Where we winLisa SchreiberAmerican Brokers Conduit, account executives, communication, technology, loan officers
"Account executives must not be afraid. They must be
experts in their company offering and in communicating
expectations. Account executives must find creative ways to set
While I was executive vice president at American Brokers Conduit
(ABC), I wrote a piece for our account executives called "Where We
Win." The intention was to show them all the facets of ABC that
made it competitive. It was generally focused on products and their
unique selling points. In today's market, it seems like we all need
a "Where We Win" piece. This includes lenders, in defining and
communicating how they do business; account executives, in what
value they bring to the process; and loan officers.
Can anyone believe that we are still talking about lost faxes in
2008? When I first entered the wholesale side of the business in
1993, lost faxes were one of those problems that we all seemed to
spend hours on. We thought of everythinghaving them faxed to a
central number, or to each individual, or hiring someone to just
collect them. Unbelievably, I hear the same issues and the same old
broker complaint today; although today, faxes are actually being
Where do we win?
With the major banks being at the forefront of originations, we
need to take valuable lessons from the big mortgage bankers that
dominated our industry over the last few years. Take a look at
their platforms of valuing technology and bringing ease of use to
the originator. They actually increased their own productivity and
profitability by improving their customers' experience through
technology. The pull through, loans per employee and customer
satisfaction were all improved dramatically, not to mention the
ability to provide reporting used to measure success as well as
communicate and manage teams to exceed expectations.
The account executives certainly have their own set of
challenges. From the ever-changing product set, to the performance
standards that are critical to the future, to the feeling of being
unsuccessful relative to the heydays of the last few years, life is
much more demanding.
Where do we win?
Account executives must not be afraid. They must be experts in
their company offering and in communicating expectations. Account
executives must find creative ways to set themselves apart. They
must ask themselves if they know how to help their brokers market
their past clients and how to bring value to their day by
motivating them to get educated. They must learn to provide their
expertise in a tangible way, while still getting deals that are
right for their program. Account executives must understand that
these skills make them more relevant and will contribute to their
success throughout any market cycle. The key to success is simple:
it is within the account executive himself!
If we think about those in our industry, it's the loan officer
that has the best chance of surviving. Homeownership is part of the
American foundation. It is inherent in our way of thinking and a
dream for many people. As our children graduate college and begin
down their own paths, they probably have the goals of starting a
family and owning a home. In my own family of five daughters, each
of them recognizes that paying rent is wasted finances. Our
children may not all grow up and start a family right away, but
they recognize that investing in their future is critical to their
Where do we win?
Loan officers must learn how to take a complete application. Its a
lost art in today's world. They must learn how to qualify borrowers
properly by talking with them about their short- and long-term
goals. Understand and be the expert of your products and those
tools that make presenting your programs the most professional.
Loan officers should partner with those that can provide education,
networking opportunities and tools that will make them better at
what they do. They should expect communication from their lenders
and work together to build their professionalism. Loan officers are
the key to making our industry respected again. Let's show them the
true value we bring to our clients and to one of our country's most
important privileges, homeownership.
As you can see, we all have a "Where We Win" proposition to
focus on. Whether it is education to enhance our professionalism,
technology tools to make our world more cost efficient, or pride to
take our industry back to the respected place it deserves, we all
have a stake in winning.
Lisa Schreiber is currently a mortgage consultant and
speaker at LSK
Consultants. She was formerly executive vice president at
American Brokers Conduit and regional vice president at Bank of
America. She can be reached at (540) 822-9710 or e-mail [email protected]