How do I keep my income up in a slow market?

by MPA08 Sep 2014
By Dave Hershman
Special to MPA

The market has continued to slow down compared to last year. If the market continues to be slow, what is my best strategy for building my income back up to where it was?
--Juan from Florida

This is a question that I am sure is being asked by many loan officers across the nation. I am not making any predictions, but, in theory, if the residential finance market drops by 30%, then the typical loan officer income should drop by 30%.  But some will do better than others.
  1. For one, not everyone is average. For example, most of this drop was due to a drop in refinances. Therefore, those who are more dependent upon refinances are likely to be hurt more. On the other hand, those who are more purchased-based -- especially "inside" builder and real estate office lenders -- will be subject to smaller decreases though the competition for their deals will still get sharper.
  2. Many “marginal” loan officers will leave the industry. If the number of loan officers drops by 20%, there is more business for those who are left. Unfortunately, those who leave are likely to be the ones who are already doing the lowest amount of volume — so a 20% drop in employment does not equal to a 20% increase in loans available for origination.
  3. There is the opportunity to increase and change the focus of your marketing efforts. I am not suggesting that you double your marketing budget. Traditional marketing actually gets less efficient during slumps. Why? Because everyone tries the same thing. So the question is, what should you do to increase your marketing efforts? Stay tuned next week and I will address that question.
--Dave Hershman

Do you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered? Email Dave at
Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published.   His website is  If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at   


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