The Boles Group at Bay Equity Home Loans in Gilbert plans to permanently adopt many of the adjustments made in their March 2020 response to the COVID 19 pandemic.
For the seven person team - all dog owners - this means they are no longer leaving their pooches home alone every day while they head off to work.
“Bay Equity as an organization has always been at the forefront of technology in the mortgage industry,” said Sr. Loan Officer and Boles Group co-owner Adam Boles. “It was definitely an advantage for us when the time came to pivot to a work-from-home business model.”
According to Boles, his team’s loan process was already close to 100% digital at the start of the pandemic which made the transition to a touchless work environment relatively seamless.
“Even before COVID, it was pretty standard for clients to submit their application online and complete the entire loan process without ever meeting face-to-face,” Boles said. “The biggest hurdle for us was making sure everyone had what they needed and would be just as effective at home as they were in the office.”
“Security and privacy are our top priority, so we had to supply everyone with compliance-approved computer equipment, cross-cut shredders and those types of things,” Boles said. “Now that we have the equipment, it’s nice to have a work-from-home option available for the entire team”
According to Loan Officer Derek Jaramazovic, once his home office was set up, there was very little difference in his day-to-day routines.
“At this point, there’s really nothing we do that can’t be done from home,” Jaramazovic said. “Adam and Hannah (Boles) have been incredible throughout the entire ordeal. They really made sure everyone on the team had what was needed. I miss seeing my coworkers, but other than that, it hasn’t had a big impact on how I do my job.”
In addition to having more time at home with their furry friends, the work from home scenario has created some intangible benefits for both employees and clients.
“There’s this idea that less work gets done if you work from home,” Jaramazovic said, “but I’m actually much more available to my clients this way. If I get an afterhours call, I have my computer and secure access to their loan file right there with me, and of course it’s great to use less gas and eat lunch at home and those types of things.”
Area Sales Manager and Boles Group Co-Owner Hannah Boles said there have been quite a few procedural changes that have been very positive and are likely to stay in practice for the foreseeable future.
“The remote communication platforms took some getting used to, but now that we have them down, they are a huge improvement,” Hannah said. “When I’m focused on something in particular, it’s nice to be able to mute team conversations, keep my eyes on my work and completely avoid distractions.”
“When working in the office we can lose a lot of time to desk-side drop ins and quick questions that turn into lengthy training opportunities or completely off-topic conversations,” Hannah said, “Our online messaging platform not only helps keep those time-stealers under control, but it creates a searchable archive that we can reference back to.”
Virtual meetings are another best practice that the team will carry over into their post-pandemic model.
“Virtual meetings are a game changer,” Hannah said. “They really open things up. We can use screen share to conduct a training or hop on camera for a quick face to face conversation without having to schedule a meeting and disrupt everyone’s routine.”
The team will eventually head back to the office, but with everything they’ve learned, the plan is to keep their home offices intact and regularly work from home -- with their four-legged office assistants at their feet.
Bay Equity Home Loans, Inc is a family-owned, full-service mortgage lender founded in 2007 and licensed in 42 states.
Boles Group is a team of lending professionals located in Gilbert, Arizona and licensed to originate home loans in eleven states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, MN, NM, NV, OR, WA).. The team prides itself on responsive, accurate communication and is highly regarded by clients and business associates alike.