There's a gap in the mortgage industry that's growing wider all the time: It's the difference between companies who are mastering change and those who are struggling to weather it. Top producers are gravitating toward companies who have embraced progress - and the adjustments that must be made in order to stay ahead in the industry.
Companies that have not invested in their people, culture and technology are at risk of losing their best contributors and finding themselves on the wrong side of a growing separation of talent and success. In addition to growing pipelines and bottom lines, companies need to add "avoiding mediocrity" to their list of priorities as we move into another year in which purchase business will accelerate and constitute an even larger portion of loan originations. What must companies that want to attract and retain top talent - and win in their marketplace - do?
"Change before you have to."
- Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO - General Electric
For lenders, change is not limited to one process, shift, or period of time. Though the colossal meltdown of the late 2000s touched off a flurry of high-maintenance regulations, other factors such as the ever-increasing speed of technological innovation and consumer preference shifts have made change a permanent fixture in the mortgage industry. Preparing for and managing change are no longer enough. To be successful in this rapidly-evolving business climate and technology ecosystem, companies need to move into a permanent state of change expectation.
Change expectation isn't another buzz-term crafted to sell consulting services and distract companies and team members from the inevitable, built-in discomfort of having to adapt. It's a cultural attribute of companies that have top-down vision, clarity and buy-in across the entire organization. Achieving this mindset at the enterprise-level requires commitment and ongoing engagement from leadership in order to firmly establish and support a positive environment that welcomes and masters the changes your company must make to succeed. There are four basic steps to creating a culture of change expectancy:
- Identify change triggers facing your organization and put them in perspective
- Research solutions and fully commit to best of breed solutions
- Anticipate resistance and have a solid plan to diffuse it
- Set and stick to a CLEAR course
You'll find a comprehensive plan to institute and sustain change successfully in our eBook, "Change Expectations: Mastering Organizational Change in the Mortgage Industry," which provides insight into the need for change and how to avoid common pitfalls. Included is the CLEAR Course - a five-step process that takes your organization from concept and planning through implementation, review and revision.
Change is no longer a choice in the mortgage industry; but companies do have the ability to determine their level of success in dealing with it. Companies that are just starting to implement new technologies and other systems to promote success have a lot of catching up to do… companies that used foresight and deployed necessary resources to keep up with technology and consumer appetites will begin to leverage those investments and the impact will be felt throughout the marketplace.
The first big wave of change in the mortgage industry has been imposed by outside forces such as market conditions, government regulation and technology. The next wave of change will be a large-scale reaping of benefits that will send some organizations to the top of the pack and others packing. The divide in the mortgage industry between the successful and struggling is widening - which side will your company be on?