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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2007

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Recognize how our industry’s woes are actually working to your benefit

Despite the daily bombardment of negative stories we’re hearing about the mortgage industry, there are important “silver lining” factors at work. If harnessed correctly, they could lead you to a good year of commissions.

Following are three upsides to our current downturn. Be sure to keep them in mind for inspiration as you restructure your business pipeline and marketing efforts.

Fewer originators are soliciting

Our recent fallout has decimated the ranks of cold-callers. Many of them have moved to other, greener pastures or to selling health plans or medical equipment. This is a welcome and healthy cyclical dynamic that generally happens after every expansionary period.

Now we’re competing against fewer hard-selling screamers who made it harder for the rest of us to approach a prospect in recent years. Case in point — have you looked at your mail lately? There are likely fewer mortgage mailers filling your mailbox. In addition, television, radio, newspaper and magazine advertisements are less prevalent than in the recent past.

Mortgage companies are slashing their advertising and marketing budgets across the board. As a result, it’s easier for you to cut through the noise created by the clutter of other mortgage brokers.

Prospects still need help

Most of us have read about the $1 trillion worth of adjustable-rate mortgages resetting in the next year. Bankruptcy-filing numbers are skyrocketing, which actually bodes well for one niche — Chapter 13 buyouts. Foreclosure filings are doubling. In addition, legions of new prospects for reverse mortgages meet the minimum age requirement (62 years old) each day.

You don’t have to dig far to hit pay dirt, even in our current environment. So carefully pick a niche of motivated borrowers who need your help. Then start doing your research to become an expert, and start letting everyone know about it.

People know loans are harder

Because the prospects you speak to have heard about the mortgage industry’s challenges on the news, it translates into one less thing you need to explain about why they won’t qualify for A-paper rates. The incessant news stories, while depressing for us in the industry, actually have helped us with our prospects.

This is especially the case if you work with nonbankable prospects, such as stated-income or credit-challenged borrowers. Many of these people have started to realize that it may not be so easy for them to obtain financing after all.

As a result, you might find yourself meeting the same prospects you first consulted with six months ago. Why are they back? One reason: You stayed in touch with them via your monthly newsletter or other marketing materials. And that made you accessible to them when, say, their deal with faceless Internet loan officer fell apart, predictably.

•  •  •

Now that you know how our current market is actually benefiting you, it is the time to turn up the intensity. It’s easier to grab attention than it has been in a long time.

Instead of focusing on the deals you cannot do, concentrate on the deals you can do. Then, after you’ve identified what you want, tailor your marketing campaign to drum up those leads and close some loans.


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