For loan officers looking to change jobs, it's about more than the money. Being able to close loans as scheduled, receiving proper training to make purchase loans and having confidence in managers' preparation for change were the top reasons why loan officers consider switching companies. But rather than rushing into a decision, smart loan officers need to conduct a careful self-analysis and thoroughly research potential lender partners.
As they move through the process of making a potential change, loan officers need to consider several factors to help them find the right model-match to build a better business.
A loan officer must decide what their individual business vision is for the future. This could include origination sources, production potential, product needs, company values, marketing strategy, and other factors. At our company we call this part of the process “loan officer business plan.”
Loan Officer Business Plan provides a loan officer with a full view of their business.This plan will provide the loan officer an opportunity to evaluate and decide which company is best suited to partner with to build a stronger business over the long-term. Clearly defining both a unique business vision and a plan to achieve success is critical.
The road map or loan officer business plan governs the following core components of their business:
1. Review of your personal and business vision.
2. Your Business Goals.
3. Production Goals (Short & Long Term).
4. Overall marketing Strategy-Database, Referral Partner & Networking Plans (May also include a budget).
5. Production Team Assessment & Plan.
6. Execution Strategy for Achieving Goals and Implementing Strategies (Break up by Daily, Weekly, Monthly).
7. Management Support-How can they help you achieve your goals?
8. Personal Commitment for Success.
If you want the highest payoff, a 1 year plan with monthly and quarterly review that clearly outlines your actions will be the key.
Below are eight core areas loan officers should always include in their business planning process.
1. Culture: Do you want an open culture from top to bottom? Do you need to be held accountable by your manager to perform weekly business development tasks, or do you perform better with limited supervision?
2. Products and Price: Is having the best rates the most important to you? Do you want many different products, including unique niche products?
3. Compensation: Do you want to build a business on repeat business and referrals? Is your main goal to amek as much money as possible on every transatcion?
4. Volume - Analyze your past production and clearly define your target audience: Do you want to self-generate 100% of your business or do you want company-supplied sources of business? If your goal is to increase volume growth through your own sources, you need to find a company that has the same focus. This will narrow your company choices to search and then allows you to verify if the lender has a high number of top-ranked producers and ask: How do you support those top producers to be successful? Pull a copy of your applications, credit pulls, packages out and closings for the last 2 years. If you are a new loan officer, focus on defining your target audience. Be specific. Home buyers and those looking to refinance their mortgages isn't enough...Are they first-time home buyers who recently graduated college? Single or married? Annual household income? Do they work in a specific industry? It's a good exercise to recall their pain points and how you can solve them. NOTE: It's common for you to have several marketing messages. You will need one for your referral partners and one for your clients.
5. Operational Support: Do you feel the need to be involved in the entire loan process to have the best services? Or do you just like to take the application and move onto the next one? Does it matter who works on your files or do you want to work with the operation team?
6. Marketing: Are you receiving the maketing support that you need to increase business and enhance your own personal brand? Are maximizing social media? Do you utilize co-branded marketing?
7. Transitioning: What are your transition goals? Will your new lending partner help you to transition, even before you come on board?
8. Chemistry: The mortgage industry is a people business. Are you looking to have the right chemistry with your co-workers? Having the right chemistry is important in order to succeed. Visit the branch office you will possibly be working at and get to know your potential employers/partners. Ask them question and get an understanding of the culture.
Once this process is accomplished, the loan officer will fully understand all that is important to their business. As a next step the producer needs to evaluate their current company’s business map against their own. If they aren’t lined up, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Making a switch to a new lender is a big decision and takes a lot of introspection and research. Success happens when loan officer priorities and lender priorities are in synch, rather than in opposition, to each other. Strategically working through this process is beneficial to both the loan officer’s bottom line as well as the lender partner’s long-term success.