Q. What has been the biggest change in the mortgage market since you entered the industry?
There have been numerous changes in the industry since I’ve entered it. The biggest ones have obviously been the government rule changes and revisions around mortgage lending. The most recent changes have been the most significant. Although these changes affect everyone, including the public, they will have the greatest impact on mono-line lenders and less impact on broker distribution.
Q. If you had to put on your prediction hat, how will the mortgage market be different in 5 years?
My crystal ball is no better than yours, but here are a few thoughts: First off, we expect further consolidation in distribution and with lenders, specifically mono-line lenders. The value of brands and the importance of consumer visibility around brands will be a distinctive advantage. I think there will be ongoing pressure around disclosure and consumer protection, and these requirements will be more onerous for smaller operators. It will drive up costs and that could make it difficult for them to survive. We have seen this happen in the real estate industry and I expect the same for our space. I think more consumers will gravitate to mortgage brokers, creating a larger band of users, but they’ll be largely serviced by a handful of major players. The internet as a source of comparison and initial introduction will continue to be a very important bridge between originator and consumer.
Q. What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned since starting in the mortgage business?
The lesson that I have learned over all these years is that business is tough, very tough. You are never excused; it is never easy. There are always hard charging competitors, regulatory changes, character assassinations, long hours, family and financial sacrifices, and these never end. As a guy who has been on the road 130 days a year for 10 years, eats out more than 600 meals a year and who has a huge responsibility to the industry, the families that work in this industry and consumers, it is not for the faint of heart.
Q. What one specific piece of advice would you give new brokers to help them flourish in the next 5 years?
My one piece of advice for a new broker is: everything is your fault and responsibility. If you are struggling, if you want changes in your business, if you lose a key employee, if your deal collapses, if a broker leaves you—it is yours to own. It very rarely boils down to the lack of training, the company, the interest rates, the market, the timing or any other excuse. Today, there are millions of trainers, courses, audio books, mentors and other choices available to improve your game. When you take responsibility, avoid the victim mentality and always have a grateful disposition, you will excel to greater heights than you ever might have imagined.