Steps to Set Up a Successful Mentorship Program

The purpose of a mentorship program is to facilitate field training for new hires that are not experienced so that they will receive the support they need to transition into productive members of the sales force.

Dave Hershman

Having a mentorship program will also relieve the burden of branch managers who are then freed up to recruit additional producers and provides management field training/experience to senior-level producers.

Mentees must be placed into a mentorship program within one week of employment with the company. In order to be exempt from the need of being mentored, the new hire must have:

  • More than six months of experience originating mortgages
  • Closed more than 20 loans
  • Passed the company’s Basic Competency Test

The mentor must accept the responsibility of mentoring the new employee. In other words, it is a voluntary program for the mentor, but not for the mentee. The selection of a mentor is of vital importance. The mentor must not only be certified, but they must also:

  • Have the time to take on that mentee
  • Be given notice so that they can prepare
  • Be given the information necessary to learn the needs of the mentee

The mentor must meet with the person who recruited the new employee and/or the supervisor of that employee in order to obtain a background on the person. If possible, the mentee would be included in this meeting. At this point the needs and responsibilities of each party should be covered.

Mentees must also take the company-sponsored basic training class during the first month of employment. It is preferable they take this class before entering the mentorship program.

The person who taught the basic class must meet with the mentor to go over the needs of the particular mentee. This regional trainer would also be responsible for making sure that the mentorship program is administered.

The mentee will need to participate in a field training program. This program will contain two personalized components. The development of an individual marketing plan and an individual education plan and should include the following:

  1. Going over loan applications with different loan officers
  2. Listening to lead calls fielded by different loan officers
  3. Role playing exercises
  4. Attending settlements
  5. Spending time with processors, closers and underwriters, going over their functions and learning how a loan officer can affect their service delivered by the organization
  6. Meeting with vendors to find out how they can best serve their clients–for example, title companies, an appraiser and/or credit repair company.

The mentor should meet with the mentee a minimum of one time per week to:

  • Answer any questions from the previous week
  • Go over the progress of the field training plan
  • Go over the progress of the marketing plan
  • Go over the marketing results of the previous week and expected actions and goals for the coming week
  • Make sure company policies are followed, such as obtaining approval for marketing materials

If there is more than one mentee being mentored by the mentor, it is encouraged that this is accomplished in a group meeting one-time per week.

The mentor will make sure all steps of the field-training program are completed by the mentee. These steps must be certified as complete within 90 days of hire. The mentee must be made to understand that their long-term success is dependent upon completing these tasks.

In addition, they cannot move out of the mentorship program and/or increase their commission levels until the program is completed. Management has to approve any extensions of the mentorship program if it exceeds the six loan level and 90-day period. Employees cannot mentor more than two mentees at any one time, with the only exception being full-time company trainers.

If the mentee is not licensed and is not working for a federally chartered institution, a plan needs to be put in place for them to undergo the required license preparation training and to prepare for the test.

It is expected that the mentee will be producing during the mentorship program…assuming they are licensed.

The mentor is responsible for:

  • Preparing the mentee for all meetings, including role playing
  • Going over all leads referred to the mentee
  • Reviewing all loan applications in detail and directing any adjustments that need to be made.
  • Performing status on the mentee’s pipeline on a weekly basis
  • Directing follow-up activities, including settlement and post settlement

The mentee will be terminated from the mentorship program and therefore employment at the company if they do not follow-up required training tasks and to not originate the required number of loans in the first 90 days of the program.

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 www.OriginationPro.com and he can be reached at dave@hershmangroup.com.

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