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MortgagePoint » Your Trusted Source for Mortgage Banking and Servicing News 52 F E A T U R E April 2023 I f you ask mortgage originators why they're having problems generating business these days, many will blame the economy and higher mortgage rates. Yet some originators are still doing quite well. Is there more to why some LOs perform better than others in a down market? Ron Vaimberg is an international success strategist and a trainer and coach of sales professionals for the mortgage industry. A former top-producing loan originator and real estate agent, he has coached loan officers and brokers who have ranked in the top 1% in loan production and earned over $1 mil- lion annually. Vaimberg began his career in 1983 as a real estate sales professional on the North Shore of Long Island. In 1995, he cre- ated the New York Mortgage Institute, one of the nation's first successful training programs for mortgage originators. MortgagePoint spoke with Ron Vaimberg, President, Ron Vaimberg International, about the keys to origination success in today's chal- lenging economic environment. Q: What are loan originators who are having success in this market doing differently from others? Simply put, the originators who are find- ing success in today's market are those who never took their eye off the ball and contin- ued developing relationships with referral partners, Realtors, attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. Realtor relationships are particularly critical because these folks are generally the first line in the homebuying process, while relationships with finan- cial people, like accountants and financial planners, can help generate more refinance business. There are also originators who have not yet established many strong relationships with these professionals. But because they are now out there aggressively prospecting to FINDING ORIGINATIONS SUCCESS IN 2023 Ron Vaimberg, President of Ron Vaimberg International, speaks about the keys to origination success in today's challenging economic environment. Expert Insights build these connections, they are beginning to see success. I have some clients who've never even prospected for Realtors or finan- cial partners before, but they're now doing it and starting to see more preapprovals and more contracts coming in. It does work, but you must put in the effort. Additionally, successful originators are not casting judgment on their Realtor part- ners' current production numbers. Over the last six months or even a year, these numbers have contracted with the market. If an origi- nator is only determining whether to build a relationship with someone based on their most recent volume, I'll ask if they'd like to be judged by their production over the last six months. The answer is always no. My advice to them is to keep focusing on relationship building, and good things will happen. How- ever, it's wise to focus on the agents that are in the business for the long term and in which real estate is their career, not a hobby. Q: What can lenders do to better prepare their sales force for economic times like what we are currently experiencing? Every time a refinance boom starts, loan officers abandon their purchase business and Realtor partnerships. In fact, if you ask Real- tors what happens every single time a refi boom happens, they'll say the loan officers disappear. Lenders need to ensure their LOs don't make this mistake and hold their salespeople accountable by measuring what they're doing between purchases and refinances. This entails being more hands-on with their sales teams—not necessarily babying them, but simply paying attention to where the business is coming from. I'm not saying it's easy. But even in today's market, there are still people buying homes and taking out home equity loans, so someone is getting that busi- ness. Why shouldn't it be your team? Q: How does the current market differ from what LOs faced in 2007-2008? My opinion is that what we experienced in 2007-2008 is very different from what we're going through today. The Great Recession was triggered by the housing market and bad loans that were made to people who couldn't afford them. People began defaulting on their

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