Journey to the Top with Shant Banosian

EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top The journey to the top is not all about peaches and rainbows. After all, to reach the top, you have to start from the bottom and go through steep inclines. This metaphor perfectly illustrates what Shant Banosian had to go through. Before he became a top loan originator, Shant started somewhere and went through experiences that may not be the most pleasant life has to offer. How did he rise above that and reach the pinnacle of success? He bares it all in this conversation with Joe Welu on Expert Insights. Join in and learn how you can go a long way as long as you learn how to take the right risks, focus on what you can control, strive to become a better version of yourself every day, and most importantly, surround yourself with people who will help you along this journey to the top.

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Journey To The Top With Shant Banosian

I am super excited about my guest. Mr. Shant Banosian is with us. Shant, how are you doing? I’m doing great. I’m honored to be here. It’s good to see you as always. Thank you for having me. EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top You are the undisputed top loan officer and top originator in the country. At your peak, you did over $2 billion in production. You’ve consistently run a majority purchase business, and for the past few years been the number one originator in America. Did I have my stats correct? Yes, you are. It’s something I take great pride in. We got a lot of notoriety where we did over $1 billion in 2020 and $2 billion in 2021. I’ve been in the business since 2008. In my fifteenth year, we’ve done almost $9 billion in business in that time. We’ve cranked it out a lot. The secret to my success is the incredible people I have on my team that has done it with me and have helped me build this. Those kinds of numbers are impossible if I was trying to do this by myself. We’re fortunate to work with a lot of partners like real estate agents, financial advisors, and some amazing clients. We work with vendors and partners like you that help us scale our businesses and do a great job. It’s certainly not all my success on my own. EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top You’re clearly the driver. I totally agree that it does take great people and a great team. For context, I want to get into your backstory. One of the things is people misperceive a lot of times that people operate at your level of success. They’re not just necessarily great humans. You’ve always struck me. I’ve gotten to know you over the last few years. Not only are you ridiculously successful, but you’re also a good human and you do a lot for your family and community. I want to weave part of that in. I want you to tell us the backstory, but to give a little bit of context, that kind of volume. A lot of people would assume that you have a team of 200 people that are doing all of that volume. Give us some context into how big the team that supports it. One of the things that always impressed me is the amount of customers that you still personally touch when you’re doing that kind of volume. Maybe start out there and give us a little bit of grounding on context. The team hovered between 25 to 28 people but it was a little bit bigger than that a few years ago at the height of the 2021 refi like everybody else in our industry. We’ve got the right size ourselves in the new environment. What I was after as we were building it from day one when we went from 1 employee to 2, 3, 5 to 30. It’s always about streamlining the process and creating a great client experience. My goal ultimately always is to make sure that in every interaction the client has, whether it’s proactive or reactive, they’re talking to the right person and they’re getting the right information. It’s quick, concise, accurate, and reliable. A lot of loan officers wear a badge of honor of they have to do everything. They want to be a control freak. The only thing that you’re doing at that point is you’re limiting the scope of how much you can grow and ultimately who the client is going to be speaking to that’s going to be getting the information they need. I’ve always tried to work on things. I’ve found that when you’re building a business, every single person has their strengths, superpowers, weaknesses, things they love, and things they don’t like. I try to focus and work on the things that I’m good at and enjoy doing. I try to find out what the things are that I don’t like and that I’m not good at. I try to hire people that are the love that stuff and are great at it.
My experience too internally and externally is very well-rounded because then, everybody is getting what they need. It’s helped me scale my business and deliver a better client experience. We’re a big user of net promoter and our net promoter has always been one of the highest in the company, even at the volume scale as we’ve grown and grown. That doesn’t lie. It’s very transparent. We’re always looking at it. Every single week, we dial into how fast we’re closing loans, our response time, and our net promoter score. Your communication, by the way. At the scale that you operate on, you pride yourself and your team on having impeccable communication throughout the entire process. I want to get into some specifics, but in my opinion, one of your keys to scaling has been you guys are pretty flawless in your communication process. Is that fair to say? It’s with a lot of trial and error and feedback. We look at feedback with a gift. A lot of people look at the feedback and they’ll take a survey or an email and be like, “That person has no idea what they’re talking about.” In every single one of those pieces of feedback, there’s gold in there. Every one of them is a learning opportunity. I never look at any part of our process like, “This is what I want to achieve because I think that’s right.” I am always looking at it from the eyes of a couple of different people. What does a real estate agent need and want to run their business successfully? What does a consumer want as a part of their home-buying journey? What do they deserve? If I was in their shoes running my business or going through my home purchasing experience or refi experience, what would I expect to grade it like a level ten experience and ultimately try to deliver that? If you put yourselves in your customer’s shoes, whether it’s a partner or end user, you’re always going to do better if you’re focused on delivering that type of experience. That’s what we try to stay true to. If you put yourselves in your customer's shoes, whether it's a partner or end user, you're always going to do better. Share on X I want to ask you some specifics on your process and whatnot, but before we do that, I want to know the backstory. I’ve known you pushing five years. I remember when you guys were first making the rounds very early on. I bet it’s more than that. I don’t know what I’ve ever gotten. I know you as like Shant, the $2 Billion Man. Talk to us about how it all started man. How did you end up in the mortgage business? Take us to the early days. It was completely by accident. I don’t think anybody grows up and wanted to be a loan officer. It’s like a family business or something like that. I graduated from college. I went to Bentley College right outside Boston. It’s a business school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was 2002. The whole dot-com thing was going on and a lot of hardware companies and software get going. I was trying to figure out what I do and ultimately, I fell on. Somehow I got a great idea that I wanted to be an attorney. I quit my job and started applying to law school. During that time, as I was finalizing where I was going to go and everything, I ran into a friend of mine, of all places, at the gym and he was telling me he’d gotten in the mortgage business. Back in 2002 or 2003, things were hot in that world and he was telling me how much he enjoyed it. In my mind, I came up with a solution that sounded like, “I could be a loan officer by day, do 2 or 3 loans a month and then pay for law school at night.” It worked. I ended up researching the business and getting hired by a small mortgage company that’s no longer around, Champion Mortgage. It was a New Jersey-based company up and down the East Coast. I ended up working for them. I deferred the whole law school thing because I fell in love admittedly with the business right away. That was a great place because they taught me all about establishing your value on the phone, how to work leads, organizing your day, and learning to be good on the phone. Fast forward, from 2003 to 2007, the world changed dramatically. I was one of the last employees ever of what was then Champion Mortgage which had been acquired at that point by Nation Star of all places. The mortgage business at that point was in flux. It was a disaster. I didn’t have a job literally overnight. They closed our whole world down. I had to make a decision as to whether I was going to stay in the mortgage business or go find something else to do. All my friends were in software sales but I did enjoy the mortgage business. I had some friends that were still doing it. I convinced the company out of Jersey, and then I had some friends out. It’s a small regional mortgage player called Superior Mortgage that let me open up their first branch in Massachusetts. The cool part of that story is they said, “Consider it, but we have to learn the business first.” Coming from a subprime mortgage company to a retail lender that was offering Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA in the middle of 2007 and 2008 when everybody was trying to survive was different. I literally used to have to drive from Boston to New Jersey every Monday. I’d stay in a hotel there until Fridays. We did that for five months until they were like, “We trust you. We finally feel like you guys have an idea of what you’re doing. We’ll let you open up your branch in Massachusetts.” 4 or 5 months later, we opened up the first branch in Massachusetts of Superior. We had success. We ground it out. It was 2008, 2009, and 2010. We were trying to survive. That time now was a huge gift because I learned how to hustle, grow a brand and a network, and how to show up big time for my real estate agent partners and my clients. It was a similar feeling now. There was a lot of uncertainty. The hustle wasn’t like something that everybody was looking to dive into it. At that time, everybody was coming off of what had happened and there were short sales foreclosures. Foreclosures and short sales, I was in real estate at that time. It was a disaster city. Take us into transition. In 2007 and 2008, you’re starting essentially learning the business ground up again because subprime space was a different animal. Where do you even start? At that time, everybody was trying to figure out, “Is the world going to end financially?” Layman’s collapsed in ‘08 and everything was going into foreclosure. Many people were completely getting out of the business. You had the guts to say, “I’m going to lean into this business,” and I’m guessing you didn’t have a bunch of money thrown at you to go start this thing. I didn’t have any money. I took out a credit card. It had a $10,000 limit on it. Because I came from that subprime world, I was very familiar with At that time, Zillow was getting rolling and We bought some leads. We did that in order to at least have some day-to-day conversations. We learned the business that way. I was learning what Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA were and how to warrant a condo. I didn’t know any of this stuff coming from that previous world. While we were doing that though, I was out every day. I was getting breakfast and lunches with realtors. At dinner, I was out networking. I was at every single Chamber of Commerce, BNI, Rotary Club, everywhere. At that time, I remember I was like, “If I could do good market share in these three towns, I’ll be okay and be happy.” That was my goal. As you start showing up more and more in deals, and when I say showing up, I don’t mean physically being present, and being the person that people can call when they need something quick or an answer, you become the person in your market. That’s the source of knowledge, which I became quickly without even realizing I was becoming that person.
EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top
Journey To The Top: As you start showing up more in deals, you become the person in your market that’s the source of knowledge.
I was like, “I was trying to make it so I was always on,” then you start getting referrals to other people, especially in a time like we’re in where other people are starting to leave the business. I come of the nature that when things get tough, I work harder. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who when times get tough, work less. They get paralyzed by fear. If you go all in terms of effort and then learn the market, every market shifts. There’s never going to be a market that we’re in that’s not different than the previous one or the next one. If you shift with it, you’re always going to do okay. You can’t guarantee you’re always going to do more business as long as you’re gaining market share, staying ahead of your competition, and staying innovative. Sometimes you don’t need to innovate. You’re adapting to the environment. One of the things I want to drill into is a lot of people think they look at you $2 Billion Man and had this magic touch. You must have had a network of 5,000 people you started with. What I’m hearing from you is you flat-out worked everybody else. Yes, I did at that time. When I first opened up the door, my only network was my friends and my family. I don’t have this huge family. I come from this enormous college. I went to a local school, but I did what I did. I was at a conference and a gentleman who started a large real estate firm that’s having a lot of success. He was telling his story and resonated toward it. He was later like, “I came here. I didn’t know anybody or go to college. I didn’t have any roommates or networks. I just worked.” He went door-knocking. You can make what you want and create your own network pretty quickly. It’s even easier now. Back then, you had to go out and do it. This is 2008. Social media didn’t have the reach that it had back then. Social was very immature at that time. There are no such things as journeys, the way to communicate via video, and all that stuff. It was much harder to get your name out there in broad. You’re also working hard so you’re not spending a lot of time learning stuff. You’re just doing it. With some of the knowledge I have now, we could have grown it even more. You can’t go back in time. You can learn for the future. You had the right mindset to be able to go in that environment. There are different reasons the market is hard nowadays but a lot of parallels in terms of the fear and uncertainty that’s out there about the industry. What I’m interested in hearing about is the mindset you had to have at that time not just being willing to work but finding optimism. What was it that was driving you? I don’t spend a lot of time, even now, focusing on what’s going wrong around me. The only world you could see if you’re not on my team is watching what we’re through and social. We’re not spending a lot of time focusing on what’s going wrong. We’re focusing on what we can control. I cannot control the economy, interest rates, inventory, what’s going on with all the banks, or any of that stuff. What I can control are my controllable. That’s my effort, activity, and actions. I try to make sure we have that dialed in and I was doing the same things that I was doing back then. I’m focused on my market. I want to be an efficient, certain person and speed. I feel like that matters in this market. I want to pierce through all that noise. I want to be the news for all things real estate and mortgage. You’re educating the market. You’re controlling the narrative into the audiences that you serve. Is that correct? Education attracts all day long. That’s why you’re getting all these people. That’s ultimately what an influencer is. Somebody who’s got people’s attention because they’re putting content out. Not every single influencer is educating but people that I’m attracted to in the real estate and mortgage space. I’m not focused on people doing funny stuff. I’m focused on people that are putting good content out that I can learn from. I feel like education attracts and information motivates. Information totally motivates because think about all the buyers out there that aren’t acting in this market where it’s maybe a good opportunity. All the sellers are maybe afraid to list right now because they don’t know what’s going on, but if you provide them with information, you can inform them into action. That’s important. The same thing in the mortgage world. The amount of advising that we have to do now is more important than ever. What’s good about this market is that it’s gone from urgency to uncertainty. We’ve seen speed then slow down and what’s going on, and then it goes back to urgency and uncertainty. The more confusing it gets in my opinion, the better it is for the best of the best because then we become way more relevant. We all become more relevant because clients need us more for our information, data, experience, and relationships. You can stand out and offer value. In 2021, what value did I have to bring to the table other than being able to make it happen? The value then was execution. The differentiation wasn’t as dramatic. In what you’re stating I believe fundamentally that the differentiation is substantial now between the people that are world-class at advising and educating. Education attracts. I love that statement. I think it’s powerful. We always talk about educating versus selling. Many people in this business think that they’re in the sales business. You have to reframe that if you want to achieve at a high level and your points are on point with that philosophy. I enjoy it. It becomes major. You got to devote time to learning and self-educating, invest in yourself and make sure you’re constantly getting better, staying relevant, and have the energy to do it. There is a lot that goes into it but to me, it’s a lot more fun doing it this way than doing the old school like, “Here are my loan programs. Here are my rates.” There’s not enough of it you could do that would grow your business at scale. You can’t influence enough people. What it’s about is if you want to influence and attract people to do business with you, you have to have influence in the market. The way that I see you generate incredible influence is the way that you educate the marketplace on what is happening versus what they perceive to be happening, which is usually part of the gap you have to close. I want to bridge the gap a little bit. From ‘07 and ‘08, you’re grinding and getting some success early. I can tell you were buying leads and doing whatever you had to do to hustle. When did it turn to a point where you’re thinking a lot bigger? Did you think that big from the beginning or was there a point? EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top There was a point where it switched. In 2012, the company I was at got acquired by the company I’m at now. Guaranteed Rate acquired Superior Mortgage. I was doing probably $45 million in my last year in Superior Mortgage. I was working so hard. I remember I closed 29 deals in one month. It was one of the last months. I was like, “If I could ever do that again, I was happy.” All of a sudden, I get to this company and there are people doing $10 million, $12 million, $15 million, $20 million and so much more business. People are doing $100 million, $200 million, $300 million, or $400 million. I was blown away. All of a sudden, immediately you had a new perspective on what was possible. Was that the beginning of the turning point? That was it. I remember I went to some event where I was surrounded by the top 50 people in the company. I realized that these are all people that were like me, working smarter and more efficiently. We’re doing things better than I was because I was working 24/7 and was not doing even half the business. They were doing double, triple, or quadruple the business I was doing. That created confidence in me knowing that like I got to know some of these people and realized that they were working smarter than I was. At that time, I started thinking bigger. I was trying to do everything almost by myself. I had very little help. I was definitely doing with the old school. The other part of it is I was also looking for fulfillment and freedom. I don’t care what everybody says. It’s not fun working 24/7 and that’s all you do. I’m not going to say I was absolutely loving that either. Your life didn’t fill full. I’ve been in those moments as well and you certainly are missing out on things. That was important to you to have that fulfillment from what I understand. These guys are doing much more business than I am and they seem to be happier. I was after that. The other thing that had happened at that point was as I’d been doing this more, I was also surrounded by a lot of successful business people, other lines of business, and some real estate teams. Real estate is a little bit further along in team development than the mortgage businesses, financial advisors, and things of that nature. I was starting to understand that I wanted to have a vision, do more business, and have some fulfillment in terms of working with the team because I’m better in a team environment than I’m a solo practitioner.
EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top
Journey To The Top: Real estate is a little bit further along in team development than the mortgage business is.
I truly wanted the freedom of being able to have a family, kids, and wife and enjoy all that too. All those things clicked all at once. I went on a mission. I had to transform myself and identify what am I good at. I was good at being a rainmaker and a visionary. I wanted to draw the business in, close deals, execute a vision, and think big. I remember there are multiple hires that we’ve made over the course of time, whether it was building out my operations team, my sales team internally, marketing, and business development, all people that have helped me scale my growth. There’s a great book out there. It’s called Who Not How. I hired a bunch of who’s who helped me figure out the how. I didn’t know that book at that time. It would’ve saved me a lot of time and energy. I wish you could have sent that to me years ago by the way. It would’ve saved me a lot of pain. I slowly started. One of the challenges I had admittedly is because I grew my business and I was in the business in 2007 and 2008, I also saw how quickly things could get taken away from you and how fast things changed. I was always probably a little bit afraid, too higher, take on expenses, and grow. That helped me back a little bit. At the time, we did it, we grew and we ended up growing faster than anybody throughout that time. There was learning in going through 2008. If you look back at the top five mortgage companies in 2007 or 2008, each one of those years, and I don’t even know who they were, I guarantee you it’s not the same that is the top five in the last couple of years. All those companies that were on the up and showed up for their customers, and staff, did things the right way and went all in during that time are now the top ten mortgage companies that are around.
I want to play that back because it’s relevant. The companies and the people that showed up big time for their customers during that time reaped tremendous benefits as the market turned to a more normal environment. That lesson and going through those times, I didn’t value at the time because I was working tunnel vision. I’m leaning on that stuff now. It gives me a great perspective to know that if I show up for my clients and partners, work hard, do things the right way, and don’t listen to the noise and put blinders on, on the other side of this thing, this is going to be a thing that 10X our business in the future. You know what’s on the other side of it. There’s tremendous growth on the other side like home ownership in America. It’s not going anywhere. There are going to be millions of deals done every year and trillions of dollars of loans. We need to have a pretty small piece of it to be happy and do a great job. That doesn’t mean you won’t shift or adapt to the business. We’re always focused on how can we be more efficient, drive better experiences, and how we can utilize technology. All those things are always going to change. We constantly worked on figuring out a way to grow the business and communicate within the team. There were a lot of ceilings that we hit and experiences that I wish we didn’t go through at that time. They weren’t fun going through, but you learn, get better, get more resilient, and build strong relationships Unfortunately, everybody that started with you in terms of clients, partners, or team members ends up with you in the end. That’s part of the journey to think that everything is going to go easy and everybody is going to stick with you. There’s not a business story out there. For some of the most successful businesses out there that haven’t gone through all that stuff and going through them all, unfortunately, we got a lot more wins than we have losses. It’s easy to see why. The thing that strikes me is you have the ability to always have an incredible perspective on what’s going on. How do you translate that to your team? I’ll give you an example. I’m in a lot of offices across the country and you can tell people are struggling. There are tremendous change, uncertainty, and their energies off. How do you instill that in your people? You have to talk about it. It’s in your actions. They see you, talk to you and know if you’re being true to who you are. My team sees what I’m doing all day every day. Once I get here at 8:00, I’m on until whenever I leave. I’m on even when they need me, I’m available and accessible to them to support them. The other part of it is you have to have consistent communication. We talk a lot as a team on a weekly basis. We have huddles, meetings, and one-on-one chats.
EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top
Journey To The Top: You need to be available and accessible to your team to support them. You need to have consistent communication.
You’re very intentional about this. For the last few years, if you talk to one of my teams, “What Shant is talking about?” “Stick to the basics. Get back to basics. Focus on what you can control. I can’t control all that other stuff. How many calls can you make? How many follow-ups? How fast do you speak to lead? Are you thinking and communicating with your partners? Are you giving them a next-level experience? Are you communicating our value proposition every single time?” We didn’t have to communicate our value proposition for two years, in 2020 and 2021. Push the obstacles out. Focus on what you can control. Share on X It’s just reigned money from the sky. I’m simplifying it and exaggerating, but as long as you picked up your phone, there was such an oversupply of mortgage needs that. As long as you answered your phone and could execute a closing, for the most part, you were going to be busy. If you could do a better job than everybody else while doing all that stuff, you’re going to be extremely busy. Even if you were mediocre before, mediocrity gets punished in these environments. The last part is you got to take care of yourself and stay super positive. It’s easy to talk about being positive, but it’s a lot of hard work. It’s easy to be positive if your energy levels are super high. When you wake up tired, you’re not going to be positive all day. When you wake up coming out of bed, fired up, well rested, and recovered, you’re going to be positive. I spend a lot of time reading good positive content that’s going to help me be a better business person, leader, and version of myself. I read every single day.
EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top
Journey To The Top: Spend time reading positive content that will help you become a better version of yourself every day.
I want to drill into that a little bit because this is such a powerful nugget. What I’m hearing from you is something I believe in as well. Your daily habits are intentional around doing what you need to do to be in the right head space and mindset, physically and mentally. You mentioned one of them, daily habits, rituals, some people call them, but you read positive or consume positive content, which I think is amazing. That’s key for you, getting in the right head space. What happens is you’re reading consistently every single day. When I’m in my car, I’m listening to a podcast. I’m big into listening to what successful people are doing. I’m trying to listen to people that are like motivating or have success stories. What happens if you do that? 1) It changes the internal dialogue in your head. 2) It slows everything down when stuff is going wrong and it allows you how to fix it on the fly. It puts everything almost into slow motion. 3) When you’re having a conversation or when you’re in a meeting, it allows you to have the right perspective or always find the right words to lean on or give the right advice. You’re giving yourself fuel for, “It’s amazing how I’ll read something that morning and then two hours later, I’m applying it.” It comes to you. You don’t think you’re retaining it but it’s there in your subconscious. You handle stuff better. I’m talking true positivity. I’m not talking the fake positivity. In general, people that have a better perspective on life tend to do better. That’s why I say it’s easy to say, but it takes a read daily. I have for years. I’m taking in information all the time. I meditate every single day. Honestly, that was something I picked up a few years ago. It’s the first thing I do every single morning. I have faith in it. People who have a better perspective on life tend to do better at life. Share on X I’ve wanted to try it. People and you are telling me it works, and I trust you. How long do you meditate? 10 to 15 minutes every single day. Are you using an app or doing it on your own? I used the Headspace app. I read this book by Tim Ferriss. He came out with two great books. One was called Tools of Titans. The other one was called the Tribe of Mentors. Each one has 500 to 600 chapters, but they have 2 or 3 pages. It’s some of the most successful people in their fields in the world. I felt like 70% of them were, one of their topics or habits was meditating. I’m like, “Clearly, I’m missing out on something here if all these other people are doing it.” I had all these preconceived notions about what it was all about. It was like this Earthy-crunchy, but it’s honestly been great for me. It’s something I look forward to every single day. It centers me it. It slows down the thoughts in your head and everything. It’s almost like weightlifting for your brain. It is the easiest way I would say it. You have to lift weights to stay strong. I believe that meditation does that for your head and certainly, I have a lot to learn. I don’t have any certificates or anything like that. I’m knocking out the Headspace app. It’s something that I crave and I’m non-negotiable. I always find time for it every single day. You have so much humility. That’s what strikes me as we get into what’s made you successful. The humility that you have is authentic. Is that how you’ve been wound so humble? I try to stay humble because it’s who I am and how I was raised. I don’t feel like because you have success means it should change you in terms of how you act toward other people. Certainly, we all have an ego. I have one. You try to stay true to who you want to be, who you want your kids to know you as, your friends, and all that stuff. Part of it is like the whole blinders thing. If we’re being real, I don’t get too hung up. I don’t worry about too much of what I’ve already accomplished. It’s something I could work on a little bit in terms of enjoying it a little bit more. I’m always focused on where I’m going. What’s next? What’s your vision as you look out for the next 3 to 5 years? You’ve done more than any originator ever and you’re working arguably probably as hard. You’re out in the market every single day. You’re doing events, educating your customer base and your realtor partners. You’re taking action every single day. You’re not slowing down. What’s the next part of the vision? I got asked this question as all the rankings started coming out. We did some interviews and all that kind of stuff. Somebody asked me like, “Where are you going to be in five years?” I was like, “No BS. This is one of those years. 2022 was an extremely difficult year. 2023 is going to be an extremely difficult year for the housing market. I’m focused on the next 12 to 18 months. I made a deal with myself that I don’t care where I’m going to be in 5 or 10 years. Obviously, I care, but I know I’ll be where I need to be and want to be if I nail the next 12 to 18 months.” I feel like 2023 is going to be transformational for the people that show up and nail it. There’s going to be a bunch of people that don’t show up. There’s going to be transformational in the sense that they’re either becoming irrelevant or they’re out of the business. I want to dial in and be laser-focused so I could stop thinking about professionally where I want to be in 3 to 5 years because I know I’ll get where I need to be if I nailed the next 12 to 18 months. There are many people worrying about what they can’t control outside of this when the reality is executing every single day right now and showing up puts you in a position to win. It’s super clear and we both see this. The people that don’t have that right mindset are struggling. It’s clear to see why you guys are still doing exceptionally well even in this environment from your thought process. Thank you so much for sharing many awesome nuggets. I think there are a lot of people out there right now that are trying to think to themselves, “What do I need to do?” Your perspective is incredible. Parting thoughts and advice to somebody that’s struggling to navigate this environment, what would be your couple of pieces of advice?
You got to look back. Most of the people that have been in this business have already done it before. In this sense, you’ve already created something from nothing. You already have the answers to the test in terms of what you had built and obviously the challenges that we’re going through right now. Go back to how you did it and replicate it all over again with the knowledge, experience, and relationships that you have now. Back then, we all had zero and built these incredible businesses. You didn’t have the technology, automation, data, or any of it. You didn’t have any of that and all the self-knowledge of everything. You didn’t have any relationships. Nobody woke up with this natural network. We have so much, but you have to be willing to get down and dirty again. Do some of the stuff that as you get older in your career and further along in your business that maybe some people are unwilling to do. I’m willing to do all the stuff that I did from day one. Be willing to do whatever it takes. Also, be intentional. The business doesn’t just happen. If I worked hard, would I do more business than not working hard? Sure. If you work hard and have a plan of attack and understand what you’re trying to accomplish, how much business you want to do, what kind of leads you want to drive in, who you want to partner with, what it’s going to take to successfully do that, and then work on your business. Too many people act like salespeople whereas if you want to build a big business, you need to think and act like a business owner. When I hear the word loan officer, I think salesperson. Business doesn’t just happen. Be willing to do whatever it takes. Be intentional. Share on X You think transactional. What differentiates you much is you never fall into that category. I love working on the business, but you have to have a plan, match it up with hard work, and have a great perspective. This is the parting message. You’ve already successfully done it so you have to replicate it, but you can replicate it with all the stuff that you have now that you’ve learned, whether it’s technology, relationships, experience, knowledge, and money, all that kind of stuff. Are you willing to go all in again? If the answer is yes, then do it. If the answer is no, then I don’t see a happy future. This is going to be a difficult 12 to 18 months, but it’s going to create a massive opportunity. I can tell you there’s some person that’s entering the first year in their business right now that’s going to be a superstar in five years. There’s a bunch of people that are entering their first year that don’t have any baggage. They’re forward-thinking and blinders on. They’re going to be some of the best loan officers in the country. I’m looking at this like, “This is a way for me to 10X my business if we nail it, and I plan on nailing it.” There’s no other option, in my opinion. It’s very intentional. It’s intense. I’m all in. I want to win. It’s not that hard. It’s a simple message. You learned it from the $2 Billion Man, “Are you willing to be all in?” That’s the quote of the day. Thank you. I deeply appreciate your time. I enjoyed this. This is a lot of fun for me.

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About Shant Banosian

EXIN 7 | Journey To The Top Shant Banosian is Guaranteed Rate’s #1 Loan Officer 8 years running, and the #1 Loan Officer nationwide 5 years running, with over 39,000 closed units and $9 billion in funded loans over his 20 year career. He has consistently been recognized for his high level of production, superior customer service and expert industry knowledge. He has been the #1 Loan Officer in the country consistently since 2018, has been featured on Mortgage Professional America’s Mortgage Global 100 list for 2020 and 2021, and is licensed in all 50 states. An impressive 95% of his clients would use him again and he continues to grow his business thanks to word-of-mouth referrals. Shant’s goal is to simplify the mortgage process for his customers and make the home loan process easy to navigate. He and his team thoroughly educate their borrowers throughout the mortgage transaction, so they fully understand their options and feel comfortable with their chosen loan program. He also puts his clients ahead of the competition through his ability to close loans in record time. Shant graduated from Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science degree. He grew up in Watertown, MA, and currently resides in Belmont with his wife and three daughters. Community involvement is a very important part of Shant’s personal and professional life, and he is extremely proud of his Massachusetts upbringing. He is also heavily involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Greater Boston Food Bank and the Guaranteed Rate Foundation.