Written By: NAMP® Op-Ed Ghost Writer
The busy season in the mortgage industry is fast approaching! Soon, the weather will break and homebuyers will come out of hibernation to begin searching for their next home. As a result, this is a good time to think about some best practices for maximizing productivity and efficiency. Time management is one of the most critical of these practices.
When managing your time, it is important to remember to prioritize your day. The hours in your day need to be scheduled to ensure your day is structured properly to increase your efficiency. A great tool that will help you prioritize your day is a to a to-do list. I usually create a to-do list of the loans I will need to touch the following day before I log off each night. This list gives me a clear directive for all of the things that I need to accomplish in the next day. If you have paper versions of the files, set them out in a file manager on your desk in the order you will review them.
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When prioritizing your day, plan for unexpected interruptions. Build in extra time for these disruptions. For underwriters and processors, this will most likely come in the form of emails and phone calls. I prioritize emails and phone calls regarding loans in closing status above all others. From there, I address inquiries regarding questions on conditions. Status request emails are my last priority and will only be answered if time permits. Most companies have posted turn times, so file status inquiries can become an unnecessary distraction that detract from more work productivity.
Identify your optimal time of day. This is the time of day when you know you work best. For me, this is early morning before other staff members log on. Save the most difficult tasks for your optimal time of day. It is important to minimize your distractions during this time. As a result, you may need to silence your cell and work phonesduring this part of the day.
Finally, keep a digital calendar where you list meetings and appointments. Outlook and Google offer excellent options for digital calendars. When adding appointments, you can build in reminders that will pop-up in email or on your cell phone. I also put dates in to follow up on suspended loans. Since these have a 30-day expiration period, I set an appointment on my calendar to follow up with my sales partners before issuing a decline.
Utilizing time management to structure your day will reduce stress, increase productivity, and help reduce the number of hours required to meet your objectives. These principles can assist underwriters and processors with meeting production minimums to hit bonus tiers. With lower stress levels and higher earnings, time management can greatly improve the quality of your work life!
About The Author
All of NAMP® staff writers are veteran mortgage processing & underwriting instructors for Mortgage Underwriter University (www.MortgageUnderwriter.org). They have each conducted numerous mortgage processing & underwriting training classes and have worked in the mortgage banking industry for 25+ years. If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org