How to skyrocket referrals from your borrowers

When it comes to building your mortgage business, there’s one thing that can give you an instant competitive advantage over your competition: referrals. If your clients trust you and respect you, they’ll refer their friends and family to you so they can reap the same benefits that they did when working with you! It’s important to make sure you have the right systems in place before, during, and after the loan process to maximize the number of referrals you get from your current clients.

91% of real estate agents believe that referred leads are better than cold-calling or advertising (REALTOR® Magazine). Referred leads also have practically no acquisition cost and convert at a much higher rate than leads from other sources. This means that you need to find a way to get as many clients as possible referring others. So, what can you do before, during, and after a deal so that your borrower refers you more business? Here are some ideas for maximizing referral potential.

Before the loan process (when they are pre-approved)

  • Prepare a pre-approval letter that also sells you and your company to the listing agent. Include an addendum to the actual letter that lists your value proposition. This will make your pre-approval letter stand out and will give the listing agent more reasons to choose your client. Even if your client doesn't get the property, chances are, the listing agent will be impressed and maybe more amenable to discuss future business with you. 
  • Send a congratulatory card with an inexpensive gift to the borrowers.
  • Call or text every week for hot leads and every 2 weeks for warm leads. The more you stay in touch with them throughout the process, the better the chance they will work with you when their offer gets accepted. Also, being on top of their mind means they may refer you to any other prospect that comes along.

During the loan process

  • Be realistic in setting the right expectations. Do not take a loan if you genuinely think you can't deliver on the contract timelines.
  • Send a video or email clearly specifying the process flow and the Dos and Don'ts. Don'ts can be sometimes even more important than the Dos. Many loan officers complain when their buyer makes a last-second big purchase or quits their job. They probably do it without realizing the impact it will have on their approval. But you, the loan officer, have been there and done that multiple times, so you should advise them up front about what they shouldn't be doing as much as what they should be doing.
  • Use automatic status updates through a system (usually your CRM) that syncs with your loan origination system (LOS). This way even if you are not able to update them, they will always be aware of the status of their loan.
  • Always go over the closing disclosure (CD) before they sign. That way, they will never have any questions at the closing table. Closing is supposed to be a celebration, not a time where they should be confused about the loan terms. It’s the last thing in the loan process that becomes a lasting experience. Make sure it's a pleasant one. 

After the loan closing

  • Send a congratulatory card with an inexpensive gift to the borrowers.
  • Call or text a week later to check in if they need help with anything or need a referral for any kind of service provider. This will also be a good time to ask for an online review and a referral.
  • Tell them about your “mortgage for life” program and mention that you will always be monitoring their loan for any refinance opportunities so they don’t have to worry about tracking mortgage rates.


"Stay in touch with borrowers for years after closing their loan if you want to get their future business and earn all their referrals."


5-year touch campaign

You need to stay in touch with borrowers for years after closing their loan if you want to get their future business and earn all their referrals. Here are a few things you can do, from a few weeks to a few years after closing.

  • Send a reminder for 1st mortgage payment a week before the due date.
  • Send the final CD in January for tax filing purposes – their accountant will invariably ask for it and not everyone saves it where it can be easily retrieved from. 
  • Homeowners are very curious about their home values. Make sure to partner with a real estate agent to send regular updates about their home value so that they don’t go to platforms like Zillow where they can find many of your competitors advertising and trying to get their business from you.
  • Review their mortgage situation and possible debt consolidation or real estate investment plans every six months, ideally via a phone or video call. 
  • Email regular educational content that might be useful for them.
  • Send holiday/birthday cards both via mail and electronically. 

There you have it. Implement these simple steps to skyrocket referrals from your borrowers.

The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Shashank Shekhar, 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. 

Headshot of Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage

About the author

Shashank Shekhar, CEO, InstaMortgage

Shashank Shekhar is the founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. With over $300 million in annual production, he is one of the top loan officers in the country. 

Shashank is an avid blogger, bestselling author, and a sought-after keynote speaker. His articles have been published in Forbes, HousingWire and Huffington Post. He has been named one of the "most connected" and "most influential" mortgage professionals in America.


Marshall Sparkman

Wow. What a great article. I just started my own mortgage brokerage within the past year and would love to have the support staff in place to execute all this. Definitely something everyone should strive towards. I am saving this article as it makes me realize I need to hire someone just to execute it lol. Thank you for the great insight

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