Convention Season and a Moment of Reflection

So, it is the time of year again. It is convention season, when all the big trade associations in our industry host their annual conventions. This is the time of year when companies reconsider their messaging and marketing approach to their customers. This exercise usually brings a bit of introspection, so I thought I would also look back a bit at the past 12 months.

Well, all I can say is whew, what a ride it has been. Who would have ever thought that the mortgage industry would be front and center in both American politics and pop culture? In the past week alone I watched a television show where a young man discovered that his long lost father was a Mortgage Broker and his response was “that is a bad thing, right?” And then I watched the presidential debates where Governor Romney referred to Dodd-Frank as “…the biggest kiss that’s been given to – to New York banks I’ve ever seen”; and President Obama referred to loan officers, credit agencies and mortgage lenders in a more than slightly pejorative manner.

Equally astounding is the amount of energy we are spending trying to understand these new regulations and rules. We are all still trying to sort out the 2,300+ pages of regulations provided in Dodd-Frank and more recently the 1,099 pages from the CFPB on new mortgage and closing disclosures. I personally have had to change my mindset on how to approach business. We used to play offense where we knew the rules and, while playing within them, we focused upon providing both great customer service and the magnificent moment of closing for each and every borrower. Now, instead, we play defense.

However, as many a great coach has said, “defense wins games.” So let’s remember that amongst all the changes and the increased spotlight upon the mortgage industry that we can still prevail and continue to provide extraordinary service to each and every borrower. While it is true that the actions of a few have tarnished the image of the many, we need to keep in mind that our industry is made up of great, hardworking, honest Americans who enjoy the fact that they help put people into homes each and every day. At Stewart we have determined that it is all about doing things right. It is the only way we will do business. We are in a service-oriented business and are here to serve the best interests our customers. Within our industry and our company, we have great people. And, every day I am reminded that great people can do great things.

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