Deeper Thoughts
Compliance = Revenue Growth – April 27th, 2021

Issue #70:Compliance = Revenue Growth

We’ve talked here before about the importance of compliance. We’ve also talked about how important it is to actively monitor your team’s interactions with clients and consumers, not only to avoid a nasty “gotcha’” from an enforcement agency, but also to see how well your team is presenting the brand and, ideally, selling. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Take the word (or words) of your own front lines. 

You’ll recall that our Mortgage Sentinel service is, in essence, a secret shopper monitoring service. Our clients retain us to place calls to their loan officers and customer-facing staff while posing as potential borrowers searching for mortgages. We present as all kinds of credit profiles and demographics. The calls are recorded and analyzed. Then the management team is apprised of the results. 

Many times, we even replay some of the recordings for them. The looks on our clients’ faces, at times, tell the whole story.

Turns out that more than a few of our Mortgage Sentinel clients are bringing us in to dot their compliance “I’s” and cross their regulatory “t’s,” only to realize they’ve got training and, possibly, personnel challenges ahead of them. We’ve been surprised at the number of COO’s and CEO’s who’ve told us, essentially, that they were stunned by what they heard. It’s not just because of compliance risk.

Never mind the compliance gaffes, we’re being told. That’s bad enough. But they’re leaving all kinds of potential revenue on the proverbial table at the point of contact. Failure by the loan officer to even ask about what the caller is looking for (beyond a mortgage of some sort). Failure to present loan products that might fit the caller perfectly. Rude behavior—such as asking about a caller’s credit score before even asking her name!

Certainly, many lenders don’t have challenges that extreme. But that doesn’t mean there’s no improvement to be found—even for high-performing clients. Take, for example, our client Lafayette FCU, which found this kind of consistent, proactive monitoring to be extremely helpful—even just for standardizing they way they interact with prospects. According to Peter Benjamin, CMB, SVP, Mortgage Lending, Mortgage Sentinel’s approach “helped us obtain a better perspective into the conversations our LO’s were having. Using their feedback, we were able to implement several changes and take steps to improve call standardization.”

Look. There’s no doubt that the recent refi bonanza might have forced some lenders to rush through the hiring process just to keep their sales funnels manned. Maybe there wasn’t always time to provide the levels of training they’d normally would have. But we all know that volume is about to decline and that a much more competitive purchase market is upon us. Just hiring someone with a book of business may not be a bad start, but it’s not enough anymore. 

And unless you’re monitoring their performance beyond their final numbers, how do you know how well they’re converting, anyway?

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