2010 - The Year of the Great Loan Officer Migration

By
Mortgage and Lending with Advantage Mortgage

Imagine a herd of wildlife clamoring for higher ground or a flock of geese flying south to find a warmer climate during winter.  Now picture your favorite Mortgage Banker or Broker currently contemplating what is the best choice of action - stay the course and risk being swept away by a tide of ever changing regulations or jump ship and find a more stable and forward thinking organization. 

Ok, so maybe it's a bit of a stretch to compare a group of white collar professionals to anything rugged or "nature like" but the whole idea of survival of the fittest is completely appropriate in our current world.  I suppose the call of the wild applies to even us.

If you haven't already, at some point in 2010 you are going to hear from a colleague or business partner that they have moved to another lender. 

Look at all the changes we've had in the lending industry in a really short period of time:

  • HVCC changes in April of 2009 (no Loan Officer influence over choice of appraiser)
  • MDIA changes in July of 2009 (more delays with paperwork due to APR changes etc)
  • New Good Faith Estimate in January of 2010 (complete overhaul of how consumers get cost info)

Is it any wonder that Loan Originators are desperately looking for a company that is on top of all the new rules and regulations?  Our job is no longer just about marketing and providing a mirror to the applicant to see if they are still breathing.  We have to truly be experts in our field and we need our employers to give us the tools and the backing to make sure that is the case.

As we see more and more reform in the mortgage industry, it's pretty clear that there is no longer a status quo and that we are not dealing with a static industry.  Prior to 2007, programs were getting more and more liberal seemingly by the day.  Contrast that with the last 3 years and you can see why many of us are starting to really ask ourselves if our current companies can cut it with all the changes being implemented in the industry. 

There is intense pressure on the broker model and most of the regulations that are passed are from the standpoint that the broker model needs to be overhauled to an even greater degree.

In my case, I worked for a company for 12 years and during that time was their highest producer for 11 of those years.  It would have been incomprehensible for me to imagine leaving my former company just 2 years ago.  But as of the time I am writing this, my old office is empty, my boxes are all full and my former company is scrambling to replace the volume that I represented. 

As I migrate to my new office, I can't help but think that I am not alone - there will be many in my industry that search for and ultimately find a place in which to entrust our futures. 

Comments (2)

Randy Schulenburg
Schulenburg Realty, Inc. - Pingree Grove, IL
Schulenburg Realty, Inc.

Mark,

Well written blog post.  You're right that you have to align yourself with a company that is staying up with the changes and making the proper implementation of those withing the company.  The broker model continues to disintegrate.  The brokers that are still left really can't afford to keep going with the pressures to conform monetarily to the ever changing industry reforms.  I owned a brokerage for 10 years and had to stop the bleeding.  We had over 35 employees.  I associated with a great broker/banker that continues to thrive in this enivronment, yet with great pressure to the owner.  It's refreshing to not own a company today but to just be the loan officer.  I wish you the best with your new office.

Feb 28, 2010 07:15 AM
Mark Aalto
Advantage Mortgage - Portland, OR
NMLS: 116708

Thanks so much for the comment.  Once the housing bubble burst there was no support for the previous business model amongst government, consumer advocacy groups etc.  At some point I hope things loosen up a bit but I think it's going to be a while.  Sometimes I wish we had a lobbying group as organized as the Realtors do!  :)

Good luck to you with your business - I hope you continue to thrive.

Mar 01, 2010 01:58 AM