The Perfect Loan Officer TeamMar 06, 2023
The highest income skill in the world is selling. The hardest incoming skill in the world is scaling.
The best sales and operationally established Loan Officers earn the most while working the least. The true CEOs of their business.
In 2012, I experienced a career-changing moment after attending the Mortgage Mastermind Summit in Las Vegas.
At that time, I was an unhappy and unfulfilled Non-Producing Brand Manager and had decided to jump back into personal production.
I knew that if I wanted to feel fulfilled and lead my group of Loan Officers, I had to do so from the trenches.
Two of the speakers at that Vegas Summit spoke in specific detail about how to build the Perfect Loan Officer Team to earn $1M annually in just 40-hour (max) work weeks.
Their level of detail confirmed their credibility to me, and I felt inspired knowing that earning a "milli" a year while working on 40 hours weekly was possible.
Side note: I've observed that gurus talk in specific granularity and "furus" talk in endless generalities. So be cautious who you learn more.
With a zero book of business, I got to hustling.
Within a few months of being professionally coached by those two speakers, I was able to exponentially increase my sales skills, which resulted in 3 consecutive months of generating 50+ organic leads.
I prayed for rain but didn't expect the mud...
Operationally I was a micro-managing, control freak, with terrible hiring and training skills, along with average time-blocking adherence.
I'd lay out my time-blocking, but come Tuesday, it'd all be thrown out the window. I was back in reactive mode and working long hours.
Enter the entrepreneurial roller-coaster months where I'd have a great month of generating new leads but then needed a month to execute those leads which ate into my prospecting time.
I stated to feel drained and overwhelmed.
Selling would reinvigorate me, but structuring preapprovals, managing the pipeline and putting out fires depleted me. Plus, I just wasn't good at the latter and knew working 7 days a week wasn't sustainable.
So with a lot of reflection, I realized that I needed a licensed Assistant that would help me with the cash, credit and income analysis on all my preapprovals that could also manage the contract-to-close process. Basically, a Loan Processor or Underwriter with a little personality.
As I reflect on my journey of scaling and leveling up, the below image perfectly sums up each step:
Click here to Download your copy of the 5 Stages of a Loan Team
Each stage required better recruiting, hiring, training, and developing skills.
We would also have monthly "Business Process Improvement" meetings where we would fine-tune our process so I would only be inserted at every major point of sale.
Looking back, I made many mistakes in my leadership and lost so many good staff members because of my impatience, insecurity, and immaturity.
My hope for you reading this is to understand that if you're a good Loan Officer, you will not be able to stop your growth. Your reputation, referrals and database will only grow, and you will need to delegate to a high-performing team in order to also have personal harmony.
With this being said here is the ultimate blueprint of what the "Perfect" Loan Officer Team looks like.
Ultimately, within this model, the LO is the CEO of the team and works alongside his or her Team Captain weekly on an accountability dashboard that illustrates all the key performance indicators for the team (i.e. # leads, # preapps, # new contracts, # locks, etc.)
The $1M+ LO CEO is purely focused on driving 200+ organic leads monthly alongside his or her Outside and Inside Sales Assistants.
In most models (and markets), 100 monthly leads with a 25% closing ratio will yield a $1M, however, at this stage, the LO team should be generating 200+ leads monthly, especially with three people fully on offense (the LO, and the Outside and Inside Sales Assistants).
A majority of the LOs time is invested in developing new large referral relationships, "touching" current referral relationships, developing the team, and growing into different markets.
Depending on the loan type makeup and market, a well-compensated Loan Officer in this model will net anywhere between 100 - 200 bps and can take a 2-4 vacation without the business missing a beat.
The most critical and most important person on the team.
Typically, this is someone "homegrown" and a former Loan Partner II (described in a few moments) on your team.
He or she is licensed, known, loved, and trusted by your Realtors and handles 90% of all initial and rate lock borrower consultations.
All your daily team meetings and weekly Tuesday morning pipeline meetings are led by your Team Captain.
This is the only salaried position on the team that is also paid bps.
A high-ranking Team Captain should be paid $40+ per hour, $100 (minimum) per loan bonus OR 5+ BPS (the bonus and/or commission component is varied).
Loan Partner I (Administrative Sales assistant)
When hired correctly, this person will make life easier for everyone on the team.
This person will have 5 major responsibilities:
- Leads: onboards and manages all the team's leads
- Schedule: handles and manages the LO's calendar
- Database: oversees the marketing initiatives like events, etc.
- Emails: manages the entire email inbox for the LO
- Misc: expense reports, travel, etc.
The right LP1 will double the productivity of the LO.
A salary of $20-$30 per hour, based on market, location, and experience, and results with the potential to earn a $25 per file bonus (maximum) after six closings (never BPS bonuses or commissions) is recommended.
Loan Partner II (Licensed Loan Officer Assistant)
Another highly important person on the team and essentially the right-hand person to your Team Captain.
This person works alongside your Team Captain to accurately and expeditiously pre-approve all your homebuyers and to onboard all newly received purchase contracts in preparation for the rate lock consultation.
Think of this person as a seasoned Loan Processor or Underwriter with a personality.
A salary of $25-$50 per hour, based on experience and results with a bonus of $150 per file (maximum) after six closings (never BPS bonuses or commission) is recommended.
Inside Sales Assistant
Once a Loan Officer has over 1,000 solid contacts in his or her database and is also looking to expand into new markets, it's impossible to "percolate" the database without some sort of auto text drip or manual calling system.
The Inside Sales Assistant [ISA] has one main focus: to set 30+ appointments on the LO or Team Captain's calendar weekly.
Such appointments can be Annual Mortgage Review calls, archived and nurtured homebuyer leads, and even new Realtor prospects.
Sales are ultimately about appointment volume and the right ISA keeps pouring the coal into the "LOcomotive".
A salary of $15-$20 an hour with a bonus of $100+ (minimum), per week, tiered on # of appointments set is recommended.
Outside Sales Assistant
This is a position that I have mis-hired the first two times, but if you've ever met me you know my old saying: "Your third hire is usually the right hire".
When I interview multiple $500M+ yearly producing Loan Officers, including my friend Shant Bonasian (the #1 Loan Officer in the Country), all of them have 1-2 Outside Sales Assistants [OSA].
The OSA is also known as a Business Development Manager [BDM].
Just recently, I reverse-recruited our new OSA who was a National Recruiter for a very well know Mortgage Company.
And let me tell you, thus far, her results have been incredible.
This person's full-time job is to complete a "double" Sales Activity Tracker weekly:
- 30 Face-to-Faces
- 10 Break Breads
- 120 Voice-to-Voices
- 2-3 Events
- 10+ Social Media Posts
He or she is responsible for cultivating new and deepening existing Realtor relationships.
Former title reps, wholesale Account Executives, Recruiters, and even Realtors are prime candidates for this position.
With the right operational and fulfillment backbone, the right OSA will drive an extra 50, 100, and 150+ organic referrals to the LO team.
A salary of $25-$50 per hour, based on experience and results with a bonus on lead generation tiers (50-99, 100-149, 150-199, 200+) along with a per file bonus per self-sourced funded loan.
Junior Loan Officer
At some stage, the LO or Team Captain will not want and/or need to handle certain loan types (i.e. down payment assistant, lower loan amounts, etc.), but would want those borrowers to still be serviced.
Having a Jr. Loan Officer handle these types of loans with the continued mentoring and sales coaching of the LO and operations support of the Team Captain and Loan Partner II will help everyone win.
The Jr. Loan Officer also comes in very handy during a refinance boom and to connect any "Jr. Realtors" that might need more hand-holding.
A salary (draw) of $1,500 per month against 30-75 BPS is ideal depending on the sourcing of the business.