7 Good Habits That Separate Loan Officers From The Pack

by Aidan Paringer

Want to build a mortgage career and business that lasts?

The mortgage industry is one of the easiest fields to get into and go from zero to $1M a year in income. Yet it is one of the most difficult to sustain over time. There’s only one thing worse than never making it to the top at all, and that is losing it all and never getting it back. Here’s how to spot top performers to add to your team of loan officers, and success practices you can implement to achieve sustainable success far after your five year plan and goals have been surpassed.

What Are Good Loan Officer Habits?

A great loan officer will always start by working their sphere of influence. They always work towards providing more value than they take and don’t hide when things go wrong. They maintain their database and will always prioritize relationships over dollars.

Check out these seven traits, characteristics and habits that separate those that go big and last, from those who burnout and flop.

  1. They Start By Working Their S.O.I.

Loan Officer Sphere Of Influence
Most loan officers don’t do this. Most loan officers don’t survive in the business very long. Fewer make real money. Those that go big and last start out by contacting their sphere of influence and working them. These are your existing friends, family and personal contacts. They are the easiest deals to close and the best referral sources. Besides, who wants to find out their mom just refinanced with the LO in the cubicle next door because she didn’t know you could help? Nothing will burn quite as bad as that. With the exception of her going back for a new home loan with that person next year, because they’ve already proven to be good.

  1. They Add More Value Than they Take

Loan Officer Add Value
This is the golden rule for every entrepreneur and brand if they want to survive. Fortunately, it is a really easy math problem to solve for mortgage professionals. You can make a great commission on a loan and still save a borrower five or six figures over the next few years. Make sure you convey these returns so they know just how much value you are delivering on. It won’t hurt to automate a reminder in your CRM every now and again either. Let them know how much you’ve helped them save on their loan anniversary.

  1. Don’t Hide When Things Go Wrong

Don't Hide From Mortgage Problems
The loan business isn’t always easy. Underwriters, end lenders and vendors can really make your life hell as a loan officer. When they drop the ball or decide to be difficult, it can make you look really, really bad to your clients. If not handled well it can cost you your reputation with irrevocable damage online, and even lead to license complaints and regulators or the FBI visiting your office. That can happen even through no fault of your own, if you don’t handle things well with clients. Glitches will happen. What makes the difference is how loan officers handle it. Don’t hide under your desk or turn off your phone. They will hunt you down. Be proactive, use this as an opportunity to shine and stand out, and provide the best service you can.

  1. Maintain Their Mortgage CRM and Database

Maintain Mortgage CRM
Lasting loan officers use their CRMs, build a database and regularly clean it up. If your list is so big you can’t do this yourself, then use a third party list cleaning and maintenance company to keep it fresh and compliant. The bigger you database and richer it is with quality contacts the more cost-efficient your future marketing will be and the more profitable your business will become each year.

  1. They Think Ahead

Good Loan Officer Thinks Ahead
Those who are always rushing to close loans for this month to make their bills rarely last or achieve peak performance. They will hustle and say whatever they must to get loans in today. Then once they think they’ve got enough going to cover this month’s car lease and happy hours they’ll slack off. At least until the next month starts again. The most successful mortgage professionals are putting people in their pipeline today that will provide closings for the next 1-5 years. Their current closings are coming from the efforts they made a couple of months or a few years ago.

  1. They Are Constantly Learning

Loan Officer Constantly Learning
Serious mortgage experts are constantly learning, expanding their knowledge and improving their skills. Boost your understanding of the finance world and economy, of taxes, appraisals and alternative lending.

  1. They Prioritize Relationships Over Immediate Dollars

Loan Officers Are About Relationships
This can feel hard to do if you haven’t been building a solid business. Yet, having the discipline to live within your means, being honest if this is not the right loan for them, passing on competing versus engaging in bait and switch, and not hounding people who back out of loans will help you build far more income and longevity in your mortgage business than trying to take unsustainable shortcuts.

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