Thanks to today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever to work from home as a mortgage loan officer. Whether you’re a seasoned work from homer or new to your office being five feet from your fully stocked fridge, achieving a healthy, balanced life is essential in today’s climate.
Uncertain times call for more communication, not less. We’ve got email, text, phone, video chat, social media and a variety of messaging apps that allow you to work from home as a mortgage loan officer.
It’s not only important to keep your clients in mind, it’s important that they know you’re keeping them in mind. Make it a point to reach out on whatever communication platform they prefer to let your clients know you’re here for them and available to answer any questions, anytime.
This also applies to your teammates. While some meetings may get rescheduled or canceled, business will continue for many Americans, particularly mortgage professionals who work from home. Though your meetings may look different now, you still want to communicate with your team early and often. Be sure to raise any questions regarding new protocols, projects or expectations as they come up, since you no longer have the option of walking over to their workspace.
Finally, keep your social sanity by reaching out to friends and family. Working from home as a mortgage loan officer can seem isolating without a pandemic, so these feelings may be heightened as states adopt stricter guidelines designed to keep people home. Make it a point to send a few messages in the morning, make one or two mid-day calls and ask a couple friends how their days went in the evening. You never know – they may have some great work-from-home ideas since we’re all in the same boat!
Manage Your Time
Chances are high you’re busy than ever nowadays as clients look to lock in the low rates they keep hearing so much about. This high demand means not everyone can take advantage of these publicity rates – at least not at all times.
Be sure to get organized so you can balance your time appropriately between fielding calls from current and prospective clients asking about rates, clients that already have applications in and reaching out to clients who you think may benefit the most from these windows of opportunity. Explain how the current interest rate environment is impacted by market volatility, and how this brings about small timeframes where these low rates are available.
Naturally, one of the best ways to take advantage of these periods is to make sure your clients are ready to act when they do arise. Touch base with them early, explain where the opportunity lies and advise them to get all their necessary paperwork in order so you can pounce when the time is right. You’ll also want to be sure you know the easiest way to get ahold of them – and that they’re aware you may be contacting them in the near future when the chance to act is finally here.
Keep a Routine
It’s easy to get distracted when you work from home as a mortgage loan officer. I mean, who wouldn’t?! You have 24-hour access to your kitchen, the entire family is under one roof all day long and you’re starting to notice all the little projects you could work on around the house. Suddenly, re-arranging your closet with a side of Netflix and chill seems a lot more enticing than sitting down with your laptop.
Again, totally normal feeling as you work from home…but totally avoidable. Do yourself a favor by creating a routine. This gives your day a sense of normalcy, purpose, and balance in terms of which projects and people should have your attention at any given time.
Set your alarm and go about your normal routine as if you were going into work. Then sit down to work – at the same designated work spot each day – at whatever time you’d normally get into the office.
Establishing a work flow can keep you on task as well. Carve out a schedule that dedicates time to answering emails and sending follow ups, reading relevant industry news, prospecting for new business, making progress on current applications and anything else you need to accomplish.
Creating a routine when you work from home as a mortgage loan officer also means taking breaks. Step away from your designated work space for at least half an hour to eat a healthy lunch. Work in a few 20-minute breaks as well. This can be valuable time to break up the day with a short walk, stretching session, or to accomplish one or two household tasks – just keep an eye on the time. Picking up a few things around the house can quickly derail your afternoon when you work from home.
Mortgage professionals who work from home know how easy it is to get sidetracked, so do your best to prevent this from happening to you! This starts with making sure your kids have something to keep them occupied. Establish a routine that separates school time, free time and family time, just as you did for yourself.
Working from home is made easier when everyone has their own designated work space. How you divvy up your home is up to you. One person can take the home office or second bedroom, another can use the dining room and a third can take the kitchen countertop, for example. This ensures everyone has a place to be – and that place is not screaming into your ear in the middle of a client call.
Planning ahead can also minimize the threats of distraction. In a perfect world, every person who worked from home would have an impeccable house. In the real world, this isn’t always realistic. Make a list of the projects you’d like to get done, such as cleaning the bathrooms, laundry, doing the dishes, etc., and put those on a schedule as well. You’ll be less likely to take yourself away from work to scrub the sinks if you know you can accomplish that task at, say, 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Making your breaks count is also important when you work from home running your business. We all love a few minutes of downtime to surf the internet or social media, but these activities don’t necessarily leave us feeling recharged. Try to get up – and get out – for your break as often as you can. A change of scenery paired with a change of pace can refresh your mind and provide a little mental clarity. These things will make a big difference when you sit back down at your desk.
We know – the couch, those potato chips and even that wine on the counter look ever-so enticing when you’re working from home as a loan officer. Unfortunately, none of those will do you much good in the long run. Maintaining a healthy outlook is more important than ever as we navigate these uncertain times, so make sure you stay physically and mentally sharp.
The outdoors haven’t been off limits in any state, so build in some time to get back to nature. Take the kids to the park, walk the dog around the neighborhood, see the sunset with your spouse or go running on the trails. Fresh air and a little movement are crucial nowadays. Just be sure to maintain a safe distance from others in the process.
Many gyms, workout studios and fitness coaches are also offering free access to in-home workouts for the time being. Check with your favorite studios, download a fitness app or poke around YouTube to find a plethora of workout routines that fit your schedule and fitness level.
It’s natural to want to stock up on non-perishable items like canned goods as we limit our exposure to the coronavirus. However, all that sodium can do a number on your system. Be sure to also pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy items when you can. Eat these items outright, use them in your favorite recipes, or work them into other mixtures like salad dressings and smoothies.
Working from home as a loan officer is totally doable…though it does require a little planning and discipline before you hit the ground running. A tiny bit of preparation will go a long way, however. Before you know it, you’ll have a streamlined operation that you can be proud of!