the common problems are, how to fix them, and
the phone number or procedure to contact the
help desk. Learning not only how the system functions, but why it functions the way it does will help
you foresee issues that may arise.
• Organize each file to ensure your files move
smoothly. Keep a checklist for each file you work
on throughout its process to ensure nothing has
been overlooked. Don't rely solely on the filing
cabinet in your mind to remember everything.
• Communicate clearly to everyone involved. Each
party should have a clear understanding of where
the loan file is in the process, any issues that arise,
and estimated time frames for closing. People naturally fear the worst if weeks go by without hearing a word. The old adage "no news is good news"
does NOT apply to mortgage lending.
• Set expectations clearly and realistically to everyone involved. Buying a home is one of the most
stressful decisions people make. Borrowers anxiously await their dream of homeownership, realtors anticipate a paycheck, and loan officers count
on a pleasant experience for future referrals. Remember to under-promise and over-deliver.
• Underwriting guidelines are the oil that keeps the
machine running. Know and understand the standard underwriting guidelines. Underwriters appreciate a file that has been put together well, but also
follows the guidelines perfectly. Gaining knowledge of the guidelines will put you in a better position with every file you touch. A file that has been
pre-underwritten will fly in and out of the lender’s
work load with minimal conditions, and the underwriters will begin to look forward to your clean files.
Learning, organization, communication, expectations, and underwriting are all important, but a
processor who stands out from the rest is more
than simply an expert in coordinating a loan from
application to closing. One must be a loan officer's
assistant as well. A good processor knows mortgage loans do not walk in the door by themselves.
A loan officer relies on repeat business, referrals
from realtors and other sources, word of mouth,
It is up to the processor to become an assistant
in addition to ensuring every loan closing goes
smoothly. Become the person the loan officer
turns to first to take care of keeping the business
growing. Here’s how:
• Lead management - Loan officers receive leads
from outside sources, such as real estate agents.
These are mutual customers that are in the be-
ginning stages of searching for the home of their
dreams. To be a stellar processor, take the initia-
tive to help the loan officer keep track and coordi-
nate appointments with these new customers.
• Appointment management - Top performing processors know a loan officer's calendar is essential
to keeping up with the various appointments he or
she needs to attend. From networking events to
closings—help manage the loan officer's calendar
to ensure no appointment goes unattended.
• Customer service - Stand out customer service
is the key to earning and retaining repeat business. Loan officers rely upon word of mouth as
advertisement. Smaller mortgage firms have tight
marketing budgets, therefore having a processor
that is easy to work with and treats every customer
as if they were the only one, aids in easing the already stressful home-buying process. Treat each
customer as a person, not as numbers in a pipeline.
Mortgage lending is a high energy, constantly
moving, and somewhat chaotic industry. With each
customer interaction, remember to communicate
often, set clear expectations, provide excellent
customer service, understand the underwriting
guidelines, and apply what you have learned. Taking these steps will set you on the right path to earn
a reputation as a top mortgage professional. Who
knows? Maybe your current processing position
will turn into an underwriting position in the future.
Kimberly Dewberry is Vice President of Secondary Operations for First National Bank of Trenton.
She can be reached at email@example.com.