Dennis Black is CEO of Dennis Black and Associates, a training organization devoted exclusively to the development of
sales and management professionals within the lending industry. Dennis Black and Associates has trained over 115,000
mortgage professionals throughout the United States, Canada
and Australia. Black speaks at conferences sponsored by the
Mortgage Bankers Association as well as NAMB - The Association of Mortgage Professionals, and is a frequent speaker
at state conferences. Visit dennisblack.com. Reach Black at
As we wind down 2017 and start to plan for 2018, what can you do as an individual originator to increase your overall mort- gage production? That is a question we
all contemplate as we plan for a new year.
To reach that goal, you must first recognize that your
ability to increase production is limited in today’s lending environment if you are working on your own. The
extensive compliance, regulatory and system burdens
that exist simply overwhelm a sole operator.
You can, however, create a team to conquer those
barriers. With a team in place, you can then work
together, like a well-oiled machine, to unleash far
greater production potential.
The premier mortgage loan originators in the U. S. have
a common theme to their success: Their team members have defined roles and execute those functions
at a high level.
This is not an overnight process. It requires a lot of
planning. A core foundation of success is knowing who
you need and, more importantly, how they will work
with your customer base.
Who are the players? Top mortgage originators
assemble teams that include all the pieces that make
their production puzzle come together. These teams
include the following:
n A loan coordinator (or junior loan officer);
n A loan assistant; and
n A processor.
The loan coordinator
A loan coordinator is one of the most important pieces
of the team for growing your business. This person
serves as your face to the public, or your application
taker. A coordinator handles the tasks you want to free
yourself from, so you can do what you do best.
All originators have individual strengths within their
skill sets. It may be a selling ability, organizational skills,
or product/process knowledge. When you construct
your team, hire to supplement your deficiencies — not
If you can easily secure Realtor relationships, for ex-
ample, but find dealing with borrowers more of a bur-
den, consider hiring a loan coordinator who is good
over the phone to handle borrowers’ questions and
convert your Realtor referrals into mortgage appli-
cations. You can build a quality network of referral
partners while your coordinator handles the crit-
ical job of taking the applications and moving them
through the system.
On the other hand, if you have a passion and great
skill at converting shoppers into buyers, and love the
challenge of structuring a loan, then your loan coordinator can be the person who goes out on field visits
and keeps your name in front of Realtors or builders
to drive business in for you to convert. It is critical that
your loan coordinator be licensed to quote rates and
take applications, so do your research to verify the
individual you want to hire is qualified to carry out
these key loan functions.
You then must commit to developing that loan
coordinator’s skill set to your standards. This will
require educating the individual about your processes and expectations and monitoring subsequent
The loan assistant
As your volumes grow, the next phase will kick in —
which involves administrative reports, loan-status
reports and marketing support. To address these
functions, you will need to bring another player to the
team: the loan assistant.
In the mortgage industry today, tracking the
progress of a loan through the approval system is a
time-consuming task. While you are busy selling in the
field or taking applications, and your loan coordinator
is handling other selling functions to increase your
monthly volume, you do not want to be slowed down
by administrative or marketing pitfalls.
A good loan assistant is someone who may have
been a processor, or does not enjoy the selling function required to be a top-flight originator, This individual does know the business, however, and is
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Pack a Punch With Team Power
Assembling a stellar group of assistants elevates your production potential
By Dennis Black