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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   May 2016

Top Performers Make Smart Job Choices

Advancing your career isn’t just about getting a bigger paycheck

Top Performers Make Smart Job ChoicesThere are many factors that contribute to a company’s well-being in the mortgage business, but none is more important than its people. Putting in place a top-notch recruiting program is critical for building a solid team. As part of that effort, it is imperative to maintain daily interaction with loan originators from all over the region because they could one day be in the pool of job candidates.

A mortgage business’ success is driven by top performers who thrive in the culture a company has established. With the current state of the industry — defined by regulations, mergers and acquisitions and a constantly changing environment — there is a lot of movement in the industry. Loan originators are looking for the next best thing.

But what does the next best thing look like?

Mortgage nomads

When speaking with loan originators who have transitioned to new jobs many times during their careers, you will likely hear a consistent refrain. They say they are generally looking for better support, better processing, and easier or more common-sense underwriting. With each move these mortgage nomads make, however, their production tends to drop. Yet, the reason they are making yet another move is because they believe they will be able to do more business. 

These originators are making terrible decisions with every move, and each time they bounce to another company they get closer to becoming unemployable. It is simply not possible to amplify past poor production by resting on your laurels, like a washed-up rock star nostalgic for the glory days.

What really impacts their decisions to jump from one job to another, in many cases, is money. If you move only for money, however, you get what you deserve. These mortgage nomads often do not seem to have the ability or drive to evaluate real opportunity when pursuing a job. They don’t ask the right questions. They don’t seek out former employees of the company or talk to current sales people. They don’t take the time to research the reputation of the company through their industry partners. 

Instead, they slide into a cycle where they move, have a terrible year or two and then they move again. During hiring interviews, they complain about how awful the last place was and how difficult it was to get loans through the system. They talk about how terrible their former employers were and how they threw up constant roadblocks to closing loans.

These wandering originators will usually tell you that they just need the right infrastructure, and they can double their business. They just know they will do way more business within a better organization. In the end, they are really no longer mortgage professionals anymore, just professional job seekers. It seems that moving has become their career.

Bad recruiting

Frequently, these originators jump to the company that has offered them more money. At the end of the day, however, they need to take responsibility for their decisions and their production numbers. Why do they think a company is offering them so much money when their production is so low? Do they think the company believes in them? Do they even entertain the possibility that the company needs live bodies on its team and is simply making bad business decisions?

You can be the beneficiary of a company’s bad recruiting policy and take more money than you are worth, but is the short-term gain worth the long-term pain — worth having to move again, worth losing more business?

Originators need to make good choices and take time to conduct exhaustive research before jumping to a new job. It is their responsibility to determine if a company is the right fit. There are no victims in this game, just people fooled by hyperbole, who don’t look under the hood to determine if the machine is fully operational and built to excel over the long haul.

Originators need to make good choices and take time to
conduct exhaustive research before jumping to a new job.

Greener pastures

Sometimes, seeking greener pastures is the right move for originators. The grass can be greener elsewhere if an existing employer isn’t committed to creating a career-nurturing environment.

What do the best loan originators look for in a company? First and foremost is probably the company’s reputation. Are they seen by their business partners as reliable, quick and professional? A great mortgage company has long-lasting and fruitful partnerships with its real estate partners.

Second on the list is great support. Does the mortgage company have in place proven processes that ensure all loans are accurately closed in a reasonable amount of time? Great originators depend on a solid foundation of support.

Last but not least is training. True professionals always look to further their knowledge. They know that a smarter loan officer is a more agile one when it comes to capitalizing on opportunity. A company with a tried-and-true training program will always attract the best and the brightest job candidates. All things being equal, the best company to work for is the one in which you feel appreciated, nurtured and at home.

•  •  •

It is in your best interest as an originator to determine if a potential employer is offering an overall environment that will help you thrive professionally. Putting all your eggs in one basket by making a job decision based on income alone misses the big point.

If you are not closing loans, enhancing your relationships and growing your production, it does not matter what you get paid. You can be paid in the very top percentile of your profession, yet, in the end, if you have zero closed loans you are producing no income. Regardless of the compensation mode, that is a recipe for failure.


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