As a lender, you deal with mountains and mountains of paperwork. (Maybe not literally, anymore, but definitely figuratively.) And if you want to be successful in this industry, you have to stay organized. If you’re struggling to do so, now is the time to proactively confront the issue.
5 Organization Tips for Lenders
There are very few professions that produce more paperwork than this one. Whether physical or digital, lenders amass hundreds of files and thousands of pages of paperwork in almost every single underwriting situation. If not dealt with properly and systematically, lenders can easily be swallowed up by a deluge of disorganized data. Here are several organizational tips to prevent this from happening:
- Embrace Loan Origination Software
There’s no reason to continue using manual processes when underwriting loans. Outside of gathering certain information and having one-on-one conversations with applicants and clients to forge strong relationships, almost everything can be automated and streamlined. This includes the majority of the loan origination process.
For best results, embrace loan origination software and say goodbye to outdated lending processes that are holding you back. A system like this streamlines every aspect of the process, including intake, underwriting, packaging, closing, and disbursement. It even provides things like borrower-facing dashboards and intelligent document management capabilities (including auto-naming uploaded files). It’s a huge benefit for all parties involved.
- Delegate and Outsource
As a business owner or manager, one of the toughest aspects of your job is mastering the art of delegation. It’s tempting to feel as if you’re the only one who can oversee or execute a process, when the reality is that success can only be found at scale when learning how to relinquish control through delegation and outsourcing.
Doing something simple like hiring an administrative assistant to handle filing and organizing paperwork can free up hours of your time to then oversee the streamlining of other key processes. An administrative assistant can even do things like organize your email inbox on your behalf.
Outsourcing is a good option when you go through those seasonal pushes where applications increase and your team’s collective workload is maxed out. You obviously have to be very careful about who your outsourced partners are and always follow privacy and confidentiality rules, but you should definitely know that this is an option. Keep it in your back pocket for busy times. If nothing else, outsource tasks related to filing documentation.
- Have Clear Expectations
You can make processes smooth and frictionless by setting very clear expectations for applicants on the front end. Be thorough and clear with which documentation you need, file types, where they should be submitted, when they should be submitted, etc. This removes a lot of the heavy lifting from your team’s shoulders and gives them the ability to focus on underwriting, not organizing files.
- Establish Routines
Routines play an important role in keeping your team organized. This helps you manage sizable workloads in a timely manner. Consistency is key here. For example, you review mortgage applications on Mondays, invoices are reviewed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are for team meetings and check-ins, Thursdays are for setting team schedules and workloads for the following week, and Fridays are a catch-all for anything that slipped through the cracks during the week.
Without routines to lean on, your team will never have its priorities straight. Each employee will have his or her own set of expectations on any given day, yet only certain things will get done. This leads to frustration and bitterness, which further amplifies confusion and disorganization.
- Be Realistic With Deadlines
Deadlines help tremendously. They give your team quantifiable expectations and instill the proper motivation to accomplish specific steps in sequential order. Realistic deadlines also allow your individual team members to plan out their days and weeks, which gives them the freedom to create healthy work-life balance. (In other words, they’re not constantly running around doing last-minute tasks that eat into their nights and weekends. They know exactly what to expect at all times, which allows them to plan accordingly.)
Don’t Let Disorganization Hold You Back
You can only hide from the consequences of disorganization for so long. It tends to have a compounding effect, eventually eroding your business from the inside out. Get a grip on this aspect of your business and growth will be a natural byproduct.