For many Brokers 2013 was another in a series of challenging years.
On the one hand my own total mortgage volume appears set to decline for the first time in 5 years. Although at the time of writing there is on final file possibly completing Dec 31st that could swing that the other way. Fingers Crossed.
In any event, whether an up year or a down year for overall volume as far as New Applications go 2013 was a year of Amazing Growth!
The Bright Side.
Total application intake in our office increased by nearly 50% over 2012.
The less-bright side.
Challenges with lending guidelines themselves, as well as lenders varying interpretations of the B20 Guidelines, flat to soft property valuations, among other issues all conspired to see overall applications approved decrease by 10% year over year. More painful still was the overall volume of hours, days, weeks spent by clients anticipating a solution, a solution that never arrived.
More work for us working files, communicating with stellar clients the reasons for a lack of progress, significantly less approvals, less client satisfaction, less job satisfaction, and the small matter of less pay. Not an excellent formula.
Still a winning year if measured by clients headcount though. Cause for hope to be sure.
The clients are there, it is a matter of nailing down solutions for them. Communicating quickly and effectively the reduced range of lending options for many clients is a skill I have been honing. Holding out the hope of AAA rates for self employed applicants with little documented income is a false illusion and a waste of time for all involved; client, lender, Broker.
I always spend a few days around this time of year reviewing what worked, what did not, and looking at how better to streamline the clients experience. How we can better communication our value proposition to clients. We provide a valuable and often exceptional service which costs clients nothing, strictly speaking we offer huge Bang for no buck. Perhaps this is part of the problem though, how do we convey value for something which clients need not pay a penny for. The perception of value is often wrapped around a high price tag. We have no price tag.
Just one of the many topics I am turning over in my own mind this week.
As far as goal setting and systems utilization is concerned, here is a good read on the two related topics.
May the final days of your 2013 be most excellent, and may all of the days of 2014 be better still!