Dale Larson III from Modex: Loan Officers, Are You Leveraging These 5 Strategies for Success Right Now?

Dale Larson III is founder and CEO of Modex, a technology platform. Founded in 2015, Modex enables mortgage companies and loan officers to make smart employment decisions by providing key mortgage, real estate and consumer insights on every loan officer, branch, and company nationwide. Its new tool, Modex Profiles, uses the power of Modex data to connect hiring managers and loan officers looking for employment opportunities. For more information, visit Modex.

As we’ve collectively moved through the turbulence of a post-pandemic market, we’ve found ourselves in the middle of a market correction. Loan officers are feeling the effects just about everywhere. Consumer behaviors are changing, and so are the types of products they need.

Dale Larson III

LO employment patterns are shifting, too. Our own Modex data tells us that 14% of producing LOs changed employers and almost 12% left the industry entirely in the last year. Put everything together, and one thing is clear: LOs are facing one of the most significant challenges the market has seen since 2008.

However, success is not out of reach. We hear it every time we interview a top-performing LO. We see every month that despite many companies making layoffs, some are still hiring. It’s proof that in times of uncertainty, the people who stay in the game and keep at it, even through difficult periods, are the ones who come out on top. While long-term success is never a guarantee, there are tried and true strategies – and new ones – that will help you meet the demands of the moment. 

1. Do One Thing to Help You Grow Every Day

A market that operates differently requires you to operate differently. In times of transition, it’s easy to feel stuck, but you can take back control by taking action. Whether you’ve entered the industry in the last couple years or you’ve been in it forever, take an honest look at your own development. Identify what you’ll need to learn in order to be successful in this market and then make a plan for how you’ll get there. In today’s world of blogs, social media, podcasts, and 24/7 market updates, there are endless resources to support your growth. It’s as simple as picking one thing a day and sticking to it.

2. Make Your Next Move (Or at Least Plan For It)

It’s a volatile employment market for LOs that continues to see layoffs, hiring pauses, and downsizing. Do you know where you’d go if you were laid off from your current job, and do you have a plan for how you’d make your move? No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but smart LOs will. As you’re networking and assessing your options, it’s important to reduce your risk. Keep your conversations confidential, be mindful about who you trust, and use tools that guarantee your anonymity. If you’re not concerned about a layoff, consider whether your employer is giving you all the opportunities you need to succeed. If not, it’s time to explore your options.

3. Data Will Drive You Forward

In a challenging market, deals mean everything – and so should data. Do you know how your performance stacks up against that of your peers, who your referral partners are working with when they’re not working with you, and what potential employers have to offer in terms of compensation and culture? If you don’t, you’re missing out on the intel you need to elevate your career. Modex Profiles is a new offering from Modex that enables you to get matched with potential employers, chat with them anonymously, and understand how your performance ranks compared to other LOs. Best of all? It’s free.

4. It’s Time to Get Creative With Your Loan Products

Remember the not-so-distant past, when clients needed a standard 30-year fixed loan and then they were on their way? Those days are behind us. New constraints on consumers mean they are looking to you to provide new solutions. Home equity products, 3-2-1 buydowns, temporary rate buydowns, and non-QM loans are just a few examples of products that are making a comeback. For longtime LOs, it’s time to dust off your knowledge, and for newer LOs, it’s time to learn. Expand your offerings so you can meet your customers where they are today and set yourself apart from your competitors.

5. Your Mindset Matters

Now more than ever, your mindset can make or break your success. Do you move through each day worrying about what’s ahead, or do you show up with determination to handle whatever is yet to come? When you have a clear understanding of your purpose, your priorities, and your objectives, your mindset tends to follow. Believe in the tried and true, stick to your goals, and work until you see the payoff. It might be harder to be a loan officer today than it was before, but if you meet the demands of the moment, your future success will meet you back.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to NewsLink Editor Michael Tucker at mtucker@mba.org or Editorial Manager Anneliese Mahoney at amahoney@mba.org.)