This blog post comes from Ben DiMeo, Enact’s Senior Sales Consultant. He spends his time helping customers solve business problems by maximizing efficiencies, improving quality, and enhancing the customer experience.
With the current conditions of the mortgage industry and housing market, it’s not a wonder that more people are experiencing difficulties in optimizing their loan origination process and knowing where to focus their energy. However, without tight processes and focus on the lender’s part, borrowers may feel even more strain than they already do.
That’s why those of us in the industry must pursue excellence and diligence to succeed, while also considering how low inventory and rising interest rates may have deterred some borrowers who are hoping to achieve homeownership. We know that this requires hard work and reflection. However, it’s so worth it to help you help your team more effectively execute their work and aid customers.
These concepts don’t necessarily come to everyone naturally, though. With the tools and tips outlined in this post, we can help you start to address these areas for you and your team. And you’ll feel more confident in the work your team is doing, as well as boost productivity. These might look like thorough planning, establishing a roadmap, and segmenting out the tasks at hand to help you begin this journey.
Let’s break it down.
Process Analysis Overview
Because this industry is ever-changing and evolving with its people, products, business models, strategies, and technology, it is a critical to conduct an in-depth review of your origination process every 24-36 months. Stabilizing your process can seem like a complicated task because often there are several versions of your process at any given time.
Setting goals and having expectations is vital to conducting any loan origination or large project. This is not always going to look like what you expect, though. It is critical to know what is actually happening vs. what your policy/procedure states. Having realistic expectation and goals will better prepare you and your team for success.
Use tools and exercises to practice better project management and planning. while also considering the logistics of what it takes to complete tasks. Building roadmaps ahead of time and allowing leeway for the unexpected can help your team reach goals faster and execute quality work.
You can help identify problem areas and target improvement actions for any given process using a tool called process mapping. It allows you to document process “Best Practices” and “Quick Hits.” This tool also enables a team to “see” an entire process from beginning to end. It can allow team members to identify and understand how each function within the process impacts the entirety of it.
Give it a try yourself following the instructions below.
After completing this process mapping exercise, you’ll want to go through the process analysis phase that we outlined in the overview section above. We’ve provided some considerations for you to look for during the process analysis phase:
- Quality – Loan file and Process: reworks, hand-offs, touchpoints, bottlenecks, defects (where and when), value vs non-value-added tasks, in-line process metrics, identification, and use of best practices
- Efficiency – speed, cycle times, productivity, pipeline management, process measurements and controls
- Customer Experience – expectations, communication, touchpoints, consistency, lasting impressions
This exercise may get granular but don’t get overwhelmed! Detail-oriented analysis and using tools you’ve added to your toolkit will ultimately benefit your team and how you conduct business. Nonetheless, it requires extreme focus and determination to get this all done, but where is it best to focus your energy anyway?
Focusing Your Energy
As a manager it can be difficult allocating your time to the right things on a day-to-day basis. Whether you are constantly putting out fires or buried in reports and overdue admin work, there comes a time when it is necessary to take a step back and (re)prioritize what is most important. No matter what, tasks and projects must get done. You’ll need to know where to put your energy because it’s vital to a successful process and/or project management plan.
During this process, it is critical to review the type of work you are engaged in and to measure and understand the overall impact and outcomes at stake. The diagram below can help put this practice in perspective. It can enable you to itemize your tasks and responsibilities so that you are most effective with your time and efforts.
Effective managers focus their energy on what they can influence and control. When in doubt, you can follow these insights to help you better focus your energy and improve your process. And don’t forget to leverage tools we’ve outlined to more productively prep and execute your plans. You’ll likely see an increase in productivity as a result.
Want to Learn More?
Because going the extra mile for our customers is in our DNA, we provide a wealth of resources. If you want to learn more about specific topics or need some extra insight, you can always contact your Enact Sales Rep for more info. They’ll be happy to help you meet your business needs and point you in the right direction.
Source: Ben DiMeo, Enact’s Senior Sales Consultant
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