I’ve always liked forecasting; as a loan originator, I was obsessed with running (and re-running) the numbers to predict my team’s performance and calibrate goals. But the truth is, I’m an anomaly. Most of the originators I know would describe themselves as born salespeople, not born data-heads. Maybe that explains why so many of them dread the annual process of forecasting and goal setting.
When asked to turn in their projections for the coming year, LOs and branch managers have been known to simply plug in last year’s volume — or worse, submit wild guesstimates that have no basis in data. You could get away with flying blind like that in 2020 when originators leapfrogged even their stretch goals with ease. But with market contraction predicted in 2021, the last thing originators will want is to be held accountable for matching last year’s performance. At the same time, as margins get tighter, managers will need to know who’s meeting their performance objectives and who’s falling short. That’s why it’s more important than ever for loan teams to make solid projections and set achievable goals.
Data-driven forecasting can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we created LimeGear, our turnkey business intelligence platform. LimeGear offers half a dozen out-of-the-box dashboards designed to increase mortgage company productivity and efficiency, but the one I want to focus on today is our Performance module. Here’s how it works.
Creating Data-Driven Projections
Within the Performance module is the Projections feature that takes the mystery out of building realistic individual and branch projections. Instead of pulling together a bunch of spreadsheets, branch managers can simply navigate to the tool, where they’ll find information like last year’s actual units and volume funded, the number of tenured LOs on staff, and the prior year’s purchase-vs-refi and government-vs-conventional mix. Armed with this data, branch managers can enter their high-level projections for the new year and watch as LimeGear automatically breaks those projections down into branch goals such as units per month, average loan amount, total average monthly volume, units per producer based on tenure, and more.
The next screen helps managers understand how branch projections translate into monthly goals by producer, taking into account each individual’s tenure and average units, volume, and loan amount. LimeGear even applies a seasonality curve to the monthly goals. Branch managers can tweak this snapshot to their hearts’ content, adjusting individuals’ unit and volume goals while witnessing in real-time how those changes impact overall branch projections.
LimeGear not only makes branch projections dead simple — it also makes them transparent and trackable. Once projections have been finalized, the Performance At a Glance dashboard helps you track performance against plan at any point in time. This kind of real-time visibility enables companies to deal with underperformers in a timely manner while keeping high achievers motivated with discretionary bonuses or other rewards.
If you want reliable performance projections but hate the process of goal setting, you will love LimeGear. Our Projections module and Performance At a Glance dashboard provide a framework that makes it easy — even enjoyable — to forecast production and track your team’s performance as you go. For a complete tour of LimeGear, schedule a demo today.