Leslie Heimer is the relationship manager for American
Liberty Mortgage in Orlando, Florida. A sixth-generation
Central Florida native, Heimer provides a high-touch lending
experience in the Florida branch offices for the nationwide
lending company. She has earned a spot on National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s “Mortgage Banking’s Most
Powerful Women” list and has been featured in the Orlando
Business Journal for her community-relations efforts, in addition to her entrepreneurial spirit. Reach her at
email@example.com or (407) 494-9833.
Psst…You’re Probably Motivating
Millennials the Wrong Way
The up-and-coming generation can produce many superstar originators,
but they need proper care and motivation
By Leslie Heimer
What makes today’s sales team tick? How are you motivating the next generation of sales superstars? You are probably dropping the ball,
Motivating and encouraging a sales team seems
black and white. Big commissions, fast cars and expensive watches. That kind of stuff, right? Well, maybe.
Building a high-performance team that can sustain
above average productivity in today’s market requires
you to dig deeper.
Millennials (adults in their mid-30s and younger)
are taking on more and more responsibility in the
workforce, including on your sales team. Motivating
this generation today requires a different approach
than what was used to motivate workers in the early
2000s. Let’s take a look at what you can do to add
to the drive and motivation for the rising stars in the
What you offer
Sales managers for today’s up-and-coming production teams are truly in the right place at the right time.
They may be older than their millennial colleagues,
but they are young enough to embrace technology,
appreciate the directness of a text over the niceties a
phone call requires and understand how Instagram
Generally, they strike the perfect balance between
maintaining personal client relationships, building
meaningful rapport with referral partners and understanding software integrations that add efficiencies
to the process. Or to put it another way, they are
dynamic enough to pivot and adapt to technological
revolutions, but still tenured enough to have some
real experience and life lessons under their belts.
Mentoring your teams through this lens can be
powerful, specifically in an industry where training can
be tough. When is the last time you read, listened to
or participated in a training program that accurately
depicted precisely what is going to happen with your
next file — from application to funding? It went like
clockwork, right? Wrong.
In the mortgage business, there are so many humans
involved in the process that there are bound to be unexpected surprises and detours during the life cycle
of the financing process. Navigating this curvy line
from A to B calls for a highly complex training manual.
As importantly, it requires critical problem-solving skills.
This is an area where millennials can struggle.
Millennials who were born and raised on apps may
have a tougher time with cognitive reasoning and
creative strategies to overcome pitfalls with client
files. This is an important role that sales managers and
mentors can model for younger loan officers in today’s
You can help train millennials to handle the unexpected. But how do you reach those millennial sales
What they want
To nurture a consistent sales engine, examine the
dynamics of the individuals involved. Studies show
that sales people (and the most effective leaders for
that matter) have a higher than average emotional
intelligence, also known as EI.
In 2015, the Harvard Business Review analyzed this
notion in a report called “Dismantling the Sales
Machine.” The report called for allowing creative sales
professionals with high EI to use disruptive insights
based on the individual judgements.
You see, it’s not always about incentive bonuses
and monetary rewards. At the root of the high-performing sales professional is more than just financial stability or the occasional gold star. They want
to be empowered.
The luxury lifestyle and financial achievements are
simply a symptom of sales success. What intrinsically
drives your millennial superstar performers is personal
fulfillment and the opportunity to be part of a brand
where they have a voice.
Today’s modern millennial often cares about the
environment, equal opportunities and desires life
experiences — such as travel and food — over monetary perks. Many poke fun that millennials grew up in
a time full of participation awards where everyone
gets a trophy. They are not wired for competition
the way their predecessors were and may find the
concept of one singular top producer uncomfortable
and would rather see everyone succeed and win.
The 2016 Millennial Impact Report, which was based
on three surveys, found millennials would like to see
a culture and workplace that is less divisive and more
accommodating of different views, socioeconomic
backgrounds and positions. Millennials tend to make
an effort to educate themselves about causes that
spark their interest and are naturally inclined to share
what they have learned with their peers, even those
that are seemingly in a competing role. They tend to
avoid confrontation and are less assertive to influence
change or press someone to take a direction that the
individual did not self-select.
For millennials, doing good is a lifestyle, the norm
and a fundamental part of their identity. It is often
expressed by signing petitions, volunteering for
causes, connecting with each other on social media
platforms and acting within their own circles to bring
n n n
Millennials fundamentally want to elevate an organization, add value and inspire others. They do not wait
until a midlife crisis to understand the meaning of life,
like many would argue is symptomatic of the previous
baby boomer generation.
Millennials want to impact change now and see that
as part of their everyday lifestyle. They want to add
value to their communities and represent a brand that
aligns with their core values. n
For more articles on millennials
in the mortgage industry
View these articles and more at
“Every Generation Can Play a Role
in the Mortgage Industry,”
“Recruiting the Best Requires Commitment,”
“Mortgage Industry Leaders Face a