Residential Magazine

Make Yourself Relevant to Borrowers

Staying top of mind with clients is key for repeat business and referrals

By Nathan Rufty

Your borrowers do not know what you know. They only know what they hear from their friends and family, the news, and any other reliable or even not-so-reliable source. You are the knowledgeable, licensed professional who knows the answers to their mortgage-related questions, or you know where to find them.

You cannot control market conditions in terms of home values or interest rates but you can control how you provide service. And even though getting business is the first hurdle, keeping the business is the easy part. It is how you make it.

In order to continue earning your borrower’s business, you as a mortgage originator must remain relevant to them. Remind them why they should continue to do business with you, and why they should refer you to their family, friends and others.

Connect by listening

Let’s assume you have a lead that came from an affiliate partner, your sphere of influence, word of mouth, a referral from a present or past client, or through some free marketing you created. Once you have connected with the lead, the earning starts the minute you pick up the phone.

Begin with a smile. Believe it or not, the person on the other end of the call can feel that smile. You just knocked down some barriers and the process swung in your direction. Listen to their needs. Try not to dominate the conversation. Let them talk so you can listen and understand what they want to achieve with the financing. By listening, that is going to tell you a lot about which direction they wish to go.

After you have listened to them and gathered information based on their needs, you can now present their options. Remember to not sell them on specific programs, but present options that are based on their needs when it comes to income, assets and credit.

If your lead cannot move forward, give them steps to follow. Place them in your customer relationship management (CRM) system to set them up on a drip marketing campaign, then reconnect in the coming weeks or months. Make sure they are following the steps you laid out for them. They’ll know who to work with once they become loan eligible.

Stay in communication

Once you have earned their business with a home-purchase or refinance loan, stay relevant to them throughout the process of obtaining the mortgage. You do this with communication and customer service.

Consistently communicate status updates to your borrowers. There should be no reason why you should skip this step during the process. It is easy to send a text, make a phone call or shoot over an e-mail with an update.

Out of sight means out of mind, so stay in sight and remain top of mind. Every originator has had to deal with late Friday afternoon or early Monday morning calls, or even the ones that come in over the weekend. You’ll minimize or make those go away if you stay in communication with your clients and affiliate partners throughout the loan process.

Give status updates for events such as when the loan rate locks, when the appraisal is ordered, when the loan is submitted to underwriting, when the appraisal arrives, when the loan is approved, when documents have been sent for signing, and when the loan is funded. Doing this will continue to earn repeat and referral business from your borrower. This also will reduce the worry and stress the borrower is going through. They will remember that.

Remain in contact

Once the loan has closed, you should send your client a thank-you card or a small closing package. Remember to put them in your CRM system to mail them birthday and appreciation cards, as well as to send them a monthly or quarterly newsletter by mail or e-mail, depending on your budget.

A year after the loan closed, reconnect with the borrower. Remind them to take that final settlement statement to their accountant or tax preparer so they can write off tax-deductible fees that were charged on the loan. This is another touchpoint to stay top of mind, as you are demonstrating you are continuing to look out for the client’s best interest and remain relevant as their loan officer for life.

Many borrowers would choose the same originator to assist them with a refinance or another home purchase, but only if they remember who they worked with in the past. The reason this does not happen is the originator did not stay relevant with their past client. Do not be that loan officer.

It does not cost anything to place a borrower in your drip campaign and e-mail them a couple of times a month. It also is easy to send out a text message on special occasions, or to pique their interest by informing them that rates have dropped.

When it comes to spending money on birthday or appreciation cards, as well as monthly or quarterly newsletters, perform that task for five years. If after five years your past borrower does not send you a referral or you do not assist them with another loan, remove them from your mailing database but keep them in your online database.

• • •

Getting business is a hurdle, but keeping the business is the easy part. Keep your clients informed and make yourself relevant to them. Borrowers can choose from any number of originators. Give them reasons why they picked you to assist them with a home loan. Keeping your clients informed throughout the loan process will secure yourself repeat business and referrals.


  • Nathan Rufty

    Nathan Rufty is a mortgage coach and trainer with Mortgage Marketing Pros, a company that works with loan officers to develop marketing plans that increase leads and closed loans. Mortgage Marketing Pros was created by a producing loan officer and a master marketer to teach mortgage professionals how to create their own businesses without relying so much on one or two streams that can dry up without warning.

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