Are You Hiring Radical Change Agents?

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank and respected banking industry guru recently said in an interview that bankers lack imagination when it comes to envisioning what their customers need. He noted that Fintech companies in particular, “are making great strides in building both digital and physical banking products and services. From loans to payment systems to investing, they have done a great job in developing easy-to-use, intuitive, fast and smart products.”

As competition from all sectors ramps up, mortgage bankers who want to survive must do better at anticipating and removing customer pain points to ensure a seamless home loan process.

Granted, this is not a quick-fix scenario for our industry. To deliver an extraordinary, referral-worthy customer experience, lenders will need to continually re-evaluate their business tactics and be willing to make essential adjustments quickly to stay ahead of the curve.

So, how can lenders make this happen? At a bare minimum, it requires a company culture that enables questioning of tried-and-true sales tactics. Just because a lender has been doing things the same way for years doesn’t mean that’s the best way to accomplish something. It also requires employees at every level of the organization with the imagination and the will to push for radical change internally and overcome resistance from those who want to stay the course. While that may sound like a tall order, mortgage firms that embrace change will be rewarded with a solid foundation for future success.

Creating a Resilient Company Culture

Here are two recommendations for creating a resilient internal culture that supports radical change:

• Hire high-quality, adaptable employees. All corporate success starts with the quality of their personnel and leadership hires. What a firm’s leadership encourages and emphasizes is critical to navigating volatile changes in the marketplace. Competition is fierce in financial services and will continue to be as consolidation occurs in mortgage lending and other consumer services.

Hiring senior executives, managers and originators who are willing to adapt and accept changes quickly is essential for a company’s long-term success. Employees who are unable to pivot are not a good match in an industry where learning new strategies is a must. Customer preferences can change on a dime and an organization’s success is tied to how fast they are out in front of it.

• Hire life-long learners. One positive outcome of the global pandemic is that many originators began using video technology to make sales presentations. Consumers have adapted to conducting business online for food delivery and other services because it saves them time. What this means for our industry is still playing out, but it’s safe to say that employees who are willing to learn and use technology that aligns with how customers want to purchase a home loan will be in demand. Learning new sales techniques will increasingly differentiate between producers who win or lose in the marketplace.

Providing an exceptional customer experience is the purpose of any service provider and that all starts with having the right leaders and employees in place. As we move into the second half of 2021, hiring employees who are adaptable, life-long learners is more important than ever. Radical change is the responsibility of everyone at a company.