Where are we at? I have been in the mortgage industry for nearly 30 years and it has always been a very intersting business. One of the reasons for that is that it always seems to be changing. House styles change, loan programs change, rates go up and down, slow markets become hot, hot markets become slow, and it is always interesting. But one thing that hasn't changed overall is that it is still, and always has been, a relationship business. That has been one basic that has really never changed. It is the one basic that we need to hold on to the stongest during these times.
The government takes over Fannie and Freddie, and you will hear many different takes on this and how it affects things. The truth is that no one can really tell you at this point what the future holds for us in the industry as far as lending guidelines, etc. I do know some things that you need to be aware of in planning for the future but that is for another story. Foreclosures are high, prices are down, business is slow, and at the very least very confusing to most as to what to do. We are in a time when the whole landscape of the housing industry is changing drastically and dramatically. Our business is changing....evolving acutally...and it is most likely that it will be entirely different on a going ahead basis than any of us realize at the moment. We all need to work to be ahead of the curve as much as possible. That is where the tried and true principal of the personal relationship comes in. Those of us who are left, and who intend on surviving, need to stay with each other, work together, and share as much as possible so that we can all work together to be at the forefront of the changing landscape.
I do not believe that we are yet done with the bank failures that are going to happen. I have a background in non-profit housing, homeowner education and counseling both in pre-purchase and default. In addition to being in the mortgage business I am an approved contractor for Neighborworks America, a national government housing group that does wonderful work with non-profit housing groups. I am currently doing some contract work in foreclosure counseling and loss mitigation with a local non-profit (for some reason I seem to need extra income :-). This gives me something of a unique handle on the climate of the foreclosure climate and the future of prices. I am being realistic when I say that it is, at best, a tough outlook.
The more that we begin to look at what the reality is and how we can overcome the obstacles, prepare for the future, and make the very most out of what is, the better off we will all be. Many real estate agents, loan officers, real estate and mortgage companies are not around any more, and there will probably be further attrition. That is a reality. But it is also a bonus for those of us who are still here. I regret that we have had such loss of jobs in our industry. I feel for those people and companies greatly. Many of them on a very personal basis. But the truth is that it is something of a plus for those of us who will survive. There is still business out there to be done. While there is less business there is also less competition for it. Those of us who stay ahead of the curve, realize that we are entering a new, very different playing field, and are prepared for it, will stand the best chance of getting it.
I am here to help anyone, in any way that I can. As I tell my sources of business and customers "Information is always free, and freely given." I would appreciate your input and feelings. If we all share with the attitude that together we will make it....we will!