It is no secret that that all phases of mortgage origination are undergoing dramatic change. Whether its new regulations or customer buying habits, everything is in a state of flux and the old ways of origination are under scrutiny. For example, does it make sense to have a distributed sales model when customers want answers 24/7 from a knowledgeable originator? What should the revenue split between the originator and the lender be when the lender is on the hook for the life of the loan. A life of loan responsibility is a new concept for many executives but clearly changes the return on investment equation between the two parties. In the past, many executives felt their responsibility ended when the loan was sold to investors. While these are critical issues that require insightful leadership, when looking at tactical challenges I don’t hear much conversation on what I consider a critical role — the mortgage processor.
Traditionally, the mortgage processor was another name for an administrative professional whose primary job was to organize the files for a messy and busy loan originator. At some companies today that is still their role as chief organizer and paper-pusher. The processor position typically reports to the operations side of the business and is viewed as a risk position. The quality of processors can be uneven depending on how much the company pays in terms of compensation and investment in training. I think that phenomenon will change. As managers realize that an originator’s best use is selling to referral sources and not paper-pushing, the processor must take on a greater role in moving the customer through the loan process.
In the mortgage industry, employees typically get slotted into sales or ops with the responsibility for communication viewed as the originator’s job. The reality is that every position that has any contact with the public requires sales skills. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need professional sales originators, but the industry needs to upgrade the processor position from an organizer to include communication skills.
As we look to the future, it is clear that all employees must have effective communication skills if a company wants to create an outstanding customer experience. It is not just the originator’s role.
Do your processors have the right combination of administrative and communication skills? Our pre-hire assessment for processors can help you evaluate potential candidates needed to succeed in this pivotal position.