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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2011

Recovery Begins with You

Focus on what you can do to lead your business out of the housing crisis

The housing crisis happened. Instead of rehashing how we got here, mortgage brokers and originators now must look to recovery. There are many different viewpoints about what must happen as well as what mortgage professionals should do in order for the industry to experience a real recovery.

Many believe that the introduction of new loan types and the expansion of current loan programs to include more borrowers will lead to market expansion, more business for the industry and stabilized home prices. These expansions, however, can bring us to a bad place. Although overly strict underwriting is bad, letting the pendulum swing too far the other way is also no good. Common-sense products and underwriting are needed — a happy medium that will include the greatest percentage of qualified borrowers. In addition, the government should stay out of the regulation of commissions, and it must be practical about licensing.

"Originators must remember they are salespeople."

Although those last two items are largely out of originators’ hands, they need more than ever to be knowledgeable about all phases of the industry to separate themselves from their competition. Mortgage professionals who want increased market share must understand primary and secondary markets and what products will work for their customers. Knowledge of the movement of interest rates, pricing margins and product availability is critical to successful mortgage originators. They then can make the impact they need in the marketplace and optimize their volume — and thereby their own income.

The next issue that must be addressed before the mortgage industry can recover is: Originators must remember they are salespeople. As such, focusing on their skills — being more organized, more effective, more interesting, more informed and more active — ultimately will mean being more successful.

All this must start with proper training. Handing aspiring originators closed files and then directing them to their cubicles to tear the files apart is not a good idea. If you want professionals working for you, then they must be properly trained at accredited schools.

In addition, mortgage transactions in today’s real estate market involve numerous laws, regulations and a myriad of governmental bodies with oversight. All originators must know and adhere to every one of these rules. Again, the best place to learn is at an accredited school, not sitting at a desk and asking a question every now and then.

After learning the basics of the industry, there must be proper follow-up education. This is often determined by budget, but it should be prioritized.

Although training in the industry is paramount, training in the art of sales also is necessary. Salespeople are not born; they develop skills through proper training, studying and practice. Sales training must be included in any business plan as a necessary part of the ongoing success of the business. Training is not complete when a course is complete. Habits take time to change and continual reinforcement is needed to achieve success.

Recovery in this industry is not out of reach. Although many things needed for it are beyond the scope of mortgage originators, there are many actions they can take to speed the recovery of their business. Being knowledgeable about the industry and all that affects it, as well as training to be mortgage professionals and salespeople, is critical to being successful in today’s marketplace.


 


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