On the May 2 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, we were all entertained by cohost Andy Schell explaining how lenders are a little like Santa Claus. And just how are we in the mortgage industry like good old Saint Nick? Well, you know the old jingle about Santa Claus "making a list and checking it twice." When it comes to our processes and procedures in the mortgage industry, we've got to do the same thing.
Of course, when it comes to regulatory issues, this is a no-brainer. We can't afford to overlook the details when we risk incurring fines from regulatory agencies, not to mention how our reputations can be negatively impacted but such oversights. But, aside from regulatory issues, it pays to go over everything twice to make sure you've got it right. Why is this the case? Isn't "double-checking" just a redundant waste of time? Shouldn't you just do it right the first time and not have to worry about going over it again?
The problem is that we are often poor judges of our own work. All of us are a little biased toward our own abilities, and we tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We're much quicker to catch the mistakes of others than we are to catch our own. When we double-check ourselves, we can stand a better chance of catching the mistakes we missed the first time.
By not reviewing our work, we may tell ourselves that we're just "saving time," but the truth is often that we don't want to doubt our ability to do it right the first time. But, we've got to swallow our pride and be willing to examine our work. Success is worth much more than the pride that risks preventing it.