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Growth Comes After You Backfill Attrition

Steve Rennie
Feb 20, 2017

If you are a production manager, leader, or executive, you likely see a bright future and plan your production growth by helping your current team be more productive and add new members to the team.
Growth is this easy, right? No … it’s not. There are many risks to growth, but the biggest is called attrition. In fact, attrition is a massive risk for growth. Some of the producers working for you today will wash out, get recruited away or have their production drop off. Because of this, “growth” has to start with backfilling what drops off or goes away before any real growth can happen. That said, most often this attrition comes from mid-level and lower-level producers. Industry insiders I often speak with reference that 80 percent of the production in most companies comes from the top 20 percent of their producers … is this true for you? While companies have always been better at retaining their top producers, we are in a different time that makes everyone with an NMLS number a “recruiting” target and “evaluating options,” something everyone does ... including your top producers.
Here are a few items to consider in your growth plans:
Know your attrition rate and be honest with yourself: Hint … in 2015, a prominent survey revealed a range of 24-44 percent turnover in a single year among close to 100 companies in the survey).
Define growth: By knowing a few variables, you can assess the actual impact of infilling and expansion (contact us about our Growth IMPACT Calculator if you want help).
Have a retention strategy: The best strategy is to help your team accomplish their goals. That means knowing what their goals are and meeting monthly to discuss how they are performing.
With your attrition rate defined, you can build a plan to address the backfilling that needs to happen before you can “grow” to the new volume targets desired. Ultimately, the amount of recruiting and hiring that needs to be done will increase.
Model Match launched in 2014 as an innovative platform supporting individual (infilling) and team (expansion) hiring goals for mortgage origination companies. The solution incorporates processes, best practices, and proven methodologies to source, attract, hire, on board and retain production talent. In addition, the platform is coupled with live one-on-one coaching to train and facilitate recruiting best practices in an effort to strengthen an organization's overall recruiting “muscle.”
This helps our clients better achieve strategic growth goals.
Contact us to learn more at

Steve Rennie is chief sales officer with Model Match Inc., a technology platform and business plan used internally by sales leaders and executives at banks and mortgage companies to grow and retain production organically. He may be reached by e-mail at

This article originally appeared in the January 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
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