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Processors Discuss Best Work Strategies

This month we asked five originators to share their strategies for creating an effective originator/processor relationship.

I believe creating an effective originator/processor relationship requires three things: excellent communication, a pre-established process that keeps both parties accountable for their tasks and giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Excellent communication comes in many forms, from a set-up page outlining the file in summary to catch any nuances that may not be obvious; to calling the borrower to introduce yourself, review expectations and program; and a call or short meeting with the LO to ensure accuracy and confirm assumptions.

With a pre-established process, the file is put together the same way every time, the LO is expected to provide this file as complete as possible. Processing steps have a timeline associated with it, and in the event the LO must step in, a timeline is established to ensure the loan closes on time and accurately. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt is also important. Processors don’t dawdle to make the LO look bad, they are hustling at every moment of the day to keep things on schedule and on time. Loan officers don’t give a “pile of poop” to processors if they are lazy or they don’t know what they are doing. If both sides give each other the benefit of the doubt, it goes a long way to a good working relationship.

Crystal Holler
The Allen Mortgage & Real Estate Group
Minnetonka, Minn.

The system that I have implemented and designed with my originator is I believe the only way to run our business of $100 million annual production. The originator is the life blood of the system and it is my job to ensure that we always exceed the expectations of our clients. I need to shelter him from all the trivialities that can bog him down and prevent him from taking on additional business and offering enhanced customer service. When he has taken the application and suggested where we place the loan, his part is done. I facilitate all the communication with the borrower for imformation, appraisal, title, payoff work, locking the loan, shopping for the best product and such. I have to work the hours necessary to ensure we get our loan docs to title five to eight days early. That’s how we impress our Realtor partners. We communicate constantly using proprietary software to ensure no one is out of the loop including the listing agent and that we rarely have any last minute surprises. We were blessed to do the volume of purchases we did last year with my LO, his assistant and myself.

Mutual respect, hard work and dedication lead to all great things. A processor must be willing to accept any challenge. You have work until it is all done; there are no set hours, no five o’clock punch out.

Ryan McDonough
Security Mortgage Corporation
Scottsdale, Ariz.

It seems like a simple concept, but in a busy office communication is the most effective strategy. When I began processing for my current loan officer, I approached her and made an appointment to discuss our working relationship. I process for four other LOs as well and each has different expectations. So openly discussing her expectations and how we could build a system that would work for each of us was key. Luckily, trial and error are great things! Over time we have discovered what works and what doesn’t.

The one factor that remained true in each and every loan that was originated and processed was communication. We speak daily and are constantly e-mailing or voice mailing one another. Even though we are both busy, we take the time to return calls and e-mails promptly. Over time we have developed our relationship to be a “team.” Agents have seemed to notice this teamwork and like what they see. Not only do they send us their clients, but have become ours as well. We have many agents that utilize us for their own personal loans, which is a true compliment to how she and I have built a working relationship!

Leslie Champion
B.F. Saul Mortgage Company
Newport News, Va.

I think the most important factor in the relationship between an originator and their processor is teamwork. Both have to want to achieve the same goal and do what it takes to get there. If you have one without the other, it does not work as well as it would if both were on the same page. By working as a team, the process will be more streamlined and there will be less room for oversights. A level of comfort between the two also helps, knowing both sides can depend on one another to be responsible for certain tasks. The processor will need to take a more proactive role than maybe they have before and accept a few more responsibilities in their daily role, but the end result will be what both sides want, which is better productivity and closed loans.

Jennifer Taisey
Chase Home Finance
Vancouver, Wash.

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