Five Principles for Staying Ahead of the Competition By David Lykken s we head into 2016, the market has never been so competitive in the mortgage industry. The economy does
JANUARY 2016 n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n
seem to be recovering, as far as employment is concerned, and I believe that it’s only going to get better. Nevertheless, wage growth has been stagnant and Millennials are waiting until they’re much further along to make their first home purchases than
previous generations. Add that to the growing number of regulations that seem to have no end, the challenges of availability in inventory, and the uncertainty in rates, and it becomes increasingly more difficult for organizations to succeed in the mortgage business.
In this environment, mediocrity will not suffice There was a time in the past when organizations could just skate by—riding the wave of industrywide growth. That is no longer the case. When growth of the pie has dramatically decreased, organizations in the mortgage business of today must truly be competitive in order to get the bigger slice. So, how do you do it? Of all the companies competing in the industry, how do you rise above the fray? If you’re doing the same things as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. So, what should you do differently than the competition? In this article, I would like to suggest just a few things that can set you in the right direction toward staying ahead of the competition in 2016...
Focus on continuous improvement The mark of any high-achiever is that he is always looking toward the next victory. For the most successful among us, there is no mountaintop; there is only the next summit. As a leader in the mortgage industry, if you want to remain competitive, you’ve got to adopt this posture for your organization—and for yourself. Most organizations set business goals for growth, but it isn’t just about setting the goals; it’s about doing the necessary groundwork required to reach them. It’s one thing to plan for growth; it’s another thing to know how you’re actually going to
grow. When you set your yearly objectives for 2016, did you include within them action plans for steps you plan to take in order to meet those objectives. If not, you’re just dreaming. You’ve got to be specific and direct about what needs improvement within your organization and how you plan to improvement. And, in addition to the organization, you as a leader need to be deliberate about improving yourself. What books are you reading? What news are you following? What conferences are you attending? What daily habits are you developing in order to make you a better leader? If you aren’t doing anything differently than you did last year, you aren’t growing. The organization will follow the leadership. Continuously improve yourself; continuously improve your organization.
Measure everything in your business Maybe you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “I’m already ahead of the competition.” Well, if that’s the case, good for you! But, do you know why you’re ahead of the competition—I mean, really know. Are you measuring the various aspects of your business to make sure your activities are correlating with positive results? The simple truth is that if you don’t measure your activities, you really don’t know why you’re failing or why you’re succeeding—you’re simply unlucky or lucky. So, if you are currently very successful, you can stay that way by measuring your activities and finding out what you should attribute that success to. If you wish you could be more successful (as most of us do, and should), then measuring your activities can help you understand what you need