LAS VEGAS — Credit unions shifting housing finance programs from refinancing existing loans to originating new loans mayl have to fire significant numbers of existing mortgage staff, according to a housing finance consultant.
Pat Sherlock, president of credit union and bank finance consultancy QFS Sales Solutions in Medford, N.J., told executives attending the American Credit Union Mortgage Association's annual meeting Monday that researchers have identified nine traits that top producing mortgage originators share.
The good news is that six of the traits can be developed or taught, but the bad news is that the three most unique to mortgage originators are developed early and are really not something that can be developed later, Sherlock said.
The nine traits are energy, follow through, optimism, resilience, assertiveness, sociability, self-reliance, low expressiveness and positivity about people.
“None of these are terribly surprising,” Sherlock told the meeting “and the first six are those you might find in other sales industries. But the last three are really crucial to mortgage origination – and they can't be taught.”
By self-reliance, Sherlock explained that she meant someone who would not just wait for leads to come to them but would instead take the steps to seek out and find new business. The quality of low expressiveness doesn't mean someone who is inarticulate as much as someone who “doesn't have the gift of the gab” and is more willing to listen to a potential borrower before they speak, she explained, adding positivity about people is the quality of not letting personality traits or foibles keep them from reaching the goal.
Sherlock offered her perspectives to help credit union executives better hone their hiring and interview skills and to better learn how to identify good loan originators. She warned the executives against assuming that someone from a large volume lender such as a large bank would necessarily be the kind of originator they needed.
“A lot of the really good originators are probably staying with their lenders,” she noted, adding that “years in the business does not necessarily make a really good originator.”
ACUMA is holding its meeting at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas through Tuesday. There were 350 executives registered with roughly 270 of them from about 170 credit unions or housing finance CUSOs, the organization said.