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How to Retain Newly Hired Branch Managers and Loan Officers

A premature departure by newly hired branch managers and loan officers leaving early is one of the most disappointing and expensive aspects of building a top mortgage company. In fact, many executives consider employee retention as the number one talent problem their company faces. This is due to the fact that 1 in every 3 new hires leaves within 6 months.

What are the basic causes for the new hire turnover problem?

  • Branch managers and loan officers feel they were promised something the company isn’t delivering on. This is often due to service levels and the fulfillment process. However, the reason could be as simple as rates, compensation, company culture, or career advancement opportunities. Once employees lose trust, they lose motivation to work for the company.

  • After spending significant time and resources to recruit talented branch managers and loan officers, companies mistakenly believe that new hires are loyal and committed to the company. In reality, most sales professionals consider multiple offers before accepting a company’s offer and the best candidates are still in high demand. If companies don’t take proactive retention and engagement actions, they should not be surprised when their employees soon walk out the door.

  • With resources such as social media, especially LinkedIn, and the NMLS, it is now easy for a recruiter to find the best branch managers and loan officers. Therefore, management should consider that recruiters are contacting new hires and top sales professionals at least once a month.

The costs of newly hired branch managers and loan officers leaving a company are significant!

Industry experts estimate the cost of losing a branch manager or loan officer in their first year as three times their annual income. Some of the primary costs employers incur are:

  1. Lost productivity when the position is vacant

  2. Squandered salary, guarantees, and/or sign-on bonuses

  3. Recruiting costs

  4. Training costs

  5. Managers, hiring personnel, and invested time of support employees

  6. Customer impacts

  7. Soliciting existing company employees to leave with them

  8. Value gained by a competitor

  9. Employer brand damage

  10. Failure of the replacement hire or their poor results

  11. Colleagues that new hire may have recruited to the company

  12. Office leases and expenses

The keys to successfully retaining newly hired branch managers and loan officers:

  1. Build trust by being transparent and delivering on the expectations established during the recruiting process

  2. Develop a new-hire retention program and department

  3. Implement and encourage employee engagement

Companies should create and implement a formal process and business strategy for managing newly hired branch managers and loan officers.

  • Assign responsibility to individuals and a department

  • Include retention action steps during onboarding and training

  • Identify “warning signs” that indicate reasons a new hire might leave your company and take actions to correct any company deficiencies

  • Measure and reward direct managers and retention department staff who successfully limit new-hire turnover

  • Identify and communicate with the branch managers and loan officers who are currently “flight risks”

Employee engagement is an important component to retaining branch managers and loan officers.

  • Praise employees and make sure they know their work matters

  • Communicate the corporate culture and encourage employee involvement

  • Set goals and be involved in their success

  • Define employees’ career paths and provide opportunities for advancement

  • Offer job flexibility and a work-life balance

If building a great mortgage company is important to you, put as much emphasis on retaining your employees as you do trying to recruit new ones.

Jeff Flees • • (877) 721-4822

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