I recently saw an episode of the television show “Glee” where Ricky Martin, the new Spanish teacher at McKinley High, makes a point about how Hispanic and Latino demographics will impact American society. So, how large will the impact be?
In 2011, Wharton published a report addressing this same issue: the projected impact of a growing Hispanic population on America. Key findings in the Wharton report include:
• Currently, one out of every six Americans is Hispanic
• From 2000 to 2010, more than half of American’s population growth was Hispanic
• That marketing to Hispanics can pump up a weak housing market!
For more of Wharton’s analysis, download the article.
It seems to me that the mortgage banking industry has a great opportunity to market to this growing and dynamic group. As a result, mortgage companies should be recruiting loan officers who can speak Spanish and English. If you are still not convinced about the potential of this market segment, take a look these recent U.S. Census Bureau survey results:
“According to the 2010 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by almost 37 million people aged five or older, a figure more than double that of 1990. There are 45 million Hispanophones who speak Spanish as a first or second language, as well as six million Spanish language students, composing the largest national Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Roughly half of all U.S. Spanish speakers also speak English ‘very well’, based on the self-assessment Census question.”
If future mortgage banking success involves the ability to sell to niche markets, a group as large as the Hispanic population requires companies to actively recruit Hispanic loan officers — whether experienced or inexperienced (we can teach them the business). In my opinion, this recruiting effort should be a no-brainer for companies.
It just makes sense and is smart business that companies hire loan officers who can speak to the customer in the customer’s language. Five years ago, we converted our pre-hire questionnaire assessments to help companies select individuals who speak Spanish and can sell consultatively. We believe that testing for individual sales skills in a person’s primary language helps companies select the best originators. This market is too large to be ignored. Have you made this a top priority at your firm?