Stay the Course

“Well, they’re from good stock. On their mother’s side of course.” Wait, wrong quote. Meant to use- “Stay the course.” I find myself more and more these recent months quoting the 2000 Mel Gibson film, “The Patriot.” Whether it has been to peers, co-workers, or friends in and around the industry, my focus has been simple- Stay the course.
Many in our industry think 2022 has been a massive collapse or a great disturbance in the force (to quote another movie); I disagree.

As a seasoned sales professional and longtime recovering loan officer that remembers the days of 100% commission only income, I was taught early on that you never use your biggest month for your budget, or your worst month for your attitude. But, we as an industry, have done just that in 2022.

This year isn’t the fluke, 2020 and 2021 were. They were like one continual great month, with zero historical context to believe that it would stay that way. In fact, all the predictions prior to 2020 said the exact opposite. Remember in late 2018 when the forecast for 2019 was skyrocketing rates and dramatically lower volumes? Some experts predicted rates in the 5s. Wait, what? Fannie and Freddie forecasted refi’s to be 39% and 33% (respectfully) of pipelines for 2020, and that rates would push 4% (again) for 30-year fixed mortgages.  So yeah, we have unknowingly, and unfairly, used our biggest “month” for budgets, and our worst “months” for attitude.

Did we know the end of the refi boom was coming? Of course we did, it had to and was poised to. However, smart leaders and companies prepared for that. Just like now, they didn’t take their eye off the present and the future. Did the fall come quicker than the rise? I would argue no. Did it happen quicker than many had planned for? Possibly.

So, what do we do? We stay the course.

Shake off the where you came from dust (wow, now he’s quoting songs) and focus on where you are going. We continue to manage our businesses, attitudes, temperament and focus on what is best for now and more importantly, our future. Now is not the time to sit still. The race hasn’t stopped. Those who are planning to be around (and successful) in 2023 and beyond are embracing the purchase market and focusing on borrower experience and top talent retention. They are budgeting for, and spending on, new technology that will help their teams do more, better, and stay competitive. To quote a wise person—if you’re not planning to succeed, by default you’re planning to fail. Survival isn’t a strong business plan; competing, dominating, and succeeding are.

Stay the course? You bet I am. I choose to continue to stay positive, to remember that ebbs and flows in our industry are as cyclical as recessions, boy bands and mullets. To remind folks that planning for next year and beyond has already begun. Continue to introduce new ideas, better experiences, and the right technology- right now. To infinity, and beyond (had to get one more in)! Until next time.