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REMOTE: In 2020, it’s Way More Than a TV Controller

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REMOTE: In 2020, it’s Way More Than a TV Controller

Over the past several years, there has been much discussion regarding the pros and cons of working remotely in almost every industry. Here’s a sample of those from Small Business Labs.

Those, of course, are from the perspective of the employee. So how about from the employers point of view? Here are some notes from the Infographics Zone.

Yes, pay close attention to that last line. But does all of this apply to the mortgage industry? In my personal opinion, the answer is, “Sort of.” On what do I base that nebulous response?

You may have noticed that MLOs (Mortgage Loan Officers) often fall into one of two categories. Often they are either excellent at selling, cold calling, building rapport, forming new relationships with clients, realtors, title companies etc.

But MLOs are just one part of the loan process. There are also Processors, Underwriters, Closers, Attorneys, Post Closers, Title Agents, and a host of others involved in the entire process to obtain a home loan. Can all of those work remotely? Not only is the answer a resounding, “YES!” but there are companies galore to facilitate every aspect of the mortgage process. And not a minute too soon with the coronavirus still rearing its ugliness.

Later, we’ll take a glimpse at some of them. But before we move on, check out this should-have-been-expected trend in companies employing remote workers.

The headline in a recent Hustle email said, “Facebook’s remote-work pay cuts are going to get complicated.” Apparently, Facebook pays employees based on average salaries where their offices are located. The cost of living in Silicon Valley, for example, may be much higher than it is even 30 miles away. Now they are proposing paying employees based on where they reside. Big sigh.

Returning to the mortgage biz, let’s first examine the Simon Sinek “Why.” Why would a mortgage company outsource or allow employees to work remotely? I realize the two are not the same. But the end result is similar, so let’s combine them for this blog.

Here’s what Flatworld Solutions sees as the benefits. Yes, they ARE an outsource company. ☝

  1. Most outsource companies can tailor their services to both small and large companies. 
  2. Outsource companies bear the cost of constantly changing technology, so lenders need not worry about that.
  3. Outsourced processing can yield access to big data modeling and analytics. That can drive decisions about pricing, pipeline efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
  4. On that last topic, good outsource partners that assist with improved customer satisfaction results in better customer retention, referrals and repeat business. This may happen because of 24/7 service, efficient call centers with fast response support, etc.
  5. Complex aspects of the process go away as do the time and expense of training staff to handle them. These may include investor reporting, payment processing, escrow services in multiple states, tax monitoring, etc.
  6. Overhead costs can drop dramatically. I recall a boss I had whose famous lines was, “I don’t want to be in the bricks and mortar business” whenever someone asked to open a new office. Further, the costs of employees, salaries, benefits etc. may all be replaced by an outsource service fee.
  7. Fast closings. I remember working at a company years ago that established the Rush Team. This group of individuals who ONLY worked on files that HAD to close quickly. (You can anticipate the problem. ALL loans had to close fast, of course.) Quickly was always related to staffing and outside vendor turn times (think appraisal, title work etc.). If using an efficient outsource company, fast closings may be more likely to occur.
  8. Easier growth may be possible. Suppose a company from California wants to expand into New York or Illinois. Using a scalable outsource firm may help this occur faster. The outsource partner can ramp up and support business in multiple states, almost immediately. 

How do lenders choose an outsource vendor? Most of the time, they are approached by companies vying for their business. Or, other firms may recommend companies. It’s possible an outsource company was formed by a lender’s former employees. And there is always the good old online search. That yields these, for example:

Sourcepoint

Ardem

Rely

Accenture

Capacity

In no way am I pushing this outsource usage. Unfortunately, I’ve worked at companies who outsourced to places that “oversold” and did not, errr, provide what they promised. I’ve also seen outsource companies raise their service fees too much and too quickly. 

In addition, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the finest most dedicated processors, underwriters and closers in the industry. And I’m aware of current MLOs who literally use their service partners as part of their sales strategy. Some even post photos of themself with their processors and closers, etc. promoting the “team.”

Speaking of those phenomenal loan service employees, they have now been forced to work remotely. Like everyone else, they use Zoom calls and texting, and unlimited cell phone plans to work as effectively as possible. Yes, remote work for those who have never experienced it requires a great deal of creativity.  But in my humble opinion, none of them had to be THIS creative:

Yes, that is a man of the cloth baptizing a baby using a water gun. In fact, I MAY have now seen it all.

It is definitely time for some laughs.

  • I wanted zombies and anarchy.  Instead we got working from home and toilet paper shortages.
  • The dumbest thing I've ever bought was a 2020 planner.
  • Coronavirus has turned us all into dogs.  We wander around the house looking for food.  We get told "No" if we get too close to strangers and we get really excited about going for walks and car rides.
  • For the second part of this quarantine do we have to stay with the same family or will they relocate us?  Asking for a friend
  • Home school:  I'm trying to figure out how I can get this kid transferred out of my class.
  • Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.
  • People keep asking: "Is coronavirus REALLY all that serious?"  Listen y'all, the churches and casinos are closed.  When heaven and hell agree on the same thing it's probably pretty serious.
  • The spread of Covid-19 is based on two things:

1. How dense the population is.

2. How dense the population is

  • You know those car commercials where there's only 1 vehicle on the road - doesn't seem so unrealistic these days.
  • Not to brag, but I haven't been late to anything in over 6 weeks.
  • I stepped on my scale this morning.  It said: "Please practice social distancing. Only one person at a time on scale."
  • When this quarantine is over, let's not tell some people.
  • Breaking News:  Wearing a mask inside your home is now highly recommended.  Not so much to stop COVID-19, but to stop eating.
  • New monthly budget:  Gas $0    Entertainment $0    Clothes $0    Groceries $2,799.
  • I hope they give us a two week notice before sending us back out into the real world.  I think we'll all need the time to become ourselves again.  And by "ourselves" I mean lose 10 pounds, cut our hair and get used to not drinking at 9:00 a.m.

About Kathleen Heck

Kathleen Heck has worked with hundreds of top sales professionals, authors, corporate executives, educators, and management level professionals. She started her career as a college and high school educator. Later she changed industries and moved to financial services, first as a Mortgage Loan Officer and then rising to lead of team of over 2000 financial professionals. She is the author of "After the Beep" and "Meltdown: I Need a Plan". Currently serving as the President of the Croyance Group, Ms. Heck is a Certified Professional Coach and holds several Masters Degrees and a PhD. See more at Croyancegroup.com

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