Loan Originator Roundtable

Broker Banker asked several successful mortgage loan professionals: What is the most effective referral- generating strategy?

“I believe in the spokes of a wheel concept. That means you have clients in the middle and everyone has the potential of referring you business—from family, friends, coworkers, and their CPA and financial planner and so on. All of these spokes can lead to more business. I don’t limit myself, but rather make a point to encourage every one of my customer niches to share their referrals, in personal meetings, follow-up e-mails and phone conversations.”

Sam Rosenblatt
Academy Mortgage Corp.
Glen Burnie, Md.

“The best referral strategies revolve around asking each closed borrower to refer me to someone.  I send a thank you note to every borrower and both of the Realtors on each transaction, thanking them for working with me and reminding them that my business is 100 percent referral. I tell the borrowers (particularly those in the first-time home buyer age bracket) that if they enjoyed their experience I would greatly appreciate a referral and/or introduction to any of their friends who might be involved in the home buying process in the near future. After I’ve spoken with a new client I send a video clip to the referral partner thanking them for the referral. I send a thank you note to the referring agent/referral partner thanking them for this referral and telling them how much I will appreciate future referrals as well.  I point out the ease of the process and that they will be servicing their clients by providing my contact information. I send a note to the listing agent saying how much I enjoyed working with them and that if they found the process to go well I would appreciate the opportunity to work with their buyers as well.”

Amy K. Slotnick, CMPS
Fairway Independent Mortgage Company
Newton, Mass.

“After years of trial and error, I have found that the most dependable source of consistent referral generation is simply “asking for referrals.” The people most primed to provide genuine referrals are the people with whom I am working on a particular file. The science and psychology behind the ‘Reticular Activating System’ is truly a loan officer’s best friend inasmuch as the buyer, seller and real estate agents are all prime referral generating machines while you’re working with them. Handwritten thank you notes and weekly status updates are both secret weapons for the loan officer who remains averse to traditional advertising and will continue to be a great way to generate new business, but the age-old approach of simply asking another human being for a referral continues to be the cornerstone of a robust pipeline.”

Matt Elerding 
The Elerding Team (Powered by HomeStreet Bank)
Vancouver, Wash.

“The best way to generate referrals is to deliver an over the top experience to all parties; borrower and agents in particular. This can be hard to do in today’s intense mortgage environment so service starts with a thorough explanation of the complexity of the process and creating proper expectations and anticipating questions and concerns in advance and addressing them before they come up. At the end of the day, real estate agents are looking for lenders who get the job done and live up to their promises and always tell the absolute truth, even if it means not getting the loan. Realtors want reliability and predictability over referrals and marketing support. When you create raving fans by providing exceptional service, the referrals follow.”

Amy Tierce
Wintrust Mortgage
Needham, Mass.

“The best referral strategy is from people who know, trust and like you. You need to get out there and get people to know, trust and like you and they will work hard to help you become successful. You can’t just be a taker so show them you care and give back!  Show them you care about clients, the referral source and what is in the best interest of everyone in the transaction. Build rapport and over time the referrals will flow in!”

Mike Meena
Augusta Financial
Newhall, Calif.

My best referral strategy is keeping a close relationship with Realtors, which involves weekly follow-ups, happy hours and seminars on educating them. Additionally , keeping in touch (including meeting in person twice a year) with CPAs (right before the tax season), attorneys, divorce attorneys, builder inside salespeople and HR managers is where the referrals are all coming from.”

Beata Bukowski
Forum Mortgage Bancorp
Chicago, Ill.



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