Brokers worried about the challenging environment and double-digit revenue slips, you’re not alone. A leading industry trainer is identifying a very real and growing anxiety among mortgage professionals from one end of the country to the next – afraid the economy will further compromise their bottom lines.
“I am increasingly hearing from brokers, and other leaders in the industry who are out there speaking with brokers that there is a growing theme that brokers are scared,” Greg Williamson
, a Calgary broker and motivational speaker, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. They’re “scared of the future and worried that many, as they wind down the year, realize they are down 25 per cent or more year-over-year.”
That fear seems more and more grounded in fact, as brokers continue to grapple with the slowing real estate market across much of the country.
In addition to a slip in new purchases, the banks haven’t yet given up their aggressive sales strategies, say industry analysts. It’s something frustrating broker attempts to compensate for the slip in originations with refinances and switches.
Those mortgage professionals are even finding it harder to move clients from monolines, as non-banks adopt the fierce retention practices of the Big Five.
“There’s no question that the retention teams of broker lenders are becoming more aggressive with switch-outs,” said Jeff Attwooll, a senior mortgage broker with Verico
KW Mortgage. “Some are now insisting on talking to the client before they sign off on the discharge of a mortgage. That’s relatively new for broker-lenders and is what the banks do. Of course, that’s not good for brokers.”
The threat of a double-dip recession is also dogging broker attempts to grow or even maintain revenue streams ending into the final quarter of 2011.
Those realities have crept into Williamson’s conversations with the hundreds of mortgage professionals he has coached and spoken to this year.
“One of the questions I often ask our coaching members and our followers is, ‘When thinking of your future right now, do you have primary thoughts and feelings of excitement or rather thoughts and feelings of anxiety, concern or worry?’” said the founder of 180 Degrees Coaching. “Increasingly, we have been hearing people answer honestly that they are concerned.”
Williamson and others are advising brokers to up their game by actively seeking to generate business from new leads and not just their existing databases.
“People are growing resistant to the methods of how we deliver information to them,” Williamson told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “And, at some point a broker’s database becomes exhausted. They can get much better results by building a big prospective database of people they have not yet done business with.”