Make your PA pay, says broker business guru

by Mackenzie McCarty06 Aug 2012

Are you thinking of hiring a loan processor? Or wait – you’ve already hired one, and you are counting the pure cost of paying that person, which you have to make up in profit.

Well, Frontrunner Consulting’s Doug Mathlin may just have the answer for you. Why not turn that processor – an ongoing cost for your business – into a profit center?

That’s right. Did you ever think of your loan processor as your marketing person?

“The loan processors I have met are fantastic – they are interpersonally terrific, and clients love them,” says Mathlin. “What I would be doing fairly quickly would be saying to that person: ‘We can actually get somebody else to do the processing, because you understand our busines and our clients. Let’s turn your role from a cost centre for me that is purely spending money on you into a profitable part of the business’.”

Mathlin says loan processors often have good relationships with clients, and they are perfectly skilled at being able to ring those clients to assist with business marketing.

First, outbound calls. “They can say hey, how are you going, it’s been six months since we wrote that loan, were you happy with our service, is there anything we can improve?”

Then, inbound calls. “They can get to the state where the can manage leads, so they can do the pre-qualification or just do the ‘red-carpet treatment’.”

The aim? To position you – the broker – as the valuable ‘specialist’.

If you go to the GP, and he says I can’t help you, you need to go and see a specialist – it takes a couple of month, you get the referral, and all the work – the blood test, the x-ray – gets done before you go and see them. Then, the specialist who charges all the money you only see them for about 10 mintues and they say, ‘here is the diagnosis’.

While Mathlin says brokers will spend much more time than this on a client, the process is one in which the broker is positioned as golden treatment in a ‘five-star’ brokerage.

“You can then sit down and say great you are here, this is how the business runs, let’s do a full analysis on who you are and where you are going, and what we can do to help you, say your job is to help them with their long-term financial needs.”

Mathlin says this is more appealing to clients than looking like a ‘gopher’.

“Most brokers start at the beginning and do everyhing. They are the gopher, write the loan applications, collect all the documentation – so their productivity in dollars per hour are significatnly less then if they are positioned as a specialist.”

Mathlin says with 90% of brokers in the market suffering from lead scarcity, it makes sense to get someone within the business to help with lead generation.

He says the processor will likely be more engaged, as many like the customer service aspects of a role more than the processing side – a good indicator of their marketing potential.

Mathlin adds processors should be paid per deal, rather than by the hour, meaning they will put in extra if necessary rather than always ‘knock-off’ when the clock hits 5pm.