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Loan officer debunks VA lending space myths

“In the mortgage industry this year, it’s been more along the lines of creativity,” he said. “We’re all in this fight together, and there’s a lot of difficulty surrounding the market for buyers, for real estate agents, for lenders, for mortgage brokers, and LOs.”

The twin goals: “Finding ways to keep the customer experience a positive one, and being able to get clients into homes by approaching them the right way,” Clanton said. “It’s going back to the drawing board and coming up with different programs.”

The impetus is on each practitioner to become educated on the full breadth of financial products available in order to stay ahead of the game: “I think for LOs like myself, educating ourselves on all the different programs that these lenders and investors have, understanding that every consumer has a unique position that they’re in and sitting down and understanding that person’s unique situation and being able to coach them through it and finding that product for them, is going to be a game changer.”

Like many in his industry, Clanton is prepared to see an exodus of loan officers as they succumb to financial pressure amid current market challenges. Yet this scenario yields a positive for those who survive – an opportunity to gain market share when it’s most needed.

“A lot of those people are probably retail,” he said of those likely to exit the industry. “There’s going to be some attrition in the broker channel too. I think retail lenders are going to be the ones that fall off first, because of the higher interest rates. I think it’s time for the brokers to step up and exploit our flexibility. ‘Yes’, there are people exiting the industry and, ‘yes’, it’s a different industry. But we have so many options if you dig into the different lenders’ [products]. You can find something that makes your clients happy.”

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