Great leaders make great things happen. Whether you have the title or not, you are a leader in your business. I’m not a leader you ask? Not true … you lead your production into greatness, into the ground or some place in between. You lead your customers through an incredible customer service experience, a “key your car” type of experience or somewhere in between. You lead the entire production team devoted to your production into winning the war, jumping off the ship or somewhere in between. Good, bad or indifferent, you lead your team. I’m going to assume you want to sidestep the bad or indifferent, so if you are ready to lead your entire business, production and team into greatness, it begins with the way in which you lead your team.
Here is some insight into a topic which dramatically impacts your business and where you may not be giving enough attention: Your relationships with your processors, underwriters, etc.
Processors who have been in mortgage lending for many years suggest there are three things you can do to inspire them to be true partner … partners who are actually excited and anxious to see you succeed. Can you imagine that?
1. Paint a complete picture
When you meet and speak with your clients, get the whole story. Ask all the right questions, obtain all the documentation available and document the promises and expectations you’ve set. Something as simple as using a conversation log if your loan origination software (LOS) doesn’t have one or sending an e-mail with each file could alleviate delays in files being underwritten, last-minute closing nightmares. And the "you against them battles" so many of you find yourselves fighting might dissolve away into an occasional skirmish. Just as in any significant relationship, communication is key.
2. Complete files and applications
Yes, your job is to bring in the business, but you also have an obligation to your clients, referral sources and teammates to turn in complete packages. An essential part of the “complete application” is to clearly outline and communicate who is responsible for what action regarding the file. One of the biggest time-wasters I see today is loan officers and processors who do not have clearly-defined roles and everyone is tripping over one another. It certainly is a huge waste of time and does not send a message of confidence to the borrower when more than one person is calling about the same issue. Create a system so that everyone in the processing chain has a clear idea of their responsibilities. This empowers the next person in the system to be effective and supports smooth closings. Everyone wins!
As a business owner, there is simply nothing outside my scope of responsibility, sweep the floors, do dishes, etc. My team knows I will do anything and everything in order to get the job done. As a result, they do the same. Now, the reality is my team also knows the best use of my time is on the frontlines … as is probably yours. My team and I have defined the items that are “off limits” for me in order to optimize our business growth opportunity. How do you get your team to passionately serve you? You must passionately serve them. If you want them to be a “10” (the best) in processing, then you must lead them by turning in files with a quality rating of a “10.” In other words … lead by example. Show respect towards your team in the quality of what you do and you will receive quality and loyalty in return. Spend 15 to 30 minutes more on a file ensuring that it is well-documented before you turn it in and you will see a significant improvement in the service you provide, the referrals you gain and the team’s overall attitude about you.
3. Remember, processors are people too
Have you taken the time to get to know your Processor? They, like your referral sources, are instrumental to your success. A simple handwritten note, a caring question about their family, an interest in their hobbies and an understanding of their life goals will create a support partner who is motivated with you in building your business. They are deserving of our respect and appreciation. The better your relationship with your processor, the better your production … guaranteed.
If you had any blow-ups or unnecessary stresses during last month's closings, stop for a moment and think. Did you make the time to communicate often and clearly? Did you spend time getting to know your processor as a person and show that you really care? Did you carefully complete your applications? The very next application you take, invest a little extra time and you may find you have an awesome person on your side. Life can truly be sweet and you can reach those unlimited earnings when you are the leader of your team!
Casey Cunningham is president of XINNIX, a provider of mortgage sales and leadership development programs. She may be reached by phone at (678) 325-3501 or e-mail [email protected]