I often get asked, “How long does it take to be successful in this business?” The next most common question is “How many hours do I have to work to be successful?” Both questions are the opening to a discussion that is different for almost everyone who asks it. The first question leads to my return question, “How do you define success?” Success is different for everyone. It means different things to different people. To me, you must have a target to aim for and measure against. While time frame is important, does it really matter how long it takes as long as you get there? It also matters that once you reach what you consider to be successful, that you can stay there! Longevity matters! But to be specific, I have always maintained that a successful originator be able to average 8 to 10 units per month consistently year in and year out by themselves. Other than that, you decide. How long should it take to get there? Those that commit to the process and do the work can generally make that happen in the first 6 to 12 months in the business.
As far as the number of hours required to be successful. That becomes more of a challenge because there are significant differences in markets, types of loans, clients, availability of loan products, and how you choose to work your business. Clearly it takes a significant investment of time and energy to get started. You have much to learn, many things to master, and schedules that will constantly be refined. However, once you have become established and mastered the skills and schedules surrounding your business, you should find it easy to work a 50-hour week, taking one long vacation (two weeks) and three short vacations, one week, and a series of long weekends (three or four days) a year.
There will be times when you will work longer hours based on seasonal or situational opportunities, but you will see how your market tends to flow quickly and go from there. But again, how you work your business and with whom you work with has a lot to do with the time you commit. Some people work longer hours because they want to. Some choose to hire assistants to take some of the work off their plates and work less. It’s a choice you make for yourself. But yes, you can also work 80 hours a week and close 3 loans a month or work 35 hours a week and close 15 loans a month. It is YOUR choice!
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