Residential Magazine

Don’t Overlook Orphaned Loans

Adopt a strategy to generate leads from colleagues who have left the business

By Carl White

It’s no secret that many mortgage originators are leaving the business — sometimes by their own choice and sometimes not. In some cases, these originators didn’t implement tried-and-true sales strategies, such as calling their past-client databases, that can work even in a slow market.

When interest rates started going up after record lows, and when purchase loans and refinances were no longer falling in their laps without them having to lift a finger, these people didn’t do anything. They didn’t go back to basics and they didn’t try proven strategies.

They didn’t make phone calls because they didn’t want to “sound salesy.” They decided to just wait and see if rates came back down. “Then I’ll go out and get more business,” they said. Rates didn’t go down, so they left the industry, which is an absolute travesty given that this is a great business.

Before these originators left the business, they did close some loans. These borrowers are in the company’s past database, but they’re what can be called orphans. Nobody is following up with them because their loan officer is gone. This category of past clients is largely overlooked and you’re missing out on a huge opportunity by ignoring them.

Untapped database

If you work at a mortgage company that has had loan officers leave, here’s what you can do: Go to your branch manager and ask, “You know the loan officers who have quit? Do they have a past database that nobody’s calling on?”

The answer is almost guaranteed to be a yes. And even if no one has left your company, you’ve likely got a past database that is not being leveraged. No one is calling this past database from A to Z four times a year like successful mortgage originators should.

You can explain to your branch manager that for every 100 people in your past database, you should be closing at least one loan per month. Let’s say you have 500 borrowers on this list, or the combined past database of the loan officers that no longer work at your company. That’s a minimum of five loans a month. And that’s not just refis (although you’ll have some of these). That’s purchase deals.

Start by calling every single person in this database, for the purpose of thanking them for using your company for their previous mortgage. Then end the call by asking if they’ll be buying a house or refinancing in the next six months. And also ask them if they have friends, family members or coworkers who are either buying, selling or refinancing.

Again, let’s say you have a small database of 500 past clients, which offers the potential of five extra loans per month. Let’s say you make $3,000 per closing. That’s $15,000 in addition to what you’re already making. That’s a significant amount of money. And all you’re doing is calling the people who’ve already trusted you and/or your company in the past.

This is not a cold call. These are people whose loans you closed last month or last year, and you did a really good job at it. Or your former coworker did a good job on the loan, but that person is no longer with your company.

Simple script

Now the question is, what do you say to these clients? Follow these simple steps: Introduce yourself and your company, explain the purpose of the call, then ask for referrals.

The introduction is simple. Just start with your name and your company, then explain to them that your company helped close their loan in, say, May 2017. Tell them the purpose of the call is simply to thank them for their past business.

Then say, “We just wanted to reach out, see how you’re doing and ask if there’s anything else we can help you with. If you ever have any questions, my direct line is 555-1212.” Ask for referrals. “We’d love to help your friends and family out too. Can we count on you to give us a call any time a friend, family member or coworker is looking to buy, sell or refinance?”

That’s it. You make that call to your orphans — and the rest of your database — four times per year. Why four times? Because it’s been tested. Originators have called different groups of people one time, two times, three times, all the way up to six times in a year.

The magic number is four times. That’s what seems to generate the most business. It’s not too much to annoy people, and it’s just enough contact to get them to act by referring their friends, family or coworkers back to you. And sometimes you’ll luck into finding that one of these clients needs your service for a refi or a purchase loan.

Enormous opportunity

This orphan thing is a really big deal. Get it down to a science in your branch. Pick a particular day of the week at a specific time. Know exactly what you’re going to say and what call to action you’re going to give.

Create a system for when you call everyone in this database in alphabetical order. Try two letters of the alphabet each week. There are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in the year, so that equals four times per year.

If your company has at least 2,000 people in its past database of “orphan borrowers,” you could expect this strategy to generate 20 more loans each month. If your typical origination fee is $3,000, that’s another $60,000 per month or $720,000 per year. Not too shabby.

This strategy has been proven to work. The only question is, will you do the work required to get the results? This is a quick needle mover, so don’t waste another minute. Get started today. ●


  • Carl White

    Carl White is founder and CEO of Mortgage Marketing Animals, a successful mortgage marketing training program. White is also a branch manager at one of the top mortgage branches in America and the host of the No. 1 podcast for loan officers, Mortgage Marketing Animals teaches the strategies that originators in White’s own branch use today to close more loans in less time. Learn more by visiting

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