Peaks and valleys: A loan officer's survival guideJeff Barradjustable-rate mortgages, tips, strategies
As the economy continues to remain in a volatile state, concerns
are surfacing as to the future success of the loan officer. It is
now a good time to redefine your goals and evaluate your
•Confer with seasoned loan officers who have been through
bumpy times. Learn what they have done in the past to remain active
and strong in this business.
•Increase your knowledge of new programs or review guidelines
for rules and changes. For instance, the payment option ARM has
been a hot product lately. Some requests have evolved for the
40-year note. Ask yourself if this program really makes sense for
•Contact old customers. If you served them well the first
time, it is likely they will come back to you. Clients who have 2/8
or 3/27 ARMs may now be eligible for refinancing or improving their
financial condition or cash flow. Of course, past clients may have
prospects as well!
•Network! Do not stop now if you are in a slump or business
is slow. Keep meeting new people at various venues. Planting seeds
will harvest sales in the near future.
•Attend outside sales seminars as well as required state
training. Look, listen and learn new sales ideas. Now is a good
time to increase your professional knowledge.
•Remain committed. Remember, top NBA players do not become
superstars in their first few years. Often, it takes two or three
years to possibly become a star.
•Establish your own code of ethics. Pledge that you will work
hard to treat your clients with respect, and obtain for them the
best loan program and maximum savings.
•If this is your first position out of college, commission
sales can be tough. Be patient and study loan products just like
you would any course materials, such as accounting and management
•Credit reports are crucial in this industry, so make sure
you completely understand the reporting system. Order you own
report and review it for accuracy. Advise your clients to repair
their credit. This will enable you to assist them in the
•Fluctuating interest rates are influenced by a changing
economy. The mortgage officer's income will be affected by these
cyclical downturns. Learn more about the bond index as well as
leading and lagging indices. For example, the lack of job growth
might keep the rates intact, as opposed to lower unemployment,
which may result in higher rates. The economy is difficult to
predict. However, a working knowledge will enable you to appear
more like a consultant and less like another salesperson.
These are volatile times for mortgage executives. Apply the
concepts outlined in this article to make yourself sharper and
better equipped for answering your prospective clients' questions.
Remember, knowledge is power! Your confidence, your sales and your
income will increase over time. The tough and difficult days will
be over before you know it! Jeff Barr is a competent
toastmaster and speaker in Louisville, Ky., an adjunct professor of
communications at the University of Louisville and a mortgage loan
officer. He can be reached at (502) 777-9555 or e-mail [email protected]