How to Break Through Mortgage Loan Production Plateaus
Let’s make one thing clear immediately: mortgage loan production plateaus are part of the fabric of being a loan originator.
Whether you’ve just started your career, or are a seasoned veteran of the industry, there will come a time when your production stagnates.
One key to long-term success as a loan originator is determining what factors are creating the glass ceiling on your business, and then pushing the buttons that allow your production to break through into an upward trend.
If you’re driven by success, you will repeat this plateau-busting process several times over the course of a long career.
What is the Root Cause of Your Mortgage Production Plateau
As with most issues, the first step in finding and applying a solution is to dig in to understand the cause of the problem and why it has you stuck.
Am I struggling to find enough time to take on more loans? Do I need more time for marketing to increase lead velocity? Has my current team maxed out their capacity to process more loans? Am I trying as hard as I could be?
These are the types of tough questions you need to ask yourself in order to identify what is constricting your production.
Once you’ve answered the question of “why?”, it is time to look at possible solutions.
For many loan originators, particularly those early in their career, the fear and expense associated with hiring is the single largest barrier to increasing their level of production.
But there is only so much you can do alone.
Top producing originators we speak to universally agree that the moment their career truly began to take off is when they were able to get out of the files and focus on profit generating activities like networking with referral partners or prospecting for borrowers.
They accomplished this by investing in people, or a person to start, that can replace all of the technical skill that the loan officer was bringing to the table.
An LO must be focused on generating new business, not putting out fires or moving files along.
This is non-negotiable for any originator pushing to reach new levels of production.
But hiring is not just an issue for early career originators who’ve never led a team. Veteran LOs also need to have a firm grasp on their hiring plan so that they’re getting the right position filled at the best time to do it.
Invest in Marketing
If you’ve determined that you and/or your team has the capacity to handle more loans right now without any upgrades to your workflow efficiency, the next step would be to find a way to increase the velocity of new applications coming into your pipeline.
This is generally done via increased marketing efforts.
(Note: If you “don’t have time for marketing”, than you do, in fact, have an efficiency issue.)
Whether you have a deep budget for marketing, or no budget for marketing, there is always more you can do to increase awareness of your services.
For example, you can use social media marketing to your advantage with just an investment of time to interact with current/former clients and referral partners. Or you can spend marketing budget money advertising on platforms like Facebook that drive local awareness.
There are several ways to bolster your web traffic and lead generation, whether organically or paid.
Integrate New Mortgage Technology
New mortgage technology can be a help in any number of business challenges, depending on what areas of your production workflow you’ve determined are part of the plateau problem.
You can leverage a fully-functional mortgage CRM to get more control and options for marketing to your prospect pool and former clients. This would help generate more business to fill your pipeline.
A mortgage point-of-sale and automation system, like Floify, provides efficiency gains throughout the origination process and helps your staff become better and faster at what they do.
Software that drives increased efficiency allows you and your team to handle more loan files at once.
Technology can be fantastic in helping reclaim valuable minutes and hours in your day that can then be applied to more profit generating activities.
Be Accountable to Your Business
Being accountable to yourself, your business, and your employees is one of the most important things an LO can do to both avoid plateaus, and push through them.
For many originators, it is not uncommon to experience periods of unbridled motivation and activity followed by a period of burn-out. It is difficult to stay focused on the nitty gritty of running a mortgage business, and thus easy to lose interest temporarily.
To avoid these lulls in activity, create or buy-in to a system of accountability.
We have heard from many, many LOs that having a coach or mentor to keep pushing them forward has had a tremendously positive effect in this area.
Likewise, building an inter-office system to stay accountable to your team in your own production efforts is another low-barrier-to-entry option. If you have expectations for the workload that your processors, coordinators, and production partners should be handling, why wouldn’t you have the same for your own commitment?
Whether due to personal circumstance, market conditions, or another non-controllable event, you will encounter mortgage loan production plateaus throughout your career as an originator. What is not out of your hands is the way in which you assess your business and tweak what you’re doing in order to get back on track.