Five Key Time Management Tips for Loan Originators
Successfully growing a mortgage business often boils down to how effective a loan officer is at time management. There are really only three ways for a loan officer to grow their business:
- Obtain more clients.
- Close more transactions.
- Increase revenue per transaction.
All of these avenues for growth require LOs to be actively selling. Not surprisingly, surveys of high producing LOs show that they spend far more time actively selling than their peers.
To grow your mortgage business, use these tips to focus your time on revenue-generating activities:
1. Actively Manage Your Email
Email is the great gift and curse of business professionals. It can be extremely effective as a communication channel, but also distracting.
Take control of your email by scheduling several times throughout the day when you will check your email. If you have an assistant, schedule alternate times for them to check for you, too.
You can delete most emails immediately; however, for the rest, you’ll have a decision to make. If you can clear the decks by responding or completing a task that requires only a few seconds, then do it. If you can delegate the task, then delegate it. In situations where a more complex response is necessary, don’t be bound to the moment. Take care of it when your schedule dictates you are available for that activity.
2. Learn When to Say “No”
In addition, one of the greatest mistakes new LOs make is trying too hard to please everyone and put out every fire. This is because they haven’t learned how to value their time and are willing to sell it for less than nothing. Seasoned salespeople understand how much their time is worth, which guides them when to say no.
If a prospect doesn’t fit the profile of your revenue-producing clients, don’t waste your time trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Saying no will create more revenue by allowing you to stay in your wheelhouse with your time.
3. Develop an Anti-To-Do List
Instead of a list of things you must get done, create a not-to-do list of tasks that do not directly contribute to putting money in the bank. The list can even include personal activities, like reading books or articles that don’t expand your knowledge. It will likely be filled with administrative tasks that would be best left for delegation to an appropriate team member.
Once you’ve made your list, stick to it religiously to see the benefits.
4. Automate Processes
There are a number of highly repetitious tasks that slow down your business operations dramatically. Automate them using mortgage software, and keep yourself and your team moving full speed ahead.
Time-consuming processes like sending loan status updates or collecting documentation can instead be completed in a few minutes.
5. Adopt Pareto’s 80/20 Principle
The Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) is a simple yet effective rule for understanding where to best invest your precious hours. The principle is a well-established prediction that 80% of effects are attributable to 20% of the causes.
For loan officers, this could manifest in a number of ways. For example, the top 20% of your business partners send you 80% of the referrals you receive. Keep this group happy by spending a large percent (80%) of the time and energy you carved out for business partners into the 20% segment that generates you the most revenue.
It could be that 20% of your clients are creating 80% of the headaches that you deal with. What is the common denominator amongst those customers? Perhaps it’s time to say “no” to those prospects in the future.