Cultivating the Next-Gen Loan Officer

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Cultivating the Next-Gen Loan Officer

The airwaves are filled with talk about the next generation technologies, from advanced robotics to virtual reality, artificial intelligence to quantum computing, and 3-D printing to the Internet of Things.

But those things are not human beings, and focusing on technology to the exclusion of everything else can quickly devalue the human element of a company, leading to its demise.
While technology is helpful and must be an investment priority to create efficiencies, it is not a lending institution’s real heart and soul. A more effective focus may be on creating an environment that allows for the education and nurturing of the “next generation” loan officer that goes beyond technology in establishing solid relationships with the customer.

Here are a few key elements critical to creating the next-generation loan officer.

For a younger generation of loan officers connected primarily through technology, teaching them to raise their connection game is fundamental, and raising that bar means helping them weave personal connections into their already prodigious technology connection to their customers.
In her article The Disconnect: How Technology Has Created a More Disconnected Society, Cassandra Shuck, Ph.D., tech founder and marketing and connection expert, makes the point that despite having more ways to connect due to technology, we feel more disconnected. She says, “Studies have shown that in-person social interactions can help reduce stress, improve mood, and even boost immunity.”

Why is this important for loan officers?

Technology fosters anonymity in the lending relationship, the exact opposite effect a loan officer would want when trying to respond to the individual needs of a borrower. If the borrower receives a series of canned messages throughout the process, this could lead to frustration and stress. While much of the process can be managed on a tech platform, creating a relationship that will be satisfying and reassuring for the customer requires a much more individualized touch.
Setting up brief video check-ins effectively ensures the customer can ask questions and verify the loan status. It also sends the message that you are actively working on their file and that they are top of mind.

Emailing the client personally to let them know they will receive a series of updates and reassuring them that they can reach out anytime they have questions removes the “sting” of the anonymity of future notifications. The loan officer establishes trust and a long-term relationship with their client by being present and proactive.

Asking for reviews afterward with a note acknowledging the transaction’s successful conclusion lets them know you care about their experience and want to improve processes.

A handwritten note – yes, people still do this – reduces the anonymity factor in a big way and almost guarantees your missive will be opened, read, and remembered.

Encouraging your loan officers to get involved in the community is another way to grow their knowledge, expertise, and connections.

Attending local realtor/builder board meetings and joining the Mortgage Bankers Association, Chamber of Commerce, or taking real estate and title insurance continuing education classes puts them in individualized touch with the community and the professionals they work with to open up personal connections that can be a lifeline of business in the future.

At Certainty Home Lending, we encourage our loan officers to invest the time and energy to develop strong connections with our customers and our community, believing this is the pathway to success for them and their customers. Contact us today to learn more!

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