What Do Loan Officers Really Think?

Lenders One has released the results of a new national survey on loan officer retention conducted by Majestic Consulting. According to the survey results, productive loan officers are willing to leave higher paying positions to move to a company where management has a firm grasp on fulfillment and business development. Findings from the survey were unveiled at the Lenders One 2014 Summer Member Conference in Nashville today. More than 450 independent mortgage bankers, investors and vendors are attending the conference.

“The assumption that loan officers always leave for a better compensation structure somewhere else is false,” Tom Ward, CEO of Majestic Consulting told Lenders One members during one of the educational sessions at the conference. “Issues like a short-term missed closing have a phenomenally long-term impact on a loan officer’s book of business and can be just as or more important than compensation to a decision to change employment. The shift from a less-time sensitive refi, to an intricately coordinated purchase transaction exposes a lot of inefficiency in the process. Now there is a real deadline, the ‘I have a borrower with their belongings in a truck and nowhere to go’ deadline. If you miss that deadline, that borrower is unlikely to come back, and that Realtor is unlikely to refer again.”

The survey of randomly selected loan officers from around the country identified three consistent reasons loan officers leave a company:

>> The lender cannot close loans on time, putting stress on the loan officer’s relationships and destroying borrower and referral agent confidence;

>> Leadership has not updated their perspective on, nor do they provide sufficient training or support for pursuing new purchase business; and

>> A lack of confidence that the leadership team understands, anticipates and is prepared for market and industry changes.

“Loan officer retention is a critical business issue we hear about time and time again from our members,” commented Jeff McGuiness, CEO of Lenders One. “This survey highlights the importance leaders must place on both the manufacturing process and their service teams so that both are in synch. Production efficiency and quality are directly related to sales and service efficiency and quality, regardless of the market cycle. A holistic approach is crucial to ensure stability and reduce disruptive turnover in the long run.”

The survey also found that it takes almost seven months from the time a loan officer decides to leave a company and when it actually happens, Ward said. “That’s a remarkable amount of loyalty,” he commented. “What’s more, we found that the company that may initially start loan officers thinking about leaving is not usually the company they end up joining.”

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