The most intriguing result from the 4th Annual Survey of Originator Opinions by Hammerhouse LLC was the shift of originators’ focus to market related concerns from regulatory concerns. 69 percent, of a statistically significant sample of active mortgage loan originators, expect overall origination volume to drop in 2014. Despite this view, 53 percent of those surveyed still expect their personal origination volume to rise, though a majority admits to the exception of failing to meet 2013 production goals. The survey asked originators their opinions on critical issues facing the mortgage industry and impacting their performance of their jobs. Originators views indicate:
►Market concerns have supplanted regulatory oversight as the top issue facing the industry
►Lender’s operational capability has been joined by marketing support as their most important attributes
►Leaders of lending organizations are now being judged more on their ability to communicate and to be accountable for their actions
►Originators are not being sufficiently represented in the recruiting process
►Overall loan volume will drop, but personal production will rise
►Satisfaction with their firms and their careers remains high
Drew Waterhouse, managing director of Hammerhouse said of the Survey: “Top originators are concerned about the impact of changes in the mortgage market and are holding lenders accountable for providing a supportive environment for their business.”
The Survey questions cover important factors from each of the six core business areas identified by Hammerhouse as integral to the relationship between originators and lenders: Leadership, Culture, Business, Operations, Technology and Geography.
Hammerhouse previously released its forecast for hiring trends for 2014 in the mortgage industry. Among the forecasts were:
►2014 will be the Year of Originator Free Agency, where each originator will be forced to reassess their business relationships in light of the changing structural environment of the lending industry
►Lenders must make a case to each originator that they can best offer superior marketing and operational support, rigorous compliance systems, competitive product and pricing options, management and leadership expertise and work/life balance that will enable continued success in the new lending environment
The results of the 2014 Survey of Originator Opinions are supportive of these forecasts. According to Waterhouse, “In our 2014 survey we hear the voice of concern among originators regarding the future. This year is where originators and lenders must come to terms with the new realities of the mortgage industry. The discrepancy in industry versus personal expectations relative to origination volume deserves close monitoring as it could signal a coming reality check.”
To view the full results of this survey, click here.