A business owner is only as successful as the people surrounding him or her. Practice this philosophy in your professional life and you’ll quickly see the validity of it.
As a mortgage originator, you’re the owner of your own business. You already make sure you’re working with quality management, processors, underwriters and closers. In addition, you should take an honest inventory of the other professionals you surround yourself with.
Successful mortgage originators thoroughly understand the importance of standing apart from their competition. To accomplish this, they must be able to provide their clients with more than uncompromising knowledge and service, competitive pricing and access to a wide selection of mortgage products. They must become a one-stop shop for their clients to access local knowledge.
Imagine that you’re embarking on a move to another state. So many concerns cross your mind. Of course, you need to find a place to live and have the money to afford it, but moving brings with it many other challenges. You’ll need to find reputable movers; establish new relationships with doctors, dentists and veterinarians; set up utilities; find new schools and child care; and find stores for shopping and new restaurants to try, just to name a few.
How much would you love your mortgage originator if they went above and beyond by providing you with trusted recommendations for other services that someone new to a community needs? What if they not only accommodated your home financing needs but also connected you with a competent real estate professional, title company, home inspector, insurance provider and moving company? An originator could make this transition easier for you if they came through with all of that.
Successful originators already surround themselves with third-party service providers tied to the homebuying process. They refer their clients to partners who help make the experience of finding a home, securing financing and transitioning to a new environment much easier and more pleasant than it could otherwise be. There is, however, much more to referring clients to third-party service providers than amassing a list through your favorite search engine.
Just like every loan originator is of a different caliber, other service providers vary in terms of their specialties, levels of expertise and competencies. Real estate professionals, title companies, closing attorneys, accountants, insurance professionals and other referral partners should be vetted thoroughly before you recommend them to your clients.
Imagine you’re being pursued by a local title company that is desperate for referrals to your borrowers. You agree to meet and offer them the opportunity to convince you why you should partner with them.
Instead of meeting at your office, you insist on meeting on your terms, at their office, at a time convenient for you. When you arrive, their office is disorganized, dirty and cluttered, and their professionalism is subpar on many levels.
Had you simply referred a borrower to them prior to conducting this due diligence, your professional credibility could have sustained some real damage. In your clients’ eyes, your recommended referral partners are an extension of yourself. Always remember this.
When developing your professional referral portfolio, be certain to interview your prospective partners from a borrower’s perspective. Here are some things to consider:
- Their level of professionalism
- The appearance and comfort of their office
- Availability, punctuality and accommodation of unique schedules
- The depth of their product offerings and their level of execution
- A variety of channels to communicate and interact with customers
- Safeguards for the borrower’s personal information (ask for proof)
- Evidence that they’re properly bonded, insured and licensed
If you ultimately decide to engage with them, be sure to note when their insurance policies and licenses expire, and request to see copies of their renewal certificates. These considerations can make the difference between providing a wonderful experience and damaging your professional reputation beyond repair.
By becoming your client’s one-stop shop, you will surpass the levels of service provided by much of your competition. You will establish your professional reputation far beyond that of the average mortgage originator, giving clients more reasons to refer and come back to you. ●