As a mortgage loan originator, your goal should always be to increase your referral sources to help you expand your business. While many people in the industry realize the value of having an online presence, they underestimate the importance of using local resources to grow a pipeline. If you want to be a top-performing loan officer, the following tips will help you take your game to the next level:
The first step to growing as a professional is to make sure that you are a knowledgeable, honest loan officer with excellent customer service skills. People need to know that you will respond when they call you and that you will do your best to produce for them. If a client calls and they can't get through to you, or if they feel you don't know your stuff or you're not straightforward with them, they'll look elsewhere for help. Don't work hard to increase your client base, only to unintentionally turn customers away when they reach out to you.
Ask for Business
An integral part of your job is to be a good salesperson. It's never a good idea to be shy if you're looking to find new clients. If you want new business, be upfront and ask for it:
- Talk to friends and family. The people who love you the most are the ones most likely to help you. Let those close to you know that they should keep an eye out for you and that you're looking for new business. If they hear anyone mention that they're looking to refinance or buy a home, they should immediately recommend you and give them your number.
- Pound the pavement. While attorneys, title agencies, and insurance brokers are suitable professionals to approach for referrals, Realtors® should be your number one target. Start by contacting real estate agents you know, and then expand to others. Let them know about your company and its advantages, but also sell yourself to them. Tell them that you're always available by cell phone, offer to do pre-approval letters for their potential clients, open houses, and anything else that might be helpful to them.
- Ask for referrals. Every client is a potential source of new business. When you're dealing with a client, don't assume that they'll refer you further. There's nothing wrong with letting them know that you appreciate referrals. Tell them that if they're happy with your services, you would appreciate if they send their friends and family your way.
Networking is a great way to pick up new business contacts. Whether you attend a charitable, political, or industry-specific event, when you meet people, you can spread the word that you're looking to service new clients. Always be prepared with your business card and greet people pleasantly. If they take a liking to you, they'll keep you in mind when someone they know is looking for a mortgage.
Get Yourself Noticed
If you're out in public, you will gain recognition and people will want to use your services. There are several ways to make yourself known:
- Volunteer your time. Whether you decide to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or build houses for Habitat for Humanity, helping local organizations will help you meet people and will show the people around you that you're a good person with whom they should want to associate.
- Offer professional services. Ask your local Housing Authority and other such organizations if they need you to speak about mortgages for them. Many of these venues have people in the audience who are looking to buy a home, and they will view you as an industry expert. After you speak, leave your contact information so potential buyers can contact you if they have any questions.
- Join a local board. If you have the connections to join a zoning or planning board, you should grab the opportunity. Your name might get mentioned occasionally by local media outlets, and you can become a brand name in your community. You will also meet people who are involved in real estate and may know where you can find new clients.
The mortgage industry is very service-oriented. If you're a good, hard-working individual, you should have a bright future ahead of you in mortgages. Make sure to approach the right people, be at the right places, and present yourself professionally. People will want to do business with you, and you will be successful.