recruiterchuckcowan

Mortgage Recruiting and Recruitment Training and Coaching

Loan Officer Recruiting Should Not Be Modeled After A Recycling Plant

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I have read a lot of articles recently about the quality of loan officer hires. There has been a trend over the last few years for companies to recycle low end originators.

Think about this, with an estimated 1.1-1.3 trillion dollar mortgage originations market in 2015 (which is flat from 1.1 trillion in 2014) there is an estimated over population of loan officers of upwards of 35% in 2015. At the end of 2014 there were approximately 398,716 loan officers licensed in the NMLS which is down only 2% from 404,239 in 2013, but total mortgage originations dropped from 1.85 trillion in 2013 to 1.12 trillion in 2014, a 64% decline (according to IMF). Those numbers just do not match up! No wonder according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the 2014 average productivity per loan officer was at a dismal 2.4 loans per month or under 30 loans a year. That cannot be acceptable moving forward.

More importantly is which of these loan officers are really doing the originations? According to the STRATMOR Group’s 2014 Originator Census Survey, the top 20% of loan officers originates 57% of the overall loan volume. The next 20% originates 23% of the overall loan volume. The next 20% originates 13% of the overall loan volume. So that means the top 40% of all loan officers originate 80% of the volume and the top 60% of all loan officers originate 93% of the overall loan volume. That means that bottom 40% of all loan officers only originate 7% of the overall loan volume. The monthly average productivity of loans closed per loan officer correlates as well as the top 20% average 8 loans per month, the 2nd 20% average 3.2 loans per month, the next 20% average 2.0 loans per month. The bottom 40% does less than 1 loan per month.

Additionally when we will look at the 1rst year turnover ratio of these different groups, the bottom two tiers (40%) have in excess of a 40% turnover ratio (why not 100%), the next 20% tier up has about a 25% turnover ratio, the next 20% tier has under a 15% turnover ratio and the top 20% tier have a less than a 10% turnover ratio (the top 10% have under a 5% turnover ratio). Locating the needle in the haystack is a term that comes to mind.

Now do the math, the bottom 40% minus the attrition of 2% of the loan officers that left the NMLS system in 2014 results in a potential of a 38% over population of loan officers still in the industry today. Therefore, even taking the high estimate of a 1.3 trillion dollar mortgage originations market in 2015, this is only a 2% increase in volume which still results in a 36% over population of loan officers in the industry today.

Turnover is not only expensive; it has many other negative consequences. Now let us look at some of the true cost to you and your organization

IT HURTS:

  • YOUR SALES CULTURE
  • EMPLOYEE’S MORALE
  • YOUR COMPANY’S BRAND & REPUTATION   
  • THE MANAGER”S PERSONAL BRAND & REPUTATION    
  • BECAUSE OF LOST SALES OPPORTUNITIES
  • PRESENT AND FUTURE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
  • CREATES A SUBSIDIZED SALES CULTURE, BY SUBSIDIZING THE LOW PERFORMERS WITH THE BETTER PERFORMERS
  • WEAKENS YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION FOR THE BETTER PRODUCERS

Why has the industry had such a slow attrition rate?  The answer is a Subsidized Compensation Plan and Unwillingness to Right Size Loan Officer Headcount. By that I mean, if you are willing to pay an inflated commission plan to below average performers that do not want or need to make a great living, why would they leave? Let’s go back to the MBA’s 2014 industry’s averages; productivity per loan officer was at 2.4 loans per month or under 30 loans a year. And the average loan amount nationally was approximately $235,000.00. That means the typical loan officer closed 6.8 million in closed volume which generated an income of between $47,600.00 @ 70bpts up to $68, 0000.00 @ 100bpts. That is at or above the medium income level for most of the individual states in the United States. There is a problem of over paying the lower producing loan officers. The exception to this is anyone in their first 18-24 months in the industry. The average age of the loan officer today is over 54 and companies need to make the continued investment in building a future sales force with the younger generations. By stopping the recycling of loan officers in the bottom tiers, companies would then have the money to invest into their present loan officers (you should already know their strengths and weaknesses) that are high potentials, make quality offers to the better loan officer candidates in the market and invest into their future sales force (building from the ground up is not cheap). It is simply having the right allocation of investment dollars aliened with the greatest potential return.

Secondarily, if companies just want to continue swap and exchange the bottom half of the loan officers’ talent pool, those candidates will continue to accept the 90-180 day guarantees and forgiven draws until they run dry. How many times have you heard this “yes this loan officer candidate is marginal, but with my leadership and our value proposition we can help them improve their production by 50%.” Zebras just do not lose their stripe no matter what we want to believe.

Unless companies start to institute minimum standards that correlate with the appropriate compensation levels for the generated results, the problem will persist. The root cause is unrealistic and/or overstated sustainable company growth goals driven by a headcount mentality that fosters a reactionary hiring culture. What happened to on boarded volume as a metric? Hiring three15MM a year producers will always be better than eight 6 MM a year producers. Quality not quantity should be the driver of your loan officer recruiting.

The solution is to manage out the bottom 25% (less than 2 units a month) of your loan officer now; examine the next 25 % (under 3.5 units a month) for your high potentials and invest in them and create a plan to help them grow their business 30% per year over the next 24 months (that will get them to over 5 units a month over the next two years). Target only the loan officers that reside in the upper 50% to 90% of the industry based on monthly productivity and monthly origination volume (there are approximately 160,000 loan officers within this talent pool). Clearly define your ideal loan officer candidate target profile within this group. Align your company’s value proposition to make a difference to these candidates on how your company can help them grow their business moving forward.

Lastly, build relationships with top 10 % and try to create a top of mind rapport with them, as in this candidate driven market,  this group totally control’s their own destiny and you just want an opportunity to engage with them if the occasion arises. Let your competitors fight over all the other loan officers, as it will keep them distracted while you build a higher quality sales team that will want to stay with you. Quality candidates stay with quality companies if they are underwritten and aligned correctly.

March 19, 2015 - Posted by | Branch Manager, Employment, Employment Trends, Executive Recruiting, Interviewing, Interviews, Loan Officer Recruiting, Management Developement, Mortgage Banking, Mortgage Banking Recruitment, Mortgage Branch Manager, Mortgage Company, Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage News, Mortgage Outlook, Mortgage Sales Recruiting, Real Estate, Recruiting, Recruiting Trends, Recruitment Coaching, Recruitment Training, Sales Growth, Sales Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Management Training, Sales Manager Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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