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Industry Changes Challenge New Hirings

Hiring has become more challenging in today's market environment, according to Ron Vaimberg, president of Ron Vaimberg International here.

But understanding the challenges is where "great opportunity" lies, he said.

The mortgage industry is not "the industry to be in" anymore, now that the wave has slowed down and this has "definitely made recruiting more of a challenge," said Mr. Vaimberg. He said recruiting is "harder now than it has been for many years."

Companies are being "a little more frugal in their decisions" and "not giving away the store." In contrast to times in the past when commissions have been "outrageous," today the market is "starting to see commission splits declining a little bit," said Mr. Vaimberg, whose company provides training in the wholesale and retail mortgage industries for LOs, managers and account executives.

He said loan officers today are moving from company to company in a way that they did not during the previous refinancing boom. During the boom, "nobody moved. Nobody wanted to give up their pipeline," said Mr. Vaimberg.

Today, LOs are moving and some, who maintain that it's the company's fault that they're now not producing rather than their own, are "bringing their bad habits with them" that didn't show up during the refi wave, he said. "Unfortunately," he said, the same frugality that affects commissions means many companies "don't have the budgets for proper training" which adds to the challenges in the market where new training may be needed because "traditional marketing concepts are not nearly as effective as they used to be."

Mr. Vaimberg said he has a three-step plan for addressing the challenges in this marketing environment and building an effective sales team.

The first is "having a structured training system," he said. Among the things this training needs to cover is the marketing in terms of generating effective leads, converting them and knowing the mortgage business.

He gave the example of Realtors as a traditional source of leads as an example of what he teaches in the first step of this training. Rather than relying on "begging" Realtors for leads, Mr. Vaimberg said there are ways of using one's own lead generation strategies to be in control of the client relationship. He said an originator can, for example, volunteer to help someone in a "for sale by owner" home-selling situation by perhaps showing them how to run an effective open house and telling them how much the house is worth while explaining that an originator - while not licensed to sell homes - can provide other forms of support. He noted that at the open house the originator also has the opportunity to meet others looking for homes, putting him or her in a good position to control the leads.

The second of the three steps in Mr. Vaimberg's plan for building an effective sales team is to have "standards and accountability." He said an example of this can be making weekly meetings more than a place for complaints, but rather events where roadblocks can be overcome, sales team members' progress can be measured against standards and they can be held accountable in that regard.

Mr. Vaimberg said the third step in building an effective sales team is "ongoing recruiting," so that those who are "not willing to adapt" to the company's standards can leave. He said employees' individual attitudes should determine how many chances they get to try to meet company standards before they are asked to find employment elsewhere. (c) 2006 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com