Our top clients are preparing for increasing interest rates in 2022 and beyond by realigning their businesses for sales effectiveness. But what does that entail? The winners in the mortgage industry will be those who invest in innovation and technology, hire the best people, run efficient processes, and, perhaps most importantly, become equipped with a strategy that allows them to “see around the corners” so they can quickly pivot for maximum impact on future business results.
That might seem like too much to account for, but fear not. In this blog, we’ll share four steps you can take toward realigning your sales effectiveness for the New Year so you can have a prosperous 2022.
1. Build a foundation of understanding
It goes without saying that successful plans come from a place of knowledge. On a broad scale, you’ll need to understand the current macro-economic environment as well as the health of the economy, interest rates, unemployment numbers, the associated consumer behavior driven by these forces, and the impact on your lending per unit profitability.
Creating a basis of knowledge also entails taking stock of your past performance and current resources, allowing you to identify and ultimately win your target market segments. It's important to “be real” and acknowledge the true issues, as well as know how many units are your loan officers closing on average each month (hint: it's never enough). What is the cost to close each unit, and does it vary across LOs dramatically? Several components impact this - such as the quality of inbound leads, the borrower experience and engagement with your teams, efficiency and process definition, and softer factors such as culture, collaboration, and motivation. Do you know which of these levers are available to you to pull, in order to achieve next year’s goals? Are there other inefficiencies or bottlenecks in the business holding you back or dragging on net profitability?
You should also review the performances of your various financial products and services so you can adjust the mix for next year, if needed, to match your leads and ultimate borrower customer base. By identifying which ones have been successful and which ones have not, you can better plan how to allocate your resources next year. Let’s suppose you’ve had success going after the purchase market—are your lead generation tactics sustainable and able to support another year? Or if you’re debating going after the Hispanic market in the US—do you have a mobile app that supports Spanish, and if not, do you have the resources to build one? Perhaps you already have a strong retail channel—will you consider adding consumer direct to reach more borrowers, and improve profitability per unit? Does this approach match your culture and strategy?
2. Tighten up your sales process
Building a scalable and repeatable sales process can be one of the most challenging aspects of managing a sales team. It’s crucial, however, to have a framework in place so your loan officers can efficiently turn potential borrowers into customers. Sales processes vary from lender to lender, but communication should be the foundation in every single one.
From prospecting and qualifying leads to setting appointments and closing loans, it’s important to communicate effectively with both your potential borrower customers and among the rest of your origination and production team. Your loan officers should be able to easily communicate and share document requirements, tasks, and capture documents from prospective borrowers. There are many reasons why it is imperative to maintain a secure and complete record of interactions. For your internal team, everyone should be able to access a prospect’s communication history and have real-time access to important documents—even if you have to change a lender support team, mid-loan, a new team member should be able to easily step in, without disrupting the borrower’s experience.
3. Support your sales & origination team with the right technology
Ready your sales and origination team for battle by equipping them with the best technology. Here are some of the major features you need to win:
- Real-time pipeline view of all loan files across all channels
- Mobile-first and responsive web/desktop for all of your users, both internally and externally
- A single workbench for maximum efficiency—CRM, Lead Management and Point-of-Sale (POS) combined, and tightly integrated to the LOS, ensuring data integrity and speed
- A progressive application process to allow borrower prospects to engage as they become comfortable sharing additional information (such as eligibility, short form 1003/URLA, and full 1003/URLA)
4. Invest in your people
As much as we love innovation and technology, business is ultimately about people—our loan officers, loan officer assistants, processors, and closers. It’s about our insurance agencies, real estate agent referral partners, home builder partners and management teams. And of course, last but not least, it's about our borrower clients.
So what’s the best way to invest in them? Show them you care by making it simple and efficient to do business with you! That’s how you keep the smartest and sharpest loan officers and team members. That’s how you get referrals from borrowers and repeat borrower mortgages.You can achieve this by not only making sure your lending team has the right mix of technology, as discussed in the previous section, but also prioritizing training and running efficient operations. And naturally all of this cascades out to the borrowers and real estate agent referral partners.
The right training ensures that all team members are comfortable and familiar with the tools they have to get their job done (note, if too much training is needed, perhaps there’s a better tool out there for you). If your employees are confident and capable in their jobs, less support time is needed from your core ops team, which in turn frees up cycles for them to invest in borrower relationships. Furthermore, providing training will also better engage your employees and make them feel that your business is invested in them. There is no better feeling for a borrower, lender team member, or real estate agent partner, than, “we got your back.”
Creating an efficient operational model is also key to supporting your team because it empowers them to do their best work with the least amount of friction. Whether you have one floating processor across many loan officers or multiple processors and LOAs supporting one high performing LO, there is no one-size-fits-all model and nor should there be. The best operational model for you is one that is flexible enough to make adjustments quickly based on your business needs as well as your people, their experience, and their strengths.
The StreamLoan Solution
Looking to realign your sales effectiveness with a smarter digital mortgage origination process?
StreamLoan helps mortgage lenders attract more applicants, provide a better applicant experience, and automates collaboration among lenders, borrowers, real estate agents, and other counterparties .
StreamLoan offers mortgage lenders a private-label app delivered as a mobile-first and fully responsive web, B2B SaaS workflow platform to automate the end-to-end process.
Learn how our platform can drive value to your top and bottom lines by requesting a demo today.