Jump-start your 2023 planning with insights from fellow loan officers

Business planning: We all know we should do it, but it’s hard to make the time. Big-picture strategy can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of being a loan officer. But even if you make the time to sit down and write out a business plan for 2023, you may wonder where to start!  

One way to jump-start your business planning is to learn from your peers. In June 2022, we surveyed over 1,600 loan originators about their marketing activities, referral strategies, working with borrowers and more. We also asked them about their goals for next year. While their answers were as individual as the loan officers who wrote them, several trends did emerge.  

Here are takeaways on business planning in 3 key areas from the latest Loan Originators Survey

Increase referrals 

10% of all responses to our open question about goals included the word “referrals” – so, clearly, it continues to be a hot topic! Many respondents simply answered that they want to grow referrals or find new referral partners, but some were more specific, citing new types of referral partners (e.g. builders, financial advisors) or an exact number of new referral partners to add in the coming year. As you consider your plans for next year, you may want to consider setting a goal related to: 

  • How often you stay in touch with referral partners. 49% of LOs say they stay in touch with their best referral partners at least once a week 
  • New ways to reach real estate agents. 30% of LOs say they host events to build relationships with agents 
  • New referral sources to develop, including builders, financial advisors, educators and HR professionals 

Be an advisor to clients 

Many originators framed their goals in terms of helping their clients, as was the case for this survey respondent: “To assist as many clients as possible to navigate through this changing market, and to share my expertise to guide them through the process.” 

As you consider your plans for next year, you may want to consider setting a goal related to: 

  • Adding or increasing emphasis on offerings that may help underserved markets. 76% of LOs say they or their company put at least some emphasis on affordable lending products and programs, and 34% say they promote down payment assistance opportunities 
  • Offering homebuyer seminars or other educational opportunities 

Grow your business 

Of course, most loan officers would like to do more business and close more loans! Whether you set a goal for the number of loans closed or a dollar amount of production, it’s important to have a target to aim for in 2023.  

For those originators who mentioned a specific amount, $20-$30 million seemed to be the sweet spot. Whatever the number, you’ll likely need to leverage new strategies to meet your goal. In addition to referral and consumer strategies, you may want to consider setting a goal related to: 

  • New marketing tactics to try. While word of mouth was by far the most popular marketing medium for LOs (91% selected it as successful) over 30% of LOs also selected emails and social media as successful. And there are still a few LOs who find success with less common marketing media, like billboards, radio, and even yard signs! 
  • Greater social media efforts. 64% of LOs say Facebook is the most effective platform for them 

To get the full results of our survey:

Download the Loan Originators Survey Report

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

Liz Keuler

About the author

Liz Keuler, AMP – Editor, Loan Officer Hub

Liz Keuler joined MGIC in 2017 and currently serves as a Marketing Program Specialist. As the editor for both Loan Officer Hub and Readynest, MGIC’s online resource for homebuyers, she is responsible for curating new content and resources relevant to loan officers and consumers. Liz holds a BA in Creative Writing from Beloit College and has received her Accredited Mortgage Professional certification through the MBA.

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