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Keep The Plan On Track

Process, Practicality and Priorities: How does your company stack up?

Mary Kay Scully headshot
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Mary Kay Scully
A painted track showing the numbers of the coming years.

We’ve talked about how to manage your time and your to-do lists, so now it’s time to get into the weeds. With the end of the year quickly approaching, there is no better time to assess your business – specifically how your processes are contributing, or not contributing, to your bottom line.

It will be difficult to grow your business if you don’t know what makes money and what wastes it. To get a better idea of how work is working for you, take a look at the processes, practicality, and priorities at your organization.

Process

To assess how your business is doing, you must first take inventory of your processes and sourcing. The business you are doing likely falls into one of four categories: high effort, high return; low effort, high return; high effort, low return; low effort, low return.

With this in mind, identify the processes and relationships that have high returns. How can you protect those sources of your business? Are there ways you could grow in those areas? Especially for those that do not take an excessive amount of effort, look for new opportunities to promote them in order to boost your overall success.

In the same way, examine your transactions and relationships with low return. These are the ones you will want to improve or strategize around. Ask yourself why it’s not moving the needle. Is the process inefficient? Do you need more resources to make it a success? Is it mutually beneficial?

Just because something is low return does not mean it needs to be written off entirely. Uncover why it’s low return and brainstorm ways you can turn it around. Maybe it’s something as simple as finding an activity that can be automated or delegated. Other areas of your business, or even other industries, may have examples of how they have solved similar problems. Use your resources and explore your options.

While the first reaction may be to cut out everything that is inefficient, the goal should be to look for opportunities to improve efficiency and boost ROI in the long run.

Practicality

Once you’ve assessed your processes, you’ll have a better understanding of how to best use your time to create meaningful results for your business. 

The right processes generate the most revenue, especially with regard to how much work was put in. Look at information like the percentage of loans that are withdrawn, rejected, and closed or what percentage of loans require a counter offer or have numerous items needed in order to be clear to close. 

Are the majority of rejections the same loan type or from the same referral source? Understanding the reason for the loan denial is critical. You may need to improve your product and guideline knowledge. Why are some applications suspended? Is the cause an incomplete application? You may need to conduct a thorough review of the borrower data to avoid process delays. Missing data and documents with inaccurate information can cause a process bottleneck and negatively impact all transactions.  The data will be clear as to which processes are working and which need improvement. Remember the experience of the borrower dictates the likelihood of a referral or repeat customer.

Assessing your practical processes is just as important as assessing your impractical processes. What types of transactions have the fastest pipeline clearance and/or approval rate?  Are there transaction types that you know will be profitable, but you are not going after? If this is the case, you are letting business walk out the door. Ask yourself what is holding you back from spending your time on improving or changing a processes that will result in referrals and returns down the road. It may be that you need to go back to assessing your processes to find out why you are not yet capitalizing on a certain transaction type.

After the past nearly two years, there has been so much change. Be sure you are changing with the times and customer needs. There is no reason to hang on to inefficient or impractical processes if they are no longer meeting customer demands. Success is a moving target – move with it.

Priorities

Now that you know what works and what works well, it’s time to prioritize. Of course, it’s important to prioritize what truly moves the needle for your business and positively impacts your bottom line, but it’s equally important to prioritize yourself.

Your business won’t be profitable if you are burnt out. High production is great, but it’s not the only way to see success. Make sure your workload is sustainable and you are not overwhelming yourself with tasks and responsibilities.

Additionally, prioritize activities outside of work that make you happy. This could be time with friends and family, time alone, exercise, rest, or travel. The list goes on and will depend on what recharges you, and makes you feel energized and ready for work.

Like I said, success is a moving target. Demands and the industry itself are always changing. With the right processes and priorities in place, everything else will fall in line.

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

Find more at Pro School
This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine September 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
Sep 20, 2021
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