MReport May 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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18 | TH E M R EP O RT COVER STORY I t is said that experience is the greatest teacher, but the new generation of mort- gage professionals coming into the industry lacks the luxury of being able to draw on experience in their day-to-day decisions. Getting advice from senior leaders can be a good starting point until their own lessons are learned. After all, these leaders were in the same place where many young profes - sionals find themselves today—at the beginning of a career, un- sure of what to do, and making mistakes that they will take as learning lessons as they grow. Never stop learning and always be open to coaching is one of universal lessons we heard from the industry veterans we spoke to. According to a study by Caldwell Partners, most CEOs are amenable to the idea of receiving coach - ing, with nearly 80 percent of surveyed board directors reporting that their CEOs were in favor of the idea. Here are a few lessons our experts learnt and shared. Remain Grounded T oo often, young profession- als and leaders get caught up in the market cycles and change their core strategies to suit the short-term need. That might not be ideal advices Glenn Brunker, President of Mortgage at BOK Fi- nancial. "This business is volatile, cyclical, and high risk. The one constant is change," he said. "Re- gardless of the which part of the rollercoaster, you are on, ensure that you remain steadfast and true to your strategy, always stay with - in the white lines in risk tolerance and be purposeful in your effort. A commitment to your core strat- egy and strengthening your value proposition over time will deliver significant dividends." Remaining grounded also means knowing when to back off. "It's easy to get so caught up in landing a new client or winning new business that you don't see the forest through the trees. Being aggressive to the point of making concessions just for the 'win' is not only unwise, but it can cause serious damage regarding money lost," says Greg Holmes, Managing Partner at Credit Plus Inc. Cheryl Feltgen, EVP and Chief Risk Officer at Arch MI, says that respecting and appreciating others, not only highlights the humility of the person showing that respect but also leaves a lasting impression on those receiving it. "Show respect and appreciation for others," she says, "A quote I love that is often attributed to Maya Angelou best describes this feeling: 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'" Know your Fundamentals A ccording to Adam Thorpe, President and COO of Castle & Cooke Mortgage, market condi- tions may change, but business fundamentals don't. "Work every day to maximize revenue and manage expenses. Focus on where your business is today and where you want it to be in one, three and five years," he advises. "Seek out mortgage lenders or companies that have a great reputation for training and developing their people," advises Richard Barrent, President of The Barrent Group. "Experience is the greatest teacher, but starting off with a solid foundation makes a huge difference. Work for people who you can learn from and who will help you grow as a mortgage professional." Focus on Customers A n important lesson is to mean what you say, espe- cially when it comes to customers. Speaking at a session for students of the Graduate School of Busi- ness at Stanford, Jamie Dimon, Chairman, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase had said: "A lot of manag- ers say things like 'the customer is the most important thing,' but all too often those words don't mean much. People say that, and they don't mean it in any way, shape, or form. They do no actions that would support the statement. It should mean something spe - cific, like do you read customer complaints? And then you do something about it as opposed to 'we put the customer first.'" Todd Jones, President at BBMC Mortgage, has a similar opinion. "Take the customer experience into account at all times and use technology to achieve the best experience," he said. "Armed with an outstanding customer experi - ence and an efficient process, your charisma will be the closing factor and your networking skills will provide additional value." It also helps to cross-train and rotate your job when it comes to understanding the customer A Word from the Wise By Radhika Ojha

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