Hello friends. Long time no chat. These past few months have been some of the most challenging, eye-opening, and growth-provoking I've ever had. I'm excited to get back in touch with the Wilkes Mortgage Group community and to continue providing education and clarity in the mortgage space, with the occasional dose of "realness."
Change is inevitable in this rapidly changing world. How we handle these waves of change is what matters, it's what makes all the difference and teaches us crucial life lessons. Everything is changing, and while yes, this is a mortgage blog and I am a mortgage broker, it all ties together. Between the rise of AI, a constantly evolving economic environment, wars, and political conflicts, we can find comfort in knowing we're all navigating this crazy world together. It's my hope that we all continue to commit to simply doing our best. In that vein, today I'm sharing my 3 biggest takeaways from the first half of 2023.
Lesson #1: Things change, and yet, some things stay the same.
The last 3 years have brought unprecedented change to the mortgage industry. Following the COVID-19 Pandemic, suddenly everyone thought they had what it took to be a mortgage broker. In an effort to mitigate economic loss, government programs such as stimulus packages, payment deferrals and rapidly decreasing interest rates made it easier than ever for green brokers to enter the scene. For a while, this worked. Borrowing was easier and more affordable than ever before. However, we know now that what goes up, must come down, and what goes down, will eventually rise back up. A few short years later, nearly all of those "up and coming" new brokers have abandoned their efforts. When the going got tough and rates started rising once more, it was quickly made clear who was cut out for the industry and who was, put simply, making a cash grab.
If there is one benefit to be seen from the tumultuous last few years, it is the fact that what was once a bloated, saturated space, has returned to being a tight-knit, highly effective collection of brokers. Today, 90% of real estate business is being done by the top 10% in the industry. This isn't a bad thing. Rather, it's a wise reminder that reputation and experience is of the utmost importance when it comes to choosing the broker and agent to represent you in one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. I won't mince words, it’s not 2020 anymore, and the days of using your cousin to secure a mortgage loan are in the past. If you want the most favorable loan and best terms in 2023, you have to go with someone who is tenured.
Lesson #2: Never Take Anything For Granted.
Work ethic and character remains king, no matter what industry you work in. In fact, it may be crucial now more than ever. With all of these technological tools and advancements, human connection and hard work are what is going to make you stand out from the rest.
My biggest tips for maintaining a respectable work ethic and gratitude are:
- Maintain Discipline: Cultivate discipline by establishing a routine and sticking to it. Avoid distractions and temptations that may hinder your productivity. Develop healthy habits, such as starting your day early, setting dedicated work hours, and minimizing interruptions.
- Be a Forever Learner: Embrace a growth mindset and commit to lifelong learning. Seek opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge in your field. Stay updated on industry trends, attend workshops or seminars, read books, and take online courses to expand your expertise.
- Seek Accountability and Support: Find an accountability partner or join a community of like-minded individuals who can support and challenge you to stay focused and committed. Sharing your goals and progress with others creates a sense of responsibility and can provide valuable feedback and encouragement.
Remember, maintaining a strong work ethic requires consistent effort and commitment. By setting clear goals, staying motivated, managing your time effectively, and taking care of yourself, you can cultivate a mindset of hard work and achieve your desired results.
Lesson #3: Enjoy Each and Every Day.
I'm not going to lie, this year has been hard. Both personally and professionally. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to simply enjoy each and every day. You never know what's going to come out of nowhere and surprise you. This is a topic I'm extremely passionate about, take these six life lessons with you:
Embrace Gratitude: Start your day by reflecting on the things you’re grateful for. Appreciating the small blessings in your life can shift your perspective and bring joy to your day. Take a moment to express gratitude for the people, experiences, and opportunities that enrich your life.
Find Joy in the Present Moment: Practice mindfulness and be fully present in each moment. Engage your senses and take notice of the beauty around you. Whether it’s savoring a delicious meal, enjoying a walk in nature, or relishing a conversation with a loved one, find joy in the simple pleasures that surround you.
Pursue Your Passions: Make time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Engage in hobbies, creative pursuits, or sports that make you come alive. Investing time in what you love enhances your sense of purpose and can create a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction in your day-to-day life.
Cultivate Positive Relationships: Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Build meaningful connections with family, friends, and colleagues. Engage in conversations, share laughter, and create memories together. Nurturing positive relationships can bring happiness and fulfillment to your days.
Embrace New Experiences: Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Explore different places, cultures, or activities that spark your curiosity. Engaging in new experiences can broaden your horizons, create lasting memories, and bring a sense of adventure and excitement to your life.
Spread Kindness: Show acts of kindness and compassion to others. Small gestures, such as offering a helping hand, listening attentively, or offering a kind word, can brighten someone else’s day and create a ripple effect of positivity. Spreading kindness not only brings joy to others but also cultivates a sense of fulfillment within yourself.
Remember, each day is a gift and an opportunity to create a life that brings you joy and fulfillment. By embracing gratitude, finding joy in the present moment, pursuing your passions, nurturing relationships, trying new experiences, practicing self-care, spreading kindness, and embracing optimism, you can cultivate a mindset of enjoying each and every day.