Malcolm Gladwell speaks to brokers about transformation

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Acclaimed author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell spoke to brokers about the subject of transformation Tuesday – a subject industry professionals have likely been pondering, themselves.

“All of these new technology and communication are fundamentally changing how we do business and marketing is at the heart of that,” Malcolm Gladwell told brokers at CAAMP’s Mortgage Forum in Montreal on Tuesday. “The question is: how do you create transformation – how does it happen?”

The mortgage broker industry is in flux; market share is down year-over-year, mortgage lending rules are ever-tightening, rates are expected to increase in the next year and technology is changing the way consumers attain mortgages. Gladwell spoke of several individuals who transformed their industries – and the three character traits that helped make that happen.

These three traits are creativeness, disagreeableness and conscientiousness; three traits that work together to help individuals revolutionize industries.

One example Gladwell gave was of a young RCA employee name David Sarnoff who helped transform the way consumers think about the radio – a fairly new, and expensive, technology  that, at the time, that was used to report the news. People weren’t rushing to pay for a piece of technology that provided the same service as newspapers, until Sarnoff changed all that.

Knowing that an upcoming boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier would be a big-ticket event, Sarnoff approached his bosses at RCA about transmitting the bout live, across radio waves. His bosses scoffed, but Sarnoff eventually persevered and sets up the entire process himself.

He steals a transmitter, hires a kid to do the play-by-play, sets up a transmission booth in Jersey City and convinces bars to play the event.

300,000 people ended up listening to the event and sales for radios soon after skyrocketed.

“He broadcasts the first live transmission of a sporting event in history,” Gladwell explained. “Sarnoff reframes what radio is all about.”

It’s an inspiring story that will surely encourage brokers who are riding the wave of change currently taking place in the industry. 
  • moriah on 2014-11-26 11:03:10 PM

    add to creative, disagreeable and conscientious ...socially savvy, confident, insightful...and that is just the first example.

  • Mike Cameron on 2014-11-27 11:19:22 AM

    Gladwell was just one example of why I thought CAAMP's Mortgage Forum 2014 was one of the best ever. Looking at the CAAMP staff, the board and the 11,000+ membership base we are certainly in a great position to assist with the transformation our channel is seeing. Look for more from the conference to follow. Make sure you let your regional directors know what that means to you.

  • race to the bottom on 2014-11-27 3:04:33 PM

    interesting, yet the brokers biggest competitor and ultimately writer of checks has one strategy and thats price. Brokers don't lend their own money or own the company and give their clients away to the lender, so this means they have nothing to be able to transform since they have don't have control over anything.

  • Ed B. on 2014-11-28 3:44:55 PM

    race, while there are certainly many things outside your control, many facets of house-buying are in your control. How can you use technology to provide more service in less time? How can you empower your prospective home-buyers to use technology to make your job easier? Example: Can you create a how-to document for prospective home-buyers so they can locate homes and pass on the critical information to you? How can you use e-mail (and possibly mailing lists) to be warm and responsive to your prospective home-buyers? How can you create a viral mechanism for happy customers to refer others?

  • race to the bottom on 2014-12-01 9:00:50 PM

    Ed, brokers have already been doing many of these things before and more. The point is the banks have done a wonderful job of convincing that price is number 1, they make it easy, retention teams are very aggressive. The market is not growing so they are going to squeeze the broker and thats exactly whats happening. Its a monopoly really and they can cut the broker off and change the rules at anytime. Its not the best place to be, the old days are gone and its time to make sure you have "your" best interests secured. I am not saying abandon ship but I would definitely get the back up plan up and running :)

  • race to the bottom on 2014-12-01 9:00:54 PM

    Ed, brokers have already been doing many of these things before and more. The point is the banks have done a wonderful job of convincing that price is number 1, they make it easy, retention teams are very aggressive. The market is not growing so they are going to squeeze the broker and thats exactly whats happening. Its a monopoly really and they can cut the broker off and change the rules at anytime. Its not the best place to be, the old days are gone and its time to make sure you have "your" best interests secured. I am not saying abandon ship but I would definitely get the back up plan up and running :)

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