Scaling your business can be tough; what works as a small company doesn’t always work for a large one, and vice versa. There are some things that you can do, however, to make sure you have the right strategy in place and approaches that are designed to maximize every area of your business.
For team leaders working in the mortgage industry, this boils down to discovering and implementing ways to help loan officers do their jobs better; providing them with the right tools, processes, techniques and systems that helps them boost their production.
Josh Friend, Founder and CEO of Insellerate, and Dave Vermillion, Founder and CEO of Mortgage Champions, explain in a webinar that tips for leaders that will help get rid of inefficiencies affecting your bottom line, reduce wasted marketing spend, and get more from your current resources.
1. Power your strategy with multi-channel communication
Whether you personally prefer to communicate via face-to-face interaction, phone, text, or email, you need to be equipped to transact with customers in various ways, as well as ways to tailor your messaging to each particular method.
Generally speaking, text communication is a way to quickly communicate with a borrower, either because you’ve lost touch or need something specific in order to speed up the loan process. Email communication is for branding purposes, or other messaging that isn’t urgent. Using the phone or face-to-face communication is the best and preferable method for building rapport, getting to know your client, and pitching a particular product.
2. Less is more
Vermillion said that ensuring that you’re good at multiple forms of communication is “absolutely critical,” but another mistake is not understanding that there’s such a thing as too much information, and not understanding that sometimes less is more.
“If I find a single, universal mistake . . . It is notorious for salespeople in our business to overspeak, use way too many words, and give way too much information,” Vermillion said. Of course, originators should stay within legal bounds and give all disclosures, but during the initial side of the conversation, originators often say too much, trying to exert their expertise, trying to initiate borrowers into a transaction. Be brief in your messaging; get to the point quickly on the front end, and once you get to the back in, then you can
“What consumers tend to lean toward, is those who are short, sweet, and to the point, and the key is, build that around your value proposition, your product strength, and your service strengths,” Vermillion said.
3. Optimize conversion with skill-based routing
As a leader, it’s important to understand how to connect borrowers with specific needs to your loan officers who have a proven expertise. If you look at the types of loans each of your LO closes, chances are that you’ll see that they close one or a couple of loans more than others.
“I know from what I’ve seen through the years, we’ve seen this over and over and over again, lender by lender: about 80% of your loan officers can sell one product efficiently, and that’s about it; they can’t sell multiple products,” Friend said.
Using skill-based routing to send borrowers with particular needs to loan officers who can address these needs can increase conversions, and these days, efficiency is the name of the game.
“A year ago, two years ago, we didn’t have to be as efficient because there were more borrowers than there were loan officers that could currently handle them in an expedient manner. That’s changed now,” Vermillion said. “We need to make sure we’re making the most of what we have, making sure the right lead goes to the right loan officer at the right time is very important.”
4. Build a best-practices mindset
The model for a successful organization is a factory-based mindset and an assembly line mentality, Vermillion said.
“You build your organization in a way so that every person that touches the file is an expert in what they touch. When you do that, there’s no way you can’t succeed,” he said.
Each person has a job and a role to play in the process, and do the job repetitively until it becomes so second nature to them that they can’t do it wrong. It expedites the process and it creates a high quality product. Vermillion said that they’ve seen a lift in production where they’ve been able to take people and make them experts at a product.
“Look at your people, look at what they’re best at, and then not only make sure you put them in positions to succeed, by specializing as you need to, but then have them also work with other people within your organization so that they can also learn how to be the best at that process,” he said.
5. Keep your team on one screen
Friend suggests putting yourself in your loan officer’s chair and looking at how many different systems your loan officers usually go into. Most originators are using a pricing engine, LOS, POS, MOS, CRM, title website, and toggling back and forth make it very difficult to do their job efficiently.
“If a LO has to interact with many different systems, that’s going to cause friction, especially if the applications don’t talk to one another,” Friend said.
The solution is to streamline systems, using a single page application that has the ability to clean up data and interact with different data.
6. Get everyone on the same page
If a customer calls and/or steps into your office multiple times, they should receive the same experience every time. You want all of your team members to be consistent in messaging and in service.
“As leaders, we need to build a consistent methodology, a consistent philosophy, a consistent vision, a consistent mindset with all of our employees. That should be built around excellence in everything that we do,” Vermillion said. “Technology can help with that, but you’ve also got to make sure you’ve got well-trained individuals that you have nurtured, that you have mentored, and that you have made sure you have put in positions where they’re all thinking from the same mindset.”
If you can get your people thinking from a corporate standpoint that we’re here as a unified team with a specific vision and mission, he said, it leads to a great things.
Friend says for leaders to think of themselves as the couch, and your team as the players.
“The coaches and the training staff spent all their time figuring out, how do we make the players’ jobs better, their lives better?” he said. “If we take that approach that we are a united team, in that vision . . . this is how we become excellent organizations.”
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