Recently, there have been numerous reports of layoffs within the mortgage industry as rising rates and declining volume has caused lenders to cut staff. And that means lenders must do more with less. Retaining top lending talent is key to mitigating the knowledge and productivity lost to those staff cuts as well as maintaining a profitable lending business.
Retaining top talent is important because just as it costs more to acquire a new customer than retain a current customer, it also costs more to hire new employees than to keep current employees. The average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,425.
In addition, the new hire won’t be 100% up to speed for approximately 12 weeks and since the recruitment process takes about 42 days, lenders are losing out on about four months of productivity from their loan origination staff. This drop in productivity can wreak havoc with lenders’ bottom lines.
Now more than ever it’s important for lenders to recruit high-performing loan officers to sustain their organizations. Here are four primary ways to start today:
Deepen Your Loan Officer Lineup
Because one of the best ways to increase loan volume is by offering customers the best possible mortgage experiences, ensuring you have the right people in the right positions is necessary. In fact, “nearly 9 in 10 customers who are extremely satisfied with their mortgage experience[s] are fully engaged with the company overall,” according to Gallup Analytics.
To ensure their customers fit into this category of borrowers, lenders need to “stack the bench with A-level talent,” rather than “settle for mediocre talent,” according to Gallup.
However, to be successful, lenders need to give loan officers a reason to want to work at their institutions, which means they must establish cultures that support the goals of those individuals. One way to do that is by tapping into the career aspects loan officers care about as well as supporting the lives they want to lead in their work.
For example, do prospective candidates want benefits such as flexible work hours or technologies that make it easier to enjoy a healthy work-life balance? Providing coaching and mentoring as part of their company culture could also be a major selling point to attract new loan officers.
Once lenders have hired the right people, offering promotions and more money likely won’t be enough to retain top talent long-term. Lenders will need to work together to define true success for the company and its employees and do everything they can to help their loan officers achieve this success. This often means lenders must invest in equipping the right people, creating efficient processes, and selecting the right technology to deliver the right products.
Optimize Your Loan Officer Lineup with the Right Technology
Crucial to achieving any company’s mission is to source great people, equip them with the right technology, and ensure their commitment to using that technology to productively and efficiently close more loans.
Increasingly, mortgage bankers and financial institutions are turning to technology companies to help them rapidly scale their business by deploying solutions that can be maintained effortlessly.
But not all technology providers are created equal. Loan origination systems are not one size fits all so lenders will need to have a partner who is able to work with their people and processes to provide a flexible, configurable solution for processing loans.
The right technology partner is key, and with the right partner in place, a mortgage lender’s staff and support teams can be better equipped to train their loan officers and processors and help bring them up to speed faster.
While the right technology support is a requirement in today’s environment, that doesn’t necessarily mean getting the most complex digital loan origination system. Instead, it comes down to finding the right integration partner to help mortgage lenders reach long-term success by providing flexibility and efficiency.
Be in Position to Automate Manual Processes
Lenders who are already automating their manual processes with a flexible loan origination system (LOS) are most assuredly in a better position to attract and retain today’s top talent. Why?
Automating the application process enables loan officers to more quickly gather the information they need to ensure everything progresses smoothly, thus increasing their productivity and enhancing the customer experience.
For example, implementing technology to automate the process of preparing and sending disclosure documents to home buyers allows loan officers to send accurate disclosures to borrowers in minutes.
And using automated document collection systems means lenders can create customer portals through which necessary documents can be shared, processed, tracked, and collected. This lets lenders approve documents easily and allows customers and loan officers to see the status of applications and approve or revise document requests quickly.
Don’t Forget All Stars Deserve MVP Recognition
Finding the right partner and the right technology that empowers loan officers to be productive and maintain a good work-life balance is important, but lenders must also be sure to treat their talent with the recognition and respect they deserve.
Acknowledging employees’ achievements helps boost morale and will most likely encourage them to improve their performance even further.
For example, lenders can give their loan officers tangible, meaningful recognition that they can display in their office or share with their social connections or local community, such as Most Valuable Professional (MVP)! Mortgage lenders could also offer their top performers a chance for additional training as well as other opportunities for professional development.
This type of meaningful recognition can be an excellent way for lenders to retain their top loan officers. Remember, a pat on the back (in person or virtually!) goes a long way.
Ready to equip your team with the right LOS for your business? We’re here to assist – contact us today.