Michael Hughes: The Importance of Lending Technology in the Recruitment Process

PERSON OF THE WEEK: As mortgage volume continues to shrink, lenders are cutting staff and freeing up excess capacity. However, they are still aggressively recruiting for top sales talent.

Getting the attention of top LOs is challenging. Getting them to jump ship can be even more difficult.

To find out what it takes to attract the best LOs, Mortgage Orb recently sat down with Michael Hughes, associate manager of sales effectiveness at Cadence Mortgage and a former loan officer.

Q: How long have you been a mortgage LO and what was your experience?

Hughes: I joined Mortgage Cadence in May of 2021, but for the previous seven years I was an LO at a regional bank. I also enjoyed the relationships I built with my clients. In fact, I was getting credit right up until the day I started here. At the time, technology was playing such a large role in our work as a loan originator that I began to consider moving into technology sales and looked at a variety of industries.

After meeting the team at Mortgage Cadence, it was clear that this was the place for me. I made the move at the right time because with volumes starting to normalize, lenders have more time to evaluate future technology investments. As they do that, they’re finding that better lending technology is helping them attract better teams, and so we’re seeing a lot more interest from lenders.

Q: What exactly are lenders now looking for in a loan system?

Hughes: In many ways, lenders are looking for the same things they always have: a modern system based on the latest technologies that gives them the flexibility to power their workflows and business processes, rather than adopting anything that the developer has built into the platform. They want the power to work with any vendor they easily choose, not just LOS developer partners. They want the power to create better processes that ultimately remove friction from the business and speed up loan closings.

But in addition to all of that, we’re talking to more lenders who are focusing on the LO experience. They are considering LOS a recruiting tool – and rightly so.

When borrowing, I was always looking for tools that would make it easier to find business and better satisfy my clients’ needs en route to a smooth closing.

Lenders serious about recruiting industry leaders are taking a closer look at new loan origination technology.

Q: What does it really take to get the attention of LOs?

Hughes: This is a good question and one that I think more lenders are talking about with their sales teams right now. Good company support has always been important. Good managers are a huge draw, culture is so important, sometimes even more important than the initial compensation plan.

But for most LOs, the technology stack the company offers them can make or break the deal. An LO will want to have autonomy, but ultimately it will come down to what makes the job easier.

Ultimately, if an LO can close more loans and still have time to be home with family or friends—and do the things they want to do with their lives—this is the company they’ll want to work for. work This requires technology.

Q: In terms of functionality, what does an LO need to accomplish this goal?

Hughes: Since LOs all have different approaches to how they build their business, it’s difficult to create a one-size-fits-all approach. The real answer is that LOs need whatever it takes to empower them to do the best job possible of taking borrowers through their process to the closing table.

Q: Do LOs today expect recruiters to understand mortgage technology?

Hughes: So I think. The LO that a lender is trying to recruit will have questions about the company’s technology—and if the lender can’t answer those questions over the phone, they’ll never get them to come in for a visit.

But that doesn’t mean everyone in HR needs to understand the lender’s technology stack. When I worked in banking, I was often called in to sit in on a call with a potential recruit and explain what we were using in our days. This helped them get a complete picture of what they could be getting into when switching organisations.

This helped them hear all about the culture and the brand, but the question always arose: how easy is it to get a new loan on the platform and keep the borrower satisfied?

Every LO knows that they won’t grow their pipeline and have avid fans without technology that helps do that.

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