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Q&A With Art Appelberg

Art AppelbergQ. What has been the biggest change in the mortgage market since you entered the industry?

It surprises me how important the internet has become over the last 20 years. It used to be that if you weren’t in the yellow pages, you did not exist. These days, it’s all about internet visibility. The big difference is that internet visibility costs a lot more than the Yellow Pages. I recall challenging a Yellow Page representative to find a copy of that book in my office. They, of course, could not. All businesses must learn the most effective ways to harness and manage the power of the internet. The strategic importance of the internet cannot be ignored. Those who do will be left in the dust!


Q. If you had to put on your prediction hat, how will the mortgage market be different in 5 years?

We are living in a tough economy which in my opinion will worsen over the next five years. Massive government debts and high taxes along with overpriced housing will dramatically slow the growth of the mortgage market. Markets are cyclical and history has a way of repeating itself. I still remember the recession of the early 90s. The mortgage market has done well for the last 20 years. Like all things in life there is an ebb and flow. I predict that the mortgage market will shrink. Those that provide a valuable service to the public will withstand the storm.


Q. What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned since starting in the mortgage business?

The hardest lesson that I have learned since starting in the mortgage business is that every two-year plan that I implement, takes about 10 years to succeed. You can see the problem here. There isn’t enough time to do everything that I want to do. The beauty is that after 26 years in the industry, I still want to do more. I still see lots of opportunity. Learning is hard in itself but once accomplished, a great deal of satisfaction follows.


Q. What one specific piece of advice would you give new brokers to help them flourish in the next 5 years?

It is difficult to give one specific piece of advice but here it is. It is simple, yet a truth. Help others to the best of your ability and they will do everything they can to help you. Be honest at all times and keep your word. You have three customers to please. The borrower, the lender and your agents who put their trust in you to help them succeed. Simply stated, put your mind to the success of others.