Dear Loan Officer: Focus on Your Victories and Learn from Your Failures


Dear Loan Officer,

Everywhere I look, I can see a hurdle, a problem, a stumbling block.  Sometimes, things just go wrong, and perhaps continue to go wrong.  I recently talked with two dejected Loan Officers who were each dealing with an “ugly” loan transaction.  If you are in the mortgage business and have done a good amount of business, you’ve been in similar situations.

The reality is, it’s part of our growth in this business.  As with everything, the difference is how you respond.  One or two tough mortgage transactions, or clients, can temporarily crush your confidence.  And if you only HAD one or two loans in total, you’ll question your own capabilities when it can feel like “every loan transaction is a disaster”.

But that’s not the reality.  An “ugly” transaction does not make a career.  Start by focusing on the good ones you’ve had.  Pull out those raving testimonials you received on the LAST loan or two, from the clients that loved you and applauded your team.  Remind yourself that a bad transaction doesn’t mean YOU are bad.  Move on, be better next time and LEARN from any mistakes you made.

Confidence is the key to everything, so you must proactively build your confidence back up when things go sideways.  

Then, from a constructive mindset, “autopsy” the bad experience. What worked?  (Hint:  There is ALWAYS something that went well, no matter how bad things feel.)  Then, write down what didn’t work or go well.  How would you improve your systems to ensure things go better next time?  What questions would you ask earlier in the process?  How would you set expectations better next time, with the client, the Realtor partner, etc.?

Point is, don’t beat yourself up too bad over a tough/bad loan transaction.  Yes, we are in an emotional business and we take it seriously.  Heck, there’s a lot of money at stake for everyone.  But it happens and will continue to happen, though hopefully less and less. Stay confident.  Keep learning and improving.  It’s not easy…but if it was, everyone would be doing it.

I wish you all the best!


About Trevor Hammond

Trevor Hammond, NMLS# 74846 Division Vice President, Neo Home Loans 📞 (503) 680-5360 📧 📍 4380 S Macadam Ave, #150, Portland, OR 97239 🌐 Connect with me on LinkedIn:
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