Managing Loan Officers: Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

Managing Loan Officers: Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

How many times have we all heard this? Plenty, right? It makes perfect sense but we see it happening most all the time in some fashion somewhere. Something good is happening and someone decides to meddle with it.

Just a few adjustments here and there and what worked before now works better, right?

We know the answer to that one and while things can always be improved upon, sometimes it’s best to just leave what’s working alone and move onto something that isn’t.

This is especially true as it relates to managing loan officers. Everyone’s different. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences and can approach things differently. That’s what makes the world go ‘round, right? Your loan officers have the very same stable of loan products and their job is to bring in new loans but they may all have a slightly different approach to their business.

There are always different ways to reach a destination. You might see someone doing something a little differently than you would so you think it’s a good idea to make a few suggestions.

For instance, and this is a true story, a loan officer was doing okay but not excellent. Maybe two or three deals per month. These deals came from the alumni group at a local university where he was actively involved. The sales manager didn’t really know where these loans were coming from and the loan officer simply said they came from people he knows.

The sales manager decided it was time to break that pattern and start calling on local real estate brokerages in the very same way the sales manager did. It worked for the sales manager so why wouldn’t it work for the struggling loan officer?

The sales manager laid out some offices for the loan officer to contact and they both set out to begin making sales calls. You know how difficult it is to start working a new real estate office at first, right? You’re new. You’re not the only loan officer making sales calls there.

The top producers won’t talk to you and the agents who do maybe close two or three deals the entire year. And those are from family members. Yet the sales manager was persistent and got upset with the loan officer for not doing things “right.”

The sales manager eventually gave up and told his boss the loan officer was hopeless and would never make it in the business. Over time, the sales manager moved on yet the loan officer stayed. About a year later, the sales manager and his old boss met for lunch and he asked, “So, is that loan officer still there or did he finally quit?”

The reply? “Actually, he just cashed the largest paycheck we’ve ever given to a loan officer. He’s setting records.”

The sales manager was visibly stunned but he finally said, “So I guess he decided to start calling on real estate agents again in earnest.”
“No,” said the old boss. “He started working his alumni organization. He put together a marketing plan, sent the group regular newsletters and is on the board there.

They trust him, they know him and they all use and refer him whenever possible. I don’t think he’s set foot in a real estate agent’s office since you left.”

You see what happened, right? There are different ways to reach various goals but they all don’t have to be the same, do they? Just because you had success using your approach, that might not be the best fit for someone else.

Find out what your loan officers’ strengths are and exploit them. Find out how their production is coming in now and use your experience to make that even better.

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