Managing and preparing your pipeline for purchase season can be daunting for any independent mortgage broker and this is even more apparent during the relative boom we are experiencing in the current market. Consumers are competing against each other for the best deal and are engaging in a low inventory environment where historically competitive interest rates are making the chance to own a home more enticing than ever before.
This means brokers have more potential buyers in their pipeline at different stages of the homebuying process. An influx of buyers has created a situation where it can be difficult to organize your operation during a busy purchase season. The absence of adequate pipeline management can also complicate the necessary steps of completing the loan process in an efficient manner and educating the borrower in a fashion that builds a consumer for life mentality.
Put simply, when your mortgage team is feeling overwhelmed during purchase season you have to make sure you have all the tools at your disposal to ensure you are at the top of your game. That’s why the team at AIME is happy to provide five easy tips on how any independent mortgage broker can crush purchase season and set themselves up for long-term success.
1. Hire and Staff Up
The best way to prepare for purchase season from an operational perspective is to staff up with a team that is ready to tackle any challenge. This could seem challenging in an industry where the best talent has a multitude of opportunities but in the end hiring the most qualified loan officers and processors can go a long way despite the obstacles.
Key support staff like loan originators, loan originator assistants, and processors should be highly skilled members on your team that can perform essential tasks, such as calling members for documents or following up on requests. Hiring managers at broker shops would be wise to review a list of all the ins and outs of the skills needed to excel in some entry level jobs in the mortgage industry on day one. From there you will be able to determine which roles are of most pressing importance to your business and how each can help you achieve your pipeline management goals.
2. Choose Your Business Partnerships Wisely
A reputable and experienced lending partner can provide you with a variety of loan products and address your current needs, regardless of the size and capacity of your broker shop. While you may find your pipeline healthy even with a capable staff, keeping an additional lending partner on deck for your ongoing needs gives you an opportunity to grow at your own pace.
Don’t wait to find the right partner when your pipeline is full and purchase season is in full swing. Most lenders will be using their capabilities to support existing industry partners and maintain service level agreements in their niche markets. Acknowledging this pressing need is why AIME is proud to be sponsored by a number of elite wholesale industry lenders who share the independent mortgage brokers commitment to providing the best customer service and lowest rates in the industry.
Need an additional lending partner? Get connected today!
3. Perfect Your Technology and Software
Investing in the building blocks of your tech stack is a crucial step to finding success as an independent mortgage broker, since your tech stack gives your team the tools it needs to build and manage a pipeline effectively, and to make sure it continues to meet customer needs.
Choosing the right digital tools and services for your broker shop can boost workplace productivity. The most successful tech stacks can streamline all of your processes and help your team increase efficiency. As a result, you may notice improvements in your bottom line soon after implementation and more importantly, happy clients. It may seem tempting to put your money toward any tool that sounds like a great idea, but before you do so, you must figure out the purpose behind your investments.
Think about what you need to operate and manage your pipeline, as well as what’s necessary to reach your long-term business goals. Mortgage brokers should weight a number of factors when considering which software is most appropriate for their business. In the end, any software you decide to use must leverage data in a client focused manner in order to grow your business and provide for a smooth transition throughout the loan process.
4. Maintain and Manage Accurate Data
Because pipeline management decisions are often made based on data, data quality is paramount to the mortgage process. Ensuring accurate and timely data is of utmost importance, and often involves disciplined and rigorous databasing and technology partnerships as discussed earlier. Automation and integration of the LOS, servicing platform, and financial modeling software are important to foster efficiency and to reduce the possibility of human error.
Data is the key to everything in the mortgage industry. In analyzing hard data, you can determine if you are making progress or the business is suffering. A mortgage broker’s internal database should have all the records of the transactions made, the transactions’ date, and with whom the transactions were for. Relying on your ability to accurately monitor all this without the aid of a mortgage CRM software will make things more difficult in the long run.
AIME’s Brokers Are Better Network has partnered with an elite group of streamlined customer relationship management (CRM) tech partners to assist brokers in regards to client engagement and management as they expand their pipelines and close loans more efficiently. With a mortgage CRM software, you don’t have to guess what’s going on with your business; you know exactly what is happening. In the process, your business stands a better chance of survival and even thriving with such data.
Vendor partnerships like LionDesk and Shape Software include capabilities such as a centralized contact database and keeping track of client communications, creating a space for referral opportunities, and loan pipeline management. These partnerships will allow you to achieve perhaps the most important reason you need a CRM system in that you can close more deals and help your customers secure more loans. Of course, every business’s goal is profit, and the right mortgage CRM will ensure you close loans faster and with much less effort than your competition.
5. Explore Continuing Education Programs
The best way that continuing education can contribute to your success is pretty self explanatory, it has to do with your relationship with clients and operating your pipeline in a fashion that builds your referral base. The more knowledgeable you are about various housing industry topics, the more clients will trust your judgment when it’s time to make life-changing decisions. If clients are aware that you participate in CE, they’ll feel confident in your ability to lead them in the right direction. For the purposes of managing your pipeline, the more hours of education you have under your belt, the better prepared you will be.
We are currently operating in an ever-evolving industry. With constant market and trend changes on the regulatory and administrative level, pipeline management is an area that all aspects of the mortgage process impact. That’s why brokers must prioritize continuing education in order to ensure that they are constantly brushing up on important industry tips and best practices. While this may seem like an annoyance, the practice of continuing to be as informed as possible is actually in the best interest of your business in terms of managing your workload.
Newly announced vendor partners like Market Mentor and University of Options will allow you to increase your knowledge of the financial markets and become a greater resource to your clients. Both of these innovations will give brokers the training, insight, and ongoing education to transform themselves from a simple intermediary into a figure that offers stability, wisdom and vision to clients.
Create a Long-Term System That Works
A well-planned mortgage pipeline management program reduces the risk of the pipeline overwhelming even the most experienced of brokers. While preventing all risk is unlikely to occur, taking the necessary steps to prepare is an excellent business strategy. Precautions can also allow you to pivot and adjust based on changes in the market or your organizational needs. While pipeline management can bring cost savings and referrals, ultimately a strong pipeline strategy is only as good as its execution.