darren-mentalWe’re all about mental fortitude at APM. I mean, scrappy is one of our core values after all. Grit, strength, toughness in the face of adversity…these traits will always serve you well, but particularly in situations where you have no control and no certainty. That just about sums up everyday life nowadays, doesn’t it?

For those of us in the mortgage industry, mental fortitude is paramount right now as rates shoot up. We’ve all enjoyed quite the run while rates were low, but gravity – or, in our profession, real estate cycles – tells us where we’re headed next. That would be …toward a more balanced market. 

You know what this may mean for you. Your phone may stop ringing off the hook. A few leads may die off. The general vigor associated with this housing market may cool a bit. Whether it cools a lot or a little in your market (or not at all), you need to be prepared for every scenario. 

So get mentally tough as you prepare to enter a higher-rate environment. 

Embrace Change

It’s the only constant we have. Learning to live with change means you’ll be prepared for the tides turning. Not only should you embrace change, but you can create it. This doesn’t mean upending your business every month or so, but rather taking calculated risks that can have big payoffs. 

In this environment, maybe that means devoting more time to hosting Zoom seminars, joining platforms like TikTok and posting videos, or simply getting out of your comfort zone and networking more when the opportunity presents itself. 

Forget the Past

Minus historical market data and a couple lessons you took from previous missteps, throw the past away. Dwelling on missed opportunities doesn’t do you any good. Neither does ruminating over a transaction that fell through or a potential client who went another direction. 

Take the lessons you can from these non-wins, integrate them into future plans, then move on. Once the lesson is learned you can do so confidently without continually beating yourself up for being less than perfect. 

Realize it’s a Marathon (Not a Sprint)

Grit would not be grit if it was only required for a short period of time. Perseverance is an asset because it must be cultivated and relied upon on a consistent basis for long periods. We’re already in the marathon business – loans don’t close in a day, you know – so keep that in mind when you’re integrating new resources, practices and skills. 

These results will show, but it may take a little time. The win will be that much more savory when it does arrive!

Don’t Quit

You may feel like quitting, you may say you’re going to quit, you can think it all day long, but here’s the secret to not quitting: don’t. Yes, it’s that easy. Simply determine up front that you’re in this for the long-haul. You can pivot, sure – and you will. Not every endeavor will be a success; but there’s a big difference between making an adjustment and throwing in the towel. 

Consistent reviews and audits can serve as the check-and-balance system you need to keep your business in line, but since the ultimate goal (whatever that is for you) doesn’t change, you don’t stop until you cross that finish line. 

Stay in Your Lane

Take all the advice you can from the people who came before you. This includes mentors, bosses, colleagues, coaches, you name it. Sage wisdom can be found in many places, you just have to be self-assured enough to ask for it. 

Accepting help is one thing, but comparing your progress to someone else’s is another. Did your mentor hit a certain transaction volume months ahead of where you are now? Who cares? Has your colleague figured out what works for her and is now busier than ever? Good for her. Ask her if she has any advice…but don’t beat yourself up for being where you are. We’re all on different journeys – even if the goal is the same. All comparison will do is cause you to lose focus and confidence in your own experience.

Mental fortitude can be summed up in a few different ways. It’s discipline. It’s high expectations. Keen emotional intelligence is a must. Flexibility will always be important. However these traits look to you, find a way to embrace them so you can face this next real estate cycle with the grit that will see you to success.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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