By Dave Hershman, Senior Vice President, Sales of Weichert Financial
A good manager has his/her eyes open for the signs that a loan officer is not going to make it so that adjustments can be made early in the process or the decision to end the relationship can be made easier.
What are these signs?
- They come to you for questions when they can easily find the answers themselves. Loan officers need to be resourceful and think on their feet. If you have to hold their hand, that’s a bad sign.
- They never come to you. This is a sign that they might be independent, or they may not be working or forceful enough to ask for answers. If they are too shy to ask for help, they are likely to shy to ask for business.
- They are always in the office. Some use the office as a refuge from having to go out and market their business. Some will use a pipeline of “one or two” loans as an excuse to stay and babysit those loans.
- They are never in the office. If they are never in the office and don’t show up for meetings, this is a sign that they are not working. There should be a balance between being in the office and being out on the street.
- They act like you need to make them successful. They come to you to pay for their software, training, leads, etc. They have no concept that they are investing in a business. Top producers act as CEOs of their own business. Mediocre producers go to a job every day.
- They constantly make excuses as to why they are not producing. There is always a story of why it is not happening. Yet, others in the same company are overcoming these obstacles.
- They are working for 30 days and don’t bring in one loan and have no leads. They are either not going out and meeting anyone, or they are not closing. Your job is to find out quickly what the issue is.
Even before you get to the firing stage, it is likely that you have ignored these signs. The cost of retaining poor performers represents your greatest impediment. A manager tends to spend up to 80% of his or her time supervising the wrong people and the opportunity costs incurred are very significant.
The key is early identification, which gives you the ability to create a plan to get them on the right track. If they don’t move in the right direction, then you will need to cut your losses and move on.