Let me make an assumption here. You are a producing manager or owner. This is a pretty good bet because more than 80 percent of the production managers and owners in this industry also produce themselves. And the majority of the income earned by these producing mangers or owners is derived from personal production. The final number may vary, but typically more than 50 percent of the income comes from originating loans, rather than base salaries, overrides and/or profits.
As I mentioned last month, a producing manager has about five full-time jobs. What are they you may ask:
►Recruiting loan officers and operations personnel;
►Hiring and on-boarding successful recruits;
►Supporting those supervised—including marketing and processing support, training and coaching;
►Handling administrative tasks, which can include anything from compliance tasks, to reports to fighting fires.
That is a lot of tasks for one person. That is exacerbated by the fact that more than 50 percent of a manager’s time is likely to be taken up by personal production. It makes sense that if more than 50 percent of their income comes from personal production, they are going to dedicate more than 50 percent or more of their time to this task. Thus, this is how the numbers shake-out—20 percent to 50 percent of their time is focused upon four very important jobs. All of which could be full-time jobs for an ordinary citizen.
What does this all mean? For the average manager, it likely means that four of these jobs are not going to get accomplished adequately. Let’s take an example such as recruiting. The average manager will not recruit the number of loan officers they would like to have. Even more important, the loan officers they do recruit are not likely to be the quality necessary because there is not enough time dedicated to the recruiting and hiring process. What makes this so onerous is that if the quality of the loan officer coming in is less than what is expected and there is not enough time for coaching and training, the results will not be there. That leaves even more time to be spent in the “fighting fires” category, which could mean anything from rescuing poorly originated deals to firing inept and poorly supported originators.
Does this sound like you? If it does, you are probably thinking: “Dave, I know all about this problem. You have told me nothing.”
The issue is ... how do I get better at the other tasks? That is a reasonable question. And it is very important for me to help guide you so that there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I certainly am not going to solve the issue in one column, but we will work our way towards solutions, bit-by-bit. All goals are achieved one step at a time, and this will be no different.
Basically, there are a few keys that will help you get more accomplished in a world in which you have a finite amount of time and too many things to accomplish correctly ...
If you don’t know where you are going, you will not know when you get there. So, first you need to make some decisions regarding what you want to accomplish. If your goal is to hire more quality loan officers, are you willing to move this objective up in priority? I cannot lie to you here ... while I may give you tips regarding how to be more effective with your time, you cannot move something up in priority without sacrificing somewhere else. There is only a limited amount of time in each day. With this balance in mind, only you can make this decision. If you are happy spending 70 percent of your time in personal production and limiting the results elsewhere, then so be it.
Making decisions regarding prioritization leads you to another very important question. You not only need to decide what is important, but what is more insignificant. It is not a matter of just eliminating personal production in favor of recruiting or coaching. What areas within the production process represent the best use of your time? What areas can be performed by another entity? Delegating actions can include everything from hiring a loan officer assistant to employing a marketing firm to make sure your entire sphere is reached with value on a regular basis. Are you spending time obtaining conditions? Can someone else be accomplishing this task instead of you? Anything you can hire out at a low salary may be a ripe area for an evaluation. This does not mean that you hire everything out, but it does mean that you can make more intelligent time management decisions.
Synergy is an overused word. However, if you want to accomplish more in less time or with less monetary resources, the implementation of synergistic principles is absolutely essential. There are so many examples of these principals and we will be examining these in upcoming columns. In my book, Maximum Synergy Marketing, I give seven rules of synergy marketing. One which is very important to take note of: Every task you accomplish should achieve another objective. This is the rule of “multi-tasking.” If you look at the five separate jobs listed above, there is no doubt that the list is onerous, especially if you consider these completely separate jobs. But if you understand that accomplishing one task can also move you closer to another objective, the equation changes significantly. For example:
►Thinking about hiring an assistant? Is it possible that your assistant could be trained at the same time to become your next loan officer recruit?
►Spending a lot of time marketing for loans? Is there a way to also market for loan officers also using the same advertisements?
The examples we could present are limitless, but these two should give you a general idea.
The elimination and prevention of mistakes
This is a very important and difficult task. Mistakes cost you time fighting fires and accomplishing other unnecessary tasks. You will find most of these are caused by issues existing within the “front end” of the system. Many times, these issues are exacerbated by the fact that you do not have enough time to do things right the first time.
►Don’t have enough time to take a thorough loan application? The things you miss might very well cause explosions on the other end.
►Don’t have enough time to train loan officers on the importance of a great loan application? Again, the results are likely to be fires and more fires.
►Have a loan officer that is taking too much of your time with little or no results? The longer you stay with that mistake, the more it can hurt the other aspects of the process.
Some of these areas will definitely be focused upon in future columns. But for now, we have laid the issues out on the table. The solutions are simple. However, they are not easy to implement. It takes discipline and a plan. Hopefully, this discussion has you thinking about possible solutions to the “five jobs” dilemma. I would love hear your reaction, suggestions and comments. Just e-mail them to me at [email protected]
Dave Hershman is a top author in the mortgage industry with seven books published, as well as hundreds of articles. Dave has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches, seminars and schools for the industry as well. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected]
or visit OriginationPro.com.