The Five-Tool Lender (Part 1 of 3)

How is a Five-Tool Baseball Player like an Elite level Mortgage Lender?

The Five-Tool Lender (Part 1 of 3)

If you follow baseball to any degree, then you’ve probably heard of the concept of a five-tool player. If you don’t know what that means, a five-tool player in baseball is a player who possesses speed, a good glove, a strong throwing arm, they can hit with a high batting average, and lastly, they can hit for power…Meaning they’re not just getting singles and doubles they’re getting triples and home runs. For any single baseball player to possess all five of these tools at a high-level is very rare.

A few reasons I bring this up… number one, baseball season is upon us (thank goodness!).  But I started thinking about this "five-tool player" concept while watching my boys play an early season high school game.  Then, as I thought more on that concept of the five-tool player, I realized something…

There’s a correlation here within the Mortgage Industry. I called it the Five-Tool Lender.  When a top-producing loan officer (or someone with the drive to become a top producer) is evaluating making a move they want to find a lender that has the right mix of the following things: solid operations workflow (speed), a diverse product offering(fielding), competitive pricing (strong, accurate arm), a culture that truly feels like a community (high batting average), and killer marketing support(hitting for power). As in the world of baseball, it is very rare for a single mortgage lender to possess all five of these tools at an exceptionally high level. Rare, but not unheard of.

This is the first installment of a three-part series covering each of these tools.  

Solid Operations Workflow (Speed)

I'll start off talking about the first one I mentioned… a strong operational workflow.  This, obviously, correlates to Speed. The bottom line priority for any loan officer is confidence in knowing that their file will get to closing quickly.  This impacts everything about what they want to build: a rock-solid reputation, strong partnerships, and providing an exceptional experience to the clients they serve.  At Thrive Mortgage, we have as a stated goal to get our average turn times of Application to CTC down to 13 calendar days.  We're well on our way to accomplishing this goal.  Baseball is certainly full of statistics, here's some stats to demonstrate where we are in that process:

- Currently, we are averaging 25 days from application to cleared-to-close across ALL transaction types (purchase, refinance, NonQM, Jumbo, Govie loans, etc.)

- Even during the height of the pandemic, our turn times of App to CTC did not exceed 30 days.

- During 2021, we averaged App to Closing turn times 23 days faster than the averages of our competitors!

We are getting closer to our goal by leveraging technology to strip away inefficiencies and streamline every aspect of the borrower experience.  We take our operational workflow so seriously, we developed a team of experts who continually study and examine every aspect of the process mapping out each step and touch and discovering ways to automate as much of it as possible. We call it our own little "Mortgage Genome" project, like scientists mapping the DNA of a loan file.

In addition, we were pioneers many years ago in the adoption and perfecting of an eClosing process(including Remote Online Notary, or RON) which added incredible efficiency to the entire closing process for all parties involved, especially the client.  We were so ahead of the curve that when COVID hit and forced lenders to adapt to this new technology, many other lenders were reaching out to us for guidance on how to set up their own eClosing process.

The net result is that we have production teams who have been coached on setting up the file properly at the front end and an operations staff who knows how to push a file through to completion with fewer conditions and minimal QC issues after funding.  So if it's speed you're looking for, you're not going to find anyone faster than Thrive Mortgage.

In our next write-up, we'll cover the topics of a diverse product catalog and competitive pricing.

James Duncan
https://www.linkedin.com/in/themortgageteacher
About The Author

James Duncan is the Director of Marketing & Engagement for Thrive Mortgage and has contributed to numerous published works and industry discussion panels.  As a former high school teacher, mentoring and coaching is his biggest passion.  Whether it is leading the Marketing Department at Thrive or working individually with clients to help them make better educated decisions, James has a tremendous passion for moving the industry forward.

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