Three Solid Reasons to Educate the Public About the Mortgage Industry

When we talk about education as leaders in the mortgage industry, we’re usually referring to employee training and developing the knowledge base of our teams. Of course, we do want to make sure those in the industry are trained on best practices and have the appropriate knowledge bases and skill sets to do their jobs well. But our employees should not be the only ones we are seeking to teach. Those outside of the industry–those within the general public–need to be educated as well.

Companies in many industries, and ours certainly is no exception, are reluctant to give away any information. Many organizations feel like they are showing their cards and leaving themselves vulnerable to being taken advantage of when they open up to prospective customers and teach them the industry secrets. Certainly, there is a fine line here. Some things should always be kept confidential, and I would recommend having a strong legal team close by when deciding what to reveal about your organization and the industry in general. That being said, I don’t think sharing is a bad thing. I think that the organization that is willing to take the risk of educating the public is going to not only improve the industry, but it is also going to set itself apart in a big way. Here’s why…

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First, educating the public can provide you with greater visibility. When I say “educating the public,” I’m talking about getting out there in front of people. You could teach a course at a local college, you could host a seminar at the community library, you could write a guest column in the town newspaper. As a leader in the mortgage industry, you have a perspective that many others would love to learn from. When you share your insight, you’re getting free press. You’re getting publicity from your willingness to share. Education is marketing.

Secondly, when you are willing to be as transparent as possible with the general public, you reduce the need for regulation. Now, it’s not going to happen overnight and one company’s transparency probably isn’t going to catch the attention of regulators. But if you, by taking action on public education, can inspire a movement among others in the industry, regulators are over time going to come to see the mortgage industry as less of a threat against consumer rights. We don’t like regulators telling us how to run our businesses–let’s try giving them a reason not to.

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Finally, willingness to share information and teach the public about the industry will create a more collaborative buying processes with your borrowers. People will increase their levels of trust in your organization, and the industry in general, when they perceive you as being open and honest with them. Distrustful people are harder to work with and easier to lose to competitors. Let’s give people a reason to trust us–let’s share our knowledge.

Education is a topic that is dear to my heart. I believe strongly in educating employees on how to grow in their knowledge and skills. I also believe in educating the public on the mortgage industry and its importance in the economy and society. We have a lot to teach. The public has a lot it would be willing to learn. Let’s start educating them. What are we waiting for?

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