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Residential Department: From the Editor: March 2018


From the Editor

Tax changes may require marketing changes

r_2018-03_FTE.jpgWith April just a month away, tax season is beginning to heat up. This year, however, many Americans may be spending as much time worrying about their 2018 tax burden as they are about getting their 2017 taxes done. The recently passed overhaul of the U.S. tax code will lower taxes for some but increase the burden on others. Luckily, we have most of a year to figure out how the changes will affect us.

The bigger issue for mortgage originators, however, will be determining what, if any impact the tax code changes will have on housing affordability and the “rent-versus-own” debate. Our BackSpace article this month, written by Bill Conroy, Scotsman Guide editor in chief, takes a look at this topic. Turn to Page 178 to find out more.

One possible consequence of the tax changes is that, in many cases, originators may no longer be able to tout the tax benefits of purchasing a home when marketing to potential clients. This will surely put an increased emphasis on finding new ways to develop purchase business and market to first-time buyers.  We can help with that.

Toward that end, this month we focus on business development. To begin, turn to Page 37 to read an article by Michelle B. Peel of IWCO Direct, about the benefits of direct mail marketing. Originators interested in expanding into more diverse markets should read the article by L. Maria Vergara of NAHREP Consulting Services. Turn to Page 73 for that article. Then, on Page 105, Nathan Rufty of Mortgage Marketing Pros describes how your e-mail signature line can drive traffic to your online marketing campaigns.

For more insight into business development, check out the article on Page 44 by Bubba Mills of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching. Mills discusses how to turn leads into loans. Then, on Page 66, Dan Moran of Guaranteed Rate provides five tips originators can use to increase their annual production numbers. Finally, Leonard Moniz of Mortgage Equity Partners describes how providing five-star customer service can drive future sales. Turn to Page 88 for that article.

As always, we have even more content on a variety of industry-related topics. Starting on Page 61, Stephanie W. Casper of CoreVest American Finance discusses the virtue of embracing mortgage automation technology and the value of people in an increasingly “robotic” world. For those originators looking to make a change in their careers, Adam Thorpe of Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has some insight on what to look for in a new mortgage “home.” Turn to Page 83 for that article. Then, on Page 134, Eric Fedewa of Ascend Capital Partners LLC discusses how originators can evaluate economic indicators to anticipate — and prepare for — the next downturn.

All of this and more can be found inside this issue. Good luck with your taxes this month and don’t forget to return next month for Top Originators 2017, our annual rankings of the nation’s best mortgage originators. Plus, the submission deadline for Top Mortgage Lenders 2017, our annual rankings of mortgage-lending companies, is March 16. Don’t miss your chance to enter. For more information, go to


Will McDermott is managing editor for Ask a Lender. Reach him at or (800) 297-6061.

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