Tip of the Month - Should I Stay or Should I Go? Part II by Stewart Mednick

by 07 Mar 2009
Part II: I am staying, but is that a wise choice? I wrote ?Should I Stay or Should I Go?? one year ago in the The Niche Report?s February 2008 issue. To date, I have received more responses about this article than any other Tip of the Month I have written. Last February, this recession was just on the verge of becoming the financial tsunami that has devastated our banking industry and the world economy. A year later, record levels or near record levels of job loss, foreclosures, debt, bank failures, and stimulus and bail out dollars injected into our economy have been the mantra so far for 2009. Our industry has been beaten, slandered, reduced, regulated, corrected, restructured and monitored. Who is left to mind the store? There are a few brave and daring souls that see this current situation as opportunity, and to those about to have a closing, I salute you! How many are out there? Is the choice to hang in there a good one or are there regrets? I have talked to many mortgage professionals over the last year. Some own small brokerages that struggle to make ends meet and to support a staff of eight or ten. Some are top performers of larger mortgage brokers who experience a 40 to 70 percent reduction in business. The core are five to fifteen year veterans who refuse to give up but are dying a slow financial death as savings, equity, retirement funds, and commissions dry-up. Are we blind and does the rest of the world know something that we don?t? Mortgage rates have recently dropped to 2002-2003 levels and many refinances have been closed. If you are in this business for the long haul, then you should open your past book of business and ?dial for dollars.? Those of you who have not capitalized on this, blow the dust off your old business cards, open your outlook, review past HUD-1s and market, market, market! VA and FHA loans are hot right now. Rental properties are being filled and vacancies are fewer and fewer. This industry is cyclical and the ARM of yesterday is the FHA loan of today. What works and what does not? Talk to your peers. Every article in this magazine has contact information for each author. Contact a seasoned professional and talk. Create a monthly networking group in your area. Stay on top of the news and the recent changes of law and mortgage programs. Finally, as mentioned a year ago, how stable is your mental wellbeing? The stress of finding business, clearing the loan to close and getting paid in time to meet your financial requirements can be very stressful. Anxiety, depression, rage, excessive drinking or smoking, and strained relationships are all signs of mental and emotional stress. Peer counseling and professional intervention may be needed to keep a stable life. Even successful brokers need to ?decompress? after ten hour days, 60 phone calls and endless marketing. Did I make the right choice to stay in this business? I am sure thousands in this business sleep on the question nightly. I do not have the silver bullet for the target. Each person needs to assess that for themselves, but we all have choices and many options are similar for many of us in this business. We all are a resource. We all can offer knowledge and tips. What works for you may help a peer stay in the business. Like I said before: Bottom line is simple: whatever it takes to survive. I mean survive financially and mentally. You need to decide. Send me an email with your thoughts on the topic; we can all use some good advice. Stewart Mednick is a seasoned mortgage banker and published author. His writing focuses on relationship development, personal empowerment, customer satisfaction, marketing and sales techniques. Stewart is available for marketing consulting, personal coaching and training sessions. If you have a comment or a question for Stewart, contact him at 651-895-5122 or smednick1@netzero.net

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