In our final installment of this series, we're going to cover the last two tools of a Five-Tool Lender. Culture that feels like a Community and Killer Marketing Support. If you'd like to read the first two installments, you can check out Part1 (setting the frame and operations workflow) and Part 2 (diverse product catalog and competitive rates).
A Culture of Community (High Batting Average)
The word "Culture" has been used so much over the last few years, it's hard to tell if the sentiment carries much meaning any more. Every company talks about how great their culture is as a recruiting tactic, but often times it takes experiencing it for yourself before you know for sure whether it holds any truth.
To get to the bottom of whether a company's culture is exactly as advertised, you have to dig a little deeper past the fluff of a recruiting piece. Have conversations with those who work at Thrive, whether they've been here for a few months or several years… they'll share stories about how their onboarding experience, about the camaraderie within their team. We often say that we are looking for people who are "Hungry, Humble, and Smart". We work together to solve problems and create a better company tomorrow than we were today. The expression "That's not my job" is replaced with "Let's figure this out".
Thrive Mortgage is not the right place for everyone. And, truthfully, we're okay with that. We know that is an impossible goal for any company to have. People are unique and everyone needs to find the environment that is best suited for them to be successful. The objective in our hiring process is to find individuals who want to be a part of something bigger than a paycheck. They want to be a part of a community who celebrates each other's successes regularly. Where diligence, initiative, and hard work are rewarded.
Whether it's staying focused on your daily tasks and being a part of a team, working towards higher aspirations, or simply discovering if the mortgage industry is right for you... leadership opportunities abound at Thrive.
We have more than a dozen committees that shape the policies, direction, product development, and technology across the company. Most of our best ideas have come from those on the front lines. And those committees are comprised of people from all levels of the company... from administrators to executives. Everyone has a voice who wants one.
There are even several initiatives within the company to develop communication and leadership skills. As the company continues to grow, so do the number of open opportunities for leadership.
Our employee job satisfaction numbers are consistently ranked highest in the industry and last year we were the highest ranked large employer in an employee-led survey conducted by an independent third party. It was our fourth year in a row to be a part of that list.
There are so many stories of individuals who started at an entry level position but didn't stay there for long (present company included). They become department managers, directors, and even executives within the company. Ask me about the journey of our newly appointed CEO, Selene Kellam, and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Killer Marketing Support (Hitting for Power)
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where my team comes in. Buckle up, because this is something we know a great deal about. If you've ever looked at our content (like the website you're on right now or our YouTube channel), the thought has probably crossed your mind that we don't look like any other mortgage company that you've come across.
That's because we don't think like other mortgage companies. We view marketing and brand-building very differently. Several members of our team are actually licensed and we have originated loans before. We know guidelines and workflows. We know our product offerings and how to talk about them. We know how our technology works. Therefore, our collateral looks, sounds, and acts like an originator because that's how we think.
Whenever I sit in on a recruiting visit or video call with someone evaluating making a move to Thrive Mortgage, I always ask the question, "How can a Marketing Division like ours best support you and your journey in building your business?" The responses always vary. Sometimes wildly. What one professional deems as anon-negotiable when thinking about ways to stand out in their local market is sometimes the lowest priority for someone else. But the answers are always very telling.
There is, however, one common thread in all of those responses… autonomy. "Give me automation for the basics; support where I need it; and smart, strategic coaching for what I can't do for myself." Many times the loan officer will reply that they don't have time (or haven't taken the time) to focus on marketing their business, learning about the sales productivity tools available to them, or coming up with the next brilliant strategy or lead gen "system" that's going to get them to the next level. They don't take the time, because it's overwhelming. They simply feel like they have to figure it all out on their own.
As they talk, I'm listening, taking notes, thinking through what they're saying… and it hits me every single time. How can the leadership at these companies these recruits are coming from not see the missed opportunities they have staring them right in the face? There are so many ways we go about supporting our teams, and very little of it has to do with making sure they have access tot he latest flyers.
The leadership of most mortgage companies think that a Marketing Department exists just to make pretty graphics, fulfill flyer requests, and reorder business cards. We don't see it that way. At all! In our minds, that's basic stuff that we've automated the heck out of. Our focus is on showing our Loan Officers how to stand out as the rock star mortgage advisor in their market areas.
Our primary mission is to provide the highest level of value to both the corporate brand AND the individual loan officer's brand. We DO NOT see those two objectives as competing priorities. Rather, they are complimentary. I always explain that it's like the old analogy of rising tides lifting all boats.
Internally, we call ourselves Thrive Media Group because we see ourselves as, and act like, an in-house design agency catering to a very captive audience. We are going to take the time to listen to you and get right in the middle of what you see as the biggest obstacle you have to breaking through to the next level. Sometimes it's not even a marketing solution that we're coming up with. Sometimes it turns into a strategy discussion. Other times it becomes a conversation about conversion and pull through rates and how we can help them make subtle adjustments that allow them to start hitting triples and home runs instead of striking out.
Kind of sounds like the way a top producer works with their clients doesn't it? Top producers will take the time to get to know their borrowers and ask great questions to discover the client's intrinsic motivations, their financial priorities and goals, and what's most important to them about the decisions they make regarding the largest single financial transaction they have undertaken at one time. We take this same approach in everything we do.
So, if all this sounds like the kind of place you want to call your community...
...We invite you to start a conversation with us today! You can experience what so many others in Thrive Nation have come to know and love. Hop on over to our Talent Attraction & Careers page to learn more about available opportunities. Whether your sales, operations, or are looking for a start in the mortgage industry we are always looking for those folks who are Humble, Hungry, and Smart to join our tribe and see what Thrive Nation is all about. We hope to talk to you soon!
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.