The great thing about becoming a mortgage originator is that you can set your own course. You can work at it full time or as a side hustle. You can work in an office or from home. You can be a mortgage originator long into your “retirement” years. And, although regulations and the housing market can – and will – change over the years, people will always need mortgages.
If you’re in it for the long haul, however, origination can lose its luster over time. The challenge of pushing through a difficult deal or finding a perfect lender for a non-prime client may have gotten old, or you find the same issues with difficult lenders and unprepared homebuyers happening time and time again. True burnout, as opposed to just a professional slump, can even wreak havoc on your health as well as your business. Some indicators are exhaustion, reduced performance, depersonalization or becoming disconnected from clients, anxiety, insomnia, and more. Although extreme burnout requires extreme measures, it’s more common that we find ourselves having fallen into a work rut, where we feel as if we’re doing the same ol’ thing, day in and day out.
Here are some ways to shake yourself out of it and keep your fire lit.
1. Find the source of your discontent
Identifying the reason you’re flagging might not be easy, as burnout isn’t just a stressful period, it’s something that increases and develops over time. According the Mayo Clinic, job burnout can result from various factors, including: a lack of control regarding decisions that affect your job; unclear job expectations; dysfunctional workplace dynamics; a lack of social support; and/or a work-life imbalance. Understanding why you’re struggling and establishing what aspects of your situation you can change can be a relief, and very empowering.
2. Keep the professional personal
The loan applications may be a day’s work to you, but remember that for your applicants, the outcomes could be life-changing. For some people, getting a mortgage can make a difference between whether or not they stay in an area, whether or not they take a job, whether or not they expand their family, whether or not their children go to high- or low-performing school. Try to keep faces attached to files and remember that this work is actually very personal.
3. Update your skills
New technologies have emerged over time, and if you haven’t embraced them, it’s time to look ahead and see how they can change your business. Technology can’t create magic on its own, of course, but it can help you be faster and more efficient. Perhaps there are some new CRM features available that you’d like to look into to help with your client follow up, or maybe there are some tools that your clients would appreciate when it comes to submitting their documents. You don’t have to adopt everything, but it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes on the marketplace to see if anything suits either your needs or those of your clients. Chances are you’ll see a boost in your business as a result.
4. You’re not too good for training
Just because you’re a veteran of the industry doesn’t mean you know everything, or that the way you’ve been running your business is the best way to do so. There are plenty of workshops where industry professionals share tips and tricks, practices that have worked for them and mistakes where they wish they’d known better. Take advantage of the opportunities to learn from your peers. Adopt what’s relevant and take a pass on what’s not.
5. New mortgage products
You probably have your favorite mortgage products with your favorite lenders, and they apply to a good section of your clients. But lenders – big and small – often introduce new mortgage products, and if your lender hasn’t shared them with you, then it’s time to do some research and reach out to them. You can’t offer products to your clients if you don’t know about them.
6. Remember your achievements
Talking to past clients who were the beneficiaries of your professional knowledge and personal attention is one way to stay in touch with your successes. Another way is to step back and look at how your career has changed over time: how many loans have you closed over the years? What was your loan volume five years ago compared to what it is today? How has your work environment improved? What are ways that you’re paying your success forward to your community, maybe through mentorships or working with local organizations that are having a positive impact on your community? Looking ahead, what initiatives have you excited? As you move forward, it can be very energizing to look back and see how much you’ve improved over time.
7. Take a break
You know the old adage: Absence makes the heart grow fonder of work. (That’s how it goes, right?) When was the last time that you took a break? Even if you love your job, you could benefit from taking a breather – especially in the mortgage business, where you need to be constantly accessible almost 24/7.
Whether you adopt one or all of the above tips, remember that one of the keys to longevity is finding motivation in the day-to-day tasks that keep you connected with the parts of the job you love.