Working nights and weekends can feel like a requirement of being a loan officer, but does it need to be? You probably have heard about creating a daily loan officer schedule. However, if you haven’t mapped out your own schedule, you’re not optimizing your time.
Your Daily Loan Officer Schedule In An Ultra-Competitive Industry
The mortgage industry is fast-paced and ultra competitive, especially in today’s landscape of big bank competition. A daily loan officer schedule of 24/7 availability may feel impossible to break. Do you feel like you’re going to miss your chance with a referral partner or borrower if you’re not always available?
Don’t worry! Many people feel this way.
However, this mindset is not only damaging, it’s untrue. Studies by Stanford University showed that average work output drops as work hours rise. In fact, productivity drops sharply after 50 hours a week!
Loan officers and other professionals have been hearing about time blocking for a very long time. However, time blocking goes way beyond scheduling your day around meetings, phone calls, or networking.
Using time blocking effectively can mean that your job can actually become a lifestyle business. A job that produces an epic amount of closed loans without you having your nose to the grindstone 24/7.
Sound impossible? Read all about creating a daily loan officer schedule to see what we’re talking about.
Time Block the Most Important
Setting priorities is the first step to creating a successful daily, weekly, or monthly schedule as a LO. Place your #1 priorities into your schedule first.
Brian Tracy, self-development guru, calls this “eating that frog” and has written many books on the power of doing the most important thing first.
Do you want to watch your kids play soccer every Thursday evening from 5 to 7? Block off your schedule as if you have a meeting. After all, you actually do already have a commitment to maintain. Doing so allows you to focus, instead of trying to juggle multiple personal and professional commitments at the same time.
Part of this first step is remembering to stay committed to the task you assigned yourself. After all, studies show that we’re about 40% less efficient when we’re multitasking. So, when you’re watching your kid score their very first goal, you shouldn’t be on the phone with a referral partner. Because you designated times in your day to focus on your family and personal life.
Time Block Space to Rest
Part of being the best loan officer or branch manager you can be is found in consistency. That consistency can only come if you’re not getting burned out by an overloaded schedule. For many, taking vacations can feel like an impossibility. Or when they are on vacation, they’re not truly “off work.”
Not only is this a bad idea because of how ineffective multitasking is. It also defeats the point of taking time off: rest.
How do you truly stick to your “out of the office” email reply then? Maybe it means bringing support staff onto your team to take some of the straightforward daily tasks off your plate. Or, it may mean talking with your referral partners about your desire for a better work/life balance. Brainstorm ways that you can continue to serve them effectively without them providing immediate replies all the time.
Time Block the Education
No matter how long you’ve been in the business, there’s still so much to learn.
Choosing to prioritize education could mean listening to podcasts about the industry on your commute. Or, choose one or two high quality newsletters that will fill your inbox with value (not spam!).
Making time for your education and improvement may also mean investing in a mortgage coaching program. Read more about some of the different mortgage coaching programs available, here.
Create an Anti To-Do List
As important as it is to determine what you do want to accomplish every day, it’s just as important to decide what you don’t want to do.
That may mean choosing not to take on a borrower that will create extra headaches for you and your team. Or, it may mean that you need to proactively choose to turn your phone to do not disturb during certain times of the day in order to be your most productive self.
The most important thing (just like the rest of this list), is sticking to your commitments. You won’t always do it perfectly, but the more you prioritize what you want and need from your day, the less likely you’ll be to lose yourself in tasks that aren’t taking you closer to your goals.
…And Automate All the Rest
You may be saying to yourself, “What about all those daily tasks that I can’t just skip doing?” We understand that the job of the loan officer includes many detail-oriented tasks that you can’t just stop doing.
The good news is that today’s technology allows for many of these tasks to be automated. Does sending text and email updates to borrowers and referral partners suck up an hour of your morning? How about tracking down a client’s loan documents? Or maybe creating and sending your marketing emails is a frustratingly time consuming process.
Automate these tasks through your CRM, and rest easy knowing that you’ve done a great job delegating to one of your best employees: your computer.
Making your software stack work for you means less time-consuming and mundane tasks cluttering up your schedule. And this means more time to do the things you actually want to be doing.
Maintaining these time management decisions means that your priorities will be set before all the stresses of the day begin. Plus, it’s easier to say no to unproductive tasks when you have a plan in place.
There are many different ways to measure success as a loan officer. But we think one of the best questions to ask is, are you reaching both your professional and personal goals?