But first let's revisit Perplexed's original question: "This tough market has gone on for a long time. I have been in the industry for over 20 years, but never remember a slump lasting this long. Is my memory wrong and, either way, how do I keep my attitude right with so many challenges today?"
In my previous column, I wrote about how the key is attitude. But, if the key is attitude, how do you keep a positive attitude in this challenging environment? This may be the most difficult task of all. Here are two important points:
- We must see the big picture. If we get lost in the forest, we will never make our way out to see clear blue skies. What do I mean by big picture? Well, for one thing, you must remember how important our occupation is. We finance the most important purchase someone is likely to make in a lifetime. And it is more than about money. It is about security, freedom and pride. Go back and think of the people you helped to achieve homeownership. I don’t want to put down anyone else’s profession, but we are providing something more important than light bulbs. When we forget the important things we do, we lose our sense of purpose.
- We must look at the long-term. I have been in this industry for 40 years. Cycles come and go. There will be another refinance boom. I guarantee it. It won’t be as big as the last one, but it will happen. Did anyone predict the pandemic and what effect it would have on this industry? No one.
I am not saying this is easy, but we have no choice if we are going to enjoy a long career. I would like to add two additional points regarding attitude that will help us to cope in the meantime. First, we need to recognize in any challenging environment that there are opportunities. For example, there are many loan officers leaving the industry. When they leave, what happens to their sphere of influence. They may not have been top producers, but likely they know a few real estate agents and have other referral sources. What if you grabbed them as your own? If you don’t grab that opportunity, it goes to waste.
Finally, it is not just about keeping your attitude up. In this environment, it is tough for your real estate agents and other referral sources. Your attitude must not only stay positive, it must be positive enough to lift others who need to be lifted. Today is an opportunity to show leadership in this regard. If you help others survive this time, it will make your bonds stronger than ever. Your ability to lead is the greatest opportunity of all.