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Net branching: The key to success or the path to ruin?

National Mortgage Professional
Jun 02, 2005

Managing in the mortgage mazeDave Hershmanemployee management, training, recruiting plan I can still remember being promoted to manager of production at my mortgage company some 25 years ago (of course, I was 12 at the time). I had just produced and closed almost 600 loans in my first 18 months on the street. As a matter of fact, I produced more than the whole company had produced the year before I started. So, why not make me a manager? What does a manager in the mortgage business do? I sure did not know. So, I called the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) of America and asked them to send me any books they had on mortgage management. There were none. They had a bunch on secondary marketing and more on underwriting, but managementthat is something you just did. So, within two years, I had written the first text on management for the industry--"Managing a Branch Office," published by the MBA. Now I was an expert and heading production for an even larger company and teaching at MBA management conferences. Fast-forward, 20-plus years later. My MBA book is now out of print. That is the ultimate acknowledgement of my agehaving books out of print. No matter, I have written the sequel and self-published it. But the point isthere is no more direction now for a manager in the mortgage industry than there was 25 years ago. What does a manager do in the mortgage industry? Theoretically, they produce their own loans as well as recruit, train and coach a sales staff. If they also own their own firm, they may be doing accounting and a host of other administrative jobs. If they work for a large company--they could have tons of company meetings, reports and conference calls. The problem is that every one of these tasks represents a full-time job. So, in reality, what the manager does is produce their own loans, beg people to work for them, hope they will train themselves and fire them if they don't work out. Sadly, the manager's time is typically spent fighting fires started by recruiting the wrong people and not training them, or just ignoring the problems while they close their own pipeline. Doing two or three full-time jobs for a living is very, very tough. It is even tougher with no training and no direction. I am here to give you five very clear-cut rules for successful management in the industry (or anywhere, for that matter). They follow very clearly the outline of my book and training on the topic: Hire the right people If you don't hire the right people, I don't care if you are the most talented person in the world, you will be a terrible manager. This rule is followed by many sub-rulesfor example, to hire the right people, you must increase your choices. Fire the wrong people Many managers stay with the wrong people because of inertia or because they feel that they can change a person. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If you have ever had a person resign and felt relieved, that is a very bad management sign. Let the right people know what their job entails If you don't set expectations, the first stage of miscommunication will have started. Great communication is a sign of great leadership. If you fail to set the tone at the beginning, the world will never right itself. Help the right people do their jobs Here is where your leadership skills are put to the test. From orientation, to training, to sales meetings, to coaching and more, what are you doing to help put the right tools in the hands of your people? Are you adding value to their lives? It is not as hard as one would thinkespecially if you know what resources are at your disposal. For example, many managers think they have to train their people themselves. And yet they don't have the time, and training never gets accomplished. In reality, there is a multitude of ways to get the right training done. Let the right people do their job If you think that a good manager "rides herd," you have not followed the first four rules. Most likely, it is time to start over. Wouldn't it be nice to stay out of your people's way and still have the job get done right? After spending over 20 years training managers, I have decided that it is time to take a comprehensive approach to helping managers accomplish these tough tasks with less stress. Less stress is a worthy goal for every manager, and it starts with a comprehensive recruiting plan. That is why Mike Baker and I have decided to present the 2005 Mortgage Management Conference in Las Vegas in July. If you would like more information regarding this conference, e-mail me at dave@hershmangroup.com. It is time someone started treating mortgage management as the discipline it is--instead of a place to retire high producers such as myself. Dave Hershman is a top speaker and leading author in the mortgage industry with six books--including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His mortgage school is the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information and articles by Dave, visit www.originationpro.com or call (800) 581-5678.
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