2020 has easily been the strangest year of my professional life. A pandemic. Violence in the streets. Turbulent politics. And we’re only halfway home. What’s truly amazing is that, in spite of market shifts that would make one’s head spin, the mortgage industry has had an incredible year. Three or four months after our society started to lock down and quarantine, we’re still selling homes and refinancing mortgages at an astonishing rate.
All without sales travel, conferences and, for the most part, in-person contact. Few to no sales dinners. No in-person meetings. All in an industry that prides itself on being “relationship-based.” And yet, the fish are jumping into the boat.
It’s probably a testament to our resilience and flexibility (not the mortgage industry, but society as a whole) that some segments of our economy continue to flourish. I guess we were a lot closer than we realized to the Zoom-based, WFH economy we’ve pondered for a few years now.
In any event, it’s clear that we have more time to focus on our businesses now. We’re not on airplanes or sitting in meetings nearly as much as we were six months ago. For me, that means more time to think about what’s next: for my business, for the market and for the future. Sure, I’m taking in as many orders as I can while the windfall continues. But I know that, eventually, things will slow. And I’ll be kicking myself if I find myself scrambling when that starts to happen. We have the time, so we have no excuses. It’s a great time to extend our thinking beyond today’s sales numbers.
We’ve already seen that greater efficiency is available to us—I’m seeing much greater effectiveness and time management from my team (although, to be fair, my business has always had a solid element of WFH). Now, I’m trying to find a way to harness that effectively for when the market does turn. No more “right-sizing” or ramping up—that’s Business 101 from 1987. Instead, it’s now “how do I redirect my resources for maximum profit” no matter what the market is doing.
You’ve heard it all before—flexibility, scalability, efficiency—almost to the point that the words lose their meaning. But if nothing else, the impact of the pandemic has shown us that the businesses that take those words to heart will be those that are just a little less dependent on market conditions to survive and thrive.
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