Last week, the MBA published its first quarter performance report for 2014 and the results were alarming in many ways. Production volume declined generating a loss of $194 per loan. Total production expenses increased from the previous quarter to $8,025 per loan — the highest ever recorded. Personnel costs accounted for 63% of total production expenses. Given these stats, it is no surprise that almost half of the mortgage companies reported did not break-even. While purchase volume did not pick up and refinancing volume dropped, costs skyrocketed.
The numbers suggest that tightening expenses will be a top priority to right the ship at most companies. Lost amid the percentages is the core issue: How to create loan demand in a market where rentals are rising exponentially. In the May 2014 M Report magazine, the cover story focused on the fact that more potential homeowners are choosing to rent because of economic uncertainty, fewer employment opportunities and a lack of equity building in most areas of the country. All troubling signs for the mortgage industry.
Is it time to throw in the towel? Certainly, some companies and individuals are making that decision.
But I think that the answer should be a resounding “No.”
Why? Because there are originators succeeding in these tough times, the real question is what are they doing that others are not? In our recent survey of top originators, we found that top performers do more than just connect with customers. They convince customers that they are best choice among all options. They are also proactive, easy to buy from and responsive. What really separates the winners from the losers is their talent and drive.
For some top producers, it is as simple as answering their phone and promptly returning calls. For others it is designing outreach programs for the referral sources so they will do more business.
The point is that winning originators do these things more often and better than average and below-average originators.
An interesting nationwide study conducted by RAIN Group found similar results that, regardless of industry, top performing sales professionals do the following things better than others:
1. Educate their customer with new ideas or perspectives
2. Collaborate with the customer
3. Persuade the customer that they could achieve results
4. Listen to them
5. Understand their needs
The winning originators are educators. They provide insight and take charge of the sales call. Really, it is about providing insight in a world where products and services are commodities.
Do you have the right originators who can deliver insight to your customers? The time is now to address this issue.