Can you believe it’s early November? Somehow, the holiday season always creeps up on us. One minute we’re attending a beginning-of-summer barbecue, the next minute we’re putting away Halloween costumes, and then we blink and we realize our New Year’s resolutions are already blown and it’s Feb. 1!
Don’t let this happen to you yet again. While it is ideal to start planning for the new year around Labor Day, it’s not too late to get a jump start on 2019 – as long as the holiday festivities don’t derail you! That starts with plotting your business plan. Pick three key areas to focus on. Perhaps top-line growth, customer service and productivity.
Now, let’s get specific. Nail down real facts and figures. What are the outcomes you’re targeting? If you can identify the results you’re looking for, it’s easier to create a path to get there.
The following examples should shed some light on how you might go about some solid business planning.
Top-line growth: increase production 20% over 2018
In order to increase production, you have to either close more loans or close higher value loans. In terms of the path to get there, if you’re a branch manager, will you bring on more loan originators or will you work with your team to have each person close more loans or increase the dollar value of those loans. This is the point at which you decide on the plan and then work that plan to get to the desired outcome.
If you decide you’re going to bring on more loan originators, how will you do that? You’ll have to have some sort of recruiting plan in place. How many originators do you need to accomplish your goal? How will you recruit? Will you make outbound calls, attend events and at what volume and frequency?
Customer service: We would like to understand our current client satisfaction scores, so we can understand where the opportunity for improvement exists.
In order to measure customer satisfaction, you need a process to collect that data. You might do this via third party client interviews or you might ask your clients to submit online reviews. The first step is identifying how you’ll collect the data and then you can determine how you’ll improve those scores over time.
Productivity: Many mortgage companies are looking to technology to assist with productivity improvements. Where is there opportunity to improve how your loans are serviced today?
For some branches or loan originators, maybe it’s time to look at mobile apps or other software that can assist in improving productivity. Mobile applications can speed up the loan application and communication process significantly. Rather than just calculating days to close, see if you can break down other pieces of the process into something measurable to see how you can improve the level of productivity.
These may not be your exact goals or paths to achieving them, but you get the point. A goal without a plan is just a dream, as we all know. Identify the top three things you really want to accomplish this year and get to task. These items should be important enough that, if you only check these three things off your list all year, you’ll still be one happy individual.
Then begin plotting their courses before you find yourself running on a treadmill, full speed into 2019! That’s less than two months away, after all!
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