As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2008.
The most-devastating effects of the nonprime crisis and the corresponding mortgage meltdown appear to be mainly behind us. The residual effects linger, however, and will undoubtedly continue for some time.
As our industry strengthens, as consumer confidence improves and as the economy stabilizes, mortgage originators shouldn't forget the lessons learned from the recent crisis. By considering all that we've learned and then applying it to our daily routines, we can safeguard our professional livelihoods in case of another meltdown in the future.
Here are 10 tips to ensure you're never unprepared:
1. Don't assume anything: One of the biggest mistakes that many originators made during the previous refinancing boom was to assume that the market would sustain peak levels forever. History has shown that housing booms and busts are cyclical and that what goes up will eventually come down. Recognize that whether the market is flourishing or faltering, it is temporary.
Change appears to be the only constant in this industry, and it's crucial to understand during peak times that a market correction or adjustment will eventually follow. Originators who understand this cycle and prepare for it by budgeting and recognizing its nature will cope better with downward cycles than those who live only in the moment with little regard for the future.
2. Maintain your database: We should all know how important it is to stay in regular contact with our past clients and referral partners. Even when loans are pouring in, it is essential that we never underestimate the value of keeping our names fresh in our clients' minds. Marketing efforts don't need to be expensive or extensive, but they must be consistent.
At a minimum, there is always time to send a monthly e-mail to clients and partners. Regular contact is a surefire way to stay connected to them. You'll be grateful that you maintained those connections if the market hits a slump in the future.
3. Make networking a priority: The benefits of networking are making quite a splash in the headlines lately and with good reason: Networking works. Even if you don't earn business from your networking efforts immediately, you'll meet new people. The referrals and business will follow.
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