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Balancing The Busy

What do you do when you’ve got too much business?

Mary Kay Scully headshot
Mary Kay Scully
Too Much Business
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I got another call today asking me to speak at an event, but – I’ve been getting this caveat more and more lately – no one wants me to talk about origination tips. Why? They “have enough business” already. It’s great that everyone is busy now, but I’m worried no one is planning for the future.

Things can change at the drop of a hat. Don’t get so caught up in being busy right now that you don’t make any plans to stay busy in the future.

Planning For The Future

It’s important to continue marketing yourself and developing relationships, even when you feel you’re already busy enough. It can be a challenge to balance everything now, but that is still easier than trying to drum up business from scratch during a time when you have none.

The industry is becoming much more transactional in recent days, rather than relationship-based. People can choose to get a loan from anyone anywhere these days. So why should they choose you?

According to the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ 2020 MLO Report, there are more than 183,000 other loan officers in the U.S. to choose from, so there is no shortage of options. It’s important to continue building and nurturing your borrower relationships so business doesn’t slump in the future – or worse – come to a screeching halt.

Just because volumes are high now does not mean they will stay that way. Take a minute to ask yourself where you see the market going. Don’t get so comfortable in the here and now that you’re not prepared for a change in pace.

In addition to volume, the type of transactions you’re able to handle may change in the future. Low inventory may lead to less purchases than forecast. 2021 total volume is expected to be 14% less, according to the MBA. The MBA expects refinances to fall by 33%, thus being the biggest driver of the reduction in volume. Are you prepared if that happens?  If we learned anything from 2020, it’s that anything can happen and change can rear its head without notice, so it may be best to be prepared for both reductions and increases in volume. 

Managing The Present

I can throw scenarios at you all day, but I get it – you’re busy. Networking and marketing yourself can feel like another full time job and managing a heavy workload along with these additional responsibilities can be a lot for one person to handle. Let’s talk about some ways to avoid burnout so you can take care of yourself and your business.

The first and one of the most obvious things you can do for yourself is take time off. It seems simple but so many people overlook this. You have earned your time off, especially after such a busy and stressful year. It’s easy to fall into a mindset where you think you “can’t afford” time off. However, this is what will refresh your mind and renew your energy that you can then channel into doing great work.

For the times you don’t take time off, figure out what centers you. Is it a hobby? Is it celebrating small victories in your work? Do you like to meditate, pray, exercise or journal? Maybe it’s just simply taking some “me time.” Whatever it may be, find what centers you and make time for that activity.

Finally, protect your schedule. Your time is valuable, so take a close look at what is on your schedule and prioritize accordingly. Don’t let other people – or yourself – waste your time. This ensures you have the time you need to do good work, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

There also are steps that you can take as a manager to help others prevent burnout. Prioritize a weekly “check in” with your employees. Make it a conversation and not just a meeting where everyone runs through a to-do list. Take this time to truly empathize and listen to what your employees may be struggling with. Once you listen, then you can work on a solution. 

As a manager, it is also important to promote connection and collaboration between employees. Any job feels easier when you have help and support.

Finally, something as simple as expressing appreciation for your employees’ efforts and accomplishments can make a world of difference in their attitude toward work. A simple recognition of hard work or acknowledgement of the importance of someone’s work can help defend against burnout. 

Striking A Balance

Juggling present responsibilities with future priorities can be a challenge, but you must stay motivated. To take care of yourself both now and in the future, take steps to prevent burnout so you have the energy to do what you need to do.

Close more loans, be more efficient, stay out of trouble.

Find more at Pro School
This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine June 2021 issue.
Mary Kay Scully headshot
Mary Kay Scully

Mary Kay Scully is the Director of Customer Education at Enact, leading the development of the company’s customer education curriculum. The statements in this article are solely her opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Enact or its management. 

Published on
Jun 19, 2021
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