The American workforce is changing a lot. A Gallup poll reports 43% of workers in America do at least some of their work remotely. Places like Brooklyn now have as much as 40% of their residents working as freelancers. Job site Indeed, says there was a 385% increase in searches for remote working positions in 2017. Some projections expect 80% of traditional jobs to be replaced by digital in the next 10 years. Yet, the mortgage lending industry is still almost exclusively built to serve the static, almost extinct W2 employee!
Unless loan programs, companies and loan officers change, everyone is going to be fighting over a very, very small slice of business. If anything we should be wanting to grow mortgage lending by 80%, not shrink it by that much.
So, what can mortgage brokers, lenders and independent LO’s do to stand out as the one to do business with, and who can deliver on the needs of today’s potential borrowers?
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There is a huge disconnect between traditional underwriting demands and what the new workforce has. W2’s, 2 years on the job with the same employer, consistent housing history in the same place for 2 years – forget it. Almost half the population is instantly disqualified. That’s true even if they are those with the best credit scores and incomes.
One lender has stepped up to advertise loans that are a good fit for the ‘gig economy’. If they are the only ones promoting it, guess who stands to automatically win 40% or more of the potential mortgage business out there?
You may not be in a position to personally create new loan programs or approve loans. Yet, you can find the best matching programs for these borrowers. You can help educate them on how to become well qualified borrowers, and get their paperwork right.
They still want to buy homes, invest in real estate, and may inherit or have property to refinance. They are looking in different mediums, and have challenges with old school methods of applying for loans and navigating the demands of underwriters.
Can you reach them in freelancing and co-working circles? Consider how you can get your ads where they hangout online and offline.
Consider their challenges and also how they communicate today. Someone who has been a digital nomad for the last two years, might only have hotel receipts for housing history While they may have been paying 3x more than the cost of a modest home mortgage. They can afford it. Though many of their documents may be in storage in another state. They probably don’t have a printer nearby. Trying to mail them documents to sign is going to be futile. Or maybe they’ve owned a home in the US for years, and have 60% equity and want to refinance, but travel almost nonstop and may not have consistent international phone service on the same phone number.
Don’t just offer these things. Make a lot of noise about how you can help, and how you are the perfect fit to help them.