It’s been a decade since the fallout of the global financial crisis took place, and although the dust has settled, there are still many mortgage originators out there who remember the (not-so-) good ol’ days.
Originators who are new to the business wouldn’t know any other way of operating a, but seasoned pros have had to tailor their strategies across the board, particularly in terms of marketing and learning how to build a brand.
Ben Anderson, a top originator for RPM mortgage, a member of LendUS, saw a lot of his colleagues leave theindustry during that post-crisis reconstruction period; before then, some of them would never have had to pursue leads at all.
“The pre-recession originator was someone that worked in the call center, traditionally, and got handed the leads because companies could afford to do all kinds of marketing to an individual. Well, prices have gotten much leaner, companies are making much more, so companies no longer have the margins built into the profits to be able to open up call centers, nor are there many good leads,” Anderson said.
As with any bump in the road, the downturn eliminated the worst and lowest-producing originators, as well as those who didn’t want – or couldn’t afford – to stick it out and stay in the game.
Mathew Schulz, the owner of Fireside Mortgage, was a rookie at the time the recession took place, and his then-employer operated very differently than he chooses to operate today.
“That was the company that did 100% refinances, it was all radio advertising, newspaper advertising, all leads being driven in, and at that point in the industry, 90% of originators that were operating off these phone calls, business was coming in hand over fist, people had tons of equity, cash outs, companies selling the option ARM, We did not know how to go out and self-source business,” Schulz said.
Branding, marketing, and figuring out ways to capture market share and truly compete for business is something that separates brokers today from those who were operating in the years immediately preceding the recession. The general consensus is that it’s been good for the industry; originators have to be smarter, know the products better, and commit to providing a better customer service experience.
“I love the fact that we lost a lot of bad apples through that transition, that’s good,” Schulz said. “The only way I made through it was through pure perseverance, keeping overhead extremely low,” he said.
These days, there’s no room for the part-timers, the wafflers, the people who aren’t completely in the game if you want to bring in a consistent flow of business and maintain successful profitable partnerships.
“In mortgages, you just have to dedicate yourself. You have to know what you don’t know, which is a lot,” he said.
Top Originator: Ben Anderson leads a revolution
Firelight Mortgage owner Mathew Schulz kicks it old school