Mortgage branch managers have the large responsibility of helping to inspire and foster their sales team’s growth. While this kind of leadership position can be very rewarding, it also comes with challenges. Since many branch managers encounter common issues, it’s helpful to examine them to figure out ways to avoid and overcome them. Read on for some common challenges and helpful tips to navigate them:
1. Achieving branch goals
With the great responsibility of your branch resting on you comes the pressure to encourage achievement. Since your goal is to manage your branch so that it runs smoothly, you’re faced with the challenge of figuring out how to best do that.
In order to actively support your team’s success, you need to motivate them to achieve branch goals. Start by creating these goals with your mortgage team so that they have a say and feel more accountable for reaching them. Make those goals known and visible to the team by displaying them somewhere. Over time, make sure to check in to remind your employees about goals in team meetings. Set up individual meetings with employees to support their progress towards their own goals and those of the branch. You should also make sure you’re accountable for your own progress as well and continue to lead by example to motivate the team.
2. Resolving conflicts
No matter how much organization and planning you have in place, unexpected challenges are bound to happen occasionally. Whether client issues come up or members of your sales team are in conflict with one another, you need to have the skills to help resolve these types of issues.
Though roadblocks may come your way, it’s important that you continue to plan for your branch anyway. When you encounter conflicts of any kind, make sure you respond with a calm attitude. Respond to situations with confidence and flexibility so that you can come up with the right solutions. When you act positively, you continue to help create that kind of work culture. If you encountered an employee conflict, make sure you give respectful feedback to your employees separately first. This will continue to help foster the respectful, healthy work environment you want for your branch.
3. Managing underperforming employees
You’re bound to have a spectrum of top-achieving employees, average-performing employees, and maybe one or two who are missing the mark. Often, managers will respond to this challenge by micromanaging their underperforming employees, but this can make the problem worse. Micromanaging often happens when training new employees, who are bound to make mistakes. In reality, over-managing employees is not constructive. It can become a crutch for them, causing them to do less work, or it can discourage them and cause them to leave the branch.
One way to avoid this from the beginning is to hire with more intention. Identify qualities you may not have interviewed thoroughly enough for in the past and adjust your focus when hiring. When you encountering underperforming employees, balance offering guidance with giving them space to work. You can help employees to create goals and plan for their own success and that of the branch. Start steering them towards the right tools and resources to turn their work around. Check in with them regularly to ensure they’re accountable.
Since managers have a lot to account for, they’re more prone to feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. They’re not only in charge of making sure their own work is up to par, but that their employees’ is as well. Sometimes, this burnout is caused by failing to delegate tasks they should. Other times, it’s caused by micromanagement.
Managers can avoid this detrimental burnout feeling by first starting to delegate duties to the right employees and resist micromanaging their team. The next step is making sure to find a balance between their work and home life. This balance will help them feel happier and less stressed overall, preventing burnout. Managers should start taking actual breaks and practicing things that help them de-stress and make them feel fulfilled. Lastly, branch managers need vacations where they can unplug and detach from the office. Set boundaries with your employees by letting them know you’ll be away — this will make you feel more at ease turning off your technology.
Being a successful mortgage branch manager is a lot of responsibility. Not only are you expected to be skilled in the mortgage industry, but you also need interpersonal skills, the ability to motivate other people, and the capacity to deal with conflicts and issues appropriately. By observing tactics of other successful managers, you can anticipate potential challenges and better avoid or resolve them.