What do I need to do differently?

It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

For mortgage professionals, getting results is largely driven by improving the referral business, working more efficiently in the day-to-day workflows, guiding the borrower through one of their biggest financial transaction of their lives, and providing a great experience throughout the loan process.

Not surprisingly, the reason why many fail at getting results is always the same: Instead of identifying opportunities to change, they keep doing the same things over and over again. Success in getting results lies in finding answers and solutions to one simple question — “what do I need to do differently?

To help find answers and solutions to that question of “what do I need to do differently”, over the past several months we talked to our customers. Among many other things, we identified the following areas specifically where the need to do things differently is experienced daily:

1) Spend less time in email

It usually starts inconspicuously, and just like any bad habit, over time it’s takes over your entire working day.

Ever since it became a part of our personal and professional lives, email has been an excellent communication medium. It’s available on your computer and your phone. It’s how we respond to clients who have questions, and often how we request information from them.

In the mortgage industry, many of us have developed a habit of using email for everything — our TODO lists, tracking a needs list when working with a borrower, providing status updates on the loan, keeping the realtor in the loop, keeping the “original” copies of all types of responses to common questions, storing documents, and many other things that email is not adequate for.

However, email is reactive and unpredictable. It’s interruptive and unorganized. Most importantly, it is not secure. Not only is it not adequate for anything beyond specific types of communication, it is actually damaging to your work. In fact, we recently summarized the top 4 ways in which email disappoints, especially when it’s used for client communications.

Not surprisingly, the question we heard most when we asked loan officers and their teams what they would like to do differently is — “how do I spend less time in email?”.

2) Provide more options and choices to my customers

“Every borrower is a snowflake. Everyone I work with is unique.”

If you use a Slot head screwdriver on a Phillips head screw, chances are that you will not only not get the job done, you will also ruin the screw such that it is unusable. (side note: I had no idea there are so many types of screw drives!)

If every borrower you work with is going to be unique in their own way, your success depends heavily on meeting each and every borrower where they want to be. That means, everything from loan options to the way in which they want to interact with you has to be a choice you can provide.

Would one realtor like to see an update each time there is an activity in your shared client’s loan file, while another realtor prefer a weekly check-in? You want to have the flexibility and automation to handle this. Does one borrower need to be “handheld” while filling out the loan app, while another one can speed through without any guidance what-so-ever? You need a customizable digital loan app that caters to both these clients.

You are missing out in growing your business if you aren’t thinking about how you can provide options and choices to your realtor partners and your clients.

3) Do more than just fight fires

It’s Wednesday afternoon and you have a borrower closing a home this Friday. After numerous phone calls and emails, you can’t get in touch with the insurance agent to secure a policy. It’s now chaos and frustration for everyone involved in this transaction.

Unfortunately we hear that such fire drills are not rare. This is not something that happens just once a year , it’s every week.

You can’t have an efficient, productive, thriving team originating loans if you spend majority of your work fighting fire drills. You can’t cultivate better relationships with your high producing realtors. You won’t have any time to draft the best loan options based on your borrower’s needs. You will not be able to put together useful resources to guide your client throughout the process. You are too busy fighting today’s fire drill.

You need to use tools, technology and define workflows that streamlines the entire loan origination process. From the moment you have that first conversation with a prospective borrower to the day the loan closes.

Loan officers are not fire fighters. If you find yourself spending all your day fire fighting, you are probably thinking about what can I do differently?

4) Have information in a one place

There are over 500 pages of documents in an average loan. We typically see an average of 37 items in a needs list that includes everything from a single page letter of explanation to a 1003. As a loan move through the various stages towards a close, the amount of information, files and conversations increase exponentially at each step.

How do you find what you need and do what you need to efficiently and correctly? Is that information in the LOS or did the borrower email it to me? Where did we keep the income verification authorization and did we get that yet? Do I need to now go to a separate website to get a signature from the borrower on this document?

Information is only useful if we can get to it quickly and easily. Google as a search engine works because you can find what you want to in a single place.

For every loan file you work on, if you are logging into individual point-solutions to do specific, one-off tasks, you are not able to work efficiently. More importantly, you are opening up opportunities for errors and mistakes.

If you want get results and do things differently, a key area to look into is how many different systems and services you are using. And more importantly, how do you get to a place where the information you need is in one place and available to you when you need it.

What does this mean for you?

Success, growth and results happen when you double down on what’s working, and take specific actions to do things differently on what’s not working.

Look at your business and identify what you need to do differently. We are grateful to our customers who shared with us their challenges and ideas on how to do things differently, and have placed their trust in Maxwell to help get results.

If you are looking for answers and solutions for challenges in your day-to-day, and would like to share your thoughts, find out more about Maxwell at www.himaxwell.com.