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Compensation Plans, Culture, and Retaining Exceptional Mortgage Managers and Loan Officers

Great mortgage companies are built with exceptional people!

Attracting and retaining exceptional branch managers and loan officers in the competitive mortgage industry is challenging. These days, many companies are touting having a great culture, or set of beliefs, values, goals, attitudes, principles, and behaviors for driving job satisfaction to grow their business.

When you find the “right” culture for your business and career goals, you will thrive. Select the “wrong” one and you’ll be changing companies in less than 6 months.

So what does a company’s compensation plan say about their culture? Actually, quite a lot if you really understand the corporate business model and strategy. When we think of compensation plans, we often think of the basis points paid to the originator, however, basis points are just a part of the package. The W-2 income you earn, benefits you receive, and long-term career development are significant, too. Below is what some prevalent compensation plans reveal about the corporate culture even if the mortgage company won’t say it.

  • The company has a culture focused on service and infrastructure; however, pricing/rates and the basis points paid to originators are often less competitive.

  • Conversely, the company has a culture focused on higher basis points, but the pricing/rates and the focus on service and infrastructure may not be as competitive.

  • The company has a culture focused on high volume from experienced self-sourcing originators, yet, there is limited training for developing new loan officers, lead generation, and the basis points paid are often less competitive.

  • The company has a culture focused on internal leads/corporate marketing; however, the basis points paid are less competitive and career development is risky, especially in a rising rate environment.

  • The company has a culture focused on their brand, community, and/or referral infrastructure; however, their service and infrastructure along with the basis points paid to originators are not as competitive.

  • The company has a culture focused on experienced, successful, and entrepreneurial individuals where the basis points earned are higher for profitable results; however, the opportunity is risky for those who don’t deliver strong results or need more support.

Every company is different with competitive advantages and weaknesses. When you are considering a change, pay attention to what companies don’t tell you as much as what they do, especially the turnover rate of their branch managers and loan officers.

Compensation Plans and Retaining the Best Managers and Loan Officers

Lack of transparency and communication about the company’s pay and pricing (real or perceived) policies often lead to employee’s trust of the company eroding. Compensation fairness and employee engagement are crucial to retaining exceptional managers and loan officers. Below are key factors that affect an employee’s attitude toward a company’s compensation plan and culture:

  • Do they feel compensated fairly?

  • Do they feel appreciated at work?

  • Is there good communication and relationship with direct management?

  • Is there a transparent pay process?

Companies that address their employees’ concerns and maintain an open, honest, and informed communication have the highest employee satisfaction and lowest turnover. Furthermore, managers and loan officers who value the corporate infrastructure, compensation plans, and culture traditionally deliver better results.

Loan Academy is an independent mortgage recruiting and consulting company. We specialize in connecting exceptional managers and loan officers with leading mortgage companies that maintain a culture of excellence, trust, and transparency.

If you would like to confidentially explore a better career opportunity, visit our website at or contact Jeff Flees today at 877-721-4822 or

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