Modern Lending Podcast | Adam Encinas and Minh Nguyen

Alec has the dynamic duo behind What's a Mortgage, Adam Encinas and Minh Nguyen, on to talk about what they have done to grow their business using today's trend. They speak on the consistency and the day to day motivation on what they do to progress with the changing industry.

Your snippet of this episode of the Modern Lending Podcast:

  • To get value you have to give value
  • Create content without any expectation
  • No one every stops learning
  • Don't hide behind not doing, get out there and create content

Episode Transcribe

Alec:
What's up everybody.

Welcome to episode three of the Modern Lending podcast!

Man, for the first two, we really went high level. The third, I wanted to go right down into the trenches, in the loan warfare and talk about what people are doing today to drive their business. And I guarantee you, this episode is going to rock your socks. I'm bringing Adam Encinas and Minh Nguyen. They're going to talk about how they have leveraged Facebook Live and social media to build tremendous customer influence. Right in the beginning, we're going to go into their results. It's going to blow your mind and it's hopefully going to enlighten you into new ways to pursue consumers, new ways to originate loans, new ways to educate and delight our customers. So here we go. And remember, if this stuff brings you any value, come on, subscribe, like, share, spread the love. Here we go. Episode three.
What's up everybody, here we are back episode three of the Modern Lending podcast. Now we're going to get real today. Real, real today. I'm pumped because if you guys have listened to episode zero, one and two, we hit with John Bianchi talked really high level. I had a chance to sit down and talk with my dad, which was really cool and intimate in the last episode. But now, man, I want to come out of the clouds and into the street. And so I'm really excited because with me are Adam Encinas and Minh Nguyen. Minh Nguyen's the best name in the world by the way. It rhymes, it makes me happy every time I say it, and these guys are doing some incredible stuff and I want to get their history and I want to let them share their background.
But first, I want to share what they're doing right now and the results they're getting right now. Because it blew my mind. I mean really when I got Adam, I mean, we've known each other for a long time. And when I finally saw what you were doing, I got zoomed in, I was like, "Oh my gosh, I need to pick my game up." It was incredibly inspiring. And so I just want to break it down for a second. Let these guys share. These guys pivoted their business a few years ago and they'll break it down in a second, but now they are social media advisors, educators, contributors. And so you guys run a social media channel?

Adam Encinas:
Yes.

Alec:
On Facebook?

Minh Nguyen:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alec:
And it's called, What's a mortgage. So everyone right now is Googling it immediately. But so how many followers do you have on What's a mortgage?

Adam Encinas:
So right now what's a mortgage on Facebook there's about 25,000 followers.

Alec:
25,000.

Adam Encinas:
And Instagram.

Minh Nguyen:
We're going to hit 11,000 this week.

Alec:
That's big dude. That's big. That's congrats. That's huge. I have a thousand, so I'm really working hard.

Adam Encinas:
And YouTube just a thousand subscribers.

Minh Nguyen:
We just started YouTube and Instagram in 2019, yeah.

Alec:
2019, you started Instagram and YouTube and you're already at 11,000 and almost a 1,000?

Adam Encinas:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alec:
Okay. So people are already going, "Okay, that's incredible. They obviously bought them from the Philippines and cheated." But no, no, because if you did that, you wouldn't have results. So let's talk about the results. You've been running this for... how many years have you run the program, the show?

Minh Nguyen:
We started in 2017.

Alec:
Okay. So you got some length on it?

Minh Nguyen:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alec:
And what are the results? How many leads are you getting a month?

Adam Encinas:
Right now it's ranging anywhere between three and 500.

Alec:
Three and 500 leads a month.

Adam Encinas:
A month.

Alec:
How many views per episode? Because you go on Live every day. We'll talk about this in a minute. You going Live every day. How many views?

Minh Nguyen:
It depends on the topic, but if it's a topic that's very interesting to everybody, it's about 3,500, 4,000. If it's a topic that's not as popular about 2,500.

Alec:
So 2,500 to 3,500 views. What's your most watched video? Do you have a most watched video?

Adam Encinas:
Yeah. That's the verification of employment video. And that one is at 2.8 million views.

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah.

Alec:
Oh my gosh. And we'll talk about paid advertising versus organic and all that stuff. And let these guys unpack this, but 2.8 million views, 35 to 2,500 views a day on the Live streams. And how long does the Live go for?

Minh Nguyen:
About 30, 45 minutes.

Alec:
30, 40... It's incredible. And then the kicker, what I want everyone to hear, and then we're going to start breaking this down is, how many transactions, closed transactions approximately in 2019 did you give to your real estate partners?

Adam Encinas:
Over a 100.

Alec:
It's crazy. That's crazy. No one's doing that. No one's doing that guys. [crosstalk 00:04:12], that you're like, "Oh yeah, whatever. No big deal." But so, okay. So we just hit the high notes. Let's go to the real work and how this happened. I mean, so Minh and Adam, let's start with either, whoever wants to jump in, but how did you get sucked into the mortgage world? How did that happen? We all have our unique story.

Minh Nguyen:
Well, I started summer, 2003. I remember it [crosstalk 00:04:31] yesterday. So I started summer of 2003, I actually started as a telemarketer taking calls and then I moved from there to junior processor and then to loan officer. And then, I met Adam and brought Adam in the game.

Alec:
Yeah, but you skipped a ton there. So you took calls like up calls?

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah. I did up call. Fax blasting, I [crosstalk 00:04:48]-

Alec:
Fax blasting.

Minh Nguyen:
Yes.

Alec:
That's incredible.

Minh Nguyen:
[crosstalk 00:04:51] was fax blasting before it came completely illegal. And then-

Alec:
It's 2003 dude, come on. It's like-

Minh Nguyen:
So I was taking calls and then I was converting them. They were selling of course, [Netgams 00:05:03] into the countrywide fast and easy programs. And that's how I started. And I started there and I was trustworthy. And so he moved me up from being a telemarketer to then junior processing and then processing and then I ran as operation.

Alec:
I like that though. I like that. I don't think today... people miss that. You got trained as a processor. I think a lot of sales people today skip that. I was trained in shipping and processing and it's like, "That was a gift. I learned how to do the real work." When you become a loan officer, I think you're better. Okay. So you got sucked in that way. What'd you do at Adam?

Adam Encinas:
So I was actually a personal banker at a bank, finishing my degree.

Alec:
Yes. That's a great way to start in the industry too, right?

Adam Encinas:
Yeah. But it was scary times because this is 2007 to 2008 when the market had crashed. So I was working in banking still completing my degree and not understanding the magnitude of what was going on during the great recession. So what's interesting enough is I had clients that were coming in and were putting six month holds on their checks.

Alec:
Oh, wow.

Adam Encinas:
And with the FDC, anything over a hundred thousand, you would see people only get 75 cents on the dollar, 50 cents on the dollar from there. So as I was finishing up school, Minh had an opportunity and said, "Hey, why don't you come learn to do mortgages?"

Alec:
So it's his fault. So he totally sucked you in.

Adam Encinas:
Totally his fault. Totally his fault. So this receding hairline is completely Minh's fault.

Alec:
I think the mortgage industry just does that to us.

Minh Nguyen:
It just does. It just does.

Alec:
It's part of life.

Adam Encinas:
So at that time, Minh was running a different operation and it was more working with-

Minh Nguyen:
REO agents. So I was an in-house lender at an REO company.

Adam Encinas:
Here you go.

Minh Nguyen:
So when the market changed, I moved home. Of course, like most people did. And I actually stayed doing loans. I just was persistent. I sat through the process and I became an in-house lender for two realtors that were getting, how many REOs were they getting a month?

Adam Encinas:
They had 300 listings month over month. [crosstalk 00:06:51].

Alec:
Wow. You were hustling. You were busy.

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah.

Adam Encinas:
And it was crazy times because we were closing loans at that time, 21 days or less. So with REO agents, we had to preapprove every single offer that came in and you'd see, 15, 20, 30 offers. And there was five of us sitting in-

Alec:
There's some builder reps out there that are having the hot flashes because they recognize that they're still living that game. So it's brutal.

Adam Encinas:
Yeah. And we were a room half this size.

Alec:
This size?

Adam Encinas:
Five people.

Alec:
The Mello studio is not very large guys, we're packed in here. That's good. Five of you guys in this room.

Adam Encinas:
Yeah. So it was interesting times because here we are pre-approving for all the agents, all the open houses, all the listings that were coming through, we were finding the most qualified buyer that was bought in to close the transaction as quickly as possible because the REO agents were rated on how quickly they can close. They want to get these properties off the books and they would get more assets based on how quickly they would close. So that's where we came in and preapprove our clients, found the most qualified one. They'd send it to the asset manager, get the offer in ESCO, we close it, onto the next.

Alec:
So you're like a lot of us, you earned your stripes working with real estate professionals, managed to survive through the crisis like a lot of people did, which is incredibly cool because now, we're getting new kids into the world that have never experienced the crisis and it's fascinating. Right? Because there was a different mentality you had to have to survive those times.

Minh Nguyen:
And we call those, the Johnny-come-lately.

Alec:
And they're doing awesome. And they're learning from everybody and they're incredible. We love it. Okay. So you're doing traditional business, what I call traditional business. And I think, man, you said you had an epiphany that you wanted to be in more control.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
Right? Because in a referral based environment and a lot of us and a lot of listeners are in referral based environments. I am dependent on my professional partners to send me customers.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
And so we've all grew up in that world and you decided in early, what? What year was it?

Minh Nguyen:
So in 2008, after a couple of years with the REO guys, I went off on my own and I started recruiting loan officers. And of course from 2008, up until probably 16, 17, I had almost a hundred loan officers and everyone had a huge book of business with realtors. But then I saw in 2017, the lease the realtors were giving us started to dilute. And I'm like, "Okay, scared the shits [crosstalk 00:09:13]."

Alec:
What's was happening though? I mean, because that's really early to see the trend. A lot of people are just seeing the trend now, which is, "Hey, the business I'm getting from my referral partners, the quality's less, or the customer's already pre-called somewhere else and they're coming in ..." How'd you see this?

Minh Nguyen:
The costs of Zillow Partnerships started increasing and the quality of the leads started diluting because more and more of these online come, we start popping up out of the wood works. So when you partner with someone on Zillow, now you're seeing the cost per lead get more and more expensive because now they're not getting as many leads because what they are getting became more and more expensive. So that really shocked me like, "Okay, something's about to happen. Okay, what do I do? Do I hire account execs to meet more realtors for me? Do I need more realtors or-

Alec:
Scale up. Yes.

Minh Nguyen:
... more loan officers? And the more realtors alone I was like, "That's more and more a front cost for me." Right?

Alec:
Yeah.

Minh Nguyen:
And then, so we're like, "You know what, let's find a way to get the consumers first." So we started doing buyer seminars for realtors, but we weren't getting enough people. And then-

Alec:
Yeah, it's hard when you do the face to face. I mean, there's a lot of loan officers today, they're doing really amazing things with consumer education events, local events, at their churches or the charities, with the board, all that stuff. But you were looking to touch more people than that.

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah, because after you would talk to all these people at these seminars, they would go because they only met you that one time. So we started doing, "Let's do it on the internet, whatever we're teaching at seminars, let's teach it on the internet." And if we taught it more than once, because you can't squeeze a buyer seminar, you're trying to convince someone to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars into 45 minutes. How do I get to talk to these people on a more day to day basis? I know this, I know I'm not tall, skinny, [inaudible 00:11:00], but I know [crosstalk 00:11:02]-

Alec:
If they're on YouTube now they're like, "Wait a minute." If they're listening to the podcast [inaudible 00:11:05] like, "Oh no, I got to see this."

Minh Nguyen:
So I know for sure that I'm a likable guy. As long as they get to know me for a little bit, I'm a likable guy. So how do I make sure they see me more consistently and let them trust me and fall in love with me, then I can turn the tides because [crosstalk 00:11:23]-

Alec:
Because of the relationship.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
Yeah. You can build a relationship. So in 2017 you started going online?

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
And what'd you do?

Minh Nguyen:
I went online and I would go Live. I would do some videos. We had this thing on the weekend called Weekend Warrior Tip for Open Houses, right? So what you need to know if you're going to go look at open houses. So we tried that method first, we tried going Live. We tried other videos. We tried talking more about real estate, more about loans. It was just a mixture of trial and error. And Andrew, who is one of my partners actually passed away last year, God rest his soul. But he would really pivot, "Okay, this was working, man. This wasn't working, man."

Alec:
So hold on, we've got to unpack this because everyone out there is listening is like, they heard the results. They're like, "Okay man, these guys are running a daily show to educate consumers. They're getting 3,500 views a day, 40 plus comments a day. And then they're getting, 300 to 500 leads a month of people that are like, I need information. I'm ready to apply." And then you go back in time to this earliest stages and you nailed the theme, which was, "I got to get into digital relationships with people.
But then what I want everyone to hear and I want everyone to pay attention to as Minh continues to break this down and Adam jumps in, you weren't afraid to fail. You tried different things and you listened to how the world was responding. I mean, what didn't work?

Minh Nguyen:
What didn't work?

Alec:
What failed?

Minh Nguyen:
Asking for the business too quick. Especially when people started talking about, "Okay, this type of lender, this type of lender." they know you're already steering it or, "This type of realtor, this type of realtor." [crosstalk 00:13:00].

Alec:
Yes like, "He's selling me, he's selling me."

Minh Nguyen:
He's nagging everybody else. And they can feel-

Adam Encinas:
Nagging.

Alec:
Thank you. Thank you for that. The millennials are like, "Oh my gosh."

Minh Nguyen:
They can feel the authenticity that you're steering them or not. Andrew was like, Minh, why don't you just tell them something, but don't ask for anything. It's like when you're dating, when you know you want to be with a girl, you got to convince yourself, you don't want to be with a girl, and then she'll like you. She knows you have agendas.

Alec:
Look, we're not supposed to give dating tips out. This is Lending, Modern Lending not Modern Dating.

Minh Nguyen:
But literally, I would have to convince myself, "You're not going to ask for money. You're not going to ask for business. You're not going to ask for anything. You are going to give them something special that no one is telling them about mortgages and just walk away after you tell it to them." Drop the mic and walk. Don't do anything else after that.

Alec:
There's so much misinformation about mortgages in the industry.

Adam Encinas:
Yes. And there's tons of people who are confused about it, which is why when I first was exposed to your title of what's a mortgage, I was like, "Wow, that couldn't be any more basic and clear of what the messaging is." And so did you have that name out of the hat? I mean, was that what you went with day one?

Minh Nguyen:
No. It was Win with Minh, all these other names.

Alec:
Win with Minh, yes.

Minh Nguyen:
It was all these other names. But when we talked about it... so when you're posting something on social and especially if someone who's never seen it before, and 50% of buyers are a first time home buyer entry-level buyers, they don't understand what the word mortgage means, what the word escrow means. So some of our subtitles we're not causing people to watch us because it's not a subject they knew what the word meant, so what's a mortgage? So we broke down basically, what a mortgage was.

Alec:
To me, watching this evolution of what guys have done and what's happening around us right now, it's super clear to me that there's not one way to get to a consumer anymore. There's multiple ways to get to a consumer. And so Adam, I want you to share a little bit more about the philosophy of what you guys have been doing over the years, because Minh was just hitting on it, which is, give value. What's the philosophy of the program and show, what's your ethos?

Adam Encinas:
So I think when I started watching the platform develop over time and you start seeing direct messages come in. And what was interesting is you learn that people really don't understand the process and they're in escrow asking questions that they should be asking their loan officer or realtor.

Alec:
And they're not getting the answer.

Adam Encinas:
And they're not getting clear answers. So I think the failure as us as originators is, we deal with the lingo and the terms on a day to day basis, but the people on the other side, they don't understand what we're talking about 75% of the time. So when I started seeing direct messages come in asking very basic questions and asking us to assist in explaining what a loan estimate was, just the basic fundamentals. And you see people were being taken advantage of. So What's a mortgage evolve from, here we want to drive in and get business to, "Wait, we have an opportunity here to change the narrative in the industry. And that's really to redefine the real estate and mortgage industry by empowering the consumer through creative content in education." So it became a complete shift in let's forget about business and let's just start educating people. And it was a longterm play, creating content with no expectations.

Alec:
So let's hit that longterm play. Let's let some people understand. How long did you guys do this for? Before you started really hitting your stride? I know you guys want more, you're hungry for more, which I love about you guys, which is you're always trying to elevate your platform, but how long did you produce content where you got nothing?

Minh Nguyen:
So from 2017, up until probably March or April, 2018 is when we finally saw a pipe turn.

Alec:
So it was a year of daily effort?

Minh Nguyen:
Correct. Without getting anything back.

Alec:
Without getting nothing back.

Minh Nguyen:
So just maybe a lot of loans. You got to fund loans. You got to originate your own business on the side to pace yourself, to stay in business, to get to where you are today.

Alec:
See, no, that message is so overlooked. People are like... you were still doing what I would call traditional business with your partners, past customers while you were investing in a platform to educate consumers. And for a year, you showed up everyday, put your smiling face on and just put it out into the ethernet and [crosstalk 00:17:31].

Minh Nguyen:
I always go to open houses on the weekend to ask questions to consumers on what are their biggest fears or concerns. And that's where I get most of my content from. And now of course, they reach out to me, so then I write down notes. But back then, when no one was watching us Live, I remember when we were going Live... you know my wife just recently started following me. She didn't follow me for the last three years.

Alec:
Don't give up, even if your wife's not following you. By the way, by the way, I don't think my wife's listened to one, nothing of mine. She's just like, "I live with you. I don't need it again."

Minh Nguyen:
My biggest fans were Adam's whole family. Because they're a pretty big family. They were the one watching. And so I wouldn't get enough content. So to research open houses on the weekend to get the content, to teach, to barely see 19 people on, another 19 people, 10 of them are people you know. And to still go Live without that insecurity, is anyone watching, who's watching me. And then it's you know how hard it is to go Live when you feel there's not an audience, you're just talking to a booth.

Alec:
Okay. Yeah. So let's break that down though. Let's get real on this. There is an insecurity. I mean, it's what's holding a lot of people back, whether they're insecure about their appearance, how they think their voice sounds, whatever the fear is. And going Live and no one's watching. I mean, so I've tried to take a page from your guys' book. And I'm learning, I've tried to put myself Live. And it is weird, When I'm watching 10 people are watching and then there's one I'm like, "Oh."

Minh Nguyen:
What did you say? Like, "Did I say something?"

Alec:
And then it'll kick up to 20, 30s... but how did you deal with that? How did you deal going Live and put yourself out there, in such a vulnerable position for the internet because the Internet's got trolls. They're under the bridges, they come out, how did you deal with this?

Minh Nguyen:
One little tip to give you though as you go Live, when you go Live during the playoffs and basketball, that's when it's the hardest because no one wants to watch it.

Alec:
Okay. But I want to hit this insecurity thing because it's huge. How did you deal with it?

Minh Nguyen:
How did I deal with it?

Alec:
You can't say like, "I'm just immune to insecurities."

Minh Nguyen:
This is how I dealt with insecurity. I know that there was no other route. I know that social media one day is going to be it. And if I don't get on it right now, attack my fears right now, I'm going to be the one in the back of the bus, the last person. So no matter what the fear was, no matter... I still do it every day. And I think about like, "Hey, if I stopped today, someone will surpass me eventually." So every day I did it with fear knowing... but the bigger fear was, "If I don't do it, I will be out of the business soon."

Alec:
Dude, I always wink at Mike, our little producer over here when the [eclipse 00:20:10] happen and that was fire, that's totally the truth. And I think there's a lot of people out there that underestimate the power of fear as a driver, as a motivator, to get you off your backside and actually into the work.
I was afraid of failure and being a failure. And I don't know, we can talk about therapy and unpack all that later. But I use that as a driver to force me through my insecurities, to force me to go to face to face and to build my business. And so man, that was right on dude. That was incredible. And Adam, you done a ton of video too.

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah.

Alec:
So how do you deal with it?

Minh Nguyen:
I think it's just practice. You got to start somewhere. If I showed you Minh's initial videos and my initial videos, you would laugh.

Alec:
Wait, wait. I got it. Okay. We got to figure out how to get those. Right now, "Play it." And everyone can be like, "What?" And if there's [crosstalk 00:21:00] watch it, so we're going to show something, I'm going to figure out how to do it.

Minh Nguyen:
Oh my gosh. Oh my God [crosstalk 00:21:11].

Speaker 4:
[inaudible 00:21:11].

Minh Nguyen:
I hate [inaudible 00:21:12]. Why the fuck [inaudible 00:21:13] use the videos off my fucking computer? [inaudible 00:21:18] need. Thank you. Have a good day. Why [crosstalk 00:21:21] say that?

Alec:
But that's real. That's real talk. People don't realize that you had to practice. Your first Live was probably not as good as your last one.

Minh Nguyen:
No.

Adam Encinas:
Not at all.

Minh Nguyen:
My first one-

Adam Encinas:
It was funny.

Alec:
So how do you deal with them?

Adam Encinas:
So practice. It's practice. And I think you need to have an observer, someone that doesn't understand the mortgage industry, because that's ultimately your consumer, that's listening that you want to talk to.

Alec:
That's helpful comment. We hope people hear that because now that everyone's producing content... we did a video night with one of my teams and all the loan officers were producing a content to bank for the year-

Adam Encinas:
It's awesome by the way.

Alec:
... it was super fun. But we didn't have any non mortgage people there. And now that you said that I'm like, "You're right. Having somebody who's, non-biased, not in the mortgage industry, it could be like, "I don't know what you're talking about." That could really help.

Adam Encinas:
So my brother would sit and we started in the back of my garage, believe it or not. And he would set up at the-

Alec:
That's real.

Adam Encinas:
Yeah.

Alec:
Back of the garage.

Adam Encinas:
Back of the garage, to another office. And now we're actually downstairs.

Alec:
I know. Well yeah, but just to see the garage.

Adam Encinas:
Right? So back of the garage and I have a camera with a mic just like this in front of me. And I would start talking to the camera and my brother would sit back there and say, "Cut." I didn't like the way that you said that. It makes no sense to me what you're saying. I said, "Okay, let me try it a different way." So then I would try it a different way. He goes, "No, no, no, no. That doesn't work,-

Alec:
Oh my gosh.

Adam Encinas:
... tell me a story." So then I would tell a story and he goes, "That's it. When you tell a story, it becomes relatable. And when it becomes relatable, now you have that authenticity and now we can have a conversation. And when you started having the conversations, now you start to understand, okay, this is what people want to hear about. This is what they want to talk about." And it takes practice. And it takes that observer to hear the tone of what you're saying to stop going from, I'm selling something to I'm educating and adding value.

Alec:
But even sitting with somebody who's close to as your brother and having them critique you, that can be nerve wracking for people.

Minh Nguyen:
Oh, definitely. Especially like, "I don't know what that word means. I don't know what this means."

Alec:
Yeah. And you're just getting constant feedback.

Minh Nguyen:
In your mind, you're psyching yourself out because you already have this pre speech you've read-

Alec:
Yeah. You're ready. You're ready.

Minh Nguyen:
And then he was like, "That didn't make sense to me. What does that mean?" So you're demoralized and because this happens still even today and you're recording or you're doing Live and it's hard to shift the conversation because, "Oh, this just didn't make sense. Okay. How do I re-say it?" And now I'm recording. I'm going to triple my words because in your mind, you've been practicing one way for so long.

Alec:
See, I love Minh that you said that and hope everyone heard it. So I'm going to highlight it. You're still learning today. It's not like you figured it out. You're always constantly figuring it out, even today on your lives. You just said it. You're like, "Sometimes I'm like, "Oh wait, I got to rethink what I just said. It didn't land the way I wanted it to. Did I educate in the right way?" That's clutch for anybody listening. It's this constant student mentality. Okay. I want to talk about consistency for a minute. We talked about that with John Bianchi on the podcast, but when did you use to have your Live shows? Because this, I think people underestimate.

Minh Nguyen:
I used to have my Lives at nine o'clock, 9:30 at night.

Alec:
Nine o'clock or 9:30 for 30, 45 minutes at night. Every day?

Minh Nguyen:
Every day. So pretty much I would go home, then for a couple of hours, head back to the studio and-

Alec:
The studio you mean Adam's garage?

Minh Nguyen:
Adam's garage?

Alec:
No, that's real talk. I love that.

Minh Nguyen:
And my wife's like... I thought in like, "She wasn't following me. She was like, "What are you doing leaving your house in the middle of the night after ..." I have to put my son down, right? Leave the house to go film and then come back. I did that every day for 45 minutes a day, Monday through Thursday.

Alec:
So first, for everyone that's like, "This guy's a maniac." How did you pick the timeframe that [crosstalk 00:25:09].

Minh Nguyen:
WE trial and error, but I realized, "You know what, what time people go to bed? After they put their kids down, that's the best time they're going to listen." They have time to watch it. And I knew if they watched me at nine, it's on and cracking and something's going to go down. Because if they watch me into the night and if you look at our Facebook analytics, our most active time was 11:00 PM to one in the morning on Messenger. Our most active time on social was from 11:00 PM to one. Think about, if you're talking to someone around 11 or 11 [crosstalk 00:25:41] one in the morning-

Alec:
Yeah, you're dating. You're in.

Minh Nguyen:
It's like that state farm commercial, when they're trying to talk in the middle of the night about insurance, they're ready to rock and roll or they would just be a casual person.

Alec:
So I love the messaging on that and the consistency on that. And some people in their head are like, "Well, I can't do it from nine to 10 o'clock at night." And we're not trying to press on you that that's how to do it. What I want you to hear in that message guys is that consistency, that the willpower to make it happen every day, regardless of family and other things that are pulling on your time, it's incredibly cool to hear. And then you actually pivoted it recently, right? You're now in noon.

Minh Nguyen:
12:30, 12:30, 12:45.

Alec:
And learning what's happening in that space.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
Anything fascinating there?

Minh Nguyen:
Yes. I know when you do it at 12:30 and they're willing to talk to you through the lunch period-

Alec:
They're active.

Minh Nguyen:
They're active. So I was trying to find a gravel way where if they're willing to sacrifice something to still be with you, the relationship, they want to be with you.

Alec:
Well, you to think about it. If you work a job and you're normally busy in your job and you're actually wanting to buy a home, the chances are you're on your phone at lunch looking to try to buy a home. I mean, if you're focused, it's a good comment. If you're in and they're active, they're probably going to be on the phone at lunch.

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah. So there is a strategy behind that too. So when they do want to talk, I only want to talk to them from one to four, because if they're willing to take a break during lunch, they're real.

Alec:
They're super serious.

Minh Nguyen:
But if they only want to talk just during lunchtime, they try to get you off the phone quick too.

Alec:
See, I love these learnings. These were not established when you started this program. And you should learn this all the time, anytime. Like, "[crosstalk 00:27:19] talk to me, please." Now you're like, "I only talk to leads from one to four because I know they're serious. They want to take a break." Adam what other learnings have you guys had over the years on this program and stepping out into the space.

Adam Encinas:
It's really hard because you have to be bold. And I think when you talk about consistency, it's the hardest thing to do, is every day you have that challenge, right? "Do they really want to hear me talk today? Do they really want to hear me talk about this?"

Alec:
The insecurities chirping, just chirping.

Adam Encinas:
What else do I have to talk about? And-

Alec:
Oh, let's talk about content. What else do I have to talk about? I have people who are not doing video at all and who are like, "I have nothing to talk about." Let alone every day, how do you come up with what to talk about?

Adam Encinas:
Whiteboard sessions, lots of whiteboard sessions. You sit there, we map out content a quarter in advance, but it wasn't always like that. It used to be days in advance. Then there was a weekend advance, a month and now, we're already working on second quarter content.

Alec:
See, I love the progression though. I hope everyone hears it. It didn't start out with like, "I'm going to build a quarter of content today." It was like, "What are we going to do tomorrow?" And then over time, it evolved and got more...

Adam Encinas:
And it started with an easel, like markers-

Alec:
Straight up with markers and pencils.

Adam Encinas:
Markers, and drawings.

Alec:
Social media guy is about easels and markers.

Minh Nguyen:
So we have our content pre-set for us that we build out. And then if current event stuff hits, we-

Alec:
You can pivot.

Minh Nguyen:
Yes.

Alec:
Yeah, for sure. But you're being thoughtful a quarter in advance. And I assume you're watching what contents landing and staying fluid to the market.

Adam Encinas:
Right. Because it's ever evolving.

Alec:
Right.

Adam Encinas:
We have changes daily in the industry.

Alec:
Oh man, how fascinating. I share this story because you guys focus a lot on first time home buyers, a lot on people buying homes and purchase business. And then the rate rally happened and you guys pivoted to a refinance message, right?

Minh Nguyen:
Right.

Alec:
And what happened?

Adam Encinas:
We started getting refinances.

Alec:
Weird. Yeah. But I love that fluidity to the market. You're listening and learning. You're not so rigid that... so that's where television programming it's so blocked. It's so rigid. It's like they were showing Buffy the Vampire Slayer again. It's like, "Oh God." But you guys are like, "Hey, the market moved, time to change the message." And so I would love for you guys to share even more about what your content strategy is and go a little deeper to help people who are brand new to this topic of content strategy.

Minh Nguyen:
I think the first thing we decided is what type of consumers do we want to deal with?

Alec:
You reverse engineering. Yeah. Very smart.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct. So when you decide that, and then you figure out the type of borrowers, do you want to deal with a lot of borrowers or not that many borrowers, but bigger loan amounts, you got to decide the type of borrowers you want to deal with. And then you can just test what... in the beginning, we wanted credit repair, a hundred percent financing, but we were combing through a lot to get a little and we would have to comb through so much more, but to scale it, we couldn't do it at that model.
So then we started going after a different type of clientele and we couldn't take it to the next level where we were working at because of that type of clientele and that's why we're here.

Alec:
I love you guys. It's been fascinating for me. I've learned a ton. What are you still learning? What are you guys still trying to figure out?

Adam Encinas:
Oh my gosh.

Alec:
Because I gave all those results and we're like, "Oh, these guys must have it. They're done. They figured it out. Good for them."

Minh Nguyen:
The funnel right now. So we learned recently we add value and now we looked at our new videos for compared to our number one banger video, a pretty good percentage of people watched it. But our new videos has even a higher percentage, but so we're learning how much video to play on the first video, right? How much video to play on a second video? "Okay. If they watch over 50%, we should play this. If they watch over 75% ..." We're trying to go, "Okay, instead of doing a chat bar, we can do lead forms now because they watched a hundred percent." How do we start scaling this depending on how much they watch. If they do it under 50% and they reach out, we want to give them the girlfriend experience. Right? Really be hands on it because they don't love us yet, but they watch over a certain percentage, we can automate it. So that's what we're trying to figure out the touch and go until we figure out the recipe.

Alec:
I love the learnings guys. I mean, I think that is a message for everybody. It's like, "Guys, you don't need to have a quarter content strategy. You don't need to know what you're going to eat. You just need to start playing and be a student and pay attention and be willing to learn all the time and never feel you've landed and you've made it and now you don't have to learn anymore." I think that message is just crucial for anybody listening because it is a long game and you guys are playing the long game.
And I want to hit this again. I want you guys to go deeper on it. Your ethos, your strategy is give value. I think some people might feel like that's risky. Like, "I'm giving away-

Adam Encinas:
Totally.

Alec:
... all the value and then what if they don't use me?" Right. You told them all the strategies and all the tips, and then they didn't call you. How do you guys deal with that mentality? And what have you discovered after you've gone all in, on this education based?

Adam Encinas:
I think for me, when we started seeing scenarios come through and we would have an opportunity to where a client [crosstalk 00:32:28].

Alec:
[crosstalk 00:32:28] for an opportunity. Yeah.

Adam Encinas:
You have a client that's an escrow and they're three weeks from closing up. But then you get the loan estimate and you're like, "You know what? You're actually getting a good deal." So I think my dad says it best, "You can't afford to make a deal unless you can afford to walk away from a deal." So in these scenarios, you have a loan officer with a family behind the scenes. So you have to have a little bit of empathy and understand that they worked probably really hard for that client and that client has a relationship with them. And you don't want to jeopardize that for your own bottom line. It's very difficult to do though.

Alec:
I know. I want to unpack this more because people are very cut throat on our industry.

Adam Encinas:
Correct.

Alec:
And you're saying, I want everybody to hear this. You're doing your work, you're putting out content, you're educating people. And then inevitably, people come to you that have a loan in progress with an LE. And they ask you to review it because they feel like they don't trust you.

Adam Encinas:
Absolutely. Yes.

Alec:
And so most people would be like, "Absolutely. I'm going to take all these deals. I'm going to take them from everybody." How do you guys handle it?

Adam Encinas:
Well, then you're not changing the narrative on the industry. Because that person on the other side gave that consumer a good deal and they probably did good business and they probably educated the consumer and they just want a little bit of reassurance. On the flip side-

Alec:
Sometimes there's bad actors.

Adam Encinas:
There's bad. Yeah.

Alec:
For sure.

Adam Encinas:
You start seeing you're a percent and a half off of what the market is today. And it's just because you don't understand or know. And the person on the other side is trying to maximize their bottom line at the expense of you paying an extra $300.

Alec:
Man, you talk a lot about that in a lot of content you do, which is just bringing transparency back. And so, pivoting on Adam's comment. How many LEs do you think you guys review a month?

Minh Nguyen:
Did we just review three this week?

Alec:
Three this week?

Minh Nguyen:
Yeah. If they're a deepened escrow, we tell them, "Hey, this is what they should offer you, so ask for this." And then if they know, tell them you're talking to another loan officer and then give them our information.

Alec:
You're trying to educate them.

Minh Nguyen:
Normally they'll meet or match the deal but if the loan is locked and it's too late-

Alec:
[crosstalk 00:34:23].

Minh Nguyen:
If they pull the deed back on a purchase, it would ruin our brand because now we're rushed to try to... and it sucks for other people who actually-

Alec:
Work hard.

Minh Nguyen:
Worked hard, no, the loans that we do have, they get pushed aside to move this one forward when they're waiting to close on time too. And we started running that because in the beginning, everything you said, we went through the same mistake. We're like, "Give me, give me, give me, give me, give me, give me, give me, give me."

Alec:
Yes, I got it. I got it.

Minh Nguyen:
And then we realized we're just putting ourselves in jeopardy, putting our brand in jeopardy in the day for what? We're tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.

Alec:
Yeah. I hope everyone hears this. This is what living in an abundance mindset really looks like, what these guys are doing. Because me as a competitor, I'm like, "Oh, I want that deal and I want to help the customer." But you guys are taking it from a stance of, "Look, we're here to educate and support." If someone comes to you with an LE, you're doing your best to coach them, giving them transparency to what the market really is like. And then letting them go back to their loan officer and close the deal.

Adam Encinas:
You want to know the craziest thing though?

Alec:
I'm ready.

Adam Encinas:
So rates just dropped the last three days, right? So if we're not catching them on the purchase, they're reaching back out to us for the refi.

Alec:
Okay. So I will hit that point. Man, even when I was originating, when I would get a competitive deal and someone would come in with an offer and they were down the line an escrow, sometimes the best thing you can do as a professional is to give them reassurance. "This is a great deal. Maybe shave that off, but this is a good deal. You should take this deal." I got more referrals from those customers over time-

Adam Encinas:
Absolutely.

Alec:
... because I'd still put them in my database. I'd still talk to them like they were one of my past customers because I served them, man, that is the truth. That has always been the truth. I hope everyone hears that because that's incredible. It's not just about cutthroat in the industry. It's about serving and changing the narrative, right?
So we've got a little bit time left. And I think well, I want to spend another 10, 15 minutes on this topic because I think it'll be helpful. And I ask everybody to unpack this for people. If you were mentoring an originator today in the industry who let's say they came in post-crisis or they lived through the crisis and they're a little traditional still, and they're looking at this change and they're looking at social media and they hear your numbers and they're like, "I'm getting left behind. I could never do that. How could I ever put a show on, I can't do any of this stuff." Let's give some advice and some feedback to these people.

Minh Nguyen:
Unless you want to go somewhere else, man?

Adam Encinas:
You want to go first? You go ahead and go first.

Minh Nguyen:
So a lot of loan officers aren't reaching out, though the first thing they ask me is what camera do you use? What editing do you use?

Alec:
Oh, I love this. Yes they do. So they're seeing you-

Minh Nguyen:
I was going to go there.

Alec:
Industry professionals are seeing you, of course.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct.

Alec:
And so they're asking you the fundamentals of cameras and microphones.

Minh Nguyen:
Correct. So what I tell them is this. So because of what they said, and to also, "Wow, you have a team of people. Well, I had a team, he about to sacrifice a lot." And even though-

Alec:
I was in a garage, down by the river.

Minh Nguyen:
Whatever, I did fund right to pay my bills, the extra money was to support these people. So it's like, I earned my stripes to have people do stuff for me. But even now, when I go Live on Instagram, Tuesday, Thursdays at 12:30, plug, right? I only use my phone, when I shoot a lot of our daily content now, I call it our off one topics, I only use my phone to videotape. And I plug a little microphone under here and that's it. So to show the other loan officers who are watching me, "You don't need all these fancy gear. You just need a phone and you just need to just do it."
So before it was like, "Okay, you need this." And when you do that, you start overthinking. It's like you're next in line to sing karaoke and right before you sing, you're rehearsing the song or you're psyching yourself out and now you don't want to go on stage. So when you start getting camera equipment, editing tools, all these things, "Okay, when the sun hits here, then it will be perfect. When this is this, this will be perfect."

Alec:
So true.

Minh Nguyen:
Just go on camera and do it. Sometimes there's blurriness in my pictures, but the message that is delivered... One video I just did recently, right, was I talked about loan officers compensation. That's not a subject any loan officer wants to talk about, it was this blurry background. But because I told this person, I sent them message out. Someone reached out to us, changed lenders because his lender or her lender, wouldn't tell her what their compensation was. And we talked about it and I even said it right on the message, "This is my compensation." And she's like, "Wow." And then she reached out to us. But the background was horrible, you just got to do it.

Alec:
So I got to hit that point again. I want everyone to hear it, man. It's so true. Showing up is more important. And showing up with authenticity is more important than having a mass produced full production team behind you, hammering out this content. I think we're so over marketed too as humans. So over marketed too that we're just craving fresh air. And sometimes a guy in his phone... I even seen you with your kids in the background. Just a real human being spitting truth goes so much deeper sometimes than just the produced stuff. So you're just like, "Hey, just put the phone and start filming."

Minh Nguyen:
So this holiday 2019, I just swapped back to phone. I only want to go Live, but when I did even my prerecorded stuff that we edit and my Instagram Live, I only use my phone now because like you said, we market it so much that when it doesn't look like it's a professional film, people are actually going to... especially when you do so many videos, it's so hard to come up with a new hook.

Alec:
It's white noise.

Minh Nguyen:
If the video... it doesn't look professional, it gives you a couple extra seconds to win them over.

Alec:
I love it.

Minh Nguyen:
But when you do that, "Hey guys, have you heard the top 10 things?" Oh, this is an ad.

Alec:
This is an ad, swipe.

Adam Encinas:
And can I say one more thing?

Alec:
Yeah.

Adam Encinas:
When you're doing a video and a high production video, nobody cares what car you drive.

Alec:
Oh, come on. I got to show my Bentley.

Adam Encinas:
No.

Alec:
I got to show it.

Adam Encinas:
That stuff on social, it doesn't work. And I love what Minh says is, all you need is your phone. What people use is, "I need this equipment. I need this person. I need to do this, this, this, this." They're just hiding behind not wanting to do it. That's the real point.

Alec:
When they're just focusing on lighting [crosstalk 00:41:05].

Adam Encinas:
When they're focusing on this and that and what studio set up I have or what does my wall look like? You're just bearing the reality. You don't want to press play.

Alec:
And you're just distracting yourself with all the other stuff.

Adam Encinas:
And you got to just get your phone, press play, and start. And that's the biggest thing. I'm happy to share initial videos that both of us had and people will laugh. But what happens is once you have that consistency, and once you start figuring out what message works with the people that you want to talk to, now you'll have that rhythm. And when you have that rhythm, now you can start connecting with people. And that's what we want to do. That's what social media is for, it's a connector.

Alec:
There's a couple of core message that I just want to echo as we wrap down. Number one, I'm always impressed with consistency. It's so hard to do. At the same time, consistency without learning is pointless because you can show up every day, but if you're not paying attention to the results, to the feedback, bringing somebody into the room with you to give you honest, authentic feedback that I don't know what that word means. If you're not learning, then showing up every day, you never get better. You never get stronger. And what you guys have proven is that when you do both, incredible things happen.
Man, I love yourself deprecation of like, "I know I'm not Brad Pitt and blah, blah, blah." But you put yourself out there in a very vulnerable place, oh my God, people respond. You film a video off your phone with your kid in the background, oh my gosh, people respond. You talk about your own compensation, which is a taboo topic and oh my gosh, people respond. This to me is such a story of proving out what you guys are preaching, which is amazing. So core message is, just do it. Be a learner. What else would you say Adam?

Adam Encinas:
I think the hardest thing is... actually let me change it. If I told you for a year, if you put up one piece of content of value per week and in a year.

Alec:
So 52 things.

Adam Encinas:
52 things. If you did it once a week and put it on Instagram and put it on Facebook and after a year, you will be able to at least get five transactions a month and automate your business, would you do it?

Alec:
Yeah. Five transactions to the math. Yeah. I think [crosstalk 00:43:25] could make sense.

Adam Encinas:
60 transactions just from social media, would you do it?

Alec:
And this is where everyone freezes up.

Adam Encinas:
Yes I would. But then they don't press play. So the biggest thing is, just start, get a whiteboard, start easy, write some topics down that you want to start [crosstalk 00:43:41].

Alec:
I want to hit this whiteboard topic. So I've done this with other people. I've seen you do it Live. And I've been a student of you guys too. I sat down at the film night with a bunch of loan officers and I went around and said, "What videos are you going to do tonight?" And they all had two, or three or four. And I was like, "Okay, that's good. That's good. That'll be done in four minutes. We're going to do the rest of the hour."
And we just did a simple exercise, which was, pulled up a whiteboard, had to do a piece of paper, there was no whiteboard there. And I said, "Okay, what are the 10 to 12 things first time home buyers need to know?" That was all I asked. And immediately everyone started spitting off, how much down do I need? What's PITI, what the fees and rate's going to be? What determines the APR? What is an APR. And we just bang, bang, bang, bang. We put down 18 topics in five minutes. And everyone was like, "Oh, it was that easy?" Yeah, sometimes it's that easy.
The hard part to your guys' saying is to deal with insecurity. So then one more time. So everyone can hear this at the end here. How do you fight that demon? How do you get over yourself? How do you put yourself out there and be vulnerable when no one's watching because I mean, you did that. You were Live and it's like, crickets, your friends are on. How did you deal with that? How did you get through it? What inspiration can you give to somebody else who's terrified of that?

Minh Nguyen:
If you're terrified of going Live or going on social media-

Alec:
To start a video in general, yeah.

Minh Nguyen:
Think about, would you rather spend 10 minutes on a camera or go door knocking for two or three hours with a realtor or sit at an open house for four hours? That's my first thing. And the second thing is, if you don't do it, these online lenders will gobble you up and then you have nothing. I started rigiding all over again because after my team and I separated, I started in 2017 all over again originating. I know the feeling.

Alec:
Yeah, we didn't even talk about that, but you rebirthed yourself [crosstalk 00:45:44] full Phoenix.

Minh Nguyen:
And literally I went door knocking with realtors. I went to open houses. I was pretty much doing a lot of the mundane things that everyone else is doing. But what I got out of it was so little and as soon as I even got it, I was just competing against another lender who had had a better deal because I didn't bring value. So to get value, you have to give value. And that was my big thing.

Alec:
That's that's another golden nugget. How has that played out? Because you guys do give a ton of value now. You don't even ask really on your shows for leads. How does it play out?

Minh Nguyen:
It plays out well because people from Santa Barbara are driving down to see us. People are driving through traffic for two hours to come see us because they know the value that we brought them, gave them that clarity to understand What's a mortgage.

Alec:
It's incredible.

Minh Nguyen:
I got one tip for anyone [crosstalk 00:46:45].

Alec:
I'm in. I was about to close, but you can tip it up.

Minh Nguyen:
So one tip, if you are afraid or there's something holding you back, the best way to start talking and start talking about mortgages, have someone interview you and ask you the questions. So when you're not looking directly at the camera, have them stand behind the camera and have them interview you and ask you questions?

Alec:
That's a killer tip.

Minh Nguyen:
And that right there will build your momentum to getting over the fear of going Live or doing any recording.

Alec:
That's a killer tip.

Adam Encinas:
That's good.

Alec:
If someone doesn't say to the end, they're going to miss the actual gold money. So Adam, Minh, thank you guys. You're clearly tip of the spear, leading our industry into a new way to originate by building direct to consumer influence at scale through creative content and through education. And I hope that everyone hears this understands that there are a thousand ways to meet customers, but if you're not meeting them online at the top of the sales cycle, you're putting the future of your career in jeopardy. Because if you're not building brand and influence with customers directly, then they're doing it with somebody else, likely What's a mortgage, so I'd get there. All right, guys, we're going to close down for today. Thanks everybody for listening and tuning in, remember, please subscribe and share. Spread the love. Take care everybody. We're out.


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