Welcome to the July 2022 Insights Report

Lisa Springer
Sr. Partner, CEO

STRATMOR regularly conducts workshops that delve into current market trends. During these sessions, a recurring theme is recruitment and retention strategies. These discussions highlight lenders’ multiple experiences using signing bonuses.

From my perspective, companies assessing their recruitment and retention options, including the use of bonuses, must first analyze corporate culture before invoking culture-changing initiatives. Corporate culture is an organization’s vision and purpose, core values, and what behaviors are being encouraged in its unique work environment. This culture drives brand, public perception, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction, so it is vital that recruiting and retention strategies uphold this culture.

Signing bonuses in the mortgage industry are a widespread practice, mostly for originators and some fulfillment staff. In our InFocus article this month, Senior Partner Jim Cameron takes up the challenge of analyzing the industry’s approach to signing bonuses, offering insight into why some lenders pay and other do not, how signing bonuses are structured, and how new data and tools can help lenders understand more about the potential of the loan officers they are hiring. In our rapidly changing hiring environment, you will want to read, “To Pay or Not to Pay: The Question of Signing Bonuses.”

In his Customer Experience Tip, “The LO Survival Kit 2022,” Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari encourages originators to not only demonstrate empathy to borrowers, but also to learn (or re-learn) how to have nuanced conversations around the complexities of the financial choices that lie before borrowers. The problem: many originators have been feasting on the surplus of refinance loans for so long that they have forgotten these valuable “survival skills.” Mike offers three valuable tools originators should master and add to their survival kits.

Thank you for joining us for the July Insights Report. We have a long history of working with our clients on compensation strategies that enable and support the achievement of corporate objectives that are critical to long term success. If you need assistance with the development of your overall strategy and supportive compensation strategies, please contact us for an exploratory discussion.

In-Focus
To Pay or Not to Pay: The Question of Signing Bonuses

It’s no secret that our industry is experiencing a very challenging market right now. We are seeing layoff announcements practically every day, and while we are not quite ready to re-establish “Implodometer.com” (remember that!), there are already a handful of companies shutting down. M&A activity has exploded (my colleagues Garth Graham and David Hrobon are running at full speed) as the industry begins to consolidate. We are in a classic downcycle with too many lenders chasing too few loans. Operations executives are in survival mode, trying to maintain service levels while shedding staff.

Even in challenging times, lenders still need and want high-producing, purchased-focused Loan Officers (LOs). But how do lenders recruit these sales superstars?

The usual toolset includes building relationships, networking at industry events and selling the lender’s value proposition to prospective LOs. But compensation is always a key part of the value proposition, and for high producers, signing bonuses have been a big part of the story.

So, what is happening with signing bonuses? Where have we been and where are we going?

More Insights

The LO Survival Kit 2022

What survival skills will help mortgage originators “Make it Work” for their borrowers? Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari suggest a few tools originators can add to their survival kits.

July 2022 STRATMOR Studies

STRATMOR Studies

STRATMOR Group offers a suite of data products and mortgage advisory services to power your performance, including industry-specific studies. Get the data driven advantage!

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