Angela Pisciotta-Perez is the training and education specialist for
Mountain West Financial Inc. She has been with the company for more
than eight years. Pisciotta-Perez is responsible for new-hire training,
preparing lesson plans, evaluating and monitoring students’ performance,
administering the educational and quarterly webinars schedule, and
managing the Loan Officer Academy Program at Mountain West Financial.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first step is sending out a survey to your staff. It is important to ask detailed questions about the train- ing your team needs and measure their strengths and areas to improve. Several survey programs can be found
online to generate the test.
Once you create and send out the test, you will have the ability
to create courses to train in areas where your team is lacking
experience. Mortgage-insurance companies also provide no-cost
online training. An especially useful training area might focus on
evaluating and calculating income. All mortgage originators have
felt the sting of calculating income incorrectly only to lose face
with a borrower who gets approved somewhere else.
Other than income, you also can find training in marketing
strategies to promote your business. There is training available for
almost every part of the mortgage process.
Make a plan
Do your mortgage loan officers know Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines like the back of their own hand? Do they
know what the basics are? Product knowledge is critical when
trying to qualify borrowers. Try to generate a library of product
training within your proprietary online learning system. This system would be great to have available online 24 hours a day and
accessible on any device, including a cell phone or a tablet.
Another way to help originators succeed is to create sales goals
and establish an accountability partner, such as a manager or
fellow team member. It is all about the tools of success. With a
colleague who holds their team accountable with positivity and
genuine compassion, your sales team will excel to the top. By
learning more about your goals and structuring good habits, you
are providing a skill set for future aspirations. The goals can be
both career and personal, but the key is getting the goals down on
paper along with a timeline.
Something that a company or an originator should do is create
a detailed one-year business plan. Too often, the strategy is haphazard. It takes self-discipline to plan over a year. Think of it this
way: You are going on vacation and you have no plan, no travel
guides or a map of where you are going. Yep, you are lost. Do not
let yourself as a mortgage originator get lost, or worse, lose a new
client to another broker or lender.
By creating a business plan, you are essentially providing a detailed map of your goals. Too often, loan officers hit the road with
no plan of action. Set out with a business plan and watch how
far you will go.
One of the biggest obstacles for originators is to be able to come
up with the time needed to do all that is required to succeed at
the job. Approach it this way: Each week includes 168 hours.
A full-time job accounts for 40 of those hours, leaving 128 hours
a week. Assume people sleep eight hours a night or 56 hours a
week. That leaves 72 open hours a week.
What do you do with that time? Most people with a family say
the same thing. After dinner, there is homework, laundry and
preparing for the next busy day. There’s little time for anything
else. Here is the kicker: You do have time. It’s just the challenge
of pulling yourself away from less-productive pastimes, such as
You Tube cat videos, Instagram or Facebook.
Sit down, either individually or as a team, and log the time and
various activities on your current weekly schedule. Once you have
the activity log, start by replacing activities that are essentially
wasting time with productive activities that will assist you in reaching your business goals. The great thing about this approach is you
are developing time awareness. Everybody is guilty of losing hours
to online static.
Next on the list is a client database that incorporates great
contact-management software. Many mortgage originators can
use another tool to assist in reaching out to clients while they are
working on other business-building activities. With a great contact-management system in place, mortgage originators will never
miss a birthday, anniversary or a special date, and their clients will
notice these small touches.
The last piece of advice: A consumer will select a mortgage
professional based on their perception of that person’s experience
and diligence. Originators will have more success if they are trained
on how to create a presentation, speak and provide details of the
products available. The presentation should be recorded and
viewed by the presenter and the manager. The great thing about
viewing a recording of yourself is you learn where you would like
Once the above is put into place, review the progress regularly
individually or as a team. Are you struggling to keep to the schedule? How many calls, face-to-face meetings and open houses are
you making or attending? Consistency is key. This is what you hear
and see daily with originators.
n n n
The mortgage originator needs to focus and not listen to outside
static. Rates are high, housing inventory is tight and the competition
is fierce. Every morning, start your day off with a positive video. TED
Talks, You Tube and other online platforms offer motivational videos
at no cost. It is the drive that will create your future success. n
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