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The Elite Performer: Perception vs. Perspective

Andy W. Harris
Oct 06, 2016

Let’s face it, we’re in a crazy business. I mean a business that can drive a person crazy if we don’t analyze things and prepare for the emotions and roller coasters that is real estate. Our clients are facing one of the biggest financial decisions of their life and working with others in the industry can feel like having a conversation with a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. We carry the most important role in the mortgage origination, controlling the process of a non-cash purchase. We need to be level-footed and well-grounded. Simply put, we need to be the leaders in every transaction.

Perception is defined as a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression. Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. While these two definitions may sounds similar, they are quite different. Perception is more personal and individualized on how things may appear, while perspective is more of a reality of how things are. I believe these two words are some of the most important to understand for anyone working in this high stress industry.

When we have difficult situations, we need to be able to control our attitudes and responses to each in a manner best suited for the clients we serve. When challenges arise, most people perceive things worse than they really are. When you step outside and find the solution, it’s easy to realize the problem is truly not a problem in the grand scheme of things. You can put things into perspective for all parties with data and facts and everything will be okay. You must control your attitude and how you respond during the most challenging times to help comfort those around you and find solutions versus fueling the already potentially twisted perception of reality.

This is very important when managing the process, expectations, and changes we face as an industry. I personally deal with this often with the high demands at work. I recall travelling to Belize last year with my beautiful bride for our 10-year anniversary. I can tell you, it was the best thing for perspective anyone can experience. I completely disconnected (for the first time in a long time) and saw things in an entirely different view and perspective. Everything was small, no issue was an issue, and it was “all good.” Everyone needs to experience this at least once a year. Sure enough, when I returned it was like I never left.

We need to manager ourselves and others in finding the right action and reactions to take. We need to build and sustain a healthy viewpoint in work and life that will help us thrive and enjoy our work. There is nothing wrong with individualism and perception, but if it is skewed or set from false expectations or understanding of how the process works in our business, we need to step in and help all parties put into perspective for the way things are. It’s not only when there are potential issues, but just to prepare people for the crazy process they will face when applying for a mortgage loan that could be a fun process if we help them prepare mentally.

Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and past president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431, e-mail [email protected] or visit

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

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