Key management-training areas
n Opportunity assessment
n Strategic and tactical thinking
n Process management
n Time management
n Problem solving
At a Glance
actionable feedback that will help people deliver the
results and behaviors that are expected.
Time management: Having a clear understanding
of where managers are spending their time — what
percentage is being spent on “managerial tasks” such
as strategizing, providing feedback, mentoring, training and delegating versus what percentage is being
spent on doing transactional tasks that may be more
in their comfort zone. Developing a plan to shift time
spent on transactional tasks to managerial tasks.
Delegating and using all the resources available.
Process management: Understanding what the
actual process flow is for the entire loan origination
process, not just one aspect, such as sales, and recognizing how what is done in sales or another area
impacts that process and the overall customer experience. Understanding what the key indicators of process performance are for the process being managed
and also how to capture data on those indicators and
how to react to the indicators when necessary. Understanding who the customers are for the process they
manage, what the customers’ expectations are, how
to track whether those expectations are being met or
exceeded and what to do if they are not.
Problem-solving: Using simple problem-solving
tools effectively, such as root-cause analysis. Collaborating cross-functionally to get better data on potential root causes. Prioritizing and validating solutions
to avoid quick fixes that do not provide a sustainable
solution to the problem and may also have unintended consequences not related to the original problem.
A better mousetrap
These are only a few examples of the types of critical
skills a new manager needs to acquire, hone and deliver.
Helping new managers develop these leadership skills
provides multiple benefits to the employee and to the
business and its customers.
When done right, the new manager feels better
prepared, more confident and better able to deliver
results. The business, in return, gets a higher-skilled
and higher-performing manager, ensuring the process
and team being managed by this individual will perform more efficiently and deliver better results.
In addition, by providing this more specialized management training, the mortgage company will be
delivering on the promise of enrichment of the work
experience, expansion of technical expertise and providing an opportunity for professional and personal
We owe people like Sonia the training to be success-
ful. Such training should become a part of our indus-
try’s business culture. If we successfully do this, then
Sonia wins, the company wins and the industry wins
by being able to attract and retain smart, motivated
and ambitious individuals who can be groomed as
future industry leaders. n
alternatives, such as finding another job or returning
to her previous position. Sonia’s initial promise has
soured to disillusionment, and the company has failed
to protect and nurture a very valuable resource.
There are many individuals like Sonia in the mortgage industry today — people either working
ex-tremely hard to get a better position, functioning
ineffectively in a position they are unprepared for
or quietly looking for other employment. Many are
demoralized and far less effective as a result. People
like Sonia can be found across every management
position integral to the loan-origination process, but
their impact on sales, when they are not prepared for
the challenges, can be particularly costly to a lender.
And let’s be clear, it could be a Sam or Stewart. This is
not a gender issue.
Recognizing the gap
There are many high-producing originators in the
mortgage industry who do not necessarily aspire to
move into industry management positions. For those
who do, it is incumbent on the industry to help them
prepare for the responsibility. The negative impact to a
company other wise can have far-reaching effects.
Valuable, high-performing employees will become
frustrated, disappointed and disillusioned. Many will
leave. The cost to replace these employees is very
high. Often it results in a mortgage-origination team
being placed under the management of someone
who is ill-equipped to recognize or mentor other high-performing employees with potential. This outcome
also can negatively impact productivity and potentially the customer’s experience.
All of these negative outcomes are avoidable, but
first the industry must take responsibility for the role it
plays in what ultimately happens to people like Sonia.
Leaders in the industry must ask themselves hard
Did we do everything we could to provide the necessary training? Did we provide tools and support to
help this person move from a transactional expert to
a transformative one? Did we teach this person how
to be a manager? The answers to all of these questions
often is no, and it highlights a “gap” in mortgage-industry training.
The career path for a mortgage originator, out of
necessity, begins with attaining a strong foundation
in basic sales and interpersonal skills, coupled with
training focused on the rules and regulations governing the industry. This is quickly augmented with an
understanding of internal and external processes and
fundamentals, which ultimately leads to a recognition
of production capability and promotability.
The gap occurs when production capability is conflated with managerial skill. Too often solid producers
are promoted to managerial or supervisory positions
with limited or no managerial training. Steps can be
taken to provide the necessary building blocks to
ensure this management-training gap is filled, maximizing the potential for an individual to be successful
in the new role.
Breaking it down
Providing this management training is not easy, because historically it has not garnered much attention.
Research and development are required to create and
execute a curriculum that includes the basic elements
for successful management training. While educational
or training courses are offered by various sources across
a wide range of mortgage-industry skill sets, the train-
ing emphasis for new managers should cover some
specific areas. Among them are the following:
Strategic/tactical alignment: Translating growth,
territorial and product strategies into tactical execution at the street or individual level. Setting realistic
goals aligned with desired behaviors and outcomes
designed to motivate a sales team.
Opportunity assessment: Accessing and analyzing
data to help identify production opportunities based
on product, consumer demographics, territory penetration, market need, etc. Translating an opportunity
assessment into executable action plans.
Communication: Articulating and delivering instructions to a team or functional group that are clear,
concise and precise in what is expected, when it is expected and how compliance with the instructions will
be measured and reported. Delivering constructive,
<< Gap continued from Page 88 “Helping new managers develop these
leadership skills provides multiple benefits
to the employee and to the business and