Originators Speak Out

Hammerhouse LLC, a national recruiting and strategic growth firm for the financial services industry with mortgage sales and leadership placement at its core, released the results of its Fifth Annual Survey of Originators’ Opinions. The annual survey asked originators for their opinions on critical issues facing the mortgage industry and impacting their performance of their jobs. Of the significant sample of more than 800 active mortgage loan originators that responded, 52% have annual production between $9 million-$24 million. Here’s what the survey found:

This year’s survey found that a majority of mortgage loan originators (56%) are finding their career less rewarding than in the past and another 8% no longer find their career sufficiently rewarding. However, the results illustrate that originators are anticipating an improved future coming and are raising expectations. 87% of originators expect 2015 origination volume to equal or exceed 2014 levels, compared to last year when 56% of originators expected a drop in origination volume, and 73% expect their personal volume to increase in 2015, versus 53% who held that opinion last year.

“Mortgage loan originators have been operating in a very difficult environment over the past several years and it should not come as a surprise that their level of satisfaction with their choice of careers has declined. However, we see a clear indication that originators see a brightening future and believe they know what it will take to succeed moving forward,” commented Drew Waterhouse, Managing Director of Hammerhouse.

The 2015 survey asked originators’ opinions on key issues facing the mortgage industry and had a special focus on their views of issues at the local level. Key findings include:

>> After a one-year hiatus, regulatory concerns have regained their position as the primary concern (56%) of originators.

>> Originators see marketing as the “best personal investment” they can make in their business, yet most (64%) spend less than $500 per month on marketing.

>> Very few originators (7%) exceeded their production goals in 2014 with more than half (53%) missing their goal by 25% or more.

>> Local referral partners were viewed as the key ingredient necessary for meeting goals and have the most significant impact on the development of an originator’s career.

>> Local leaders at lending firms are expected to improve operational execution, escalate operational issues and get out of the way.

>> A majority (59%) of originators have worked for 3+ years with the same local leadership and most (78%) believe that the local leadership supports them and are “connected to the street” (61%).

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