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What is the Most Important Communication Skill for Loan Officers?

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Communication is a crucial aspect of our work as loan officers. Whether we’re explaining how we can assist with a prospective client’s mortgage needs; detailing the steps and documentation needed to make the lending process successful; working to build our referral partnerships— the list is long. Many of us focus most of our attention on speaking and writing— making sure that what we say is accurate and professional. But, I’m convinced that how well we listen is equally (if not more) important. Here are a few reasons why improving your listening skills is instrumental for loan officer success:

Know Your Audience

If we want to be effective at all, we need to understand our clients. We need to understand what they expect from us throughout every stage of the lending process. And the only way to do that? Actively listening. We need to really tune into what they’re saying, pay close attention to the details, ask relevant questions, and then incorporate the information they give to us.

Earn and Build Trust

Most of us know the difference between passive and active listening. Active listening is about giving the other person your full attention. You’re not thinking about what you’re going to say next or what’s on your to-do list. You’re entirely focused on the other person and engaging with what they have to say. When you’re actively listening to someone’s situation and concerns, it makes them feel that they made the right decision on who to work with and that they’re in good hands.

Be a Team Player

In this industry, in particular, we depend on our team members to deliver the best possible experience for our clients. Actively listening to our colleagues is one of the best ways to strengthen the team. And, when every member of the team feels heard, things flow much more smoothly. When we fully pay attention to what our team members have to say, we can better catch any miscommunications before they cause a problem. We’re also letting our team know that everyone— in every position—is valuable.

Learn from Feedback

I spent last week’s article ( underscoring the importance of feedback, and how it continually improves and strengthens our business. But, just getting feedback is not enough. We need to actively listen to the feedback, and then incorporate it into our business. Getting critical feedback can automatically put us on the defensive. However, if you work to understand where that person is coming from, even if you don’t agree, it can be an invaluable resource. 

If you’d like to talk more about taking your mortgage business to the next level, I’d be happy to set aside some time for a call.

Don Riggs

VP – Retail Market Leader

NMLS 132702