Bob Mansur, AMP, CMB: What are Your Production Expectations?

Bob Mansur, AMP, CMB

During his 25-year career in the mortgage industry, Bob Mansur, AMP, CMB, has provided internal performance consulting, particularly in the training function, for multiple lenders and servicers such as The Money Store, Chase, Gateway First Bank and Nations Lending. He has international experience, having worked in India and the Philippines. A Certified Mortgage Banker, Mansur is the Managing Partner for Credit Employee Performance Solutions, Jenks, Okla., a firm dedicated to solving the human challenges of change to increase employee productivity and reduce human risk.

Mansur also serves on the CMB Society’s Education Committee and facilitates School of Mortgage Banking classes for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

What are your production expectations?

Asking this question of mortgage company leaders generates similar answers focused on one role in the loan production process, the originators. Many lenders have at least minimum sales goals (and several don’t) for LOs to remain employed. These goals tend to be set for monthly periods: “at least two loans for $500K” as an example.

But what about the processors, underwriters, closers and post-close team members? Do you have similar, quantifiable expectations for these folks? And are you measuring them as closely as you’re counting the LOs’ contributions?

Quantifiable measures: How many files should a processor be working at one time? How many loans must an underwriter decision per day? How many tasks must a member of the closing team perform per loan and what percentage of those must be done correctly? How do you know the number of loans any post-close administrator has finished preparing for transfer? These company goals are the beginning for people to recognize the company standards for delivering results. That’s the topline expectation.

There is, however, a second level of requirement, particularly for those who struggle to achieve that top line. What is your process expectation? It can be hard to quantify, and that’s one reason a company might not set these expectations. A process involves multiple people performing different stages to deliver a product, the loan.

Process expectations tell people the actions they need to take to perform their job. So, in your organization, who is expected to collect all the documents from the customer? Is that an LO’s responsibility based on what the processor tells them? Or is that an expectation for your processors once the LO submits a supposedly complete package. Does the processor have a checklist of required documents? Although that list will be valuable for their own tracking, it can also be used to measure the LO’s performance in the first stage of the process.

The LO-processor document collection stage is just one example of a process expectation. Another example, and most of these are measurable: How often does a processor submit to underwriting a loan file only one time before the decision can be made? How does an underwriter stack up against an average decision-making time once the entire loan package is in their hands? How early before a scheduled signing appointment does the closer deliver docs to the title company for signatures? How closely does your post-close agent abide by the standard for following up on undelivered docs from the county?

And within each stage of the process is another expectation: following procedures. If procedures are documented to be the most behaviorally efficient and effective, any position should be able to follow them to complete their assigned tasks on time and accurately. The processor can address a message correctly to order a title report, the underwriter can examine the fields of a paystub in the most productive sequence to confirm the accuracy of the income, and so forth.

So, what does this have to do with running a company, a division or any other business unit? Without clear–and, ideally, measurable–expectations, evaluating performance becomes more of a gut feeling than an objective assessment, people question the value of training because they don’t understand how it relates to their job, and productivity slows when people think rather than know what they’re supposed to do.

This piece addressed three increasingly precise levels of expectations:

First, quantified, measurable goals

Second, process stages to perform

Third, procedures to follow

The more precise your expectations–your standards of achievement and action–the better people will perform. They understand the targets and, with adequate resources (e.g., documentation, equipment, time, etc.), are much more likely to live up to what you want.

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policies 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 Editor Michael Tucker or Editorial Manager Anneliese Mahoney.)