MReport October 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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22 | M R EP O RT FEATURE every month, nominate someone within our company who is going through a difficult time and another person who deserves recognition for going above and beyond expectations. Our goal is to make sure no one feels isolated during the pandemic and to find additional ways to connect and show kindness to one another. Just recently, for instance, we gave a gift to one of our processors in Arizona who was going through a tough time and needed a lot of love sent her way. We also demonstrate our culture by putting out videos on LinkedIn that show candidates or anyone who wants to know more about the company the things that are important to us. For example, one of our messages is centered around how our first priority is always our people, and then our borrowers. We know our customers are best served when our people are healthy and happy. Part of a company's culture includes the efforts they make to improve people's lives beyond serving their mortgage needs. For example, our employees have been involved in a number of charitable activities, such as bringing masks, food, and other items to people experiencing homelessness as well as foster parents in the areas we serve. One last word about culture— it's not something that companies can fake. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, how can you ask people to join you? What Tools Do Loan Officers Have to Excel? W hile making sure our people feel valued and continually improving our company culture are important, loan officers do need very specific things in order to grow their business. Technology and fast closing times are two tools that every loan officer needs to suc- ceed, especially during the current lending climate. If you don't have direct lending capabilities or your technology does not allow you to get to the closing table on time, that's a real problem. The best lenders out there have very sophisticated loan origination technologies that can keep pace with the extraordinary number of changes happening in our industry with rates, product guidelines, and new regulations. These changes need to be made in a heartbeat, especially during periods of high volume. When a recruit asks me about our ability to close loans, I'll provide numbers during our Zoom call that show how we're able to close loans within 30 days and what our processors and underwriters do to make it happen. Another aspect of technology that has become critical while we're all social distancing is the ability to provide video conferencing and mobile access to loan status information, hybrid closings, and, where possible, full eClosings with remote notarizations. Especially at times of great uncertainty—which is the new normal in the current lending environment—it's critical that lenders miss no deadlines and are able to stand by their closing dates while keeping their employees and their customers safe and healthy throughout the entire transaction. Lenders that plan and have the right tools in place will find that recruiting during a pandemic doesn't have to be as hard as it looks. In our case, we haven't seen any drop-off in our recruiting efforts since March—in fact, we are hiring more talented loan officers than ever, and we're on pace to achieve record loan volume this year, too. Ultimately, how well a company recruits during the pandemic gives those looking for a new place to call home a key reason why a lender might be a great fit. Which at the end of the day is what it's all about. . STEPHANIE TREUSEIN is the VP of Production and National Director for Talent Acquisition for Cherry Creek Mortgage, a leading independent mortgage company licensed in 33 states. Treusein has more than 20 years' mortgage industry experience with expertise in wholesale lending, warehouse management, community- based underwriting, and branch management. She can be reached at Our goal is to make sure no one feels isolated during the pandemic and to find additional ways to connect and show kindness to one another.

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