Millennials Move into Mortgage: How to Prepare for the Next Generation
Fannie Mae’s Q2 2019 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey shows that, after improving consumer-facing technology and streamlining business processes, improving talent management and leadership is the top concern for mortgage lenders.
In addition, many people who selected “other” as a top priority noted that they were focused on recruiting and hiring Loan Officers and other sales staff.
That’s not surprising. Today, the average age of Loan Originators is between 46 and 47, which is about four years older than the US workforce overall. More importantly, opportunities for Loan Officers are expected to grow at about 11 percent between now and 2026 – more than 50 percent faster than the growth for all occupations.
In all, this means it’s time for mortgage lenders to get serious about recruiting and training the next generation of Loan Originators and Loan Advisors. Here are three strategies for attracting, recruiting, and retaining the next generation of top-performing Loan Officers.
1. Emphasize Meaning
It’s no secret that salespeople are motivated by monetary rewards, but Millennial workers are also driven by meaning.
And while Millennials are often singled out for this desire to have meaningful work, they’re not alone: more than 90 percent of American workers say they’d take a pay cut for a job that offered more meaning – and not just a token pay cut, either. A study by Harvard Business Review found that Americans are willing to sacrifice nearly a quarter of their future lifetime earnings for a position that they feel is meaningful and rewarding.
Even better: the study also found that employees who find meaning in their work are 69 percent less likely to quit in the next six months and tend to stay in their positions 7.4 months longer on average, which means meaning translates to lower turnover costs.
Still, it’s unrealistic to suggest that you ask your Loan Advisors to accept a smaller paycheck in exchange for more rewarding work. So try this: work with your Millennial employees to focus on the longer term and the bigger picture.
Help them see a future for themselves at your company – a future in which they’re…
- Supported in their initiatives.
- Empowered to do their best work.
- Empowered to make a difference in customers’ lives.
- Able to contribute in a meaningful way to the company’s growth.
- Able to consistently advance their career.
That kind of focus can help you not just attract LoanAdvisors but also retain them – something that’s historically proven tricky for many lenders: the average tenure for Loan Officers is just 2.29 years. That’s well below the country’s overall average job tenure of 4.4 years.
2. Let Your Loan Advisors Ditch the Office
When you streamline your central office operations, you reduce the need for brick and mortar and long-term leases. That resultant savings can be hugely important to your bottom line as competition intensifies from online lenders and other fintech startups.
The decentralized workplace is also an excellent way to empower young Loan Advisors to find meaning in their work. Millennial Loan Originators are digital natives. They’re used to conducting work on the go, from smartphones and laptops and tablets, in coffee shops and at coworking spaces.
If you haven’t paid much attention to the phenomenon of coworking, consider these numbers:
- In 2007, when the oldest Millennials were 26, there were just 14 documented coworking spaces in the United States.
- By 2017, there were more than 11,000.
- By 2020, analysts expect 26,000 spaces where 3.8 million people work.
Coworking is becoming the new normal for Millennial workers. And that’s actually a good thing for mortgage lenders. Empowering your Loan Advisors to work remotely means they have the ability to work close to wherever they need to be in a given day, whether that’s an open house or a meeting with a potential partner.
Plus, because of their very nature, coworking spaces offer endless opportunities to network and make important connections – a crucial part of any Loan Advisor’s job.
3. Empower Your Team with the Right Technology
Of course, remote loan origination won’t work without the right technology. The dream of the Loan Advisor who rarely checks in at the office will remain a dream as long as outdated and disjointed systems demand constant check-ins on the status of various elements of the process.
To close customers effectively on location, Loan Advisors must have a system that lets them run credit, qualify borrowers, check DTI, pull products and pricing and lock rates, present loan scenarios, run DU/LP with a single click, get borrowers’ e-consent, deliver disclosures, order a home appraisal, and let borrowers post payment – all at the point of sale.
For those things to happen, Loan Advisors must have access to a system that integrates multiple data sources on the back end. And Millennial Loan Advisors are likely to be particularly insistent on this front: 71 percent of them say a potential employer’s use of technology influences whether they’ll work there.
To attract and retain the top talent from the Millennial generation, mortgage lenders will have to offer the best technology available. Without that, Millennial Loan Advisors will likely become frustrated and end up with a competitor that does prioritize technology.
Plan for the Digital Future
Cloudvirga’s system empowers Loan Advisors of every generation to run the entire mortgage process digitally – without disrupting existing workflows. Because our software sits on top of existing loan origination software, it lets experienced Loan Advisors maintain workflows they’re comfortable with while significantly speeding up the overall process.
It also communicates to younger Loan Advisors that you value consumer experience and are willing to invest in the tech solutions that can deliver the best results for your customer. This, in turn, empowers Loan Advisors to spend more energy on the most meaningful part of their work: making and building relationships with those they serve.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Cloudvirga can help you attract and retain the next generation of Loan Advisors, request a demo today.
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