What Do The Top 10 Mortgage Lenders Have In Common

by Aidan Paringer

What is it that top mortgage lenders have in common that sets them apart from the rest?

There is a huge chasm between the earnings and origination volume of the mediocre and the top in the mortgage business. The top 20% are doing 80% of the business. You can check out our full article on how to become a top mortgage lender here. It may blow your mind at how simple some tactics to get to the top can be.

What Makes You A Top 10 Mortgage Lender?

When it comes to mortgage lending companies, the leaders are those typically doing $9B or more per year in origination volume. For loan officers and mortgage teams, these are the producers closing at least 50 to 100 loans per month.

What Top Mortgage Companies Have in Common

Top Mortgage Companies Have
By analyzing the top ranked mortgage lenders by
Scotsman Guide according to their origination volume, we can see some common threads they share.

1) 10 Plus Years in Business

All but 2 of these top 10 lenders have been in business for more than 10 years. One was in business for 8 years, and one just 3 years. The bulk of the others are almost 30 year old companies. It can take time to build up. Do the right things, and the rewards will snowball.

2) Big Teams

All but 3 top lenders have between 1,000 to 2,400 originators working for them. Even with today’s digital mortgage tools and new technology, it still takes a lot of humans to make sales, service customers, and interpret the data.

3) Nationwide

All but one top ten lender operated in at least 49 states. The other does business in 31 states. To get these high volumes you’ve got to have a large coverage area.

4) More Retail Than Wholesale

With the single exception of United Wholesale Mortgage who only does wholesale, the majority of these originations were all retail loans.

5) Technology & Marketing

There is no way you are going to do this type of volume without a lot of marketing and incredible technology to stay organized and operate efficiently.

What Top Loan Officers have in Common

What Top Loan Officers Have
Aside from the technology, digital mortgage tools, excellent marketing, and teams, top loan officers also share these traits and habits.

1) Constant Learning

The mortgage market and industry is always changing. It’s changing fast. To stay on top you’ve got to be building more skills, be on top of the latest tech coming out, and preempt market moves.

2) Willing to Test & Fail

The M Report says one of the top 3 habits of every successful loan officer is being willing to embrace new things. Don’t shift your whole marketing budget to Google Ads if you’ve never used them and gamble on 100 new loans next month. Instead constantly test and try new tools, tactics, and campaigns.

3) Always Thinking Bigger

If you aren’t growing you’re shrinking. Always be setting new goals. Always look at the records being set by others. If that’s 1,200 loans a year for a loan officer, you should be shooting to beat that.

Top mortgage pros know the number of deals they need to close to hit their goals and make a plan to get there.

4) Customer Service & Repeat Business

Don’t just think big, think long. The only thing worse than having a million dollar year in mortgages is going broke afterwards. You’ve got to blow away the competition with your customer service and efforts to build loyalty and repeat business.

5) Crazy Good Follow Up game

The closers are those that are the best at follow up. They follow up till the prospect closes or hangs up on them. Then maybe they’ll call back again. MPA Mag says that with mortgage CRM tools and calendar process and “By simply never missing another opportunity, I’ve seen loan officers add 2 loans a month to their average production. Remember 80% of success is showing up.”

6) They Eat the Frog First

Top producers get up and grab the bull by the horns and eat that ugly frog first. Meaning they make the hard phone calls and deal with the tough emails first thing in the am. Then everything else is easy.

Note that you’ll have to eat fewer frogs if you get better at anticipating issues. Tom Borrelli of Northpointe Bank says “Top producers are proactive. They look ahead. They have foresight and try to steer clear of problems before they arise.”

7) They Are Fast

Commenting on one top producer consistently doing $15M to $20M per month, CenterState Bank says “Responsiveness and short approval times will get the borrower’s respect every time,” and suggests to look for “ways to save the customer time while making sure his bank is doing everything possible to automate and streamline the loan administration process.”


Are you ready to become a top mortgage lender? These stats show what it takes to be at the top of the ranks. They show what differentiates the best from the rest. Are you willing to put these things in place to reach your full potential?

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