Back to the Office: The Mortgage Industry Prepares for Change

How-To Guides
back to the office

Some mortgage companies are having employees go back to the office while pandemic restrictions lift slightly. A year of remote work has passed. So, the employees who return to the office are not the same employees they were pre-pandemic. Plus, office buildings have a lower demand than before since many companies are shifting their in-person availability. 

Keep reading to learn about office transitions, what this means for the mortgage industry, and how to make the best of it!

back to the office

Different Pace 

Mortgage employees spent over a year adjusting to a new rhythm. This looks like shifting work hours, managing tasks without direct oversight, and working remotely.  

After a year of being out of the office, many have come to expect more control over their work schedule. These lifestyle changes extend beyond just loan origination teams! More than 50% of full-time workers report a shift to remote work in the past year and a half. 

Communication Shift

All these changes add up to a challenge for loan officers. They need to think differently about how to communicate with clients.  Plus, the goal is to close loans effectively as they return to the office.  

Despite the new environment, a productive way to build confidence with customers is to communicate with them frequently. So, gather insight about what they enjoy, and even ask them how they are adjusting to their jobs going back in-person. Focus on the fact that you make a difference in the lives of your clients. No matter where you work from. Then, this will shift your perspective on what you do and give you confidence in your client interactions. 

Focus on Relationships

Industries like the mortgage industry that focus on relationships especially benefit from in-person contact. When relationships truly matter, interactions thrive when face-to-face. Although Zoom face-to-face has become the new normal. In-person interaction builds stronger trust.  

After all, a colleague or client who never sees your face is not likely to feel the same connection to you as someone whose hand you shake on a regular basis. They hear you, and they read your words. But, seeing you makes a connection that can’t substitute any other method.  

So, in-office meetings and conversations are a step in a positive direction. This establishes real relational foundations. 

Back to the Office Hesitations 

Cities all over the country see another surge in COVID-19 cases in 2021. So, many companies are re-evaluating initial plans to reopen their offices.

In May, social media platform Twitter said it would allow its employees to work from home “forever” if they wish.

Meanwhile, the mortgage industry thrives on relationships, and may find a permanent remote environment difficult to control. Yet, others in the industry believe that increased digital use benefits the loan process as a whole. This justifies remote work. 

Technology Driven

Technological advances have made it far easier to go remote as an industry. The use of digital technology in lending is rapidly changing, just like the common work setting. Also, there is no shortage of uncertainty facing the market. Especially as we wonder how the pandemic continues to affect economic activity. 

So, it is important for loan officers to understand the way that technology is shifting, and how to use it to their advantage. First, consider automating your processes. Investing in technology is essential for loan officers. Also, there are countless new technologies, including machine learning, that are predicted to redefine the lending space even more. This value is found in many ways, including higher profit margins and personalization. 

So, maximize workforce productivity, cut loan cycle times, and boost your volume. Plus, deliver exceptional customer service, no matter where you are. 

Office Leases 

It is true that every state is different in terms of its mandates and approaches around the coronavirus pandemic. Those that open are “following state specific guidelines.” This includes measures such as temperature checks, required masks, and social distancing policies.

Meanwhile, companies that are setting records even from home do not necessarily need employees to come into the office every day.

So, not renewing an office lease could save a company about $10,000 a month, or $120,000 a year. This is a significant amount. Many companies are questioning whether or not they should require employees to go back to the office at all. 

Tenant Perspectives

As mentioned, anything a loan officers needs to do can technically be done online. Add the benefits of a lack of commute, and a remote staff makes even more sense. Office properties around the country are seeing an increase in short-term renewals from tenants who are already located in a given market.

Yet, some suburban office landlords are raising rents and have a waiting list of prospective tenants. Demand for this kind of space comes from tenants that still see the benefits of a traditional office for their team.

Workplace Flexibility

Concerns about the safety of working in close quarters with a rotating group of strangers dealt a heavy blow to coworking spaces during the pandemic. 

As a whole, many companies gravitate toward short-term leases along with the ability to lease more or less space as needed. This is due to the continued uncertainty about the composition of their workforce. Also, the number of staff who will work from home versus be back to the office. 

Some mortgage companies have begun to offer dispersed team spaces along with the option to continue working remotely. The flexibility of coworking office space appeals to companies that are currently evaluating their long-term needs. 

It is unclear whether the COVID-19 pandemic will only have temporary, or lasting, impacts on office-space demand and composition. So, prepare for whatever may happen. Also, adapt to your work environment, whether back to the office or not.

Communicate Effectively

Whether you are back in the office or not, communication is the key for success. Luckily, there are tools out there to help your mortgage company be the best it can be. So, consider using a software solution like Jungo to streamline all of your communication. 

With Jungo, you can create tasks and assign them to team members, which keeps employees in tight communication. Jungo logs all of your lead, client, partner, and loan information in one central location. So, you do not have to worry about team members not having access to the information they need. It’s all synced and available for them, no matter where they are working from. 

Bottom Line

The exact future of loan officers going back to the office work is different for each company. Many people are discussing the pros and cons of the future of office space. After all, the future of many things in this “post-pandemic” world are up in the air. 

The stakes are high for mortgage lenders as offices shift. Modern technology and a flexible attitude can lighten the load of this transition back to the office. Also, it makes loan officers more successful in their business practices, no matter where they set up their work stations.