I ask this question a great deal, “are you busy, or are you productive?” Busy isn’t good enough. Busy doesn’t make you money. Busy will likely COST you money in the lost opportunities because you were occupied being busy!
Working with all kinds of loan originators I have discovered that many don’t have a real connection to their time. If you ask originators how many hours a week they work, you will hear all kinds of number like, “fifty or sixty”, in some cases I have people tell me they work twelve to sixteen hours a day, six or seven days a week! Seriously; doing what? What about what you do takes so long? How many deals are you doing each month and how much time do you spend from first contact to loan closing? Surprisingly, most originators don’t have a clue. Ask them to document what they do and how long things take, and you will be SHOCKED at what you get back. One originator told me he worked sixty to seventy hours per week. When I asked him to track his time and document what he did, we discovered HUGE gaps between actual effort and activity. We also discovered that this originator has no set times to do anything!
It has always been my opinion that originators have very little time structure in their lives. No set time to go to work. No set time to end the day. No requirements on how much time they spend doing certain things; and clearly a limited understanding on how long things they do every day take to accomplish. Now much of this is because nobody ever asked them to track it. Never in their careers did anyone ever tell them what to do, when to do it, how long it should take, and what the result should be! Not once ever!
So I have always shared the analogy that your work should be much like your high school experience. Understand the layout of the building so you can find your way around; then have a schedule of all the things that need to be done, the time allotted to do them, and the expectation of what the accomplishment is supposed to be!
If you feel you are working more hours than you should be working for the results you are getting, try tracking the work and the results. Do it for a week or so. When do you go to work? What did you do? How long did it take? As a result of what I did, was I able to track results of those actions? Did I talk to current clients or referral partners? Did I enter new people into my database? Did I pull credit? Did I issue a preapproval? Did one of my preapprovals move into contract? And if any or all of these things took place, what was the time consumed to do it and how many of each was there?
You see, without a schedule of activities you spend too much time thinking about what to do next instead of doing it. Without an expectation as to how much time it should take to do something, it will often take longer. Without tracking the actual results of the efforts, you don’t really know for sure if what you are doing is resulting in what you want!
Try for yourselves. Before you start, ask yourself how many hours you spend “working” each week? Before you start each task, ask yourself how long should this take? At the beginning of each day, project what you are trying to accomplish in what period of time; and at the end of that day chart the results. I guarantee some of you will be very interested in the results!