The mortgage industry is a highly competitive industry and successful loan officers must be driven in order to rise above the competition and reach the success they desire. This requires hard work and dedication that, unless balanced with personal time, can quickly lead to exhaustion, a loss of motivation, and ultimately, burnout.
As a loan officer, success is bound to be your priority, but you must also take the necessary steps throughout your workday that will help prevent burnout.
- As a loan officer, you wear many hats. On an average day, a loan officer may find themselves working as a chief marketing officer, an educator, and a project coordinator.
- Trying to do too much, not taking time away from work, or using outdated technology are some of the few reasons that loan officers burn out and turn to other career options.
- Making changes to how you work, such as changing your primary focus, bringing on new team members, upgrading your technology, and taking time away from work can help loan officers avoid burnout.
A day in the life of a mortgage loan officer
As a mortgage loan officer, you play an integral role in the real estate process by directly helping borrowers purchase their dream homes. While this work can be very rewarding in that sense, it can also be very challenging. While day-to-day work may include finalizing loans and giving the keys to a new homeowner, it will also include so much more. While every loan officer’s day is unique in how they work their business, day-to-day work is likely to include the following aspects.
Networking and nurturing
The mortgage industry is all about developing and nurturing relationships, both with colleagues and referral partners as well as with borrowers and potential borrowers. Networking with other professionals, such as real estate agents, helps to build your referral network which in turn feeds your success. Networking can include simple meetings to co-hosting open houses.
Nurturing relationships, whether with previous or potential clients, helps to build your mortgage company’s brand and your bottom line. Daily tasks that help nurture relationships can include social media management and engagement, personally meeting with clients, hosting mortgage seminars, and much more.
In order to achieve success and meet your business goals, you need a steady flow of leads. A regular part of a loan officer’s daily work often focuses on marketing and lead generation. This can include everything from website maintenance, the creation of new marketing campaigns, social media posts and engagement, email follow-ups and phone calls, and much more.
Moving a borrower from loan application to closing is an essential role of a loan officer. While this may sound like an easy process, the fact is a loan officer or mortgage loan originator must gather all the necessary paperwork and coordinate with a processing assistant, realtors, underwriters, or other financial institutions and lenders. If you currently have multiple closings in the works, this may mean you are juggling multiple things at once, all with a timely deadline.
As a mortgage loan officer or mortgage broker, you often play the role of educator as well. While many borrowers may have some level of understanding when it comes to the loan origination process, others, such as first-time buyers, do not know where to start. Part of your role as a loan officer is to educate your clients on the process, often walking them through each step.
In addition, the mortgage industry is constantly changing, and as a loan officer, it is essential that you stay updated on industry trends and regulations. In this case, a loan officer becomes the student by attending continuing education courses or seminars.
Why do loan officers quit?
In order to help you avoid loan officer burnout, it is important to understand some of the major factors that often contribute to burnout in the mortgage business.
Taking on the world
Imagine for a moment that you are a clothes designer who is passionate about designing and making clothes. You decide to move forward and build your own independent business to sell your clothes. However, once you open your doors, your daily work must now focus on marketing, business management, and bookkeeping. You no longer have the time you desire to focus on the part of the business you love. Now, look at your workday as a mortgage professional. Are you able to focus on the areas of the job that you love or are you spending more time on other areas?
Not taking time off
When was the last time you took a day off? Or even an evening? Do you leave the office only to get home and spend the evening networking or answering client questions? Do you reserve the weekends for co-hosting open houses with referral partners? Not allowing time off to take care of yourself is a quick road to burnout.
A lack of support
Support, whether from team members or upper management, goes a long way in empowering people to succeed at their job. If you lack support or do not work within a team, you are more likely to struggle with burnout as you have no one to turn to for help or to voice concerns.
Many entering their first year as new loan officers complain about a lack of support and training when it comes to working as a loan officer. If you are a mortgage company owner and are looking to improve your loan officer retention, it is important to help new loan officers feel supported and that they understand the industry.
Dealing with outdated technology
In today’s technology-based world, you have the ability to streamline and even automate many daily tasks that keep you away from your main business focus. If you are still using spreadsheets and paper and pen, you may be fighting a losing battle and burnout is just around the corner.
A lack of boundaries
While nurturing relationships and being available for your clients when they need you is often essential in the mortgage industry, there is a limit and boundaries must be set with both clients and colleagues. Being tied to your phone or email 24/7 can quickly lead to burnout.
7 tips on how to avoid burnout
Now that you have a clearer picture of what may contribute to loan officer burnout, what can you do about it? Here we look at some top tips that can help you better manage your day and allow for time away from work while still working toward meeting your business goals and avoiding burnout.
- Identify what you need: This can be both what you need at work, such as support or the number of closing loans you need each week, or away from work, such as a day or two each week to step away and recharge.
- Consider expanding your team: If you have the ability, consider adding team members that can help complete parts of your daily tasks, such as a marketing professional to handle your marketing and lead generation or additional new loan officers that focus on specific loan products, such as FHA loans and mortgage refinance, that allow you each to specialize in certain types of mortgage loans.
- Set goals: Take the time each week to set weekly goals, as well as more long-term goals. Determine what needs to be done to achieve those goals and move forward with them in mind.
- Create a schedule: Create a daily schedule and stick to it. Think about your current daily routine and what works and what doesn’t and schedule around that. For example, if you are a morning person, schedule your most complex tasks in the morning, if possible. Set aside specific times for meeting with clients, phone calls, marketing, and emails throughout the day. Don’t forget to schedule breaks for yourself throughout the day. Even if it is just 10 minutes in the morning or afternoon to take a quick walk, this gives you some personal downtime.
- Set boundaries: While nurturing relationships is key to your success as a loan officer, so is time for yourself. When it comes to creating your schedule, make sure to define clear boundaries for both homebuyers and colleagues. For example, if you work from 8 am to 5 pm each day, then list those hours as your working hours and stick to them. When you end the day, end the day and do not take work home.
- Upgrade your technology: If you are still running your business with spreadsheets and a pen and paper, it is time to take the plunge and invest in some much-needed technology, such as a mortgage industry-specific CRM that can not only help you manage your customers and leads but also offer automation solutions that can help ease your daily tasks.
- Provide support to new loan officers: In order to help reduce new loan officer burnout and improve loan officer retention, it is important to provide quality support and an educational system that provides them with the tools they need to succeed.
Creating a balance to avoid burnout
Becoming a loan officer is about helping borrowers and homeowners navigate the home-buying process and acquiring the home loan they need to move into their new home. Avoiding burnout as a loan officer is about creating a working balance between work and personal life, as well as adding the tools needed to make the most out of each work day.