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The Art of Goal Setting: Strategies for New Year Achievement

As we jump into the New Year, many have already set their goals and resolutions for the year ahead. While some folks are still pondering their desired focus for these annual quests of self-improvement. Although most are set with the best intentions, it’s important to take a thoughtful approach to choosing the goals themselves and how to achieve each. This article is a classic look at how to set, and more importantly, achieve New Year’s Resolutions and Goals with my own personal twist.

Goal Setting Climbing Blocks

Each New Year cannot begin without reflection on the year previous. There is no accurate way to gauge what the future looks like without first acknowledging what went well and what could use improvement. Take a brief period of reflection, hopefully you can tip your hat to the previous goals you achieved, while also identifying those areas of opportunity to improve. Looking back can help develop a road map for those future goals.

The “SMART” acronym may be outdated, but it still stands true. Ensuring that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART), can be a great foundation for setting a successful goal or resolution. I personally like to try to define quantitative elements for my goals as opposed to keeping them general and vague. A great example of this is “I plan to make 10 outbound calls to potential new clients a day.” Instead of, “I want to make more calls.” Being more definitive leads to a higher likelihood of reaching the goal.

After thoughtfully identifying the goals, it is vital to prioritize and track the progress of each of them. Prioritizing looks different for everyone. It could start with the easiest to accomplish to help build confidence and look forward to other goals. Or it could be starting with goals that are building blocks to a larger goal. By prioritizing each goal, it can appear less daunting, while also keeping you in line to achieve each of them. Tracking the prioritized goals can make it clear which ones need more or less attention to ultimately be completed. A good tip when tracking is to break each goal into smaller pieces, so you can check them off to see progress. Tracking really helps you to be more accountable and flexible where need be.

Accountability is a key to successfully accomplishing any of these resolutions or goals you may set for yourself. Accountability should be more than just that little voice in your head reminding you of all the lingering goals waiting for you. It should be self-tracking and monitoring progress, yes. But it should also come from external sources too. Share goals with friends and family for added motivation and or support! Maybe you have a common goal as someone you know, make a friendly compotation out of it. Accountability for me is my wife constantly asking if I did what I said I was going to do, this method is confirmed to work.

It doesn’t matter if it is personal or professional, each goal should be meant to help you level up. With that in mind, remember to be positive with yourself and practice self-compassion. If and when setbacks arise or things are taking longer than you anticipated, try not to get discouraged but instead use them as continued motivation and opportunities to learn. Being kind to yourself and keeping a positive outlook can lead to unexpected lessons along the journey of trying to complete your goals.

At the end of the day, call them what you’d like, these resolutions or goals are all conjured with the idea of doing better in the year to come. Shoot for the stars and if you fall a little short remember there is always next year. I hope you can utilize some of these tips to identify your 2024 goals or achieve those you already have your eyes on!

Don’t Let Rates Dictate Your Success

It’s evident that the rising interest rates have impacted much of the US Economy and its workforce. Mortgage professionals like Loan Officers and Brokers see the impact firsthand with the decline in housing inventory and the accumulated rise of interest rates. These factors along with tightened lender parameters make it more competitive for the deals that do arise. Although the real estate market is sensitive to economic fluctuations, successful brokers can adapt to changing circumstances using some of these tactics.


Any decent broker can sell the lowest rates when inventory is booming, and buyers are knocking down the door. But when times get tougher, it’s the brokers that diversified that will thrive during the tougher market periods. Starting with a diversified group of lending partners can make it easier to place those fundable deals that do come up, as opposed to only trying to target deals for one specific lender. Even if expanding the number of lenders that a broker is using it’s always important to truly understand their products & programs to place the right deals accurately and successfully with the right lenders.

Depending on the broker’s knowledge and exposure it could help to diversify the services being offered. If the business focuses mostly on conventional mortgages, consider expanding into commercial real estate, SBA loans, or other avenues of business financing. Broadening the services offered by the brokerage can lead to other revenue streams and potential new repeat business.

Utilizing referral agreements can be a great way to draw new business or earn commission on deals/ clients you refer to others. As a broker offering a referral reward to clients is a great way to earn new business from reliable sources, while building that existing relationship with the referring client by offering a reward for sending new business.  Using the referral partnerships offered by other brokers/lenders can be a great way to earn income on deals or clients that may not be a direct fit for your brokerage. Overall, diversification can help offset the impact of the economic downturns.

Offer Excellent Service

One of the most important parts of being a successful broker, especially given tough market conditions, is offering excellent customer service. The service offered by the brokerage is one of the few things that are controlled by the brokers themselves. Being transparent, timely with responses, and clearly setting expectations can lead to a greater client experience. The better the clients experience the more likely the brokerage is to receive repeat business or future referrals.

In times when business may be slower, offer more to existing clients. This could be as simple as educational content, one-on-one meetings, or even guidance on how to grow their portfolio. Offering additional expertise and showing interest in the client’s overall success can strengthen that relationship. Regardless of rates, the customer services provided are always in the broker’s control.

Leverage Technology

Technology can provide streamlined solutions in a broker’s business which can improve processes and the overall organization of the business. Tools such as CRMs and digital communication outlets can make it easier to market to your customers. Loan Management Systems, like the one offered by Bridge Loan Network, offer a secure and organized location to store loan transactions during the origination process. By being more organized on loan transactions it can improve the efficiency of closing as well as the customer’s overall experience.

Remember, technology should always be solving an existing problem. Do not try to implement technology where it may not be needed, but more so leverage tech where it fits into your current workflows. Tech also typically comes with a cost, both financial and the implicit cost of adopting a new technology. It is important to consider this when shopping for tech products. Landing the right technology can offer stability when rates and programs are ever-changing.

Enhance Marketing & Branding

Given the highly competitive market in the midst of an economic downturn, it is extremely important to have a recognized company brand and effective marketing strategies. Having a brand that is easily recognizable, unique, and relatable to the business gives clients (new and existing) an easy way to find and remember the company. Establishing a brand also gives an added sense of professionalism to the business and makes new clients feel more comfortable doing business.

Effective marketing strategies can help bolster the brand, gain exposure, and generate new leads. While marketing may not take the front seat, it is a crucial part of continuing success during tough market conditions. There are many different marketing channels that exist today making it easier to adjust marketing strategies to be more targeted or cost effective. Typically, adjusting marketing is a quick way to reduce overhead budget. Content creation, social media campaigns, and publishing successful transactions can be great outlets for low-cost marketing strategies. These or similar strategies can also add a personal element to the brand allowing clients to feel more connected to the business. This can lead to more customer loyalty or attract new customers who may not have that feeling with their existing broker.

Stay Prepared

Things in real estate can change fairly quickly. Staying prepared during any downswing is a great way to explode during the inevitable upswing. Keeping a close eye on market conditions, industry trends, new technology, unique lending products, and new regulations can prepare you for success as demand rises. Being knowledgeable on these topics can allow for easier decisions to be made when considering business choices while also preparing for any big market or rate changes that may be ahead.

Mentorship or continued education is an additional way to stay prepared for waves of future business while sharpening the brokerages’ skills. Not only can mentors and education opportunities equip the brokerage with the knowledge to navigate difficult times but empower the company to thrive and come out on top of the competition. Investing in the betterment of the internal side of the business is a great way to set up the company for future success. Focusing on the controllable aspects of the business is one of the best ways to grow the company through periods of high interest rates and low demand. Staying prepared is a key to success in any market conditions.

Every brokerage is different. Each has unique challenges, specific needs, and their own strengths. However, each has one thing in common and that is the lack of control over interest rates. Implementing a mixture of the tactics explained can help brokers adapt to changing circumstances while controlling the growth of the business instead of letting the high rates impact the company’s success.

Author: Jacob Therrien

Streamlining Private Lending: Unveiling the Power of Bridge Loan Network’s Origination Platform

In the dynamic landscape of private lending, staying informed and streamlining the loan origination process are paramount. In this article, our Business Development Specialist, Jacob Therrien, will shed light on how technology is revolutionizing the private lending space.

Origination platforms serve as the backbone of private lending, ensuring efficiency while keeping all involved on the same page. Let’s delve into the transformative ways technology is making this happen, starting with the very first step – intake.

Gone are the days of sifting through piles of paperwork. Modern platforms offer online applications that streamline the initial lead scenarios. Enter Bridge Loan Network’s game-changing solution – a branded online application that seamlessly integrates into your website. This means you can effortlessly channel those leads into our lending platform, setting the stage for seamless lead generation and a smooth origination journey.

Once the initial data is in, the platform becomes a hub for collaboration. The preliminary questions required for generating pricing can be posed, and as these details accumulate, they’re securely stored in our cloud-based system. This facilitates a smooth workflow, allowing various team members and necessary parties to work together in harmony.

As a deal gains traction and the preliminary vetting is complete, maintaining all this information in a centralized system is invaluable. Bridge Loan Network’s platform steps in, enabling secure document uploads from brokers, borrowers, and third parties alike. What’s more, third-party due diligence fees can be processed through the platform, ensuring all essential information resides in one accessible location.

As a loan progresses to underwriting and eventually reaches the closing table, the platform ensures all team members are well-equipped to execute their tasks with precision. But beyond the mechanics, it’s important to understand the core role of an origination platform – to be a robust support system for your lending team. It should seamlessly integrate with your existing processes, enhancing efficiency and minimizing disruptions, not the other way around.

Bridge Loan Network stands out as a cloud-based software solution made for both brokers and private lenders in the private lending space. Our solution empowers you to organize and originate loans with unparalleled efficiency. In an industry where time is of the essence, our platform takes the lead, making your lending journey smoother, faster, and more streamlined than ever before.

So, whether you’re a broker aiming to streamline your loan origination process or a private lender looking to enhance efficiency, Bridge Loan Network’s cloud-based software solutions are here to transform your lending game. It’s time to embrace technology that supports and elevates every step of the origination journey. To learn more about our software solutions and to request a demo, please contact our team today.

Streamlining the Private Lending Process with Technology Video