In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, more American workers than ever are working from home. If you’re among the hundreds of thousands of the workforce who are now logging in to work from their kitchens, home offices, or bedrooms, you’re probably wondering how to be successful outside of the office.
Whether you’re not sure how to stay focused, or the best ways to stay in touch with your borrowers and team members, we’ve rounded up the best tips, tricks, and tools for working from home.
How to Successfully Work From Home
Whether this is your first experience working from home, or you’re a telecommuting expert, there are a few tips for increasing productivity.
Even though you’re not heading into the office, you should still get ready. Stick to your morning routine–shower, get dressed, and make yourself breakfast. This will help you switch from the “home” mindset, to “work” mode.
Set Up Your Workspace
Make sure that you have a dedicated space to work, either at a desk or your dining room table. Avoid working from the couch or your bed, and make your workspace as close to your office as possible.
Give Yourself Breaks
If you’re the type of person who works through lunch or breaks, set alarms for yourself. Try to get up and walk around once every hour, and carve out some time away from technology. And make sure you give yourself a defined end time, so that you can focus on your home life too.
Working from home can be a landmine of distractions. Whether it’s the load of dirty laundry, the full fridge, or your social media feeds, getting sucked into distractions happens quickly. Schedule times in your day to check your phone or grab a snack. Then, for the remainder of your work day, focus on work.
Even if you’re not able to go to the gym, it’s important to move your body. Take a walk around the block, do an at home yoga class, or run around the backyard with your kids.
Why You Shouldn’t Tell Your Borrowers You’re Working From Home
If you’re like many people working from home, it can be tempting to let your customers know that your work situation looks different. However, realistically, you will be able to provide the same level of service to your customers as in an office. After all, there are very few times that your borrowers need to actually come into your office, so why not just continue to utilize online tools, phone calls, and emails to communicate with them?
By making an announcement to your customers that you’re working from home, you may be accidentally setting a lower standard of service for yourself. Instead, do everything you can to make this uncertain time a seamless transition for your customers.
Tools for Communicating with Your Borrowers
Whether you’re working from home, or in an office, your priority should be to communicate with your borrowers. Especially now, when the mortgage market is changing quickly, your borrowers are looking to you to be a source of knowledge and guidance.
Video Email Messaging
One way to stay “face-to-face” with borrowers, even when working remotely, is to send video messages.
With BombBomb, you can integrate personalized video messages, directly from Jungo. Not only will this skyrocket your marketing email engagement, your customers will love the face-to-face connection they provide. Video in emails build trust, convert more leads, and generate referrals.
Additionally, with the Jungo + BombBomb integration, you can see exactly how many of your email rates are being opened, and if your customers are watching your video messages. This insight can help you plan your customer communication in the future.
Texting is another great way to stay in touch with clients and partners, and can be a helpful tool for automating your loan processes in this busy season. By integrating a texting tool into your processes, you can automate and streamline your texting. This will get you in front of your leads, clients, and partners even faster than before.
Sending mass emails to your contact database will also help you continue to market to your borrowers. You could send market updates, refinancing information, or community news summaries. These emails will help you build trust with your borrowers and leads, and keep loans coming into your pipeline, even when you’re working from home.
One of the few reasons that today’s modern borrower needs to visit their loan officer’s office is to sign paperwork. And now, even this is becoming unnecessary. Replace the traditional, “wet” signature with a digital signature. Platforms like DocuSign, HelloSign, and PandaDoc, all feature electronic signature tools that make working from home possible from the start of the loan process all the way to closing.
How to Set Your Team Up For Work From Home Success
If you work with a mortgage team, you may be wondering how best to prepare your team members for this change of environment. First, make work expectations clear–set specific goals for each of your employees, and check in often on their progress. Second, communicate consistently. Just like you would in an office, check in with your team regularly to see if there are any questions or concerns.
Tools for Communicating with Your Team
There are many tools available to mortgage teams today to stay in contact, even when working from home.
One of the best ways to ensure continued communication with your team is through virtual meetings. Video calling on a program such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, or Facetime, are all great ways to clock in face-to-face time with your team. Plus, you’ll be able to discuss projects and problems quickly and efficiently, instead of just relying on email threads.
Slack and Microsoft Teams are growing in popularity for good reason–being able to quickly connect with employees and coworkers is extremely valuable. Plus, it can boost employee morale (especially when working from home) to be able to chat casually with their coworkers.
If working from home is a brand new part of your routine, you’re not alone. Use this as an opportunity to try out new technology, and focus on heightening your communication with your borrowers and team members. Working from home has never been more possible.