Tabrasa’s Patrick H. wishes everyone a Merry New Year! Yes, 2022 is here, with its thousands of cancelled flights due to weather and omicron. Older loan officers tell me that being 20 in the seventies was much more fun than being seventy in the 20s. Things are always changing, although one thing that never changes are independent mortgage bankers who think the market is undervaluing their company. Remember all the doom and gloom predictions for mortgage volume in 2021? They were wrong, and the Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that we did a record $1.61 trillion in purchase loans last year. Not too shabby. It’s the new year, and wouldn’t it be fun, as a goal, to say you’ve had a drink (soda pop counts) in the oldest bar in each state!? Here’s your guide. Managers at lenders may need that guide this year, given rate, volume, and margin forecasts. We’re in a cyclical business, and managers enjoy expanding and hiring much more than cutting back. By most accounts volume will be down this year, and companies will continue to force employees to increase their efficiency and become more efficient themselves. Managers have already cut overtime, increased training & productivity, they’ve stopped replacing employees who are leaving, usually leaving layoffs as a last resort. Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here and this week’s is sponsored by Real Estate Connection (REC), a boutique real estate brokerage that acts as a centralized and organized, fully-managed real estate fulfillment service, connecting buyers with local qualified Real Estate Agents and walking them through the entire home purchase and selling process with the lender partner.