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The Importance of Continual Education and Training in Our Business

Paul Lucido
Nov 28, 2016
It is evident that there is an increasing need for education on many frontiers in this modern age

Keeping up with a changing landscape
It is evident that there is an increasing need for education on many frontiers in this modern age, particularly the mortgage industry as it can have a direct impact on company growth, and thus the efficiency of the company in providing services for its patrons. Ensuring that all employees develop a collective knowledge and a well-rounded understanding of all facets of business operations is vital to the sustainability of a company and running it efficiently. Like clockwork, each cog must function cooperatively to assist the larger function of the clock as a whole; if the goal of each employee is not unanimous, the corporation cannot reach its full potential. The difference, however, between clockwork and a team of individuals working toward a mutual cause, is that each member does not run on auto-pilot. Rather, they have the ability to choose whether or not and how much they wish to dedicate themselves to their practice.

So, how do we ensure that each member not only performs their task, but is inspired to do so? The answer is simple: Through education. If everyone has a common understanding of the goals and functions of the company, understanding not only how but why things are done the way they are, everyone feels like they are on the same page, and more importantly—like they have a say.

As we continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the mortgage industry, we as leaders need to ensure that all those working with and alongside us are apprised of ongoing regulatory changes that could potentially affect our industry and livelihoods on a daily basis. In order to ensure that staff and customers keep abreast of relevant industry changes, companies need to be constantly training and educating their employees on relevant topics, such as the recent HUD 4000.1 handbook release, or Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter and/or recent self-employment changes. Furthermore, in conjunction with compliance departments, we need to be training on TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID), the Qualified Mortgage (QM), as well as any ongoing changes with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Educating employees on matters involving the impartment of vital information is just one of the fiduciary responsibilities of employers, which allows each member to perform their job more efficiently, and consequently allows the larger entity to carry out its responsibilities for the mortgage industry.

The importance of peer training
As stated before, understanding the importance of learning from others is crucial to a company’s growth and sustainability, and is necessary for employers and employees alike. The ability to gain insight from a colleague’s experiences—trials, tribulations and successes—is invaluable and should be utilized when exploring new ideas and embarking on new projects.

As follows, having senior staff impart their wisdom and working knowledge of how they do things—which practices work best under which circumstances—creates an enriched environment that is engaging and educational, establishing an interactive mode of operandi. This type of learning environment encourages and fosters all staff to share thoughts and ideas and learn directly from their team members, both at the top and in the trenches.

One case example
Companies like PRMG, for example, place a high emphasis on investing in education. In fact, they have taken it upon themselves to provide a state-of-the-art training facility at their corporate location where they host live trainings and seminars. PRMG University, as it is called, also coordinates annual NMLS SAFE Act and certified training and education for loan officers and brokers. They have partnered with approved mortgage insurance companies to offer training that is provided exclusively for staff and customers, ensuring that all training activities are both accredited and effective.

“We began publishing a monthly calendar of available training classes through PRMG University in the summer of 2015, which we continue in effort to increase and fine-tune the class offerings,” said Lara Rausch, vice president of Product Training for PRMG. “Many of these classes are also available to our brokers and correspondents, helping them to expand their knowledge and become better in their field and, hopefully, establish a loyal partnership with PRMG. We recently began creating training videos that can be found on the PRMG University YouTube channel. These videos allow for on-demand learning and repeated viewing. We intend to continue creating training material this way and expand our library of training videos on this site.”

Beyond live training, it is also important to offer monthly classes via Webinars in order to accommodate staff and customers across the nation. Our firm is not only a proponent of continual education, but accessible education. Whether facilitating product training, compliance or orientation for new employees, it is important to establish a haven of education dedicated to ensuring each employee’s understanding of the company’s vision of excellence. Their orientation experience merely sets the precedent for the education to come, gearing them up for PRMG’s continuous regimented trainings which are aimed at enhancing all facets of the employee’s career, ensuring personal long-term growth and success.

Again, PRMG is just one example of a company that highlights the importance of education, not only on a philosophical level, but in a tactile manner. With PRMG University, they have made great strides toward providing the best possible education not only for their sales staff and operations teams, but to their valued business partners and customers.

The overall goal of continual education is to increase employee satisfaction, improve performance, increase productivity and ensure long-term sustainability. Companies alike should adopt such principles and practices to ensure each member is equipped with information that is current and relevant to their respective work situation, ultimately fostering a symbiotic workflow that creates an environment of efficiency and delivers enhanced customer service to their clients.

Paul Lucido is national marketing director for Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc. (PRMG). He may be reached by phone at (951) 547-6311 or by e-mail at [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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