MReport June 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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14 | M R EP O RT COVER FEATURE E very industry is built on the accumulated wisdom and experience of those who have built it up until this point. And every industry de- pends on the insightfulness and innovation of those who are currently leading the industry, and whose task is set to try and learn from both the wisdoms and the missteps that came before. With the mortgage industry having weathered the unexpected storms of 2020 and now looking toward brighter but still challeng- ing times ahead, MReport reached out to a handful of industry executives to ask them three ques- tions fundamentally tied to our industry's past and future. Here is what these experts had to say. Paul Buege President and COO, Inlanta Mortgage M // What is the best career advice you have received during your time in the mortgage industry and why? BUEGE // I was very fortunate to work for someone early in my career who advised me to always be opportunistic and to have an abundant mindset. Change is constant in the mortgage business. Interest rates will go up and down, there will be refinance booms and busts, volumes will fluctuate, and there are always new regulations or guidelines to stay on top of. If you focus too much on any one of those things and worry about worst-case sce- narios, you will lose sight of the opportunities. There are always opportunities in every market to provide an exceptional experi- ence for your clients and referral partners. If you're continuously working to win opportunities, you will end up being highly suc- cessful over the long haul. Mindset is a key element of being successful in business and in life. If you keep an abundant mindset, you'll always see new opportunities, even in a down market, and you'll realize that there's plenty of business for everyone. An abundant mindset means knowing you'll never have everything. Fretting about the one product you don't have, or fluctuating volumes, won't do you any good. Instead, think about everything you do have and pursue all opportunities. M // What advice would you pass on to someone entering the mortgage industry? BUEGE // I would advise anyone entering the mortgage business to not obsess too much over what's next or around the corner. There are so many things in our business you can't control. If you're always focusing on the things you have no control over, you take your eyes off the prize. Concentrate on providing an ex- ceptional loan experience for your clients and referral partners. Keep adding to them. The mortgage business is a wild ride, but if you do these things and adopt a long- term view, you'll be amazed at how your career will take off. M // What are 2-3 ways you believe the mortgage industry needs to innovate or evolve? BUEGE // I see two important ways in which the industry could improve. First, it's clear that technology is evolving rapidly, and we're not too far away from the time when a fully digital mortgage will be the norm. However, the companies and individuals that personalize the experience for their clients and referral partners will win in the end. Consumers today can access almost anything digitally, but they still want to be treated in a special way and are looking for that personal touch from a human being. Anyone can use an online mortgage calculator, but a calculator can't tell a bor- rower which options work best for them or provide different scenarios that could save them money. Secondly, the industry has to continue to develop and improve the user experience. We are coming to point where speed will be the common denominator. Any lender can be fast, but a lot of companies today are so capti- vated by technology they're losing sight of the fact that borrowers really want a great experience. We need to look beyond higher speeds and lower costs and find ways to create deeper connec- tions with our customers and referral partners—not just during the transaction, but long after- ward. Lenders and professionals who do this will be the most successful. Lessons That Last A selection of mortgage executives discuss the wisdom that shaped their careers and the lessons they're passing on to others to help shape the industry's future. By David Wharton

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