#2: 2010 Top Volume Gain
> Volume Rank: #13
> Purchase-Volume Rank: #5
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Brooklyn, N.Y.-based mortgage broker Norman Calvo sensed there was going to be a refinance boom and started preparing early, soliciting his past clients starting in October 2009. In fact, he attributes much of his $68 million volume increase from '09 to '10 — the second-highest increase among Top Originators entrants — to the regular communication he has with his database.
“We keep such great contact with customers that the second there is an opportunity to refinance, they do,” Calvo says. “Multiple people even refinanced twice in 2010, or they refinanced in 2009 then again in 2010.”
That contact starts at the preapplication stage and continues long after loans are closed via loan analyses, quarterly e-mails and birthday cards that include $5 Starbucks gift cards, Calvo says. One of his ingredients to success is “unfailing follow-up,” he says.
“We never, ever let prospects out of grasp,” Calvo says. “We have a nine-part series — what we call an action campaign — that’s made up of e-mails, letters and videos that we send every week post that initial call from customers.”
And Calvo likes to build lifelong relationships with his clients. “We tell people we’re going to do their mortgage seven times over the next 10, 15 or 20 years. It’s about developing relationships, not treating them as an interest-rate quote,” he says.
That commitment to relationships has paid off over the course of his career. “I have customers I’ve had since the 1980s,” Calvo says. “It’s not like doing numbers anymore. I know the people I’m working with.”
— Ivanna C. Sukkar