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Get hunkered in… it’s going to be a long, cold winter.

As we enter into the final 2 weeks of Q3 it’s clear to me that the competition in our space is stronger than ever… so strong that Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey showed that lenders are feeling bleak about the market this quarter compared to last year at the same time. Why’s that you ask? One answer. Competition. The market is very compressed right now. Refi’s aren’t growing on trees anymore and everyone is fighting for the same piece of the mortgage pie… purchases… and even that piece isn’t enough to fill anyone up.

Over this past year we’ve talked at length about the swing in purchasing power to the Millennial generation and how the “Rent vs. Buy” conversation is dictating the purchase market right now. Buyers out there have been driven away by inflated home costs, lack of inventory and mounds of student loan debt. It’s no wonder we’re seeing such a dip… it just makes sense to wait this little pocket of inflation out… stack some cash and then buy when the market comes back around. If you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of the market, it’s an easy equation to figure out.

That said, we have mouths to feed and believe it or not, there are still opportunities out there to close some loans! The secret? Realtors. Plain and simple. Our solution is having strong realtor relationships in which they feel comfortable about sending their buyer to you for their mortgage needs.

Well… that seems simple enough, right? Wrong. The first mistake is price. Price isn’t driving these realtors to send you business anymore. Price is great, don’t get me wrong… but it’s much more than that. Let’s take a minute and shake away all of the noise that surrounds our industry. I’m talking about rate offerings, technology platforms, unique products, marketing initiatives… everything. It’s all just noise and let’s get back to the basics. The best way to earn business right now is the old-fashioned way… having a deal. As an LO or broker… it’s powerful when you come to the table asking for business and offer up a slam dunk client that is looking for a home. There is no better form of advertisement than showing up to a realtor’s office and saying I have a buyer for you and if this deal goes well… I’ll drive any future business back to you.

This concept isn’t anything new. You have to give a little to get a little as human nature will tell you that nobody likes to be in someone’s debt. Let’s think about the Godfather… during the famous opening scene the Don goes back and forth with a “dear friend” about a favor he’s requesting from the Don. This is where I think Robert Cialdini (the creator of the 6 Principles of Persuasion) got the idea of reciprocity… although I’m sure that could be heavily debated. In the iconic scene the Don says:

“Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this justice a gift on my daughter's wedding day.”

Here is where he traps his dear friend into returning the favor and as a result the “dear friend” has nightmares about one day what he’ll have to do in order to return this favor to the Don. Now, let’s not draw this analogy out any further, but are you on the same page now?! You have to give to get… so get out there and start giving because if not… you might end up sleeping with fishes or something less dramatic… I just couldn’t find a quote that connects better (cut me a break, it’s Monday and the Steelers are 0-1-1).

Talk to you soon!


The opinions expressed in this post are the sole view of the writer and do not reflect the opinion of Princeton Mortgage Corporation.

Photo by Kevin Goodrich

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