Gaining Trust: Who is on Your Team Matters the Most

Phillip Sizemore

Phillip Sizemore is Southeast Regional Manager of Churchill Mortgage, Brentwood, Tenn. He has more than 20 years of diverse financial experience. Before joining Churchill Mortgage, he held positions with banks, mortgage lenders and wealth management companies, with experience in sales, operations, training and executive management.

With several Federal Reserve rate cuts this year, the mortgage industry has been in a state of flux throughout 2019. As rates decreased earlier in the year, many lenders have seen record months.

Recently, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported an increase in mortgage applications. To keep up with this increase and the uncertainty next year holds for the mortgage industry, it is important that lenders understand the value of building a strong team of individuals who can trust each other.

When a homebuyer comes to a mortgage lender, they are trusting them with the biggest financial decision of their life. That means the lender has a great responsibility to provide the best care and service to make an intimidating process a smooth one. But to provide good customer service, mortgage lenders must make their teammates their number one priority by serving them first.

Leave People in a Better Place Than Where You Found Them

Churchill Mortgage believes that offering a great homebuying experience relies on leaving people in a better place than where you found them. By ensuring employees are in a better place, they can parallel this same experience to their customers.

One way to bring an employee to a better place is through the recruitment process. By creating teams of employees with similar values, relationships can start off on the right foot and a stronger team can be established. It is important that a potential hire will be a solid fit on the team and will buy into the organization’s values. If the new hire does not share the same values as the company and their new teammates, there will be friction that will ultimately hurt the entire organization.

Onboarding for Successful Integration

Once an individual officially joins your team, then the real work begins. Investing in a well-rounded onboarding process can set an employee up for success in their career. Digitalist explains ( that the onboarding process should be more than just orientation for new employees, and a good onboarding experience should really allow the company to share their culture and values with new employees as they integrate with their team. One of the ways to do this is to leverage personality tests.

Personality tests can help you find the best fit for your teammates and understand how to communicate better with each member of the team. This will develop an environment where employees learn to rely on their teammates because they can play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses, learning from one another and filling in any gaps.

Top Down Continuous Coaching

A well-built team requires action to keep it going strong. Like any skill, trust is something you must live out and attempt to master every day. Regular interactions to show support and continuous coaching help a team work together for years to come.

Additionally, there must be a top-down example for teams to follow. The same trust and teamwork expected among loan officers must be exemplified by their leadership teams. This not only provides an example for employees to follow but also ensures that the organization’s values and culture are preserved throughout the company.

Ultimately, forming a great team takes time and effort, but will lead to an even greater reward. As we prepare for 2020 and a new decade of possibilities in the mortgage space, it is important to know who stands beside you and how you can help each other be successful. By getting to know your teammates well and supporting their strengths and coaching their weaknesses, you can ensure that you leave each customer in a better place than where you found them.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA NewsLink welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at