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Building Personal Relationships With Your Team And Clients With Bill Gaylord
This one’s a little extra special because I’ve got one of my good friends, one of my teammates, who is absolutely crushing it over with Team loanDepot. You’re going to learn not only Bill’s background into sports and how that’s parlayed into being a successful mortgage leader and a mortgage banker, and what he’s doing. You’re also going to find a little bit of your own story interwoven in here, whether you’re in sales, mortgage, real estate, or you’re an entrepreneur trying to figure out how to navigate social media. We’re going to hit on all those topics and more. Without further ado, we got to welcome my good friend, Bill Gaylord. Welcome to the show.
Brian, it’s so good to see you. As always, I can’t wait to get in person with you and have some more fun.
That is something I’m actually going to be sharing with you, but I’ll put it out there. There are a couple of events that have already flown on my radar that I’m interested in around the August timeframe. We were supposed to have been out there with you, and then I, unfortunately, decided to lift some heavy weights and tore my bicep, the baby arm. It’s life. A lot of people may not know this about you, but you played baseball at a pretty high level, and they may not understand injuries come with playing sports. Let’s give them a little background into your sports side because that will give us some framework for some of the discussion.
Sports for me was like growing up. That’s pretty much all I did. I played everything and anything that I could do out in, we called it, the court and it was basically backyard baseball, where it was an acre of grass and all our friends would go out there. We’d play tennis ball, baseball, football, and this game called Loco. I grew up in Boulder, Colorado and Loco was where you had a football. We’d go out there with all the snow that’s going around. You throw the ball over your head it was one against everybody. You just get creamed and everybody would fall into the snow.
Sports for me has been the whole key for me in whatever success I’ve had. For everybody, it’s all relative to what people have, but it’s been such a fun journey. Most of the sports for me has been team, Brian. For me, the team has been the most important thing. I don’t want to be that individual. I want to be on the team and part of something fun and something that everybody can celebrate because it’s so much fun to celebrate with people. Sports for me has been great and then baseball was my main sport. It wasn’t my favorite sport. I like football the most. My Denver Broncos need to come back a little bit. Sports for me has been fun and I did a lot of baseball.
As you look back, I get asked this question some and I love to hear from others, what’s 1 or 2 lessons that you took from sports that maybe you see showing up now that helps you compete in this new world that you live in mortgage and life?
For me, honestly, Brian, the real key is I’ve always felt like an underdog. Even though I was good at sports and athletics, I never spoke out, raised my hand in school, asked a question, or did anything. I use sports and being on the team, but I took the underdog mentality. I don’t know, but one of my favorite cartoons growing up is the Underdog show. Little puppy that has these big, long ears and it has a cape that is like ten times too long. He goes flying around and creates chaos throughout the whole show, but at the end of the day, he wins because he took action. The underdog is taking action every single day. Whether you’re going to bump into walls, trip, fall, or mess up, it’s action and trying to make it better. For me, it was always action, trying to improve myself in sports and then in life. It has carried over to me in life, too.
I love listening to you because as you share that, I know your story and I’ve watched you grow, and your team and seeing you on stages and all this stuff. You can see that teamwork because you’re very team-oriented. I noticed that, but then you do have this competitive drive that I can see why. I’m similar to you or the underdog mentality. Those who know my story know that I was not six feet and taller like most goalkeepers. Honestly, it’s like a chip on my shoulder. I had to work harder, be smarter, train harder, eat well, and do all these things to compensate. I didn’t have the physical attributes of what some people had. It was natural.
I think that’s paid off for you because I watched this in business now and in our industry, for example too, it’s one where you can get so focused on that you get lost in the business. You’re just all business. What I noticed about you is you’ve interwoven some fun in there. I’m wondering if that came from sports because you look at people that break playing sports because they’re so serious all the time and they end up cracking and breaking. With your team, you’ve integrated some fun. It seems like you are having a good time, which we know there’s work and there’s business and things that happen, but how are you finding ways to interweave and make sure your culture has that spirit of almost inclusiveness and fun? I get that vibe from you.
That’s so important. I call it the work-life and the family life. You’re spending as much time with the people that you work with as many times as the people that you’re living with. We think it’s so important to have that culture. We try and do things and treat them like family. We want to know, not only who they are, who their husband or spouse, the kids, what they’re doing, and we want to understand the whole family dynamic and make it one big family. I’ve got something cooking up. I don’t know if anybody’s going to be watching this, but we’ve been cubbied up and in the home and all that and not in the office. As you know, the social media and the Reels and all that kind of stuff, never in my wildest dreams that I’d be doing dances and all that crazy stuff that’s not part of me.
Our whole thing is team and it’s not about Sam or me. It’s the whole unit and trying to make everyone succeed, but I’ve got a little fun thing that’s going to be coming up that will tie in with social media. We’re going to have a dance social party where we’re going to come in. This is in the works. We’re going to get a dance teacher and we’ll have an after-hour dance party. We’ll create it and put it out there on social media because it’s fun. People want to do business, Brian, with people who are authentic and fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.
I’d love to unpack a couple of those things. For people out there that are leaders where they’ve got a small team of like 2 or 3 or they’ve got 200, 300, whatever it is, and in-between, what would be some advice? As you have scaled your team, I love how you’ve shared some of what you’re doing, keeping it fun. What I also see though, is that culture you seem to bring on people. They acclimate and there’s this teamwork vibe that, like you said, it’s not about you and Sam all the time, which is great. Usually, the leaders are the best leaders that you don’t always see in the front and doing that. Advice for culture, for people that are building teams, anything you’d share like lessons learned?
We’ve learned some lessons for sure over time and we’re still learning them. As you said, always learning and growing, and for me to watch you too, Brian, what you’ve done in your market, exploding, that’s the leadership that’s building that culture, but we are a huge believer in the people. The people 100% make the difference. We’re very selective on who we bring into our world because if we don’t like them, we would rather not work with them. We are really selective on who we do. We go through multiple interviews.
One of the things that we incorporated, Sam and I, thinking that we’re smart sometimes, we hired somebody and we thought, “This person’s going to be absolutely unbelievable. Knock it out of the park.” They come into our team and they’re horrible. Everybody did not like them. One thing that I would recommend that if you are building a team and you have a team that’s growing, is get them involved in the hiring process. Have them do interviews with them as well, so that they have buy-in on that person. If there’s any like, “I don’t think this is going to work, not a cultural fit,” then we don’t do it. We’re super selective and get people involved in the hiring process, so they have buy-in.
Somebody asked me one time. That would be my same number one piece of advice because when you start to bring other people along, they may see things you don’t see, they will give you feedback and say, “I had a conversation with this potential team member. I don’t think they’re going to fit because of this,” or the opposite, they’re like, “That’s a great one. You need to get them. Get them. Go hire them.” They’re already part of the team when they walk in the door. Whereas back in the day, I know I tried it. I would try to hire people on my own. I thought I was smart enough. We would use DISC profiles and all this stuff. We thought we were so intelligent, but you’ll make bad hires.
The other thing that’s interesting is that here you are, Brian, you’re super successful. You’ve done amazing things with what you have. You have your paradigm, all that stuff. What some people tend to do is hire themselves. They go out and they go, “Let’s get twenty Brian Coveys.” It’s like having 10 or 11 Tom Bradys and Tom Brady can’t block. He’d get crushed. It’s trying to make sure that you’re hiring someone that meets the whole team level, someone that’s good at underwriting, someone that’s good at processing, and someone that’s good at communicating. There’s a lot of different roles on a team. You don’t want to hire yourself. Early on in my career, I was like, “I’ll get all of me and this will be great.” It didn’t work.
That’s great advice, too. You’ve scaled. Something I’ve seen you lean into and I’d love to start back almost like the genesis of why did you start to get into social media? We can unpack some of the other things that you’re doing, but most of us were not in it. If you look at five years ago, you won’t see all these videos, especially not in the mortgage space. Why did you go all-in on this?
We would do what was called a BBM, Building Business Monthly. We’re going to get back to those and we love it. We would bring in a group of realtors and we would talk through topics for each month. When the Day 1 Certainty came out, which is essentially the time where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were coming in and making things very automated to where it makes it easier for the consumer, it’s probably been many years ago, maybe even a little bit longer than that. I looked at that and I go, “This mortgage thing is going to change. This is going to really change.”
Most of our business was very much referral-based, based on realtors and we still do a lot of that and it’s been very good. We believe that you have to go direct to the consumer. We have, over time, tried to bring ourselves into the new world of social media. I hadn’t had a Facebook anything. I did nothing, but I knew that we had to do that. That’s what we did and we’ve hired my friend, Robert Candell, the guy behind the scenes. Robert is from Hollywood. He’s done some very amazing things and worked with Disney, and all that. We felt that we had to elevate our game to make it in the world. One of the expressions we use, Brian, is video is the new flyer. The video portrays to the consumer, to others in the industry, who we are and that’s the way we get our message out. It’s through video.
Isn’t that powerful? I remember a friend of mine in marketing. If you go prior to COVID and all the things, you went Friday night to the movie theater. They’re packed. I remember I couldn’t get tickets and all of that. That’s how people have been brought up and the psychology of video, to your point. If you get to know somebody, there’s a higher likelihood they’re going to like you, which is a higher likelihood they can trust you. For all of us, I’m with you. I came up and I would do presentations, and whether it was 30 or 300 realtors. Both of those are great. Those are good audiences, but social gave us a chance to get to 30,000 or 300,000 people. It was organic. I’ve watched your content grow. I’d love for you to share any lessons you’ve learned, especially in the last couple of years, of things that you, the earlier Bill, wish you knew and help those people that are trying to get social out there. Maybe they are not sure what to do next. I tune into what you do, of course. Some lessons to help people out there trying to get in the game.
We’re still learning. I should be asking you that question, Brian. The thing is that I think that it’s more, “You have to try it.” I go back to the underdog mentality. You have to take action, try it, fail, get back up, and try it again. We’re continuing to learn every single day. We’re looking at Facebook advertising. We’re looking at the different platforms and the Reels and the TikToks, and how to bring that into what we do.
We’re doing it a little bit differently, Brian, than many because a lot of people are doing it individually and doing it as an individual, which is a great way from a branding standpoint. My goal, because we are team-oriented, is trying to incorporate and build a team profile with all the different personalities and all that. It’s an effort and every day we learn something new. We shouldn’t have done that one. I was on the rooftop with my buddy Flamingo over here and doing like some kind of song that Robert said, “Do this.” I said, “Okay.” We did that. I don’t know, but we’re getting some good exposure on Reels, which is the thing that’s happening right now.
What I love you said is for anybody out there is taking that underdog mentality that in many of us that we’re like, “We’re going to try stuff.” Until you can move from idea and some type of concept to action, it’s nothing. The people that act, I’m with you, I’ve tried out a ton of stuff. We’ve switched things. Just launching the show in and of itself was a testing of the market. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but you never know. It’s almost like getting into a game. You don’t know until you get in the game. Watching from the sideline, the game looks one speed. The picture looks like they’re pitching one way. In soccer, you would see it.
You and I both know you get in the game and it’s a whole new vantage point. You start to learn and surround yourself with people. What I’d love to pick your brain is who are some of those influencers on you right now, whether in the industry or outside the industry, that you’re watching that maybe people should also be around because I believe that’s something. That power and proximity and who you’re around, it’s going to help foster and accelerate your growth.
On the mortgage side, certainly, I follow you and what you’re doing and the consistency and the posting that you do, the responding and replying to all the various comments that come in. It’s incredible how you can do that and do it all. Alec Hanson, as you know, is a rock star in the industry. The career path that he’s on is going to be incredible as you. On the originator side, the guy that we love is Men Win. You win with men. What’s a mortgage is what it is. Talk about trying new and different things, putting things out there, and not taking yourself too seriously, which is a big thing. That guy is incredible and when I see him, I literally smile and I laugh.
What he’s doing is connecting with the consumer. He’s been doing this now for years and he is truly about education. It is not a sales pitch. It’s here and information. Eventually, the consumer watches the content. They know, like, and trust him and then they reach out to him. They reach out to him directly. It could be that it’s a year or two years before they actually reach out, but they’ve been consuming his content and the content is good. It’s informational and it’s entertaining.
What I love about when you share all those, the one common thread that I found in anybody that’s successful, it is going into that social game. The word consistency comes up over and over. It is a top three. For anybody reading, you’re trying to figure out and you’re overthinking the actual quality of your content. Yes, the quality needs to be there, but I’ve found less is more. The less I think about it and I share a quote or something that’s come up from a conversation like this, and I share an experience that I’ve had, that’s real life than trying to come over here and create this magical moment that I’m going to have, this amazing thought leader moment that I’m going to share. Most people don’t relate to that.
That consistency you have done, I’d love to get your insight on this. I think I notice it in my behavior. The people I see that show up consistently, it’s not even the quality of their content, because at some point, I bought into it and I’m like, “I’m a fan. I’m in. I’m supporting them.” I’m not rating their content anymore. I’m following them because they’re consistent. I respect their hustle and their grind. The consistency now is a separator. I’d love to talk about anything that you would advise because that’s hard for some people. How often do I post? How do I stay consistent? What do I post? All this stuff. Don’t you think it’s you’re overthinking this stuff?
The key is, like you said, it’s doing it every single day. You said it really well and that is you appreciate their grind. You appreciate how they do their business. That generally will translate to how they do their work as a mortgage person. If they’re constantly in this grind and they’re doing it over and over on the social media side, that’s going to more than likely carry over to how they do business on the mortgage side. It is showing up. Obviously, we’ve got a cool studio now. You don’t need that. You just need your phone. That’s about all you need to try and do it. All the apps and all the social media platforms, they have editors inside those. There’s a lot of stuff that you can do and make and all that.
Our big thing is we have a group every week and we meet on Tuesdays. We go through and determine what we’re going to do from a content standpoint. What are we going to talk about? You break down topics. There’s no shortage of topics in our industry. You come up with the topics and then you can create probably 5 to 7 mini bites, if you will. Rapid-fire is what we call them and then you have a lot more content. If you take a topic and then break it down into various micro topics within that topic, then you come up with the content. You go out there, you get it done, and you shoot it.
I love that too because I’ve noticed that with you. I took one of those pages out of Gary Vee’s book. You have this content, and then you can repurpose the content. You can reshare it in different formats. Once you get into a rhythm, it’s like anything. Once you start it, it feels a little clunky. It’s not all put together, but we all started on our iPhones. I remember doing the videos from the car. I’m going to the office. I need to shoot something. I got something in my brain. I had this. Start where you are. What I’ve seen with you, I’d love to pick your brain on this, you’ve branched out to a lot of platforms. Are there any you’re enjoying, or you’re seeing the most success with now on all the social platforms that you’d recommend? This is what we’re getting those values from now.
I would say there are different demographics with home buyers and all that stuff. We do Facebook and Instagram. We’re now focusing on a lot of the Reels again, which is very good. We’re now also going to focus more effort on TikTok as well. Back to the Gary Vee thing, the consumers of TikTok will eventually be home buyers. Getting in front of them, that’s going to happen at some point in time. Obviously, that’s a changing platform as well with demographics. There are a lot of different people on there. I believe, honestly, very heavily in LinkedIn as well from a business standpoint, more from a move-up buyer standpoint. Even though it’s more of a business-to-business and maybe a recruiting platform, the fact of the matter is there are a lot of high-quality people and individuals on LinkedIn that are going to buy a home. Putting that content out there, in my opinion, is a very good thing too.
I love that you share that because the best platform is probably the one that you work the best. You go in, you have an intention, and you have a strategy like you talked about. You map out your strategy for the week. I love that because I’ve done it both ways and a lot of other ways, too. Not doing it at all and just winging it, and then to actually preparing it. We found this balance that works for us where we do plan out and we were testing out some new things right now with some quote cards and some quotes that I’ve said and things that people are like, “You say that a lot.” I’m like, “Cool. If it’s good, we’ll put it on a quote card.” I love how you shared that as you go through. How about looking forward?
People reading are probably our friends in the mortgage space. We hear this across the whole country, so we’ll dive into some mortgage nerd stuff. Everyone’s like, “Inventory, rates,” all this stuff. What I’ve noticed about you is you’ve stayed true even though there’s this noise and this real issue in a lot of markets of inventory shortages. You keep plowing away and keep moving forward. I love how you’ve continued to educate through this. It seems to me you’ve been very focused on this long-term game.
I don’t know what advice that you would give now, but for our mortgage people reading, how to navigate through. Bill, I’ve had some people that reached out to me that they’re less than five years in the business, they’ve never seen a market correction and a shift like this and wondering, “What happened? 2020 was already weird enough, but the volume was really high. Now, it’s strange.” Any advice or anything you are doing right now? You mentioned direct to consumer and some of that, but I thought it’d be cool to bring out what you are seeing and doing.
One of the main things too, Brian, is that you work your database as best you possibly can but we incorporate video in every loan transaction that we do. What we’re trying to do is build the relationship, the personal relationship, the connection between us and the consumer, realtors, listing agents, and title companies. In this market, as you know, you’ve got multiple offers and things going in and all that. We have more purchase business than we ever had. For us, it’s about trying to get that purchase contract accepted. That’s where you have to figure out how to stand out. We’ve heard about removing contingencies, appraisal contingencies, and reducing this and reducing that. Reputation in the marketplace can make a difference as well.
Some of the things that we do, Brian, that have made a difference is Covideo or BombBomb. We use Covideo and it’s the simple, “Listing agent, we just submitted an offer for the Smiths. The borrowers are super qualified, high FICO, ready to go. We’ve got it fully underwritten and we’d love to get your client into your seller’s home.” It’s those little teeny touches where that is maybe what tips it over. During the process, we have videos that go out every Friday to the listing agent, the buyer’s agent, the borrower, and title on where we are on track. Communication and staying on top, then it circulates and it comes back to us. They have a good experience.
As you’re talking there, literally the words that are coming to my mind is experience. It’s everything from back in your sports days to how you’re building your team to how you’re educating consumers. What I would share is if you’re not creating an experience and you’ll know you’re creating experience because people will actually tell you, “That was a great experience.” They will not say that unless it was probably and to assess your process. I love how you went through that. “Upfront, we’ve got video. Through the process, we’re going to give them video updates.” Think about it as a consumer. Whether you’re buying a home or you’re refinancing your current home year or whatever it is like, you want someone to guide you and give you a great experience. That’s what’s going to separate people going forward.
To your point, it’s amazing to me when we forget about listing agent, settlement, all these people that are involved are people that we have an opportunity to wow every time that we’re working with someone. I love how you do that. You create an experience. Last question, because I want to bring this in. For those that are looking to grow and scale their business, I do see this market’s shifting and going away, you have done it. You’ve built your team, but you’re building your brand. What are the things you’re looking at as you continue to scale because you’ve got that growth mindset? What are the things that you’re seeing as opportunities, whether it’s for you or others, to grow and scale in this changing market going forward?
To me, it goes back to people. If we are discovering people and we’re really not actively out looking. They generally come to us and they find out what happened. We have referrals from within on our team that says this person would be great on our team and all that stuff. Any business can grow despite market changes, despite whatever’s happening in the marketplace, if you treat the customer in the right way. You have the right people that truly care about that individual, that they know that they’re doing their part to get that person in the home. That home is so special to them. Home is everything. It’s the loanDepot thing, but that is so true. If you have people that care, it circles back to you. Caring about the client and what you do. It’s not about you. It’s about them. It’s about the buyer and them getting into their home.
People, you’re going to have to re-read this. Make sure you read back because there is literally wisdom dropped. We talked about earlier, then the real next move is go take action and implement it. Before we do that, we’re going to have fun. We’re going to do a little fast five with some questions that people want to know about Bill. Favorite sports team?
Favorite food and could be a cheat meal or could just be favorite food?
It’s a tie. Arizona.
Favorite food for Bill. Where would you and your bride go? What would be the food?
My favorite food is a fillet from T-Bones in Las Vegas. It’s awesome.
We’re adding that into the list. Favorite vacation spot that you would go to?
Cabo, Los Cabos. That’s where we got married. Just an incredible spot and we love it there.
Last two, favorite movie?
Elf because I feel like I’m Elf. I cry in every movie and I connect with that guy. I don’t know why but maybe I’m Elf. I don’t know.
Some days we could be, many days I’m sure like you this way. You move from different parts of the day and talking to different people. You’re a lot of things to a lot of people as we go through. The last one, I know all of our readers love this, but either a book you’re reading right now or a book you would recommend as one of your go-tos?
Can I give a little bit of a longer explanation?
I never raised my hand in school, could not speak to people, had a little bit of a stutter and still do, and I never thought that I could speak to anybody. I then read this book, which is the most classic book out there. I’ve read tons of books, Brian. It’s How to Win Friends & Influence People. The reason why is that it allowed me to learn how to be a conversationalist with asking questions so that I didn’t personally have to talk. I’m in a different mode right now, but I would rather be the one asking questions. For me, that was great. I got to learn about people and it made it so much easier for me to actually have a conversation with somebody.
That one’s powerful and it reminds me of one of my favorite guests and became a mentor and a friend of mine, David Meltzer. He shared this early on in our conversation. He said, for people out there, one piece of advice he would give is that you want to be more interested in trying to be interesting. That was it. Bill, my friend, and Robert, you are awesome. I want to tell you I love being on the same team with you. I love getting to cheer you on and I appreciate your support too because when you’re out there and you’re hustling and doing all this stuff, it’s nice to know you got people with you.
That would be my real call to action. Take something you learned now. Find people that you can be around that will inspire you, encourage you, and challenge you to be your best. As you’re reading, it was all created around learning and growing and in that pursuit of being our best versions of ourselves. Bill is a guy you need to make sure you follow. Bill, where can they find you.? Where on social should they connect up with you to find out more?
It’s @Oh.Gaylord and my wife coined it. “Oh, Gaylord, what are you doing now?” I’m always taking some action and she’s going, “What is it now? Oh, Gaylord.” That’s what it is.
Make sure you follow Bill. I’ll put a little selfish plug as we’re starting to roll with the book some more for those that have it. I loved it. It’s been cool. The reception has been great. That’s another thing for those of you that are out there is stepping outside your comfort zone. What comes out of that is not only do you personally grow, but you get to meet cool people and then you might actually have a book that people read and buy. That happens. That’s real life. That’s why we do this.
This has been another great episode. I’ve had so much fun. Make sure you follow along, leave us comments, make sure you go on, and give us a rating. Leave some feedback in there that helps us to know we’re bringing value and where you’re finding the most interest so we can bring on more guests. Make sure you’re pursuing your best potential every day. We all have an opportunity. It could be one connection, one person, one action away from breaking through in your life, so why not go do it? Get out there and let’s have some fun. See you on the next one.
Thanks, Brian. Gaylord out.
- Bill Gaylord
- How to Win Friends & Influence People
- David Meltzer – Past episode
- @Oh.Gaylord – Instagram
About Bill Gaylord
Bill Gaylord is one of the enthusiastic leaders of the Gaylord-Hansen Mortgage Team at loanDepot. His primary role is educating Gaylord-Hansen business partners (like REALTOR®, Builders, Financial Advisors, and CPAs) on the tremendous benefits they and their clients will gain by working with the Gaylord-Hansen Team.
He absolutely loves his job and it shows in the expansive results the Gaylord-Hansen team has achieved. He co-founded the Gaylord-Hansen Community Foundation which partners with other 501(c)3 nonprofits to benefit the surrounding community. Additionally, dear to his heart is the Gaylord-Hansen Shoe Foundation, which puts thousands of new Converse shoes on San Diego school kids every year.
He lives with his wife, kids, and dog in their home in Las Vegas, NV.