Loan Officer Hub blog

Establish your network by being a part of your community

Establish your network by being a part of your community

Competition is everywhere, especially in the mortgage industry. I have often been asked how I differentiate myself from my competitors. The answer for me is simple. I made an intentional decision to connect two of my passions – serving my community and sharing supportive mortgage solutions with my clients and referral partners.  

I’ve learned over time that people want to work with those that they know, like and trust. The main way to establish this level of rapport is through positive client experiences and working in partnership with others. I’m not a pushy, over-the-top salesperson. I believe in a more organic approach.  


“People want to work with those that they know, like and trust.”


Start with an invitation 

My approach always starts with an invitation. Sometimes that invitation is to join me in a community service opportunity at a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Many of my referral partners have served right alongside me and it allows for me to connect with them on a deeper level.  

With customers, the invitation is often to hold a genuine conversation to identify goals. I always aim to provide a couple of options to my clients so that they have a strong foundation to build from. I want them to remain in the driver’s seat and make an informed decision that they feel confident in.  

With both referral partners and customers, your interactions should address their needs and show you’re willing to work in partnership for a successful outcome. I often share my gratitude for the successful teamwork on social media so we can celebrate the achievement together.  

Be a connector 

I also work directly with local agencies to share our first-time homebuyer and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)-driven programs with our community. I have found that often, people don’t know all the programs that are available to them. I encourage you to think outside the box for your referral partners. I work with HR managers, financial advisors, and even divorce attorneys to offer my support and be there for people as they are making a major life transition.  

I love being a connector, sharing local trusted resources so that customers do not have to figure out these major life moments on their own. After all, isn’t that what community is all about? Don’t be afraid to connect your personal passion with your work passion. It’s the most genuine way to build a network for yourself that can also result in lifelong connections. Remember – Know, Like, Trust!  

The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Cherie Good, and do not necessarily represent the views of either Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation or any of its parent, affiliates, or subsidiaries (collectively, “MGIC”). Neither MGIC nor any of its officers, directors, employees or agents makes any representations or warranties of any kind regarding the soundness, reliability, accuracy or completeness of any opinion, insight, recommendation, data, or other information contained in this blog, or its suitability for any intended purpose. 

Cherie Good, Mortgage Broker

Cherie Good, Mortgage Banker, First Merchants Bank

Cherie Good (NMLS#1520929) is a mortgage banker who supports the Jackson, Lenawee, Washtenaw, and Grand Rapids markets. She started working in mortgages in 2016 and in 2019 joined Level One Bank, which merged with First Merchants Bank in July 2022. Cherie is the Board Vice President and Governance Chair of Jackson Interfaith Shelter and serves monthly at a local food pantry. Her niche has been building rapport with community leaders through volunteer efforts – learning that people refer others to those they know, like, and trust. In Fall 2021, Cherie won the Lenawee County Association of Realtors® Affiliate of the Year award. 


Kim Castello

I am interested in your ideas to connect with referral partners

Paula Joy Leonard

This is great information. I am currently not licensed and am working as a lender in the commercial real estate industry. I just finished my MBA and am considering pursuing my license so that I can do residential real estate loans. I have 2 questions: 1) What is the best way to get licensed? 2) Any advice as to what community activities would be good for networking for a commercial lender?

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