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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2012

Breathe Easy

Even in challenging times, brokers should look on the bright side

As any mortgage professional still working today can attest, the industry certainly has taken its lumps throughout the past few years. Even now, the effects of the recession have yet to fade from the industry, but to a large extent, it serves no purpose to dwell on the industry’s past mistakes or pass the blame from one party to another.

In other words, instead of dwelling on all the negative aspects of today’s industry, brokers and originators should remind themselves that there’s still business out there, and they should focus on what they’re doing to get that business. Despite all the industry’s changes, the origination business remains one of simply matching borrowers with loans. Attracting customers today may not be as easy as it once was — it may require more skills than it used to — but there are still quality customers in need of quality loans.

As a broker or originator, you need to hone your skills as thoroughly as possible. You must know how to qualify customers based on their debt-to-income ratios, and you must know how to read a credit report as opposed to simply looking at its scores. In short, you need to improve all of the skills that are pertinent to our industry, skills that all mortgage professionals should have, regardless of the state of the economy and the housing market.

"Attracting customers today may not be as easy as it once was — it may require more skills than it used to — but there are still quality customers in need of quality loans."

Where are all the borrowers today? They’re where they’ve always been, and they’re doing what they’ve always done: They’re getting married, having children and raising families. There still are couples who live in apartments and need another bedroom after having a child. There still are people who see distressed homes and aim to fix them up and make them their own. There still are people who want to downsize because their children have grown up and moved out. Realtors still are selling houses, and originators still are selling loans.

Focus on the positive aspects of the industry. Consider, for instance, that most originators from 10 years ago would have loved to have the interest-rate situation that the industry has today. Consider how much more difficult it was to qualify a borrower with a rate of 9.5 percent as opposed to 3.5 percent. When so many factors have made the mortgage industry more inhospitable, it’s easy to forget all the things that have made the industry more inviting.

The goals for today’s mortgage originator don’t need to be overly complicated: You need to work hard, make phone calls, return phone calls, be persistent, be accessible, visit your accounts frequently and tell the truth. Don’t be shy; network with your Realtor partners and cultivate your referrals. Do what you do best: Put yourself out there and sell.


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