Recruiting high-performing loan officers is one of the most important things you can do as a mortgage lender to sustain your business.
To do this well, however, you must set the stage and make your company look attractive to top performers. Good LO’s need to see that you present well as a company and that you’re vibrant and will support their growth and careers.
By: John Seroka
So, what are you doing to differentiate yourself for these high performers? Why would they want to join your company instead of a competitor’s?
Having a good answer to these questions is critical.
What should you be doing to support your recruiting efforts?
1) Have a clearly defined value proposition. Many talk about their competitive compensation packages, technology and how they go above and beyond to provide a great environment to help you grow your business. These are just basic talking points. Without them, it will be extremely difficult for you to sustain your business.
Beyond speaking to these items, it’s important to share deeper insight and talk about the added value that you can provide that can really help set you apart.
For example, how will you help your recruits grow in their careers and drive new business success? That’s a big one. Why are you respected in the communities you serve and what do you do to support those communities that builds awareness of your mortgage company? Do you have a mentorship program? If so, how does it work? What marketing support systems and technology do you have in place that helps the homebuyer and supports a smooth transaction?
These are just some of the great things you can speak to that will help you stand out.
Also, share your philosophy and approach to doing business and why you believe you will win in the marketplace.
To be fair, some of this is hard to come up with. Articulating things like why you will win, what makes people want to do business with you, why loan officers should come to work for you and other seemingly simple questions take deep thought to develop and then convey.
If you’re struggling with this step, you may consider hiring a company that can assist with branding and guide you through this entire thought process.
An expert will ask you the right questions ─ hard questions ─ that will help you carve out your value proposition.
Taking this important first step will be very productive and go a long way to set you apart. Few companies go through this exercise and instead push value propositions that are incredibly similar to others which makes it hard on themselves to compete effectively.
2) Make sure your website is up to speed. Having an up to date, modern website that has a great UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) gives prospective recruits the solid impression that you are up to speed technologically and that you care about providing a world-class experience.
In doing a self-assessment of your website, look at the top lenders in the U.S. and do some investigation on their websites. This exercise will help you identify potential areas of improvement from an experiential and content standpoint.
If you question whether your website is functioning properly, providing the right experience, or conveying your brand well, these are all reasons to have a pro take a closer look and provide you with an evaluation and recommendations. This is a service that our team at Seroka can provide you, free of charge.
3) Manage your social media properties and have a written strategy. Having a robust social media presence is more critical now, given the new environment we are all living in and adapting to. And having a written strategy ensures your ability to measure and get better over time.
During the height of the pandemic, social distancing seriously mitigated our ability and desire to meet in person and establish relationships the way we have in the past. Therefore, your ability to convey your brand, industry knowledge and personality through social media became much more important. It continues to be more important than ever as many mortgage lenders have upped their game in this area.
Even without a pandemic playing out, the modern loan officer is going to want to work with a company that is proficient at using modern communication channels to build audience awareness. This means you need to establish a consistent flow of varied content that provides value to your visitors, helping them move along their respective buyer journeys. The key platforms you should be considering include LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
4) Have a media relations and PR plan in place that you are actively executing. A vibrant presence in industry trade publications and in the local areas you serve goes a long way to paint a picture of what kind of company you are and what’s important to you. Also, make sure you take advantage of award opportunities, both inside and outside of the industry. There are many, like Best Places to Work, technology awards, 40 under 40, top originators and many others.
An active presence in the media and communities you serve, along with receiving awards, all help build positive awareness for your mortgage brand and great optics for your potential LO recruits.
5) Leverage direct marketing to round out your broader activities. Fortunately, we live in a time when it’s easier than ever to build awareness with specific individual targets in mind.
To make it work, you need to clearly identify the background and qualifications of the individuals you want to consider to be a part of your team. What is their production volume? Do they have a specialty? What geographic area do they serve? How many years have they been in the mortgage business? Are you willing to mentor and train someone new to the mortgage industry? If so, what qualifications should they have to be a good candidate for mentorship?
There are lists you can purchase that identify loan officers and their production volumes so that you can build out a campaign targeting them directly.
In today’s environment, everybody wants the best talent. To be successful, you must give loan officers a reason to want to come to your company. And that means your overall message must be clear and your targets must be well-defined.
If you need help in any of these areas, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.