As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2005.
Corporations can’t feel anything. That’s why most of them believe centralization is good. Most lenders have tried to centralize everything. “It’s efficient,” say those on the top floor. Those who work at the ground level, however, know that the greater the distance between them and their customers, the greater the chance they have of looking dumb.
The Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Responsibilityincludes a chapter on centralization. It advises:
“Improve bottom-line performance by moving critical lending functions as far as possible from customers. It’s cheaper to apologize for screw-ups than to maintain a full staff. Move everything you can to any small town in Montana and announce you have improved service. Put in some phone lines. In a few days, you can train the local townspeople in the finer points of mortgage lending. This should win you a promotion and increase that all-important bonus pool. Remember: Nothing is impossible as long as you don’t have to do it yourself.”
The Mortgage Commandos, a highly respected consulting firm, also has a few things to say about centralization in its pamphlet Cleaning Up After Trying to Centralize Your Processing: “After washing the walls and ceiling, use a good disinfectant on all floors. Then call a meeting to discuss how inexperienced mortgage workers can use the Fannie Mae guidelines to help them with loans from Louisiana. For questions on Federal Housing Administration loans, we recommend calling the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For questions on VA loans, we recommend calling the VA hot line at the board of governors of the Federal Reserve.”
Any good reporter would check further into centralization, so I contacted several business-degree grads who intend to go into mortgage banking as soon as they get out of jail in Mexico. They gave me the name of an expert willing to discuss the concept.
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