A successful loan officer relies on referrals as a source of business. There are some simple strategies that will help you maximize your referral partners to keep steady business coming in. Remember, it’s more cost effective to work a warm referral than it is to work a cold lead. So it’s wise to invest time and money on your main referral sources.
Consistency, as usual, is the key with mortgage referrals. A consistent strategy will lead to a steady stream of mortgage leads for your business. Once you have a system in place to get loan referrals, the sky’s the limit!
Make sure to grab our full guide to Building Your Referral Network by clicking here.
Partner with Real Estate Agents
One of the best ways to get referrals is to partner with real estate agents who want to work with a trusted lender—you just have to make sure that lender is YOU! When you’re starting out, it may be easier to target newer agents to partner with. Once you’ve established rapport, you will be able to attract more seasoned real estate agents.
The key to building long-term relationships with real estate agents is making sure the partnership is mutually beneficial! Ask the agent what they would like to get from you and how you can be of most help to their business. For additional strategies on how to market to real estate agents, click here.
Partner with Homebuilders
Partnering with homebuilders is a great way to generate new referrals for your business. After all, what they want most are qualified buyers to purchase their homes quickly, and they know that finding qualified buyers can take a lot of legwork.
You can help them by streamlining the buying process for potentially interested buyers. You can offer to qualify buyers so the builder doesn’t have to do it. This is a real service to them and also gives them incentive to have buyers work only with you.
The APM Keys on Time program offers something else builders want: an on-time closing! This program offers the builder peace of mind with an early or on-time closing. If we don’t close on time, APM will issue a closing cost credit to the buyer.
You can also offer to create co-branded marketing materials to help your builder partner advertise and bring attention to their new home development. Driving new traffic to their site is a big benefit to the builder and shows your commitment to their success.
Stay in Front of Current and Past Clients
Satisfied past clients will likely be a source of great referrals for your mortgage business. Customer referrals are usually very warm leads. People place a lot of value on recommendations from friends and family—especially in this day and age, when it’s so easy to ask for recommendations on social media.
But if past clients can’t remember what loan officer they used (or don’t know you’re still in business), it’s impossible for them to refer you to someone else who’s looking for help with a mortgage. This is why it’s so important to stay in touch and top of mind with current and past clients.
The best way to get a referral from previous clients is to stay in touch with them on a regular basis in a personal way that keeps your contact information at their fingertips. When someone asks for a mortgage recommendation, you’ll be the first one they think of. Don’t be afraid to occasionally remind your previous clients that you’re never too busy to help friends and family who may be looking for a loan.
One way to stay in touch with your referral partners and former clients on a regular basis is to send frequent email updates with valuable content. Reach out to them once or twice a month with information they may find interesting. These emails don’t have to always be related to mortgages (nor should they be).
Another good way to stay in touch with people is to meet them where they are every single day—on social media. Don’t be afraid to interact with people on social media on a regular basis. If people feel like you’re a friend, you’d better believe you’re going to get their referrals.
Social media platforms are an especially good place to post video, which people are particularly likely to click on. Video does a superb job of connecting with people and building those personal relationships that lead to more loan referrals. And better yet, videos don’t have to be all about getting a mortgage. They can be fun, cause and personal.
Remember Special Occasions
Don’t forget special occasions in your clients’ lives, like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. It’s also a nice idea to remember the date they bought their home (and it’s a great time to offer them an annual mortgage review).
For more info about connecting with clients on social media, see our article about this topic here.
Talk to Friends and Family
Are you tapping your friends and family with feelers? Do those who know you best know that you’re looking to expand your business? Do they know what lending services you provide?
The people who know you best may think you’re too busy to take on more work. Remind everyone that you’re never too busy for them or their referrals.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews are the most valuable social currency. Getting a five-star review is not always within your control, but providing excellent customer service and then asking for a review is.
When someone hears your name and is considering you for a mortgage, do you know what they’re going to do before anything else? Chances are, they’re going to Google your name or visit your Facebook business page to see what people are saying about you.
Make sure you’re regularly monitoring your reviews. Some review platforms will alert you when new reviews come up. Make sure to watch for those and respond with your customers. You may also want to consider signing up for free Google alerts, which will let you know when your name or business has any new mentions on the internet. It always pays to know what’s being said about you.
Take Time to Build Your Referral Network
Building your referral network doesn’t have to stop there. We’ve put together a full guide with additional strategies that will help you build long-term referral relationships. Click here to download your copy today!