“I recently had the opportunity to attend Sales Mastery with Todd Duncan in San Diego. My start with Todd was back when I first got into mortgage in 1997! I loved the perspective about what is here and what is coming in the industry. While there is wide-spread fear, rising rates, and shrinking margins there is still incredible opportunity for those who keep their head in the game. Here are some of my top take-aways.

YOU CAN’T SAY WE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING. One of the keynote speakers was Peter Sheahan and he drew the analogy to the mass changes in the grocery industry. When you analyze the changes in the grocery business and how Amazon has captured 18% of the industry since 2017 it is a great example of how industries can incur massive change. When Peter was called in to help grocery chain owners analyze what happened their reply was “we just didn’t see it coming”. Peter then proceeded to show the timeline dating back over a decade of Amazon’s gradual entry into the industry. So, you can’t say you didn’t see it coming. Same is true for us. The difference (and the great part) is that unlike grocery shopping, buying a home and securing financing is primarily a human to human experience. So we must use technology to illuminate how great we are and not run in fear that it will replace us.

THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO COUNTER MARGIN COMPRESSION. First is added volume to generate bottom line added dollars to overcome lower margins. Dan recently addressed this in our Producer Summit. The numbers of what we need to close in order to still generate bottom line dollar profit will be clearly outlined as our margins are analyzed for 2018. Second is added services (not service, services). Whether this is educational services for clients, agents, vendor partners offering discounts as a benefit to our clients, and so forth, this is something that can and should be team driven. Be thinking about how you can expand what you do for your applicants, partners, and especially closed borrowers. Third is having a niche. This also needs to be driven at the team level. As LO’s each of us bring something unique to the table. Be sure to identify what that is, build a presence around it, and use it to capture market share.

NOTHING TRUMPS HUMAN INTERACTION AND A TRUST-BASED RELATIONSHIP. This really can’t be stressed enough. A sustainable business is based on relationships. Be real, connect, and most importantly LOVE your team, partners, and clients. In prepping for 2019 business planning I looked at the percentage of my business that is something other than realtor referrals. I love the fact that 50% of my business is not realtor based. Don’t take this as a statement to minimize realtor business. I LOVE my realtors. Having that said, I know I need three to four major pillars to diversify my business and insulate against the major shift in the realtors industry as well.

Keep your head in the game, put blinders on when appropriate, and let’s make 2019 a year of expansion for Legacy and each of YOU.”

– Linda Rudd