A study released by Mortgage Success Source sought to identify the best practices of top performing loan originators (LOs) and what distinguished them from the average producers. The results, which found that the top 15 percent of LOs produced seven times the loan volume of average producers, indicated that the separation was due to the difference in habits and activities moreso than other factors.
According to the survey, there was little difference between the opportunities available to top producers versus average producers. The top producers were not found to be better trained or more experienced. There was not found to be a difference in compensation. Also, top producers did not report working longer hours than their average producing counterparts. The distinction came down to work habits.
The top one-third of producers averaged over $30 million in originations in the preceding 12 months, compared to $10 million of the average producers. The top third spend more time, one-third of their time, on customer acquisition and retaining relationships with prospects, whereas the average producers only spent one-quarter of their time on these activities.
These efforts combined with a larger focus on knowledge acquisition and staying in tune with the market better prepared the top producers to adapt to shifts in the market. As an example, the top producers were able to re-focus more rapidly in 2009 to shift their activities from purchase to refinance when the home purchase market dropped off.
“The study showed that top producers believe obtaining more financial and product knowledge gives them more power in the marketplace,” said Mark Teteris, vice president of banking solutions at Mortgage Success Source. “Top loan originators rely much more heavily on trade journals and publications, and complete more accreditation and licensing courses than their originator peers.”
Surveying originators of every size in all segments of the industry nationwide, the study included 3,600 individual online surveys and 650 of those completed detailed follow-up phone interviews.