How should LOs prepare for the market in the future?

the latest numbers We have a lot in the industry that starts the year on a hopeful note, with potential to see mortgage rates Back to the 5% range in 2023.

“The 5% market is a healthy market,” said Anna Rotolo, branch manager and chief loan officer. Synergy One Lending. “A 5% market would be good. I think that puts enough people back into the market, [though] I think there is still much more demand than supply.”

Those hopes of a lower interest rate have many loan officers feeling optimistic about the business prospects in 2023 after seeing lower volumes last year. But as we enter the first quarter of the year, liaison offices need to balance their hopes with working on the ground to prepare for whatever lies ahead.

said Susan Byerly, chief loan officer Neighborhood Loans. “They anticipate that interest rates will see some decline in the early spring, and that will cause some buyers to get off the bench.”

So what should your contacts do in the first quarter to set themselves up for success next year?

make a plan

For Jason Stallworth, Director of Retail Sales at Lending to the planetI began preparations for the first quarter last month by meeting with new prospects, agents and real estate brokers. He sat down with potential buyers and referral partners to set goals and expectations for 2023 and put together a plan to help them achieve their goals.

“More importantly, the biggest part of it is carrying out the plan I set out,” Stallworth said. “It means nothing if you don’t get it done. Consistency is the key to getting there. You do the work, and the money and results will follow.”

Ruotolo reviews business plans with its loan officers and makes sure that in addition to setting a goal, they set up the steps they need to take to achieve it.

“I don’t focus too much on the number,” she said, “I know what my number is.” “I am focused on the steps and activities that I need to take to reach that number.”

Stay in touch with your sphere of influence

An important part of achieving these goals is staying in touch with your area of ​​influence and your referral partners. Connecting with your book of work and creating new relationships will help you maintain your business and continue to grow.

For example, Ruotolo keeps in touch with its database and the real estate agents who refer and support it. But it also creates a targeted list of clients that you want to work with and connect with.

“We have to work with the ultimate intention of creating as many relationships as possible, and making as many connections as possible during the first quarter,” Ruotolo said. “This is when we can gain market share by creating some really strong relationships during this time.”

Keep educating

Education is part of maintaining these important relationships, whether it be for your real estate agent partners or potential buyers.

A record number of real estate agents have joined the industry in the past few years, and the newer ones will not see a change in the market. They will need to be familiar with programs such as 3-2-1 or 2-1 purchase and how they work, and they might need help promoting their listings.

Byerley and Ruotolo said they are running webinars and videos to help educate borrowers. Byerly noted the importance of “pleasantly persevering” in educating the borrower in light of misconceptions and negative mindsets.

“Bring in a financial advisor, someone who can talk to where our market is right now in teaching people that this is the perfect time to buy, because we don’t know what things are going to look like in the future,” Byerly said. “We’re in uncharted waters right now, so we have to get as creative as we can.”

Homebuyers make the biggest financial transaction of their lives. It is important not only to position yourself as a knowledgeable professional they can rely on, but to make sure that you are giving them the most accurate leveling information possible in the right way.

“A lot of buyers think the market will go back to the COVID numbers; they think the rate will go down to 2-3%. Too bad that’s not the case, so we have to set realistic expectations for the buyers,” Stallworth said. “It’s our job as professionals to do that, and if We’ve been able to do that, it makes our jobs easier by just managing that buyer’s expectations.”

Don’t slow down

While buying volumes are low, it can be tempting to slow down and wait for prices and business to pick up after the first quarter. But now is the time to work harder than ever.

“I don’t see the effects of a market slowdown,” Stallworth said. “Why? Because I don’t let a market slowdown affect my work. I’m still in the business — if anything, it makes me work harder.”

Whatever your plan is, stick to it and stay focused. Byerly said the work will pay off.

“I look at this as seed planting time. Give it about four or six months, and we’ll reap the fruits of our labor,” she said. “Work as if you’re completely immersed, and don’t have the mindset of, ‘Oh, I’m so slow.'” “When people ask me how I’m doing, I feel overwhelmed. I may not be overwhelmed with closing loans, but I’m busy. That’s a mindset.”

Stay positive

No matter how the market moves, it’s important to stay positive during this time, Ruotolo said, and avoid bringing a negative tone into conversations.

She said, “Stay grounded in the truth but optimistic.” “Because he he A good opportunity to buy a home, if you can afford to buy a home. You can negotiate better now than you could in the past, and if rates go down, we’ll refinance you.”

If you’re not feeling positive on a particular day, I suggested stepping away so you can be positive and avoid inauspicious conversations. Focus on your belief in the drug and what it can do for the buyers you work with.

“Be positive,” she said. “Keep focused on knowing it’s a great service we provide and a great goal to help people achieve.”

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