For Newbies Only: You Can Do It!

Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) NMLS 223495

You CAN do it!  I did, and I was just as much a Newbie as you are now when I found the Active Rain Real Estate Network a couple of years ago.  My first post found its way onto this site in July of 2007. 

Since that time, I've blogged consistently, week in and week out, except for one month while my Darlin' was laid up.  It's the consistency, more than anything else, that's taken me to the top of Arizona's 5,880 + bloggers in the Rain. 

You CAN do it!  What you can't do is give up.  Someone I signed up told me they were quitting this week, after less than three months in the Rain.  That made me think about my own experience with Active Rain.

  • It took four months of blogging before I got my first referral that turned into a closed transaction. 
  • It took another three months before a second referral put money in my pocket. 

By the end of my first year blogging on Active Rain, I noticed a change in my business. 
People who would have never known me found me
because I blog consistently on Active Rain. 

Here's what I do:  (1) I take a photo, and save it to my computer.  When I run out of ideas on subject matter, my photo folder never lets me down.  It gives me an idea.  (2) I turn the idea into a story, and post it on Active Rain.  (3)  I answer my phone when it rings. (EDIT: Here's a perfect example.)

Here are a few stories about how that's working out:

  • March, 2008.  My phone rang, and someone I had never met, whose REALTOR wanted him to get pre-approved with HER lender, was on the line.  He was laughing, and he begged me not to hang up, because (he said) this wasn't a prank phone call.  "I'm on the internet looking for a lender in Tucson, and everywhere I look, I'm finding you, and these stories you write."  He hired me as his lender, and the home he bought had a contract price of $940,000.
  • September, 2008.  My phone rang, and the woman on the other end had sold her home out of state and had taken a job in Tucson.  She wanted to buy a home, and went to the internet to see who she wanted to use for the mortgage.  "I found your blog, and you seem like someone I can trust."  We pre-approved her, and referred her to a REALTOR who sends me business. 
  • October, 2008.  My phone rang.  The person on the other end found me on the internet...
  • January, 2009.  My first "out-of-town" REALTOR referral came about when the REALTOR called me and asked "Can you do loans outside of Tucson?"  My response: "I can do loans out of the country!" 

Half of my business now comes from first, second and third generation referrals that I can tie back to the Active Rain Real Estate Network members, and people who accidentally find my blog

The key word, dear Newbie, is "consistently."

You can DO it!  Blog consistently, and a wide audience will come to know you and trust you.  Write what's on your heart. You don't have to write tutorials or really bright stuff.  (I'm not all that bright.)  I am, however, very competent at my job as a lender, and I'm trustworthy.  You won't find the words "competent" and "trustworthy" in my posts, because saying so don't make it so.  Trust takes time, and it comes from the reader, not from the blogger.

This post is getting wordy, so I'll quit. 

One last takeaway?  You CAN do it!  Need help or encouragement?  Email me.  I'll find time for you.


I'm Mike in Tucson, and I blog here on the Active Rain Real Estate Network just about every day.

I'm an internet based mortgage lender who happens to reside in Tucson, Arizona.  Read my blog, and get to know me.  The internet allows me to perform at the highest level of trust and productivity for clients anywhere in the world.  At the moment, we're completing purchase loans in less than 30 days for US Citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Click the Active Rain link below to see my guarantee of service.

Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
a correspondent banker
Call me
if I can help you or someone you know
with a purchase or refi mortgage.
(520) 349-9090


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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


That's the long and short of it.  I don't write much about money, interest rates or lending.  People read my posts, get to know if they'd get along with me, and when they're ready, the phone rings. 


It's good to see you; thanks for stopping by to see an old friend.


Blessings to you, too!


Thanks, my friend!


And you're doing a good job of it!


Thanks!  Jump in and become a Rainmaker.

Mike in Tucson

Oct 24, 2009 04:57 PM #14
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

You've been a very big contributor to ActiveRain and I congratulate you on your dedicaton ,consistency and all around creativity to get to this point of 400k! 

Oct 24, 2009 05:09 PM #15
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity


It's great that you reached that pinnacle and that you are spreading your knowledge. You are an example to all of us.


Oct 24, 2009 06:02 PM #16
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


You're welcome.  It does take time.  I rarely blog during business hours.  Instead, I set aside time around the edges of my family time, and if I wake up during the night, I don't watch TV.  I blog, read, and comment.  On the other hand, I don't spend a nickel on advertising.  I'll see you on your blog.


It's worthwhile, and the owners keep tweaking and improving the platform for the members.  Thanks for commenting.


You were instrumental in keeping me on track when I was new to the Rain, and I appreciate you.

Mike in Tucson


Oct 25, 2009 12:11 AM #18
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Mike: You are an inspiration - thanks for sharing your story with us!


Oct 25, 2009 01:41 AM #19
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Mike,

Congratulations on the 400K points!! I really enjoyed reading your story..hats off to you!!

Oct 25, 2009 01:49 AM #20
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

That was an inspiration.  I know that consistency counts in everything.  My dedication to the AR blog has been flagging somewhat, but success goes to the tortoise and not the hare.  Thanks for the great post!

Oct 25, 2009 04:04 AM #21
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

It has taken a while to get to a point that we can rely on referrals from our blog. Lot of work but well worth it.

Oct 25, 2009 09:51 AM #22
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


You have consistently written good stuff!

You are always upbeat and have a good style of writing that draws the reader in and is easy to follow.

Congratulations on the new milestone.

Oct 25, 2009 12:00 PM #23
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for the encouragement!

Terry & Bonnie,

It sure is!


You hang in there!  See you on your blog.


I'm glad you did!  Thanks for your readership and comments.


You bet!  Thanks for stopping by the blog so regularly; I appreciate you.

Mike in Tucson

Oct 25, 2009 10:27 PM #24
Susan Wenger

Very interesting. The big question is, how consistently is consistently? I'm guessing once a week won't do it. Does every other day suffice, or does it have to be daily, with no breaks?

Oct 26, 2009 05:42 AM #25
Simon Smart
Sunstreet Mortgage, Arizona - Tucson, AZ


Another great post, thanks for the encouragement to keep going. As with anything, the hardest part is keeping on going until the results begin to manifest. And by the way, congratulations on reaching the 400,000 mark. Quite an achievement.


Oct 26, 2009 07:42 AM #26
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Hi Mike, I remember the encouragement you gave me when I finally got up the nerve to blog earlier this year. Just knowing someone--in this case, you--was out there, waiting for a blog to appear so you could encourage me by commenting on it helped so much. Thanks again. I've also been using photos, and believe I'll start adding comments to them now. Some photos are mine, some are my husband's work. And your photos are amazing. I love the desert--from a distance : )

Oct 26, 2009 08:40 PM #27
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Mike, great photo and CONGRATULATIONS.  If I had been in Tucson, I'd have come over with some bubbly!!  What a great post.  You keep us inspired to do our best.  Thanks. 

Oct 27, 2009 01:20 AM #28
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


...and it would have been warmly received!  Thanks for commenting.


This is the most encouraging forum!  You're so welcome.


I have no doubt you have the heart to make it work!


It's whatever works for you.  I'll see you on your blog.

Mike in Tucson

Oct 27, 2009 01:31 AM #29
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Mike - This is such great encouragement.  I am still waiting for my first AR referral/client and I get frustrated that its happening later than sooner but I know consistency is the key and I AM in this for the long haul.

We loooooooooooove your part of the country.


Oct 28, 2009 01:15 PM #30
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Mike - Your pictures tell a great story every time. keep them coming.

Oct 29, 2009 03:20 AM #31
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for saying so!  I'll do it.


Call the next time you're out this way; we'd love to meet you!

Mike in Tucson

Oct 31, 2009 01:14 AM #32
Anthony Ebright - NMLSR ID #247647 Purchase and Refinance Mortgages
FHA, VA, Conforming, Jumbo - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Santa Rosa, CA

Mike, thanks for the encouraging post. Your right, it's all about being consistent and persistent. Of course, we all have to sleep sometime. I guess, it's my time now. Goodnight. Enjoy the stars!

Nov 05, 2009 08:27 PM #33
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Thanks for stopping by; I'll see you on your blog.

Mike in Tucson

Nov 05, 2009 08:33 PM #34
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