MReport November 2021

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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M R EP O RT | 17 FEATURE pipeline are at risk, Russo said. "It is difficult for them to pick up and leave, despite how unhappy they might be in their current situation. Throughout my 20 years in the business, I've never seen anything like this." How to Retain Good Employees N o matter how good the hiring process, how good the corporate environment, how good the company, people will still change jobs. Some who leave may not have been great long- term fits; others may receive offers that don't make financial sense to try to match. However, there will be some who either receive or are likely to receive offers from competitors but whom it makes sense to try to retain. In some ways, the ability to retain officers starts before they ever join a company. Several experts cited the need for good technology and other support as essential. The best loan officers generate a large amount of volume, and a mortgage company needs to be able to support that volume, Buege said. Beyond that, a com- pany must continue to invest in its best people. "We have a tight community, but that doesn't mean the com- munity will stand on its own," Adamo said. "We have to give them the best products; we have to give them state-of-the- art technology, digital processes, reasonable market pricing, and reasonable compensation. We have to be aggressive in search of products available in the market and desired in the market." Adamo also cited good com- munication, an open-door policy, and the availability of personal coaching. Allgood agreed that commu- nication is essential in retaining talent and added that this element was put to the test as the pan- demic resulted in an increased use of remote work. "You need to build relationships with your top talent," Allgood said. "They have to feel appreciat- ed. They need to make sure they are being challenged. You need to talk to them about their overall career path. If they have an ability to grow within the organization, they are less likely to move else- where. If you're the manager, you need to make sure you're staying in touch with them and have candid career discussions with them on a regular basis." Sometimes, loan officers will get a large offer or signing bonus from another lender, but typically, the additional compensation is used to cover up a difference in pricing or lack of support in some other area, Hardwick says. Churchill has one attraction for employees that other firms don't have, Hardwick said—it's a fully employee-owned company, so the lenders are invested in the company's success in multiple ways. The deferred compensation available from the ESOP plan pro- vides a financial incentive to stay with Churchill even if another company offers more money, Hardwick explained. "People build up a lot of stock value and deferred compensation over time. The company has done well over time, and that stock compensation has grown significantly. Hardwick added, "The mort- gage industry is a special thing. DS News is the only publication in the country solely dedicated to providing default servicing professionals with news and content focused on their industry. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Connect with us online at SUBSCRIBE TO THE LEADER IN DEFAULT SERVICING NEWS THEFIVESTARINSTITUTE

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