may sound like a bad idea, but hear me out.


Instead of Denise having to go through her inbox every day and forward emails to the appropriate team member, they would go through the emails first and put anything she needed to deal with in a folder.


That way, she could jump into her email and only handle the few, critical emails that only she could answer.


This got us wondering if we could apply this concept to a brokerage that would have six team members sharing an inbox.


Being huge fans of experimenting, we decided to test this, and the results so far have been amazing.



Since switching to one inbox, we have noticed four main benefits.


It has eliminated email forwarding.

Moving to one inbox has completely eliminated email forwarding in our company.

One of the challenges with our previous setup was the number and frequency of times we would have to forward emails to one another.


This happened dozens of times a day, and created delays and caused inboxes to clog up.


For example, an agent would reach out to me about joining BRX. However, since I was on back-to-back calls all day, I often had long delays in getting to my inbox. (I hate to admit it, but I was definitely the worst at clearing my inbox.)


This email should have gone to our Onboarding Specialist Braeden; however, I needed to forward it to him so he could reply.


Now, when an agent sends in an email about joining BRX, our admin staff puts that email in Braeden’s folder.


It has reduced confusion for our agents.

As a fast-growing company, we are constantly adding new team members, or reassigning them to parts of the business that they are better suited to handle.


It is all well and good to move someone to a spot on the team where they can thrive, but this is a nightmare for agents who are not clear on the recent change.


Now that we have a single email address, agents can simply send in any question or request, and know that the appropriate person will reply.


It has made it much easier for team members to go on vacation.

The third benefit is that it allows our team members to go on vacation and not return to a pile of emails that they have to sort through.


One of our team members recently left on a three-week honeymoon.


While she is away, her emails are all being handled by the appropriate team member, so she can relax, and not come back to a pile of unsorted emails.


It has forced us to improve our internal communications.

The fourth benefit is that this has forced our team to adopt new, and better, communication techniques.


We have noticed an increase in the use of Slack to communicate asynchronously with each other.


We have created channels for specific topics.


For instance, one channel is called “Compliance.”


Below is a list of our current Slack channels:



In this channel, our team can post compliance-related questions. We have another channel called “One Inbox.”


With all of the benefits we have seen so far, I can’t imagine going back to individual email accounts.


If you have one or more assistants, I would encourage you to try this for 30 days and see what happens. I am willing to bet you will be amazed at how much more productive you can be.


 

What is the BRX Accelerator?


We all know that time is money but at BRX, we take this to the next level. That's why we've developed the Accelerator program -- the ultimate way to boost our agents' revenue per hour.


The Accelerator program is a live, totally immersive experience that we created for our Pro agents, where they spend three full days working on their business with four other amazing mortgage agents.


The Accelerator is just one way that we help our agents earn more revenue per hour. Most agents know they need to spend time working on their business but often find it difficult, given the many demands and distractions of the average work week. The idea is to give them a chance to spend some high-quality time working on their business, instead of in it.


With the Accelerator program, our agents get the opportunity to take a deep dive into their business and build amazing relationships with a few of their peers.



How does it work?

Day 1 - Customer Journey - We will delve into your customer journey and help you rebuild it from the ground up. The goal is to create a client experience that is so good, it can be a form of prospecting for your business.


Day 2 - Lead Generation - We will thoroughly examine each agent’s top marketing strategies and look for ways to improve them. We will also share our current best ideas on lead generation. (Note: Ryan Wiley will be joining us in the afternoon for a mastermind on marketing.)


Day 3 - Video Recording - We will have you record up to 10 videos that you can include in different stages of your customer journey, or that can be used for your DRIP campaign. We have a professional videographer with all the gear, including a teleprompter, to assist you in creating great videos.



What can you expect?

This will be a deep dive, immersive experience. You will leave with an improved customer journey, and a game plan for lead generation for the rest of 2023.



Where and when does it happen?

Kelowna, BC


Tuesday, April 11, 2023, to Thursday, April 13, 2023


It is best to arrive on Monday, April 10, 2022, so we can hit the ground running on Tuesday.



What's included?
  • Accommodation at the Chateau BRX (our 1912 Airbnb)

  • Private room

  • Breakfast and lunch each day

  • Access to lift desks and monitors in every room

  • Professional videographer

  • Scott’s World-famous Popcorn

  • Tuesday Night Dinner

  • BRX Block Party with local mortgage brokers


Photos of Chateau BRX


How do I sign up?

The Accelerator is only open to Pro-level BRX Agents. If you are interested, email Scott at ask@brxmortgage.com.


 

Next Month:

  1. Why We Think Leads Are Better Than Awards

  2. The Secret Sauce to Our Agents’ Success

  3. Update on One Inbox

  4. Broker Talks (Kelowna & Vancouver)


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