Bob Mansur, CMB, AMP: What Kind of LO Goals Do You Set?

Bob Mansur, CMB, AMP, is a mortgage industry veteran and the Managing Partner of Credit Employee Performance Solutions. CEPS changes behavior to increase productivity and reduce risk in the mortgage industry so company leaders can sleep peacefully. They do this by analyzing, recommending and implementing the six critical elements of employee performance to overcome current and future challenges and transferring to your leadership the knowledge and skills to perpetuate that success. He can be contacted at or 317-517-1892.

(This is the first of a four-part series.)

Bob Mansur, CMB, AMP

You’re about to read a presentation that makes the case for setting behavioral expectations to help underperforming LOs improve their results. LOs’ actions determine their success. You have a role in determining those actions.

Let’s suppose for a minute that all your loan officers know their individual production goals. No, not the company’s universal goal that, “Every LO must get at least 4 loans per month for at least $800,000 in volume.” Instead, their personal goals based on market, experience, history, compensation, products, and non-work priorities. And then, of course, those goals roll up to managers then to senior managers, then to directors and so forth. In the end, everyone knows her or his true personal production goal.

So, the expectation has been set. Now, just go get it, right?

But what about the individual who can’t get it? I’m not talking about someone who won’t do it. (That’s a different article.) What about the lady or the guy who has a genuine, heartfelt desire to succeed, but can’t get there? What do we do with/for/to that individual?

“Fire em! We can get someone in their spot who’ll give us the numbers we need.” Really? You might as well burn the money you invested in hiring, onboarding, and training that individual. Do you want to throw away that person’s desire because you know you can hire the next great superstar? You’re ready to trade Drew Bledsoe because there’s always a Tom Brady waiting in the wings?

But you’re the one who set their production goals. That LO presumably agreed – or at least accepted – those expectations. What do you do now?

Let’s ask a question, here. What are the behavior expectations for a loan officer to be a successful producer in your organization? Behavioral expectations? What the….?

Does your company have a process of activities that, when followed, significantly increases a motivated LOs likelihood of success? Well, if your company is like most in this industry, you know the answer to that question.

Okay, let’s clarify, here. This is not the process EVERYONE has to follow. You have some great LOs who do it their own way and maybe can’t really describe what they do to achieve their goals. And as long as they’re performing legally, morally, and ethically, leave them alone! They don’t need a standard process and would probably rebel (leave) if you tried to impose one. Just revel in their success and be grateful they work for you.

Let’s get back, however, to that LO who strongly wants to make it, but maybe doesn’t know what to do or how to do it. They’re failing at the job, so this is where the rubber meets the road, and your management does the driving. Now is the time to temporarily replace those production goals – units and volume – with behavioral expectations.

What do I mean by behavioral expectations? Basically, they’re your company’s strongly recommended activities most likely to lead to sales success. Perhaps it’s easiest to explain with examples. Does this LO make 50 calls every Monday to prospect, update loan applicants, and strengthen existing relationships? Does this LO ask every applicant how often they want to hear from her and through what preferred method (i.e., text, email, phone call)? Does this LO then abide by that customer’s expectations? Does this LO give customers bad news in a way that respectfully maintains the relationship for possible future business? These are just a few examples of behavioral requirements your company can set as the “price of admission” for LOs who aren’t cutting it. Guaranteed success? No. Better chances of success? Absolutely. And required for only those people who don’t yet have a process to achieve what’s expected of them.

So, why don’t more mortgage companies have a standard, behavioral process to sales success? Remember that comment about management doing the driving? Let’s save that thought for our next issue in this series.

(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