If you’ve read my first report for BlackFin Group on Productivity you know that I believe productivity is the path to profitability and greater market share. My past research proves it; the future won’t be any different.
How do lenders achieve greater productivity? Portions of the recipe for success can also be found in my first paper. In essence, though, it takes a deep dive into the People, Process, Technology triangle. We usually see it depicted as:
The standard isosceles triangle. All sides and angles equal. It is presented this way, I guess, because doing so is easy.
I see it differently. Trouble with the isosceles view is that I don’t see people, process and technology as equal partners in the approach to success. I see it this way:
That’s right. My view is obtuse, as in an obtuse triangle does a better job of describing how effort should be apportioned. People and process deserve the effort. Trouble is both have taken a backseat to technology and the unexpected appearance of the largest refinance boom in the history of mortgage lending. The latter is descendent. The former needs to be put in its place. Technology is not a panacea, it only solves problems when the problems it is intended to solve are well-defined. That’s why people and process are so important. People solve problems, mortgage problems in this case, with process. Then people implement newly defined processes on technology.
With volume decreasing it’s time to take a pause, set a few goals for the next several years of purchase lending. I’d suggest two goals to get started. First, pick a productivity level. Between 4 and 5 closed loans per employee per month is a good place to start. Making productivity your first goal requires setting two other important goals: the number of loans that will close annually plus the number of people needed to close those loans.
The second goal to set now, before the first quarter is over, is to review and redefine processes that support the productivity goal AND support purchase money lending. I’d make goals one and two the goals for the month of March. Get busy.
By April 1 processes that support purchase lending over the next two years will be established. This leads to the next goal, and a question: on what technology are the new processes to be implemented? Not a trick question. To get going they need to be implemented on the technology you have, not the technology you wish you had or the technology you might have in the future.
This does not mean shopping for new technology is warranted. It might be. But only if you keep this thought in mind: all technology is a compromise. Some platforms do some things better than others. And vice versa. Searching for perfection is the search for the Loch Ness monster. Or the holy grail. Or the fountain of youth. Save your energy: the perfect is the enemy of the good.
Finding the new ‘Good’ is where BlackFin Group comes in. And by the new Good I mean staffing models, purchase lending processes and LOS selection. We’ve got the professionals – we’ve all made a loan or several – and we’ve got the tools. Another perspective, especially when the stakes are as high as they are now, is an essential. Not a nice to have, a gotta have.
Give us a call. Drop us a line. Download my Productivity Report. You’ll be glad you did.