DURING my first year in mortgage banking, I chose follow-up as my prime objective and made sure my clients knew it. On one case, a joint-venture construction loan that had required hours of preparation, I was eager to advise my client that I had finally received a letter of intent. I called his office only to be told that he had left for the day. Frustrated, I relaxed by sailboarding in the harbor near my home. As I sailed along on I noticed a large powerboat cruising nearby and was astonished to discover that the man at the helm was my client. I tacked close to the cruiser, and waved. Incredulous, he waved back and slowed the boat. "Just wanted to let you know I've received a letter of intent," I called out. The deal was sealed soon afterward. Attached to the client's agreement was this postscript: "When you say you follow up on a deal, you really mean it!"