One of your primary jobs as a mortgage professional is to provide an ideal suite of mortgage options most suited for your client. At the same time, the position also requires a high level of selling and marketing ability. That means sales calls, promotions and getting a solid stream of referrals. Without consistent referrals from multiple sources, it can be hard to become a Top Producer. Here are nine ways to boost your mortgage referral business.
This might be a bit too obvious as real estate agents are involved in the buying and selling homes. But how do you know which agents to contact? Where should you focus your marketing efforts, individually or to the entire office? In most every office there are “whales.” Those are the agents with support staff and juggling multiple listings at any one time. They’re kind of hard to get in front of and most likely they’re loyal to an experienced lender already. Instead, search out the full time agent that has a few listings, say maybe three or four listings. Not 20 or 30. These agents know how to get the business and will be more open to spending time with you.
And speaking of real estate agents. An excellent way to get qualified leads is to work an open house with a real estate agent. When you help an agent with an open house, guess who shows up? That’s right, buyers. Yes, there will always be a few who will stop by an open house just to see what it looks like inside or maybe someone who lives down the street is a bit curious as to what their home might sell for, but the majority of those walking through the house are active buyers. And, those buyers are walking through the house with their agents as well. When you work with an agent at an open house you can provide bring over complimentary appetizers and drinks. Print up some flyers with your contact information on them and list monthly payments based upon prevailing interest rates.
You can include Certified Public Accounts in this group as well. These people don’t see loan officers in their offices every day. In fact, they rarely do but they’re a solid referral source. Their clients are typically self-employed, have higher incomes and need the professional services of those to handle their finances as well as planning for retirement. When someone’s financial planner makes a referral, it’s taken seriously. When CPAs start to get busy near income tax filing time, that’s not the time to make sales calls but it is the time before and after. CPAs know which clients have mortgages and take the mortgage interest deduction. If you put together a spreadsheet showing the amount of interest someone can save based upon a shorter loan term or lower rates, that information can be forwarded to their clients.
Take advantage of your social media presence to promote your business. Follow other referral sources such as real estate agents, builders, financial planners and others. Most everyone you know both personally and professionally has a website, FB page, Instagram and Pinterest account. Be active and don’t feel like you have to promote a new loan program or promotion every post. Just be consistent with your comments. Using social media platforms is an excellent way for people to get to know you better as a person. And as with any promotion via print or otherwise, when you solicit business on social media and quote interest rates make sure you’re in compliance as it relates to quoting the APR along with the note rate, loan amount and term.
Content marketing today is simply how marketing is done in today’s digital world. But you do need to be found in the sea of loan officers and you can target your leads by providing relevant copy on your blog and web page. Post consistent articles and blogs that contain keywords and phrases that will cause your website to pop up on the first page of results using Google or Bing. If your local market has a special program for first time buyers, write an article promoting the program. Consumers who search for information for first time buyers will soon see your site.
There are metrics that point to how much it costs to find a new client compared to selling to an existing one. Begin a consistent email campaign built from your database of past clients. This is so important yet not deployed as often as one might expect. While your past clients may not need a mortgage today they certainly might know someone who does. The point is to be on your past client’s shortlist/. When getting a mortgage is a topic of conversation, you’re right there on the tip of the tongue.
When you promote you and your services do a bit more than just advertise you have “great rates and great service.” While every mortgage company in town will have the standard fare of fixed and adjustable rate programs, find a mortgage product that caters to a select audience. For example, a popular loan program caters to teachers. Set up an after-school seminar and hold a class on the loan program specifically designed for educators and employees of public and private schools. Many states offer special loan programs for veterans as well along with other special niche programs. Niche marketing is a good way to separate yourself from your competition and introduce a brand new source of referrals at the same time Niche marketing means your name will come up more often when home loans are being discussed. Those in the same field trust one another more than someone that is not. Teachers trust teachers more than teachers trust plumbers. There is a camaraderie there you can take advantage of. Using your email database to keep in contact with this close group will keep your phone ringing.
Another source for mortgage leads is forming a relationship with a divorce and family lawyer. Unfortunately, when couples split up many times there is also some real estate to deal with. For instance, a couple splits and one is awarded the home and the other is not. But the divorce decree doesn’t take the ex-spouse not awarded the home off title and the mortgage. While a quit claim deed can help with title issues, if both were on the original mortgage only a refinance can put the individual keeping the house on the loan. And for the spouse not living in the property, it will be necessary at some point to refinance the old mortgage in order to qualify for a new one.
Find and join a local business referral network. These organizations meet on a regular basis solely for the purpose of obtaining leads from one another. Membership is made up of various types of businesses and not concentrated on just one type of profession. In this manner, members not only trade referrals at meetings but keep other members in mind as they go about their daily business.
There are other ways to obtain mortgage leads and the list certainly doesn’t end here. At minimum, you should be working at least three of these referral sources constantly. Instead of relying on advertising or flyers, being on the receiving end of a personal referral means you’ve already been endorsed by someone your prospect trusts. And the best way to start getting referrals is to start providing them. It works both ways and when someone you know needs the services of a CPA for example, you can bet that same CPA will keep you in mind when their clients ask about home loans.