Reading articles, listening to podcasts and staying up to date on social media should all be part of a mortgage professionals routine to constantly build knowledge. But one aspect that’s equally important and often gets forgotten Is that face-to-face interaction with industry peers. Laura Brandao, president of American Financial Resources (AFR) calls it “getting outside your bubble.”
“Part of your dedicated regimen must include events where you can physically speak to other people. When speaking face-to-face or watching someone on stage, there’s body language, voice inflection and emotion that could change your perspective,” said Brandao. Human interaction brings a unique perspective that can help anyone look at a situation through a different lens, which is why it’s so important, she added.
Not only are these events great for peer-to-peer learning, Brandao says it’s also a great opportunity to connect with different audiences, whether it’s new clients, vendors or associates.
Brandao is moderating a panel called “Power Originating: The Secrets of Scaling” at the 2020 Power Originator Summit in Anaheim. The panel includes some of the country’s top producers discussing ways they’ve differentiated themselves from thousands of others in the mortgage game. While Brandao agrees that market conditions are going to remain relatively healthy throughout the year, she says industry professionals should not take their foot off the gas.
“We cannot ever as an industry rest on our laurels to believe that interest rates are always going to save the day. We have an obligation to the families that come to us as being experts to make sure that we're continuing to educate ourselves and be able to provide full range of options that works best for their family.”
Last year, it was all about niching and separating yourself from the crowd; Brandao says that’s even more important going forward, as many originators have a sense of security that shouldn’t be relied on.
When originators get busy, that’s when the learning takes a back seat. Brandao advises professionals to always be looking to expand in terms of education, programs, new products and trends. It’s another reason why attending events like the Power Originator Summit are important.
Marketwise, Brandao expects a lot of last year’s concerns will remain, even though it’s predicted to be another great year overall. Affordable housing is one of these concerns. “There’s a lot of first-time homebuyers looking for something livable within a price range,” she said.
From a lender perspective, Brandao says the most successful originators are the ones who really take advantage of the right products at the right time.
An example Brandao turns to is AFR’s one-time close program. With builder confidence at an all-time high and a lack of affordable housing, there is a surge in interest for modular or manufactured homes as people try to think more outside the box. The loan allows borrowers to finance the construction of a home, lot purchase/land payoff and permanent mortgage with just one closing.
“When it was first introduced in 2011, the timing of the market wasn’t right. But now, people have realized this program is a great option. It’s the perfect example of a situation where originators who take the time to learn about a new program can really help families, their referral partners and themselves.”
To really take advantage of what the rest of the year has to offer, Brandao says stay on top of things as if conditions weren’t as favorable.
“When times get tough, relationships end up falling to the wayside. Continuing to keep those strong relationships, continue to feed your brain and keep learning. We have to home in on our craft. We need to make sure that we are using the best products, systems and technology because we owe it to our clients.”
Held in Anaheim, California, the Power Originator Summit proves to be a standout in the sea of workshops, conferences, and networking events that take place across the country this year. Get tips and strategies from the best in the industry, including Laura Brandao. Register today!