Whether you’re a bright-eyed mortgage newcomer with an empty Rolodex or a seasoned Loan Originator trying to bolster your sales pipeline, here are some practical ways to bring more leads through the door today!
1. Use The Connections You Already Have
Call your friends and family first! According to data by Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy or use a service if referred by a friend. You may recoil at the thought of selling to your inner circle, but remember that you’re offering a valuable service, not asking them to invest in your risky startup. Dial the phone with nothing but catching up on the agenda. Ask how they are doing with sincerity and let them steer the conversation. If a natural opportunity to talk about your life and career pops up, say you’re thrilled to be working as a Loan Originator! Tell them that referrals are a cornerstone of your business and that if they know anybody looking to buy, sell or refinance, they are encouraged to share your name and number. Don’t pressure them; this is just an awareness campaign.
2. Expand Your Database
While catching up with friends and family, ask them if they have a favorite Real Estate Agent, Insurance Agent, CPA, Financial Planner, or Attorney. Compile those professionals into a list, and as you continue making calls, ask your friends if they need those services and make that into a list, as well. Now that you have a list of potential referral partners and a list of friends that you can refer to them, pick up the phone, and introduce yourself to those agents. Conversation with these people is much easier now that you have mutual connections, and building rapport will help you win their referral business. Ask for a sit-down meeting and have them demonstrate their level of service. Just as you want these partners to trust you as a referral partner, you want to trust them when sending family and friends in their direction. Since you have already identified people in your network looking for the services on the list you made, you can immediately start to refer business to these new partners and build instant credibility with your referral network.
3. Stay Top Of Mind With Referral Partners
If you already have referral partners, staying top of mind with them is imperative; you’re not the only loan originator in their network. Like any relationship, a referral partnership requires maintenance and regular check-ins. Don’t call every day, but call weekly to check in on your referral partners’ needs and follow up on the progress of clients you have been sending their way. Never hesitate to ask for referrals; your referral partners already hold a favorable opinion of you and are likely to be more than willing to refer their clients to your services. Embrace their confidence in you and leverage it to expand your business network!
- Invest In Your Pre-Approved Borrowers
While building a referral ecosystem and chasing new leads, don’t forget about the borrowers you’ve already pre-approved. In today's digital age, misinformation and misleading mortgage rates abound, making it easy for these potential clients to be swayed or poached by competitors. By contacting them regularly, you can provide accurate and reliable information and reaffirm your commitment to guiding them through the complex mortgage process. Show empathy and understanding by acknowledging the overwhelming amount of information available and the challenges they may face. Assure them that you are their trusted advisor, ready to navigate any obstacles on their journey toward homeownership. By instilling a sense of excitement and optimism, you can tap into their enthusiasm and encourage them to share their positive experience with others, potentially generating valuable referrals. Remember, in an era of information overload, your personalized attention and genuine care can make all the difference in building long-lasting relationships with your clients.
- Stay Connected With Your Active Borrowers
If you have a pipeline with active loans, you have a pipeline of potential referral partners. Utilize the power of personal conversations, particularly over the phone, to discuss your active borrowers’ loan progress, address any concerns they may have, and provide them with valuable insights and guidance. During these conversations, it is important to kindly and confidently ask for referrals. Remember, your borrowers might not inherently realize the significance of recommending your services to their friends and family, so it is crucial to proactively communicate the importance of their referrals. Set a tangible goal of obtaining at least one lead from every borrower in your active loan pipeline. By consistently engaging with your borrowers and actively seeking referrals, you create a virtuous cycle that drives sustainable growth and establishes you as the go-to loan originator in your community.
- Build Relationships With Realtors, Builders, Title & Escrow
All your existing clients come with built-in networks of mortgage professionals with databases of potential leads. Investing in relationships with these mortgage professionals is a surefire way to increase your referral volume. First, you should call your borrower’s real estate agent as often as you contact your mutual borrower. It is essential to have a relationship with this agent, as they are a gateway to new business. Again, asking for referrals directly from these agents would be best. Ask if they have potential buyers who either haven’t met with a lender or need a second opinion.
In addition to the borrower’s realtor, it's equally important to establish connections with the listing agent, seller, or builder. While protecting your borrowers' privacy is essential, you can inform these vendors of critical updates such as appraisal timelines and closing progress. Sharing pertinent information can help you develop trust and positive word-of-mouth referrals. Remember, it's crucial to reiterate the requests for referrals during these conversations.
Furthermore, staying in touch with your escrow and title team is highly recommended. Shared information about important milestones like CD timelines, appraisals, or any changes to the closing process strengthens your role as a trusted originator. Escrow and title professionals often hear firsthand borrowers’ and agents' concerns and grievances during the closing process, and by establishing a strong alliance with them, you gain an ally who can refer your name to agents needing a reliable lender. It's important to note that this approach requires dedication and a long-term mindset, as the results may take time to materialize.
By prioritizing regular communication with referral partners, active borrowers, and other mortgage professionals, you establish a robust network of individuals who can provide referrals and support for your business’s growth. Embrace the power of personal connections, remain dedicated to delivering exceptional service, and consistently ask for referrals. Remember, building a thriving business is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and genuine care for your clients and industry partners. By implementing these tips, you are positioning yourself as a trusted advisor and creating a solid foundation for sustained growth amidst a competitive loan origination landscape.
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