Residential Magazine

Mortgage Industry Success Requires Balance

Managing details is a crucial part of achieving your business goals

By Ryan Kelley

Succeeding in the mortgage industry means different things for different companies. For a local broker, closing 25 loans may be a successful year. For a national mortgage company, however, they need to close billions of dollars of loans per year just to keep the lights on.

Succeeding involves a lot of different moving parts that must be maintained. You have to properly set your procedures and processes while also continuing to create new ones as your business grows and the industry changes. You have to constantly strain the limits of what you can do, but you also must make sure that what you do falls under the umbrella of compliance.

It’s a delicate balance that must be preserved or you will fail, be fined or worse. Here are some steps to take to achieve that balance, no matter whether you’re a local broker or an originator at one of the major companies.

Evolve continuously

The mortgage industry is just like any other business in that it is constantly changing and evolving — stretching what you thought could possibly be done into what has to be done now. If you don’t keep up with technology and become stagnant, you may as well close your doors. A mortgage company that only accepts paper applications may as well be run by dinosaurs.

It’s a business that needs to expand and improve constantly. Finding ways to take loan applications, obtain loan documents and close loans as quickly as possible is the name of the game, but you also must continue to maintain a high level of customer service and, of course, quality loan products.

That said, you have to innovate. Just having a digital mortgage isn’t going to guarantee success. You also have to be able to build the other parts of your business.

Ask yourself how you can sell loans faster, what steps get loan documents into your files faster and how you can you best communicate with your borrowers if they don’t want to talk to you on the phone. If you can find the answers to questions like these before your competition can, you are ahead of the game.

Build inroads

Every person that you know is a potential lead source. Everybody needs a roof over their heads, and everyone who you know also will know plenty of people who could be in line to buy a house. Don’t stop there, however.

Build your network of real estate agents and homebuilders to really make your business grow. Getting in on the ground floor with prospective homebuyers is a great way to make sure that you can get consistent business.

You also can make inroads by building a network of lenders, loan officers and other mortgage professionals. If they can’t close a loan, you may get a recommendation and you may be able to learn something from these sources that wouldn’t have occurred to you otherwise. Building a wide and varied network is a necessity to succeed in the mortgage industry, and getting loan referrals from a variety of unanticipated sources may equate to a big boost to your bottom line.

Market effectively

Marketing is your connection to the clients. It’s how they know what kind of company you are and what you have to offer. You need to advertise, as well as work on search engine optimization (SEO) and online presence. A robust social media presence is a must today, too. Mortgage buyers find you online more than anywhere else.

Using social media and SEO to attract business is the best way to develop a sustainable clientele. Using on-line ads through Google and Facebook can bring in business quickly, but this doesn’t leave a lasting impact. Radio and TV advertising work well in this industry, and these channels will push new people to your website and give you brand recognition. Many clients look at companies that can afford TV and radio advertising as having a legitimate operation. That makes you more attractive to them.

Stay compliant

Keeping your compliance in order is a daily issue, with multiple angles of attack. The business needs to make sure that it complies with state licensure and annual continuing-education requirements, as well as being versed in all new rules and regulations that may arise.

Having a dedicated compliance officer or attorney on staff makes this an easier proposition. You still need to be vigilant for changes, however, and teach employees about them. When you hire new employees, it’s a necessity to train them as well as your current employees. You also need to be sure that your employees know the rules, regulations and laws, and follow them properly. Industry requirements are there for a reason — they’re designed to protect you and the borrower.

Track trends

The industry is always going to change. Knowing the trends and how the waters flow is how you stay in front of changes and adapt your business to them. Reading trade publications and following along with news can help, but the real key is understanding how fluctuations in the markets will affect interest rates.

Knowing what a quick rise in home values means can be the difference between a profitable quarter and disaster. Learning the trends is about more than what you learned in school. It’s something that comes from experience and is hard won.

Learning to adapt quickly to these changes is essential to the health of a mortgage company. One of the best ways to do this is to learn from people who are industry veterans.

Creating a culture of camaraderie is vital to the success of any company, and a mortgage company is no exception.

Create camaraderie

Great employees make for a great company. Leadership can only do so much. If you have well-trained, efficient employees who know the industry and your practices, you have a much better path to success.

Having great people isn’t just about having employees who know your practices. It’s also about having people who work well together and want to help each other succeed. A real team is the goal.

Creating a culture of camaraderie is vital to the success of any company, and a mortgage company is no exception. Because each of the different departments need to communicate together in order to get a loan from application to closing, having solid working relationships makes the entire process move more quickly.

• • •

The mortgage industry this year will be different than it was in 2019, just like 2019 was different from 2018. Keeping up with the changes and running an efficient company will be the keys to your success.


  • Ryan Kelley

    Ryan Kelley is the founder of The Home Loan Expert LLC. In less than a decade, Kelley has gone from selling mortgages door to door to his neighbors to running one of the fastest-growing mortgage banks in America. Kelley rose to prominence with hard work and dedication, along with pioneering new techniques to get mortgages closed faster than anyone else in the business. With the addition of Hero.Loan, the rapidly expanding Veterans Affairs loan product, his company is growing every day.

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