Ron Vaimberg is an international success strategist and one of the mortgage industry’s most renown trainers and coaches of sales professionals. A former top producing loan originator and real estate agent, as President of Ron Vaimberg International, Ron has coached Loan Officers and Mortgage Brokers who have ranked in the top 1% in loan production and earned over $1 million annually. Ron began his career in 1984 as a real estate sales professional on the North Shore of Long Island. In 1997, he created the New York Mortgage Institute, one of the nation’s first successful training programs for mortgage originators.
MortgagePoint had a chance to speak with Vaimberg regarding the outlook for 2024 as the industry braces for a new year.
In a time of down business, what marketing tactics are you resorting to in order to boost your bottom line?
Ron Vaimberg: As a trainer and coach, I'm ramping up my outreach efforts more than ever. I'm offering extensive free training through webinars, attending conferences, and doing everything I can to increase awareness of my message.
Simultaneously, I'm putting substantial effort into building my database as a result of these training sessions and my collaborations with other market influencers, as we’re constantly interviewing, promoting, and providing support to each other.
If you're asking me about my advice for originators, the solution is simple. If your current relationships, referral partners, and network aren't yielding the business and production you desire, the only solution is to expand your network. Instead of fixating on finding deals, I encourage my clients to shift their focus. Ask, “How do I let more people know what I do for a living and position myself as a resource to answer their questions?” Many people have questions about mortgage financing and housing, but hesitate to seek information due to a fear of being sold. By volunteering as a resource and committing every day to expanding your network, more business will naturally come your way. This involves face-to-face meetings, leveraging social media, and actively participating in networking functions.
The key is to consistently ask, “How do I continue growing my network? What's the fastest way to do so? How can I get in front of the right audience, whether potential homebuyers or existing homeowners positioning themselves as interest rates incrementally improve?” There's nothing flashy about this. It’s simply a commitment to the consistency of marketing and self-promotion, because there's no silver bullet. If you're searching for that magic solution, you're dreaming, because it doesn't exist.
The reality is there's no single thing that will suddenly make a ton of buyers and sellers to suddenly jump into the market except for a decline in interest rates. Once that occurs, more people become engaged and the fear of missing out takes hold. That’s when you see a substantial shift in behavior. But we have no ability to control this. The simple approach is to focus on expanding your network and consistently asking fundamental questions: Are people buying homes? Yes. Are people selling homes? Yes. So, how do I get in front of more people potentially buying or selling? The answer lies in the size of your network.
With the factors of high rates, high prices and limited inventory working against today’s prospective buyers, which of these factors will be the first to break or bend to provide relief to the marketplace?
Ron Vaimberg: I believe interest rates will be the first to move, and that will increase momentum in the market. Everyone has their reasons to sell at a particular time. Due to the gap between existing interest rates and the rates people are holding, only homeowners with urgent needs or significant life changes are selling. There's only a small percentage of individuals who are willing to sell their property and accept a higher monthly housing payment for the same or a smaller home.
This dynamic will keep inventory tight. But as interest rates and inflation continue to decrease and stability returns to the market, more people will decide it's time to move on with their lives. This shift will gradually open up inventory a bit more.
What’s in store for the housing market as we enter 2024? What are some of the headwinds that the industry will be faced with in the coming year?
Ron Vaimberg: The likelihood of a challenging housing market next year is quite high. Some even suggest it could be the worst mortgage winter we've ever faced, and if interest rates remain where they are or close to it, this could become a reality. But I’m highly optimistic for the housing market in 2024, as I believe inflationary pressures are on the decline.
What's encouraging is that every time interest rates take a dip, be it a quarter or half a percent, within a day or week we see increased activity in both refinances and purchases. While the numbers might not be staggering, with each incremental, downward shift in rates there's a consistent positive impact on the number of people willing to buy or refinance.
Despite this positive momentum, I anticipate lingering inventory issues well into 2024 due to the significant spread between current rates and the lower rates held by borrowers. The minimal incentive to sell will keep inventory extremely tight.