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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   October 2017

Are You on the Right Path?

Technology can pave the way to a brighter recruiting future

Are You on the Right Path?

Recruiting within the mortgage industry is staring down a future with two possible paths. One path has stagnant loan officer positions left open in favor of positions in other, more modern professions. The second path is one in which a new generation views the mortgage profession as a rewarding and challenging adventure equipped with the right tools to keep pace in a rapidly changing world of technology. 

Let’s face it, the history of the mortgage industry doesn’t exactly demonstrate a great acceptance of system and technological change. Granted, this is largely because home loans are highly regulated, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, while industry professionals have focused on keeping up with regulations, this has left a serious void in developing new and better ways of doing business. This has left many involved with the loan process — and those passionate about homeownership in America — disgruntled with our industry’s clunky, outdated systems that are supposed to help them do their jobs. 

Many in the mortgage industry feel the loan-manufacturing process is broken. Mortgage professionals are relying on outdated information to make critical business decisions during the loan process because they are juggling loan statuses in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and loan operating systems (LOS) that don’t communicate and aren’t readily available.

This results in staff spending too much time and money on data collection and reporting, and frustration within teams, specifically among processors and originators. This often leaves originators with inflexible schedules fewer opportunities to get out in the field or dedicate more time to other critical business aspects, such as selling.

As the mortgage-manufacturing process currently stands, there’s so much time wasted in follow-up because there are no outbound systems that can be trusted. Instead of originators obsessing about a file, they should have a system that gives them real-time updates on the status of their loan pipeline.

This isn’t just about millennials, either. There is not a single loan officer in the country who doesn’t wish he or she could hop on a mobile device and get an update on current loans and leads without logging into three different systems or being chained to a desk.

Flexible sales force

Why should your sales teams have to be chained to their desks? Current — and future — loan originators expect to be given the space to focus on higher-level activities, such as building new referral partnerships, meeting with clients or doing community events, so they can be out there in the community, building their brand.

Our industry must move into the modern era so we can properly recruit the next generation of originators who will be just as excited about the challenge of helping people become homeowners as we are. People get into this business because they love changing lives, not because they love fragmented processes and outdated systems.

Many younger originators appreciate a sales challenge, especially when it is on display so everyone can see.

This will take a shift in the way mortgage companies run their reports, alerts, threshold monitoring and goal setting, as well as how the recruiting process is handled. In fact, modern mortgage-reporting software can be used as an effective recruiting tool in a competitive recruiting environment. This can only happen, however, when mortgage companies stop “talking” about accountability and efficiency, and start “showing” recruits they are serious about it. 

Mortgage branches and their recruiters can actually use technology to show their accountability and efficiency, as well as the success of their originators, which will help them stand out when recruiting the next generation of loan originators.

Show accountability

You often will hear mortgage recruiters and leadership teams talk about how they are all about accountability and transparency. Yet, one of the main problems mortgage professionals experience is a lack of an accountability culture.

Mortgage companies attempt to compile data to track production accountability, but in the end, the method for tracking that data often fails, leaving employees and leadership teams, once again, disgruntled. When it comes down to it, no one trusts the data. 

Mortgage companies need to show recruits that they operate from a single source of truth: A uniform reporting platform that displays the same data for everyone in the office. And if that data is projected up on screens when a candidate comes in for an interview, even better. This shows the candidate that you are serious about their success.

If you have true systems and tracking in place that keep everyone on the team on task and accountable, then you will have a team with less infighting and confusion, and more forward progress. 

Show efficiency

Let’s say a candidate comes in for an interview and, as they walk through the office, they see rooms full of dry-erase boards littered with outdated loan-pipeline data. If that recruit has come from another mortgage company, that scene may be a familiar sight.

The worst thing that can happen when a recruits enter your office is this thought popping into their heads: “Is this company any different than my last company?” Many recruits have witnessed disorganization firsthand. That is why they are looking for a new home.

They have seen how other companies use technology that doesn’t interface with the CRM and the LOS. They know the frustration of using red-stained, dry-erase boards and outdated spreadsheets because the technology fails to function. 

This is your chance. Show recruits that you use modern tools to help your team track their business efficiently by bringing fragmented data systems into one easy-to-use, centralized tool that shows their loan pipeline in real time.

If you have the ability to do this as a mortgage company, your staff will begin to trust the data and each other, allowing them more time to focus on originating, processing and building new referral relationships.

Show success

Beyond efficient systems and accurate data, recruits want to work for a winning team. It’s easy to tell prospects: “Our mortgage company is for top producers, and we have the best processes, pro-ducts, etc.,” but what are you showing them when they walk in?

Let’s revisit that candidate walking through the office. Do they see stacks of paper on every desk and old production numbers on dry-erase boards? Or do they see flatscreen monitors on the walls displaying up-to-date production goals and outcomes?

Digital dashboards on every desktop, demonstrating accountability and technological progress, will do a lot more to sell recruits on choosing you than the typical pitch about why your company is the best because of your processes.

Showing who is currently on top of production in constantly updated monitors also will challenge your existing staff to go beat that number. Many younger originators appreciate a sales challenge, especially when it is on display so everyone can see. 

Your mortgage technology should be in real time, easily displayed and available on the go so your originators also can be on the go. This technology should have the capability to show everyone involved in a loan transaction the status of that loan and provide alerts for milestones.

• • •

The future of the mortgage process can be a bright, shining place, but if your processes are broken, the majority of future top candidates will notice the path you are on and many will decide to go in a different direction. Forward-thinking mortgage companies and branch managers can fix that problem and lead the mortgage industry into the next generation.


 


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