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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   March 2016

Great Originators Are Attracted to Great Promise

Companies seeking to hire the best must be self-aware and recognize the mark of a champion

Great Originators Are Attracted to Great Promise

Loan originators are the lifeblood of the mortgage industry. Good ones will keep your company humming along; bad ones can wreak havoc on your operations. Great ones, however, can help propel you to the next level. 

So what is the secret to attracting the cream of the crop? What are the characteristics of a great loan originator, and how can you show them that your company should be their employer of choice?

Start with those qualities that separate the champions from the runners-up. Great loan originators are confident and driven. They are highly motivated and will continually seek business from all avenues. If they run into any walls, they don’t quit, but work diligently to figure out solutions. They are competitive, yet allow their results to speak for them.

Great originators also have developed a successful system. They understand success is not random and know that organization is key. They have tried-and-true methods of keeping track of the myriad details associated with the mortgage business. Great originators employ comprehensive, real-time databases to ensure a steady flow of business, and they never get flustered. They return every phone call, e-mail and text in a timely manner and ensure they are the masters of their calendars.

The greatest testament to any mortgage company is when the customer feels that the originator is working only for them, and great originators create that feeling. Another quality of a great loan originator is that they have a plan. They don’t simply leap from loan to loan hoping that everything will work out each time. They understand that to grow their business, they need a blueprint. They know exactly how many loans they must close and when they need to close them to reach their goals.

Maybe the biggest key to a great originator’s success is that he or she understands that this business is all about relationships. The best originators instinctively know how to build and maintain strong, lasting networks. They are able to do this because they are positive, passionate and reliable. They consistently exhibit these values and attract others to them. They take the time to listen actively to those around them and are sincere and timely in their responses.

Company culture matters

Now that the qualities of a superior loan originator have been spelled out, the next step is to make your company an attractive workplace for these champions. In that quest, it’s important that you understand clearly who you are as a company. Can you define your culture in a few sentences? Would your employees define it in the same way? 

Company culture is probably the single most important characteristic a potential employee will consider when shopping for new job opportunities. It can determine their performance and their longevity.

A great fit will be highly beneficial for both parties, and a bad fit can be detrimental. What does a great company culture look like? The answer: It mirrors the characteristics that you are looking for in a great loan originator.

There are many successful mortgage companies and
mortgage originators, but not all will be successful together.

Passion, organization and commitment are all key elements of a winning formula. Great originators want to work for a company that is as motivated as they are to succeed. They are looking for a pit crew, not roadblocks. Passion is contagious, and it starts from the top. Motivation and teamwork should be infectious. Every employee should be able to state the company’s goals.

Success breeds success

Great originators are looking for a company that is highly organized and running smoothly. Take a look at all your processes. Are they working independently and in sync? Get in the trenches to make sure that the gears are turning all the other gears appropriately and that the synergy is intact.

There is nothing more disheartening to a loan originator closing a big loan than getting hung up by the back-end processes. From processing to underwriting and closing, these systems need to be on point all the time. Great loan originators need to know that they have flawless support from start to finish. 

Trust is a two-way street, as is commitment. You are placing trust in your loan originators to close loans and to maintain the company’s good name by conducting business ethically and with integrity. They are placing trust in you as well. They trust you to provide the infrastructure needed to close loans in a timely manner. Originators want to ensure that the culture they admired when you hired them will endure, and that it wasn’t merely smoke and mirrors to get them onboard. They need to know they are a part of something bigger and will not be left out in the cold. 

Also key to this equation is making sure that you are evaluating the situation with the right filters and metrics. Companies are going to advertise their passion, their systems, their organization and commitment to the mortgage process, and originators will present themselves as having all the skills the company is looking for in a new hire.

The truth, however, is in the eye of the beholder. There are many successful mortgage companies and mortgage originators, but not all will be successful together. Not all cultures have the same approach to mortgage lending, even if they embody substantially the same belief systems.

No one is served when a job candidate and company are each looking for the perfect fit, and financial resources — along with time, energy and support — are squandered because the hiring process produces a mismatch. That’s why it pays to fully evaluate the job candidate to assure that there is a cultural fit with the company. When there is success, it spreads; with failure, frustration explodes all around.

•  •  •

There are great loan originators out there looking for great companies to work for. Paying attention to the qualities that mark great champions will help bring them together. 


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