Stay true to what's made you successful
Every business owner wants their business to grow. Growing means that you’re good at what you do and that your marketing efforts are working.
The limits on your business change as you grow, and they should. These changes, however, can force you into a tough spot, causing you to short-change your system and your flow simply because of the increased volume and activity. In these instances, you have to figure out your end game, said president of GSF Mortgage Chad Jampedro.
“When you’re scaling, when you’re on-boarding, maybe it’s a new originator or a new branch, the end game is to get them quickly acclimated to our system, and be as successful as possible, but you can’t take the shortcut,” he said.
Shortcuts can mean skimping on staff, not providing the appropriate amount of training for systems or products. In the short term, Jampedro said, it can seem as if taking these shortcuts is lessening your burden but as a company you have to decide to either ramp up your support or rein in your growth (and who wants to do the latter?). If you don’t do one or the other, your outcomes will suffer.
“There’s an inflection point in that moment where we’ve got to make a decision: slow down or add more resources so that we can get the same result. And it’s a tough challenge, especially in this business, it seems like everything comes at us all at once in very big cycles; we typically recruit at a certain time, or we get more recruits or folks coming on at one time, and then it slows down. Business statistically bubbles and then evens out, but it’s about managing through those bubbles and having a system in place so that you’re methodically working through it and you’re not panicking," Jampedro said.
It’s hard to strike a balance between doing what you need to do to scale effectively while retaining the things about your business that caused you to be successful. So first, it’s about identifying what you’re doing well and thinking about how to keep that element moving forward.
For some companies, it’s all about staying true to your core values and the culture that you’ve created at your company. This is particularly true for business in the mortgage industry, where the difference between a bank and a brokerage represent a vast? Difference in the way originators do business.
Rett Babb, director of branch sales and business development at Goldwater Bank, was divisional director of branch sales and business development when the two companies merged in 2015. He said that he’s “having a ball” growing the company, and that sticking to their pre-existing setup has allowed them to create an environment where loan officers want to be.
“We took the bank’s name, Goldwater Bank, and we just plugged our mortgage banking infrastructure right into it. That in and of itself is a big differentiator because most bank mortgage companies feel like banks. Our company feels like a mortgage bank,” said Babb. “It’s run by guys who know mortgage banking, not by guys who sell CDs, car loans, that kind of thing. Mortgages is what we do. We bought the bank for the purposes of the mortgage company, which is exceedingly different and rare.”
For other companies, that may simple mean keeping the same branding and signature trademarks that customers have come to know and upon which they rely. Growth for the sake of growth does a disservice to clients and employees alike, so do an in-depth analysis of your business plan and business model. Without that, you’re taking a wild shot in the dark, crossing your fingers and hoping that everything that led to your current success will remain the same.
“A lot of my competitors just blindly go out there and grow and they grow and they grow and they grow, and they do it more often than not, of the detriment to their people on the street because they grow too fast,” Babb said. “And so things from an operational standpoint, they grow so fast, they get so greedy with their growth that they blow up their operations and their ability to provide service. We’re just not going to do that. I’m not going to allow that to happen because we’re looking out for our existing branches and loan officers. It’s a whole different culture.”