Money-making strategies are always front-and-center for truly competitive loan officers in the mortgage industry. Many mortgage professionals understand the value of solid money-making strategies to increase their business volume, but often don’t know where to find ideas that can propel them to the next level of mortgage success.
That’s why in February 2017, Vantage Production surveyed nearly 1,400 mortgage professionals at all types of mortgage organizations—banks, independent mortgage companies and credit unions. Results of the First Annual Mortgage Industry Outlook Survey showed that one of the biggest challenges facing mortgage loan originators today is developing profitable partner relationships. We asked the Vantage Production Faculty to share their tips to help MLOs build valued referral partnerships. Here are just a few of our favorite money-making strategies for loan officers to consider, from those who do it best.
2 tips to build valued referral partnerships
By Cindy Ertman, National Success Strategist for RPM Mortgage & CEO of The Defining Difference, NMLS#: 330850
1. Memorize your value proposition
Identify your three greatest strengths as a mortgage originator and your company’s three greatest strengths (e.g., great programs, products, guidelines, services, pricing).
Integrate these into two sentences that describe your value in a simple and clear value proposition.
Tape the sentences to your computer screen and memorize them like a script to use when meeting new people.
2. Ask for referrals
Call 5 referral partners who appreciate and value your services and ask for 2 recommendations for new potential referral partners who could benefit from your services. Use a script like this when making the call:
Hi, Bob, this is Cindy Ertman. You have been on my mind lately as our trusted referral partner, and we continue to value and appreciate our relationship with you more than you know. Our team is looking to expand our real estate referral business this year, as our refinance business has slowed due to the current uptick in interest rates.
We wanted to see if you could recommend a couple of quality real estate agents who could benefit from the same kind of service you’ve experienced in working with our team.
We are looking for quality, not quantity, and just want to add a few key referral partners to expand our presence in the area. So are there a couple of names you’d be willing to share with us who might benefit from our services?
I’ve trained hundreds of people on this strategy. I also used it to kick off the new year and immediately received the names of 12 new potential referral partners to meet with one-on-one. These are warm leads because a peer recommended them as a great referral partner.
The key is to follow up with the recommended names within 48 hours, so the lead is fresh and relevant. It’s important to also follow up with the referring partner to give an update and share your appreciation.
How to be the real estate agent’s best friend
By Dave King, Managing Loan Officer, SWBC Mortgage, NMLS#: 257324
1. Communicate well
The number one complaint of real estate agents is that lenders don’t communicate well. Determine what you can do to avoid that trap.
2. Share seller expectations
Whenever you are doing a pre-qualification for clients who also need to sell their home, ask what they think their current home is worth. That’s valuable information to share with real estate agents. Tell agents what to expect before they meet with sellers. It’s helpful for agents to walk into that situation knowing what to expect.
3. Teach them how to market
Based on the National Association of REALTORS® annual homebuyer and home seller study, real estate agents are missing out on a ton of repeat business. The survey has the same results almost every year. Results show that 80 to 90 percent of homebuyers and home sellers liked the agent they worked with, but only 10 to 20 percent of them use the same real estate agent.
Why? Agents are just not staying in touch.
Help them improve. Teach them how to stay in touch, even if it’s just a recommendation to send a postcard each month. Encourage them to use an automated marketing program. Share your experiences with them.
3 success tips for getting the most out of REALTOR® meetings
By Jason Klaskin, District Manager, Loan Officer, Academy Mortgage NMLS#: 130693
1. Dish up your Caesar salad speech
Everyone’s heard the term “elevator speech:” a quick 30-second run-down of what you do and why. In the real world, we don’t often run into prospective referral partners in an elevator. So, I opt for the Caesar salad speech. When you run into prospects in the buffet line, you have the time from plating your salad until grabbing a cookie to sell them on wanting to meet with you. So, have your Caesar salad speech ready to go when you bump into people at seminars, meetings, weddings and other events.
2. Craft your 7 unique selling propositions
Write up 7 two-minute speeches about your unique selling propositions. What do you do better than anybody? What does your company do better than anybody? Package those 7 selling propositions into short, standalone speeches and commit them to memory.
3. Don’t do the ‘show up and throw up’
Real estate agents hate meeting with a lender who simply throws down a bunch of rate sheets, flyers and other things that might not matter to them.
Instead, ask real estate agents what’s important to them. Ask open-ended questions to really get to the heart of their challenges and frustration. As they start talking to you, practice active listening.
When it’s finally time for you to speak, repeat what you heard from them and tie it to one of your unique selling proposition speeches. You might say, “You mentioned that at your closings you have to wait for documents to be sent back for approval or that your closings are often delayed because closing disclosures don’t get out on time. Here’s what we do to ensure…”
Draw from your list of rehearsed mini-speeches. Because you asked questions and listened first, you can personalize your speeches based on what your referral partners say is important.
The opinions and insights expressed in this blog are solely those of its author, Torry Burdick, 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.