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Looking for Top Producing Mortgage Sales Professionals? Learning Ability May Be the No. 1 Predictor

Great mortgage companies are built with exceptional people!

In the mortgage recruiting business, many companies value a college education and screen candidates based on whether or not they obtained a degree. While formal education is important, it may not predict on-the-job success. The degree may have been in a different field of study, occurred years ago, or obtained through unusual circumstances. In the business and mortgage world, learning ability may be the single most important predictor of exceptional sales managers and loan officers.

While it is important that candidates have the capability to do the job, they must also possess the ability to continually learn new things. The reasons learning is so important for the mortgage company as a primary hiring criteria include:

• Technology and innovation changes require continuously learning

• Learning impacts job performance

• Learning increases the candidates opportunity for advancement

• Rapid changes require rapid learning

• Team speed requires uniform learning

Most experienced mortgage originators follow a specific pattern in their learning curve. In the beginning, whether by talent, work ethic, excellent training, or plain luck, they progress very rapidly. New ideas, closed loans, exciting strategies. Success! But then what?

Many mortgage sales professionals learn just enough to get by and do well. After that, the improvement is gradual, almost non-existent. They stop learning and investing in their career. They only learn half the business. Don’t believe me? Think about how many only focus on refinances or don’t know the lending guidelines for certain loan programs.

Let’s say there are ten successful ways to originate business, how many strategies do the sales manager and/or loan officer actually utilize. Most may focus on two or three, discarding the remainder as ineffective. If the salesperson makes more money than they had ever made in their career, do they discard the others as ineffective? Are they motivated to find and learn the other seven or eight strategies to maximize their business? Or do they think they know it all and the best strategy to originate mortgages?

Just because you are experienced doesn’t mean you do everything right. Mistakes will cost you business; the same mistakes made consistently will cost you a fortune! We all know what happens in the mortgage marketplace when rates go up. Will you be prepared because you’ve invested in learning all ten strategies to originate business, or will you struggle and/or change careers when business gets tough?

There are two types of people in the mortgage business: top managers/producers and all the others. Top managers/producers continue to learn and advance their careers. The other’s think they know it all and let their ego’s get in the way. They are unwilling to change and will continue to do things the way they have always done them.

Major breakthroughs in career advancements happen when sales professionals are motivated and continue to learn. Their careers advance exponentially when they invest in themselves by continuously learning and testing new business strategies. They read books and mortgage industry publications on sales strategies and marketing, attend seminars and industry events, hire or leverage a company provided sales coach, learn from taking action/risks, they are not afraid to make mistakes.

When looking to hire the next sales leader or top loan officer, pay attention to their ability to learn. Your company should have ways to assess learning ability during the interview like asking them what sources they utilize to stay abreast of changes in the mortgage industry, recent books they have read, or by assessing what they know about your company. Additionally, there are ways to assess their learning ability outside of the interview by reviewing their resume/LinkedIn profile or by utilizing an online assessment/learning aptitude test.
Jeff Flees • • (877) 721-4822

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