Assembling a stellar team

by Kimberly Greene20 Aug 2018

When you’re building a business, one of the most—if not the most—critical parts of the puzzle is the team who will be working with you. The formula seems as if it should be simple: hire as many top producers as you can. Lots of money coming in for the business, lots of money going to the originators, everyone’s happy, right? What could go be wrong with that?!?


Hiring top producers without considering their personalities is a strategy that could blow up in your face. First of all, money isn’t everything. You need people who are personable, who are engaging, and who are good communicators, for the clients who really value that one-on-one connection. There is also such a thing as being too confident. There’s a thin line between being confident and cocky, and cocky salespeople can cost you business.

People of varying personalities are of value to your business, just as people of varying experience levels. People without a long history in the industry are better able to look at things with a fresh eye and see the holes, sometimes even better than the seasoned pros. They’re the people who are able to say, “Why don’t we do things this way,” instead of thinking, “This way is the best because that’s how it’s always been done.”

In fact, Mark Marimon of Freedom Mortgage says that the vast majority of people he’s brought onto his team had previously had very little or even no experience in the mortgage industry. He not only trained them on the loan process, but also on the integrity and communication aspects that are important to their company’s style of business.

“The experience in the mortgage industry matters very little to me because those are things that you can teach,” he said. “When you’re building a sales team, you need people who are really good communicators and people who actually take interest and care about your interactions with others, with your clients, and people that are just generally sharp. The mortgage side of it is something you can always learn but you can’t change the core of who a person is.”

Industry novices might take more time to train, but you might also save time because you won’t have to break any bad habits.

If you’re interviewing someone and you can tell that they’re not comfortable shooting the breeze or speaking off the cuff, they might not make a standout loan officer. One way to get great people on board is to hire people who make a great impression on you. Anyone in sales know that making a good impression is half the battle. Once you’ve made that impression, built that rapport, and earned that trust, it buys you a lot of goodwill going forward for you to really flex your muscle and show your expertise.

Many mangers bring new people on board when the work gets too overwhelming, and the existing team needs some relief. That may be a good approach when it comes to lightening the workload, but Marimon said that you shouldn’t wait to hire a new team member when you’re already busy. You should hire them when you have only enough work to fill half their time.

“If you hire somebody who is productive and a go-getter, they will fill the rest of that time and you will be motivated by wanting to keep them employed and pushing you forward to find new opportunities for them to go and capitalize on,” he said.

Creating opportunities for team members early on is a great way for them to grow quickly in their careers and also contribute to the company. Because as great of a producer as you are, if you want to have lots of volume, you need lots of people and lots of support. You can structure the business in different ways—knowing how you want your process flow to work will best serve you as you know whether or not you should be hiring other originators, more processors, and/or more production managers.

If you want to do lots of volume year after year, you can’t do it alone. Take the time to invest in your business and invest in your people and it’ll pay off for years to come.


Related stories:
Mastering your domain
More diversity, more success
Correspondent or retail lender: which is right for you?