As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, June 2012.
The mortgage industry is rife with trendy techniques aimed at generating more leads and more business. Many of these techniques may actually work, but mortgage professionals often fail to utilize them for long enough to reach the moment when they pay off. Many professionals don’t earn consistent, measurable results simply because they lack dedication and persistence.
One broad model that may prove easier to stick to, however, is the VCP model, which stands for:
Each and every business relationship can be improved by bearing these three qualities in mind, but the VCP model can be especially helpful in terms of improving the number and quality of your referrals.
Before examining the VCP model in greater depth, first consider what you expect from a referral. Is a lead a true referral? Does pursuing a client via e-mail deliver the same closing ratio as meeting a client through a personal introduction from a mutual friend? If those two are not equal, which would you rather have for your next potential client? It seems safe to say that the most powerful referral is a personally endorsed introduction in a one-on-one setting.
Of course, when you receive referrals — whether they’re from real estate agent connections or past clients — those referral sources are putting their own reputations on the line. Based on your performance, their reputations can be bolstered or diminished, yet many mortgage professionals don’t honor this risk.
Perhaps even worse, many mortgage brokers and originators don’t even know how a certain agent or client became such a quality source of business. How, in other words, can you duplicate the effort of your best referral source? The VCP model can help you do just that.
Breaking it down
Let’s take a look at the first aspect of the VCP model: visibility. In short, you must build your visibility before any other progress can take place. You have to spend time with your referral sources and begin to build personal, individual relationships. That time can be face time, phone time or networking time, all of which allow you to learn more about your prospective partners — and let them learn more about you, as well. Visibility will create the top-of-mind awareness that you need to move on to the next stage of the relationship-building process.
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