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Where to start
If you don’t have the horsepower to commit to a system that is as detailed as my Perfect Loan Process, you must choose what you can accomplish realistically and build from there. When you improve your efficiency, in most cases, your business will flourish, and you can hire more people, if necessary. As more of your system becomes automated, your existing staff will have more time to provide excellent service.
Start generating ideas for your process by asking your customers to rate your service and provide feedback on a form. Ask them what could have been better about their experience with your company. Improve troublesome procedures immediately.
Next, write each loan-process task and its corresponding team member on a separate index card. Rate each task on a scale of one to five — one being vitally important, and five being the least important. Then separate the index cards by name. Is one person overloaded, and is that affecting your team’s overall performance? If so, you must have more realistic expectations for that person and shift more responsibility to others or automate some tasks to free up time. If many of this person’s tasks are rated low in importance, eliminate them.
On the same note, unless you are a loan officer working alone, you should have no index cards marked No. 5. Your job is to focus on generating income, so you should not be doing anything that creates a drag on your time.
The next step is to examine your weaknesses and find solutions to ensure the kind of predictability that leads to more referrals. You might find that something as simple as writing a letter to introduce each member of your team and individual responsibilities can make an incredible difference. It can eliminate your clients’ confusion over who is responsible for what. At the time the application is taken, you also might find that asking about your clients’ preferred form of communication — phone or e-mail — expedites the loan process.
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