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Nothing Stays Still, And Neither Should You

Leaders prep their team and colleagues to deal with turbulent times

Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman
Nothing Stays Still, And Neither Should You

Long-time readers know that, in my 40-year career in this industry, I have come to the conclusion that the only constant in this industry is change. And while some change, such as technology innovations, is expected, much of the change cannot be forecast, and therefore is not something you can prepare for.

How many predicted that a virus would shut down segments of our economy for a two-year period? And when things shut down, how many predicted that real estate would become even hotter than ever during the time we were dealing with the pandemic? Perhaps you read these predictions, but I suspect that the vast majority of us did not see these things coming.

And inflation? Two years ago, we were dealing with disastrous predictions of deflation as the recession hit. Now there are shortages of everything — houses, cars, workers, oil, and more. Not enough workers to fill skilled positions and not enough chips to make our new technology-laden cars viable.

With such devastating worldwide news to deal with, one would have thought this would have rallied our country and the world to come together. Unfortunately, our country seems to be as divided as ever, and the world is fighting just as much as it always has. The war in Ukraine is just the latest example in the headlines — obviously a very huge example.

And while we must lead through change, we must also understand that not everyone can cope with change — especially huge changes such as the pandemic, recessions, and war. We have had some loan officers who refused to come out at all during the pandemic, while others refused to believe that the pandemic was real or was a threat.

When the news is filled with graphic pictures of a country invading another country, emotions will run very high. Some may become fixated on watching the progression of this tragedy. Others will keep their heads down and will continue plugging away.

However, when there are several factors influencing our business and the world around us, we are more likely to see major variations in effectiveness and reactions within our staffs. Let’s just recount these issues:

  • The pandemic
  • Inflation
  • Shortages of inventory
  • Rising interest rates
  • Lower volumes
  • More price competition and lower margins
  • A regional conflict
  • Economic sanctions.

Should we continue? Any three of these would be a lot of change to deal with, but today we are smothered in changing circumstances. This is a challenge to everyone in this industry and certainly represents a huge challenge to leaders. We not only have to deal with these factors, we have to help our staffs deal with them individually.

This is a time in which we need to open our hearts and our minds in such a way that we can help others cope. For example, this is not the time for closed doors and negative vibes because of lower production and profit levels. We must lead through positive motivation.

Every factor on this list hopefully has an expiration date. For example, rising interest rates could actually lead to another refinance boom in the future. If you help your sales force set up their CRMs to continuously add value to their previous customers, that boom will be more lucrative for them.

In other words, prepare them for the future while you help them cope with the present. Quite a task — but that is why they call you a leader.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine April 2022 issue.
Dave Hershman headshot
Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman is an author for the mortgage industry with eight books and several hundred articles to his credit. He is also senior vice president of sales for Weichert Financial Services, head of OriginationPro Mortgage School and a top industry speaker.

Published on
Apr 28, 2022
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