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Boomerang and Novice Loan Officers

You have likely heard the term “boomerang buyers” referring to homeowners who lost their homes during the recession and are now eligible to purchase again. The concept of boomerang loan officers is not as well-known but should become more and more important with regard to recruiting in the future.

HershmanWith so many loan officers leaving the industry during the recession, there is a potential target of experienced loan officers who have not worked within the industry for some time. The pool of these loan officers is rich, and many have found the world outside of the mortgage business not as attractive as it would have seemed from their point of view. There are many questions you would need to ask when considering boomerang loan officers:

  • How long did they work as a loan officer?
  • How successful were they?
  • What were the circumstances causing them to leave?
  • What are the circumstances that are motivating them to come back?
  • How successful were they in their “outside” ventures and did this experience help them with the skills they need to be successful in this industry? For example, have they increased the size of their personal sphere or other skills such as public speaking?
  • What are their long-term goals? Are they looking for a job because they are not happy, or are they looking for a long-term career?

The process of “boomeranging” raises many issues. However, with the majority of the recruiters within this industry focusing upon experienced candidates with a “book of business,” there is the opportunity to go where fewer recruiters are focusing. With regard to being able to increase your choices, certainly this is an option which could be considered.

You open the possibilities to an even larger pool of candidates when you consider those who are not experienced. Though most companies would love to attract the top producer, in reality many times the choice is between:

  • A high quality novice.
  • A lower quality experienced producer (typically one with bad habits).

In other words, many times the choice will be between someone we have to train, and someone with bad habits we will have to “un-train.” Too many times in the recruitment process, the sales manager makes the choice of the latter because we do not have the necessary training resources, nor the time to attract higher quality experienced producers. Keeping in mind that a candidate without mortgage experience does not necessarily mean that that candidate does not have relevant experience. In other words, not all novice candidates are the same.

The goal for your recruitment plan should really be choices between quality with experience or quality without experience. In reality, good recruitment plans usually have a mix of experienced and novice originators. A plan that is too heavy on either side will typically produce less than ideal results.

We would like to add one final point about novices. Knowing that there is a chance that a novice will not survive even if we do a great job of selection, it makes sense to add these candidates in groups. For one thing, it is much more time efficient to train more than one person at a time. If you have a basic training curriculum, it doesn’t matter if there are two people in a recruiting class or five. In addition, these novices can be paired up with each other for support.

Remember, each new hire should come with skills that may help the others grow. Just because they don’t have mortgage experience does not mean that they are not an expert in sales, technology, marketing, financial investments or other areas.

If you hire rookies one at a time, the process of growth can be slow and inefficient. By the time you finish the process with one and go through another selection process, you may be adding one each year.

Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School – the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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