Starve a Cold, FED a Virus?

The recent Federal Reserve announcement stating that rates would stay near zero for the foreseeable future likely did not catch anyone “in the know,” off guard. It was pretty well expected.  Having it announced loud and clear to the entire world does, however, allow for markets to plan accordingly with everyone on the same relative page. Recently, Refi’s have shot up 200%, new home sales are up 36% and the title insurance and servicing industries are booming. We bet you’ve noticed! Given the tumultuous nature of 2020 thus far, perhaps, this giant settlement industry uptick is one silver lining and the fact that it may have sustainable legs…even better. 

The swinging markets that can accompany global or regional upheaval can make hiring decisions a bit tricky. This year has seen everything from a global pandemic to murder hornets and it has played havoc on nearly every aspect of daily life. With sporadic business shutdowns, many segments of the economy have been adversely impacted, whether justified or not. However, possibly due to everyone’s increased confinement to their homes mixed with the favorable interest rates, a significant portion of the country has decided to buy a first home, upgrade to a bigger home, or refinance on their existing mortgage. 

Trying to keep up with the feverish demands of the current booming housing industry can have some businesses busting at the seams. But, in the back of the mind is the nagging thought. Will it last? Is it too late to ramp up and add talent now? Can we make it a few more months on double overtime? These thoughts are only natural as companies have seen similar ups and downs before.

When making these rather tenuous decisions we would recommend keeping the following in mind:

    • It is generally a good idea to “make hay while the sun is shining”. Assuming it is logistically possible, some new business not serviced or handled now is probably not going to wait for you later. Your competitors will handle it, or times could change, and the business opportunity may evaporate. Adding or upgrading solid talent is nearly always a plus for most companies in busy or slow periods. When times change, as they inevitably will, and the belt needs tightened, perhaps the time will come when you must evaluate and retain the cream of the crop. To that end, companies can come out on the other side of a boom with a honed staff that has proven their ability to ramp up and deliver. 
    • Another aspect to consider is keeping versatility in mind. Within the housing market, a booming refinance and purchase environment often means that the foreclosure side of the title and settlement industry is perhaps lurking in the distance. Ultimately, at some point the boom will slow and foreclosures will likely have their time in the sun. If you have kept hiring versatility in mind during your talent ramp up, then you may have invested in adaptable resources that can hopefully be repurposed instead of downsized.

Moreover, the FED has provided additional assurance that could help establish some level of stability for markets well into 2023 regardless of recent political events. Along with those FED assurances, precautions are being taken and hazards mitigated. It is likely safe to say that people will adapt and overcome as they always have. Masks may just become a way of life from time to time and increased attention to basic sanitation and handwashing is always worth a refresher course. Companies and employees around the world have adapted to more flexible remote options and powered through. And thus, a new normal is created. Adding and restructuring talent will always be a calculated endeavor and with well thought out hiring strategies accounting for versatility, chaos can be a ladder rather than a pit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and one of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts.