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Don’t Worry, Be Active



Why Action Defers Anxiety

If there is one trait nearly every mortgage professional has mastered it is the art of worrying. Typically our worry as reverse mortgage professionals centers on the fear or rising interest rates, industry regulations, and our industry’s overall outlook. This week we examine how to transform our worry in to action.

reverse mortgage newsDespite being a highly-organized individual, I still grapple with worry. Last year with a looming deadline ahead I had an epiphany. As I began to chip away at my unsavory project it hit me- a phrase that was almost audible in my mind- “Action Defers Anxiety”.

Salespeople run on a volatile mix of intellect, drive, and emotion. It’s the emotional additive to our fuel mix that can often create problems. We typically relish the emotion of a closed deal, a funded loan, or a successful meeting but overlook the impact that negative emotions, chiefly worry, have on our business.

Let’s be honest, the more closely you follow the news, the more prone you are to worry. The trick is not to let the news sabotage your daily activity. A Swedish proverb cautions “worry often gives a small thing a big shadow”. Are you worried about rising interest rates, potential HECM product changes or the real estate market? Does FHA’s recent report to Congress concern you? The good news is there are some practical steps you can take to transform your anxiety into positive action.

1. Get it out. Keep a journal of your worries in a notebook. The mere physical act of writing it down helps us remove the negative thought from being top of mind. Later you can review your worry list to only realize how few of your fears ever became reality.

2. Stay active.
The worst thing you can do when worrying is to slow down. Why? Slowing down your daily activity will only give your mind more…

Download a transcript of this episode here.


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  1. Salespeople? sorry to hear this……what exactly are we selling? A government insured mortgage loan program? Why are we “Selling” it?
    Maybe, herein lies the problem…….this program was never meant to be “sold” to anybody and pretending that it should be IS the problem maybe.
    If we choose to believe that sales are the driving force behind the successful delivery of this housing program to the consumer then we might as well just sit back and stay positive, don’t worry about rising interest rates and what effect that has on loan proceeds, don’t worry about What the new Congress might have to say about the negative drag it has on the MMI Fund, don’t worry about the rising tide of Boomer mortgage debt, don’t worry about the unmanageable advancement of regulatory compliance vagaries that leave us fearful of explaining how the ridiculous thing works…..etc etc etc…. We are drowning in our own swamp of complacency….I recommend we get a bit more militant in defense of the legitimate benefits of this program and do everything we can to rein in the metastasizing regulatory compliance machine that is suffocating it.

  2. Mr. H. Spicka,

    A HECM is not an insured mortgage until endorsement. What we are selling is the trust in us that the product we bring will be handled by the lenders we represent in a manner that a HECM will result.

    We sell. By what you say you have already sold yourself on the idea that we are selling an insured mortgage. But at what point is the mortgage insured, closing?

    On January 20, we will have a new President. When Dr. Carson will be get through the consent process is for now unknown.

    While I am not against some form of financial assessment, this particular one is wanting. It needs change. The greatest achievement the financial assessment of HUD has created is about a 15% permanent loss in business, if not more.

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