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
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
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
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 [email protected]
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.