I feel like I haven’t spoken to everyone in a while. I apologize for being so distant… trust me, it’s not you… it’s me.
It’s been a crazy few weeks with travel, Q4 planning and trade shows (man I’ve become that person… blah). In all honesty though, starting something from scratch has not been easy. A little over a year ago we opened the doors at Princeton Mortgage Wholesale and since that day, everything has been a whirlwind. You wouldn’t believe how quickly the seasons change when your head is down and your focusing on originating loans. It’s easy to forget that there is so much happening in our industry. For the first time in a while I’ve had the opportunity to pick my head up to look around… and like the seasons here in the northeast, there is a lot changing.
If you aren’t privy to what’s been happening let me enlighten you. Mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been in more than 7 years. For some who have never seen the industry this way before, navigating the new landscape will be difficult. Say goodbye to refi’s. Say goodbye to the days where borrowers were just calling you because they “saw something that said rates were in the 3s”. It was easy to originate loans then… you didn’t have to sell. You didn’t have to differentiate yourself (that much) and mortgage companies were popping up left and right. All you needed to do in order to make some good money (and trust me… people made GOOD money) was an NMLS ID, a cell phone and some sort of clever company name. Don’t get me wrong. It was still hard work and I’m not taking anything away from the companies that profited during a historic period of time when rates were so low. All I’m saying is that those days are long gone and in order to stay relevant in today’s industry you better put your head down and GRIND.
If you’re thinking… “geeze Matt lighten up”, I’m sorry… this next part isn’t going to be much better. Over the next few years we’re going to continue to see consolidation in the mortgage space. Retail shops are going to have to get creative with their margins (LOs are expensive… sorry it’s true) and get creative with the way they are attracting borrowers. Unique loan products are going to continue to pop up. Non-QM production will continue to increase… but so will fraud and so will default. Now, defaults probably won’t pop back up for another few years but trust me they’ll be back with a vengeance. Nothing against stated income products… but come on, we saw how that ended last time.
Look, I didn’t mean for this post to come off as a dark cloud. I didn’t. I guess all I’m trying to say is that everyone better batten down the hatches and prepare for what’s to come. I believe that the only way to get through this time in the industry is to go back to what’s most important… relationships and networking. People. That’s right it’s not going to be technology… or special programs… or fancy marketing techniques… that get us through this time. It’s going to be people building relationships and trust with other people. Call me old fashioned… but I REALLY like that. I think putting your integrity on the table and saying send me your loan because we do what we say we’re going to do… and then actually doing it… is going to be more meaningful than the next 3/1 IO, 99% LTV, 580 FICO Balloon product that pops up.
Call me crazy (and I’m sure by now some of you already have) but I DIG this. I love the competitiveness of the industry right now and I love that it’s going to take surrounding yourself with great people… plus some grit that is going to pull us through to the next rate drop. At least that’s my take.
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.