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Top LO Shant Banosian on how to prepare for 2023

Everyone knows that the current market is a challenging environment for housing professionals, as high rates mean fewer originations and even less refi business. But according to Shant Banosian, Guaranteed Rate’s top-ranked loan officer, now is the time for LOs to show up and work hard. 

“In my opinion, this next 12 to 18 months are going to be the most important in all of our careers,” Banosian told HW Media CEO Clayton Collins in a session at HousingWire Annual: The Remix. “Whoever shows up now is going to be killing it on the other side of this thing.” 

Banosian compared today’s opportunity for growth to 2008, saying that those who were “killing it” in and after 2008 are not the same people who were doing well before then. 

“If you look at the top 10 lenders now, I’m not even sure you recognize any of the names prior to 2008,” he said. 

He said that the one thing that today’s top 10 lenders have in common is that they stepped up and used 2008 as an opportunity to grow.

“They stepped up for their people, they stepped up for their clients, and they used it as an opportunity because it was a really difficult and changing time, and the same thing is going to happen,” Banosian said. “The top 10 lenders in three or four years are not going to be the same as the top 10 today, because some companies are going to handle this pivot and change very well and others aren’t.”

Whether or not you succeed in 2022 and 2023 begins with looking at what you can do to help your team navigate this time. 

According to Banosian, mortgage companies should be looking at three different client classes: your employees, your partners (“everybody that feeds your company”) and the actual end user. 

“[Lenders] should be focused on delivering absolute value to all three of those people,” he said. “And those are the people that are going to totally win.” 

Deliver value

One way Banosian said lenders can deliver value is by being a reliable source for market news. The shifting market makes lenders more relevant than ever, he said, because technology can’t replace the information they can provide to clients and partners. 

“What I did back in 2008, and the same thing I’m doing now, is being the absolute biggest source of information in housing, real estate and mortgage guidelines,” he said. “It’s more important than ever to actually study and know what you’re talking about – actually taking the time to be a pro and being able to dissect the information and then, in a simple way, communicate it to your client partners.” 

It’s also important to gather that information from trustworthy sources. In addition to news sites like HousingWire, you can stay up to date with industry resources like the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Focus on the controllables

In terms of what lenders can do to help improve their business in a shifting market, Banosian emphasized focusing on the things that are within your control. 

“I can’t control what the Fed is doing, I can’t control interest rates – all out of my control, but I can control my actions and my effort,” he said. “I can control the basic fundamental things that I need to do every day that are going to help me win.” 

You can’t control the stock market, but you can control things like your networking activity, your marketing strategy, your hiring plan and how you’re driving leads, he said. 

Additionally, Banosian said, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people. 

“The biggest advice I could probably give you is cut out all the negative people in your life for the next 18 months,” he said. “They’re not going to help you; they’re just going to pull you down. You want to surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up.”

Stay the course

Banosian’s outlook for 2023 was optimistic, though he admitted that the next few months would be difficult.

“I think getting through until February is going to be massively challenging, because things are definitely slowing down,” he said. “But I also think that trillions of dollars of mortgage is going to happen next year, millions of deals are going to happen, because buying a home is important to people.” 

Homebuyers will adjust their budgets according to the market and figure out a way to get into housing based on the current rate environment, he said. 

“Clients and consumers are pretty resilient,” he said. “If they want something, they’ll figure out a way to get it.” 

“There’s going to be trillions of mortgages written next year, and there’s going to be millions of homes sold,” Banosian said. “We all will absolutely crush it, if we just have a little sliver of that.”

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