What are workflows and why should you care about them? 5 Steps to Get Workflows to Work for your Mortgage Broker Business

by | Aug 24, 2022

What is a workflow?

It can be depicted as a sequence of operations, the work of a person or group, the work of an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms. (Wiki)

Put simply, what steps need to happen, in a repeatable and specific order, in a business process to achieve a goal, task or end state?

Let’s use a global example – McDonalds. If you order a Big Mac in Sydney, New York or Hong Kong, you are going to receive pretty much the same thing because each Big Mac has been produced following the same, repeated process in every store. This doesn’t happen by chance, it’s a workflow in motion.

You might be thinking this doesn’t really matter in a mortgage broker business, or that your business is so unique with complex processes that you couldn’t easily put workflows in place.

I’m going to bust that myth straight up.

If you have a business that follows a process (i.e. a loan application), then you could benefit from having a workflow, or multiple workflows in place.

1. Getting started with workflows

  • List out the common processes your business follows – everything from hiring new staff, processing loans, communicating with customers, etc.
  • Then break down each process into the individual steps that need to be followed

Purely by doing these two things you (and your leadership team) will quickly see gaps, opportunities to improve efficiencies, ways you could provide a better service to your customers, and ways to save time and money – so this is hugely worthwhile.

2. Get the team involved

This is always an interesting one when I work with mortgage broker business owners because often they assume everyone is doing things in the exact same way. Myth #2 busted!

Unless you have a clear, documented process there is no way to guarantee that everyone is doing things in the same way. Again, this provides great opportunity to reevaluate your processes and come up with better ways to do things.

3. Tidy up your operations

Now you’ve seen the processes that need to be done, the steps needed for each process, and input from the people actually doing the processes, you can start to eliminate and reduce unnecessary steps, or streamline processes in a much more efficient way.

Some examples from work I’ve done with mortgage brokers whom I have helped to look at their workflows include:

Realising that there were multiple touchpoints with the bank that were all being done by different team members that could easily be combined – saving time for their clients and a lot of admin for the broker

  • Eliminating steps that added no value to the end goal of a loan being processed
  • Bringing on support/admin staff to do a lot of the heavy lifting that was previously being done by a broker (enabling them to work on more leads)

4. Automate as much as possible

Another great benefit of looking at workflows is that you can quickly see where things can be automated for maximum efficiency. This definitely happens more often when a mortgage broker has a CRM built and customized for them and their specific processes and opens up so many gaps where the team was previously spending a lot of their working day on repeatable tasks that could easily be automated.

Examples of mortgage broker tasks that can be automated include customer communication, document uploading, and new lead onboarding – but the options are truly endless here!

5. Put your new workflows to the test

The key is to always be looking for ways to improve your existing workflows and to bring on any other tasks that can be added to a workflow so that your business is always operating effectively.

A new piece of legislation, a new bank process or requirement or an update in your CRM software can all be great catalysts for reviewing your workflows, but adding them as an ongoing agenda item to team and leadership meetings can also be a great way to get everyone into the same way of thinking effectively and with workflows in mind.

If you’re keen to learn more about how workflows can benefit your mortgage broker business (but you have no idea where to begin), let’s chat. Book a time with me or fill in this online form for more information.

Christian Paterson, Auctus Coaching

Christian Paterson

Director, Head Coach

I love nothing more than helping hardworking brokers to work smarter and enjoy their business while growing an incredibly profitable and efficient operation.