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  • Writer's pictureScott Peckford

Jan 2024 - 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 reason 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 mortgage business.

Welcome to January 2024 

Brokerage Stats

Production since August 1, 2021

Volume: $1,162,614,387

Files funded: 2,678

December Production

Volume: $73,860,703

Files funded: 178

December Agent Stats 

Rookies: 119  (+1)

Pros: 110 (+4)

Total: 229

Why We Employ a Two-coach Underwriting Method

If you are an NFL fan, it is hard not to love Dan Campbell, the head coach of the Detroit Lions. Dan has single-handedly turned around the Lions franchise over the past three years, and led them to their first conference game since 1991! 

Dan is an amazing coach, and deserves a lot of credit. 

However, he is not the only coach on the Lions’ roster. Most people don’t realize that there are typically 12 coaches on an NFL team. 

Given that there are only 11 players on the field at any one time, this may seem like overkill. 

However, professional sports teams have figured out that specialization in coaching makes for better players, and better players makes for more wins. 

I believe it is the same in the mortgage industry. Let me explain. 

When we first launched BRX, one of our strategies was to offer live UW support to our rookie agents. I have gone into more detail on this topic here.

Initially, we thought it would be best to have the live UW Room coach also package and submit the file to the lender. 

We reasoned that, if the coach talked to the agent about the file, they could more easily package the file for submission and get the file approved. 

This didn’t work out as well as we expected. 

As you know, submitting a file is only one step in a multi-step process. Once the file is sent in, documents need to be submitted, and questions need to be answered before the file can be moved across the finish line. 

It turns out, an UW coach can’t be both readily available to answer questions, and submit files and fulfill conditions. 

They spent too much time switching tasks, which led to a poor experience for the agents, the coaches, and our lender partners. 

This led us to adopt a two-coach approach. We now have a Submission coach available for 8 hours a day, and have increased the live UW Room coach availability from 8 hours to 13 hours a day. 

The UW coach works with the agent to prepare the file for submission, and then hands off the file to the Submission coach. 

The Submission coach works with the agent and lender to fulfill conditions and get the file successfully closed. 

Because our UW coaches are no longer also involved in submissions and the back-and-forth with the lenders, they are able to be more focused and available for our agents. 

This has made it better for our lenders, but it has also made it better for our agents. 

Our agents now get coached on underwriting files by two different, highly specialized, coaches instead of one. 

The challenge with a two-coach system is maintaining a good handoff between the coaches, and having a clear communication plan between the parties. 

Denise, our COO, has recently upgraded our entire communication and file process, making this system work even better. 

I believe the two-coach approach, just like the 12-coach approach for the NFL, leads to more wins for our agents, and probably more importantly, to more successfully closed files. 

The Surprising Mindset of a Top Broker

One of the top mortgage brokers in the country is a broker whom I’ll call Jon. Jon funds an obscene number of mortgages with a small team, made up of himself and two others. 

There are several reasons for Jon’s success; however, one that is easy to overlook is how he prioritizes his relationship with his lender partners, even over his relationship with his clients. 

One of Jon’s top lender partners is a lender that I will call the Big Red bank.

Jon has told me that, if he is on a call with a client, and his underwriter from the Big Red bank calls, he will put his client on hold!

Most mortgage agents would never do this, but most mortgage agents don’t fund as many mortgages as Jon. 

This might seem counterintuitive. However, Jon knows that if he treats his lender right, he will get more approvals, and more approvals means more happy clients. 

So the best way to serve his clients is to prioritize the lender relationship. 

I was talking to an $80-million a year broker friend of mine who had a file that he could not get approved at the Big Red bank. 

My friend referred the file to Jon, and Jon was able to get the file approved with the Big Red bank in a day.  

How did this happen? 

First, Jon sends a lot of business to the Big Red bank. Second, he has an excellent relationship with his underwriter, which leads to the Big Red bank doing things for him that they won’t do for other brokers. 

You may be thinking, “Didn’t you say we sell a commodity that any agent can access?”

I did, but even in a commodity business, relationships still matter, a lot more than you realize. 

The top agents in the business understand that we are selling a commodity, but they also understand that it is a person who gives the final approval, and they treat those people like partners. 

The New Rookie To Rockstar Book

A few years ago, I read a story about the last McDonald’s hamburger that was sold in Iceland in 2009. 

A local man had heard that McDonald’s burgers don’t decompose, and wanted to see if that was true. 

The photo below was taken 10 years after purchase, and the burger and fries look barely more than one day old. 

It seems oddly unnatural that something we consider to be “food” has not changed in any discernible way in over a decade.  

I believe that most things have a shelf life, including training.

Let me break it down for you. 

Having been in the training business for several years, I have discovered that training can become less effective over time. 

It’s not that the core principles change. People are always going to value good communication and customer service. 

However, the way we find and interact with our leads and clients changes, which is why it is important to be constantly working to improve and update any training we provide as a brokerage. 

We launched BRX in August 2021, and have had tremendous success helping rookies build mortgage careers.

While it would be tempting to sit back and think, “We got this,” I believe that would be a big mistake. 

This is why we recently rebuilt our entire Rookie to Rockstar training program. The updates were extensive, and were tackled by a team of 23 amazing people.

We reorganized the content into a book format, even though the program is actually comprised of 288+ short videos that cover every conceivable topic a mortgage agent may need help with. The book format was adopted to make it easier for our agents to navigate. 

We also completely rebuilt our 100-Day Challenge, which is a series of emails our rookie agents are subscribed to when they join, to help them proceed through the training content in the most efficient, and most effective, order. 

We also re-recorded more than 100 of the videos. We felt we could communicate the ideas more clearly, and even brought in a few guest trainers to help us fill in all the gaps. 

The final result is something I am super proud of. It is the Rookie to Rockstar Book. I believe it is one of the most comprehensive training programs in the mortgage broker industry. 

To be fair, training does have a longer shelf life than a McDonald’s hamburger, but it certainly doesn’t last forever. I believe that one of our jobs as a brokerage is to be  constantly updating and improving our training and support.  

This recent update was just one of many that we plan to implement over the next year. 

Is the Rookie to Rockstar Book Useful for Experienced Agents? 

You may be wondering, “Is this training useful for experienced agents?”

Yes, it 100% is. 

However, not all parts of the training would be pertinent to an experienced agent. This was one of the reasons we decided to create the book format, to allow our agents to jump to sections that will be of use to them. 

We also wanted to create a way for any of our agents to do a deep dive on a specific topic, and to get highly tactical training sent right to their inbox. 

I heard about a concept called “Fix One Thing.” The idea is to simply focus on fixing one part of your business at a time. 

So, to help our agents “Fix One Thing,” we have created a series of 5-Day E-Mail Challenges on a variety of topics. 

Our agents can select an area they want to focus on improving, and will get a series of five emails over five days, with links to specific training on that single topic. 

For example, if an agent wants to improve how they do pre-approvals, they can sign up for a 5-day email challenge that breaks down exactly how to do that.

After going through, and implementing, that training, they can either sign up to fix something else, or if they got busy and missed a day or two, they can sign up again to repeat the same challenge.

We believe training is only useful if you can get the right training, to the right person, at the right time. 

One of the challenges of having over 288 videos of training content is being able to navigate through it, to find the useful stuff when you need it. 

We are excited to announce that we already have 5-Day Challenges created, and will continue to make more, based on our agent feedback. 

What Can You Tell Me About BRX Mortgage?

Recently, a new mortgage agent asked in a Newbie Facebook group what people thought of BRX. 

It was amazing to see so many of our agents chiming in and giving their feedback. I clipped a few of the comments below.

A few things on the above. 

First, are we perfect? 

Heck no. 

We don’t always get things right. We make mistakes, and some of the things we try don't work. 

One of our core values is Constant Improvement. The training upgrade is just one example of how we attempt to live this value. 

The reality is, this only works because we have an amazing team that puts our agents first. 

This agent-centric approach allows us to attract really high-quality agents, and the team and agent combination is what is creating such a collaborative culture. 

I love being a BRXer.  



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