As the demographics of homebuyers change, the mortgage industry will find its future success is in the loan officers who best serve their client base. That’s why branch managers should invest in their teams by growing them to reflect the clients they will come to serve.
"The next generation mortgage loan officer has to serve the next generation consumer," wrote Brad Finkelstein, with National Mortgage News, in an article on next-generation loan officers. "That next generation consumer is already here, the millennial consumer."
Top originators share many attributes in common. They are personable, helpful, genuine. But, what drives those traits are the experiences from their work and their personal lives, which is what homebuyers can identify with.
In other words, it’s not so much being a loan officer as it is being a person.
Not only is it rewarding to the business to help a homebuyer move into their dream home, for which they’ve spent months and months searching, but it greatly adds to the skill and character of loan officers who successfully work with individuals from all different backgrounds.
A diversified team of loan officers can help make the journey of homeownership a reality for a quickly changing demographic of homebuyers, which is primarily comprised of millennials, most being first-time buyers.
By bringing diversity into the mortgage industry, it’s going to lead to better service, which in turn leads to higher satisfaction among buyers of all ages and backgrounds.
How Mortgage Lenders Can Diversify
The loan officers who produce the best results for a branch often come with a diversified portfolio, meaning they’ve had various experiences in the mortgage business, which has helped them navigate situations of all kinds.
Pair that with keen industry knowledge and a strong attention to detail, that loan officer is going to stay in business. However, there is more being added to the list of future attributes demanded of loan officers.
A big challenge for the industry today is that many of yesterday’s top loan officers aren’t able to appeal as well to these growing demographics in the mortgage and real estate markets. In turn, this makes it vitally important to business growth that a wide range of professionals bearing skills of all kinds are included in your employment roadmap.
This could mean multilingual professionals, people from different communities and regions, this also could mean people whose background is varied, instead of solely lending.
There are many attributes that can create the best candidate for the job, and that’s going to be determined heavily on your clients, which are likely younger homebuyers with culturally diverse backgrounds.
Mortgage companies should be looking for loan officers who have a well-rounded background, sharing the same values, and who are tech-savvy enough to deliver digital experiences that younger generations expect.
How to Recruit the Best
To appeal to these coveted professionals, a mortgage company needs to build upon their internal and external goals and stay the course when it comes to meeting them.
That could be working toward greater transparency in all communications between clients and partners through content marketing efforts. Or, it could be strong follow-up strategies that reach homebuyers quickly, driven by advanced CRM automation technology.
In part, bringing in the best loan officers is going to require a a best-in-class toolset that allows these professionals to build their businesses, and keep clients coming back. This includes automating manual workflows, growing their reach by co-marketing with other professionals, and being able to track and measure their pipeline growth and ROI on all initiatives.
Whichever area of the business needs advancing, it’s important to offer the value that loan officers and homebuyers alike are looking for.
A loan officer, as does a homebuyer, will do their research into different brokerages and branches, picking out the ones they find align best with their future goals in the mortgage industry.
And, like their clients, much of that has to do with the company culture, because it helps build and establish trust with employees and clients, while solidifying a brand that’s true to itself.