Across the country, the top producing branch managers and mortgage loan originators continue to be in strong demand, and the statistics make it clear why this is the case. A recent study by the Stratmor Group found that the top 20% of a company's producers are generally responsible for 57.4% of the firm's overall loan volume. The top 40% account for roughly 80% of their firm’s total loan production.
The study also revealed that top producers are also less likely to leave their current firm, while those in the lower tiers are easier to lure away. “We’re faced with mortgage managers and originators having a full pipeline for 12 months out of the year, versus falling off cyclically like they normally do over the winter months and in the early spring,” says Paul M. Peters, CMB, sales recruiting manager for Assurance Financial. “And because they have built up a full pipeline of loans, they don’t want to jeopardize it by leaving the company before the loans close. But that can be short-sighted. Loan producers need to plan to the future if they want to really increase their production rather than be limited in their current environment.”
For Peters and Assurance Financial, building a strong team culture that attracts originators and branch managers is a top priority. “We develop a personal and a professional relationship with the people we bring into the fold,” Peters says. “We show them that we’re trustworthy, we’re good people, we have a great culture and we have an open and communicative environment. At the same time, we have a value proposition that others don’t have.”
The company, which was among Business Report’s 2014 and 2015 Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge, offers competitive compensation plans, good benefits and a mix of mortgage product lines. “But the ultimate goal is to provide value that originators don’t get at their present company,” Peters says. “And that’s ensuring quality loans get closed, and they get closed in a timely manner.”
Peters understands the importance of originators being able to close loans on time, and has worked to build an organizational structure which enables producers to achieve that goal. Assurance has an entire team of originators, underwriters, loan processors, closing and post-closing personnel all working single-mindedly toward the same goal: closing loans on time. “It sets us apart from other lenders, with both customers and our originators,” Peters says. “It won’t matter how big of a pipeline an originator has if the loans don’t close; a lot of time and effort is wasted and that pipeline of loans becomes less valuable.”
Peters believes that this level of efficiency plays a key role in attracting the top mortgage loan originators in the region. “You can close more loans and have a better quality of professional life working the same amount of hours if the loan process is handled properly and efficiently,” he says. “Originators see that they can be more successful professionally and personally with the same effort they are giving today.”
We sat down with Paul M. Peters, CMB, at Assurance Financial to ask what loan top performing branch managers and loan originators should be looking for in their next career move.