In 2016, email remains the primary means of business communication. Nearly all business today flows through the conduit of email. But because email is a newer means of communication than the telephone and “snail” mail, many professionals still have not worked it into their workflow in an efficient or secure way.
Think about this: is email more like an office phone or more like a mailbox? Like an office phone, people use it to contact you directly with the expectation of receiving a prompt reply. But like traditional mail, unsolicited emails from businesses make their way to your inbox on a daily basis. So the question is: how much time should lenders spend checking and responding to emails? Yes, email is used very much like an office phone, and no businessperson would leave their office line unattended for long. But it’s also like your mailbox, and how long would you last if you routinely spent a quarter of your day peering into the mailbox?
• Rule: Check your email and respond to important items once a day for 30 minutes. Create a folder in your email for carryover items.
Perhaps the most important performance metric in the mortgage industry is closed mortgage loans per mortgage employee per month. The higher the number, the better, and right now the average sits at right around 3. Many lenders performing below the average don’t lack dedication or skill, they’re just spending too much time managing files and their email, both of which hurt productivity and slow loan turn times. Communication during the loan origination process is key, and any delays hurt your bottom line. If you routinely have to slog through endless email chains to resolve impasses, realize that there is a better way. Emails give no clear indication of the status of the loan, often necessitating more back and forth than is necessary.
• Rule: Explore task-based software platforms that allow stakeholders to communicate and share documents efficiently and securely.
On the other hand, email may have the potential to actually reduce lenders’ security when compared to old-fashioned fax and mail. A study of U.S. mortgage lenders found that over 70% of lenders sent or received applicants’ confidential information over unencrypted email, placing their own companies and their customers at significant risk.
• Rule: Invest in a secure document sharing platform or email service provider.
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