How to Become a Successful Branch Manager

Many loan officers dream of eventually becoming a branch manager. It’s an exciting adventure in any loan officer’s career and could dramatically boost your income. But if anyone’s promising you a quick and easy trip to riches as a manager of a mortgage branch, ignore them. You’ll need to work hard to achieve this goal, but even more importantly, you’ll need to work smart

But once you get things up and running? Freedom and more freedom!

Three Things Successful Branch Managers Know

  1. Why you want to shift into this role 
  2. What type of branch manager you want to be
  3. Which strategies will improve your team’s efficiency

Why Do You Want to Be a Branch Manager?

Marie Kondo had everyone talking a few years ago when her hit show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo starting trending across social media. Her key phrase, and one that’s applicable to your success as a branch manager, is “Does this spark joy?” 

Does the idea of becoming a branch manager “spark joy” for you? If so, which aspects in particular spark that joy? What is your passion? What motivates you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

There are many benefits to becoming a branch manager. For some loan officers, big money is their biggest motivator. For others, it’s the opportunity to take a leadership position and oversee a team. Maybe you’re excited about the idea of venturing out on your own and rising to the top of your industry completely on your own merits. 

Your “why” will have a huge impact on what type of branch manager you choose to become. Your passions will also influence how you lead your branch, or whether you even decide to become a branch manager at all. If your sole passion is maximizing your income, becoming a branch manager might not be for you. But if your loan officer goals include becoming a leader and helping others grow and succeed, you’re headed in the right direction.

What Type of Branch Manager Do You Want to Be?

Well, what kinds of branch managers are there to choose from? Here are the three most common types: 

  • Non-producing branch manager
  • Self-producing branch manager alongside other loan officers
  • Self-producing loan branch manager without any loan officers

Non-producing branch managers work with a team of loan officers. Their primary role is to help coach and manage teams and drive sales. Active motivation and management of your team are absolutely essential. Your revenue is completely tied to the productivity of your branch and your team. If you can’t inspire great results from your team, you’ll probably take home less than you did as a loan officer. 

If you’re a self-producing branch manager with a team of loan officers, you’ll get your cut based on the teams’ closed units as well as your own. But you’re also responsible for the production value of the loan officers working under you. You need to help build them up while also maintaining and growing your own pipeline. That’s going to take a ton of work, and if you aren’t passionate about both aspects, it’s not a great model for you. If you are passionate about it, it could be extremely fulfilling to help less-experienced loan officers become successful at the craft.

Alternatively, you could be a self-producing manager without any loan officers. You’ll still have a team to manage, including your processors, closers, and other staff. But you’re the sole provider, so to speak. The head and only honcho producing. That’s a huge responsibility on your shoulders, but it could be exactly what’s best for you if you aren’t comfortable training and managing other loan officers. 

Strategies to Improve Your Team’s Efficiency

You can’t grow if you operate inefficiently. The two areas where you get the most bang for your buck are: 

  1. delegating tasks 
  2. incorporating technology solutions that streamline your daily operations. 

Delegation is one of the hardest things for branch managers to do at the beginning, and it is the absolute ONLY path to your branch’s success. You’re the face of the branch, and it’s easy for everyone to assume you’re also the go-to person for everything. That should never be the case. If it is, you’re going to burn out in no time flat.

Your work/life balance will suffer under the weight of constant emails, phone calls, and Zoom meetings that come in at all times of day or night. You could drive your branch into the ground if you don’t trust your team to do the work you’ve hired them to do, and back away.

Delegate ALL of this:

  • Incoming and outgoing sales calls
  • Administrative duties
  • Document preparation
  • Account management
  • Marketing

Delegation is all about reducing the load on yourself and others by divvying up the roles based on each team members’ strengths. When your team is laser-focused on their strengths, everyone succeeds and makes a ton of money in the process. 

The other part of delegation is providing your team with technology that streamlines their daily tasks. Tools like RingCentral can work as an app that will ring every team member’s phone and allow anyone to pick up the call who is available to take it. And CRM software like Jungo will help automate different aspects of your pipeline, including initial lead inquiries. 

The ability to move clients through the sales funnel with as minimal personal input as possible is a game-changer for the mortgage industry. 

Start Your Path Toward Becoming a Successful Branch Manager

Becoming a successful branch manager isn’t a piece of cake. It takes monetary, emotional, and time investment. Speaking of cake, you can’t bake a cake without flour, and last time we checked, nobody’s handing out free bags. 

But it doesn’t mean there aren’t shortcuts, ways to become successful faster. And one of those shortcuts is finding a mentor, a coach, to teach you everything they know. Someone like that can save you all the time, energy, and costly mistakes you might make along the way. I’d love to be that person for you. 

I love sharing loan officer tips and strategies. I get a kick out of seeing other people succeed in this industry. Schedule your FREE, no-strings-attached strategy call with me TODAY. I can help launch you on the path to Loan Officer Freedom.

Listen to “Which Branch Manager Model Is Right For You” on Episode 137 of Loan Officer Freedom, the 31 podcast in the nation for loan officers: https://loanofficerfreedom.com/which-branch-manager-model-is-right-for-you-episode-137/