Michelle Castle

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I am no stranger to setbacks and adversity. But just when I thought I had overcome the hardest challenge that had existed in the history of mortgages, another one popped up. One of the many challenges I faced was being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease back in 2002.

Upended by the diagnosis, my mortgage business suffered as I was unable to work as hard I used to. For two years, I suffered from financial hardship. However, as a tenacious mortgage professional determined to continue in the career that I love. So, I decided to scale back my business and focus on my existing clients instead of trying to grow.

That devastating experience taught me that a referral-based business is the key to long-term success – not constantly chasing leads,.

Things eventually turned around after those tough times. During the mortgage meltdown, I was one of the lucky ones who did not experience the tangle of problems linked to the housing market crash.

I firmly believe, when times get tough, people go to professionals they trust and have done business with before. My loyal customers continued to support my business by referring their friends to me.

The highlight of my career came when I learned to create processes and systems for my business. In 2011, I put those processes and systems to work when I opened a Guild Mortgage branch in Sherman, Texas, with her business partner. While growing the branch, I found my passion for hiring, training, and empowering others to succeed in their own careers in the mortgage and real estate industry. Guild then asked me to coach other branch managers on how to implement those business processes and systems. Since then I spearhead the company’s training and coaching efforts in the North Texas region. I am also a head coach for Guild Mortgage Company's coaching program. I also facilitate Castle on the Coast, a workshop where I teach how to BE IT ALL which stands for be empowered to authentically live and love life.

From the very beginning of my career, a thorough understanding of the process and programs was the foundation of my business,. I feel that my ‘Plus 1’ is educating customers and exploring all their options to help them build financial wealth, even if they think a 20% down conventional loan will work for them. I take an approach of looking at the big picture so we can explore what other ways there may be to save money or pay off debt faster by putting less cash down upfront while freeing up household cash flow. Presenting a total cost analysis shows them all their options, and they can choose which loan program is best for their needs. Educating customers has been my forte because I believe this allows me to stand out as someone who genuinely cares about their well-being.

My advice to both newbie and veteran originators is to “find your niche." Know who your ideal client is and where you will find them. Then tailor the marketing message for that group of people you are looking to attract. Research the market for that niche and reverse engineer to find the number of people you need to talk to each week to connect with enough customers to hit your goals. Create a calendar with activities tailored toward this specific group on a weekly basis which will provide opportunities for face-to-face contact.

I look forward to continuing my mission in life which is to help others through personal and professional growth.

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