Can the mortgage workforce demands of 2020 stand the test of time?

Can the mortgage workforce demands of 2020 stand the test of time?

Four months into the new year and conversations among mortgage executives were focused right back on the same issue that always happens after a mortgage boom — LO comp.

Three mortgage executives were virtually gathered to talk about the routine topic at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Spring conference in April. The session was a part of the MBA’s decision to merge its usual succession of conferences into one, lump virtual conference due to the pandemic.

“It’s hard to go to your loan officers and tell them they’ve got to reduce their commissions,” Eric Gates, president of Apex Home Loans, said at the time. “There are some other tools — we implement dollar minimums and maximums with everyone. And we do have conversations and show the math on that — if they’re willing to lower their maximums then they can be more competitive on larger loans.”

All three executives shared similar sentiments about waiting too long after the refinance boom of 2018 to adjust pricing, a move that is both extremely sensitive but vital to the health of a company. But as the industry readies for the turn of another calendar year, the waning refinance boom’s impact on LO comp has only grown, with compensation now being one factor in a much larger discussion around what the mortgage workforce will look like moving forward.

The aftermath of 2020’s surge in demand lingered around in 2021, but between extra staffing, a pandemic that forced everyone to work from home and a shift in where the need is, the mortgage workforce is going to have to make some changes heading into next year.

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