In recent conversations with senior managers, the rise of interest rates has hit home and the discussion of how to move their sales forces forward is now on the front-burner. Many want to know how the best companies in the industry are handling the inevitable transition from a predominantly refinance market to a purchase money model.
From what I’ve observed, the top sales organizations in mortgage banking are not inventing brand new ways of doing things but rather, they have mastered the art of doing “simple” brilliantly as Richard Hammond says in his book “Smart Retail.”
Simplicity is not easily found in our industry. Too many times, I see management teams unsure of why their company exists. This might seem like a very basic question but it is a critical component in a company’s ability to secure long-term success.
When I ask this question, most managers respond with “to make money” or “provide revenues for our shareholders” — the usual answers that miss the mark. The great companies know the reason for their existence. In my view, BB&T and US Bank are two organizations that have done an excellent job of defining their culture and reason for existence.
From a practical standpoint, simple is about communicating clearly and quickly to employees and customers what the company stands for. The top companies don’t compromise on the important things such as doing what is best for the customer and the employee. Treating customers and employees well is their number one core value. Core values are never compromised for the sake of volume.
There are three simple things the great companies in the mortgage industry do from a tactical standpoint. They are:
1. They value their culture and only hire individuals that match it. They do not “rent” originators. They have a structured hiring process in place that is applied throughout the field. No exceptions.
2. They invest money and time in first-line managers to execute the company’s business strategy. Having great computer systems is not enough.
3. They hold employees accountable by monitoring performance levels and they enforce the company standards. They do not dumb-down performance standards.
How good is your organization at doing the simple things well? If you’re off track, let’s discuss how to turn your business around.