Residential Magazine

Nothing Beats the Personal Touch

Pick up the phone and talk directly to prospective clients and referral partners

By Carl White

As the mortgage industry becomes more competitive, it’s important for originators to focus on the basics of prospecting and making phone calls to potential referral partners and clients. While there are plenty of tools and technologies available to help originators streamline their workflows and reach a wider audience, there’s no substitute for the personal touch that comes from picking up the phone and talking to people.

There are plenty of reasons why mortgage originators should get back to the basics of prospecting and making phone calls. But how do you do it? Here are some tips for making the most of this fundamental strategy.

Establish rapport

While technology has made it easier than ever to connect with potential clients, there’s still no substitute for the power of personal connections. When you pick up the phone and call a prospect, you’re able to establish a rapport that’s simply not possible through email, social media or even video marketing.

Originators often miss the mark because they haven’t discovered that the purpose of email, social media and video marketing is to amplify their phone work, not replace it. Making phone calls allows you to engage with prospects on a more personal level and to build relationships that can lead to long-term success. When you take the time to listen to a prospect’s needs and concerns, you’re able to tailor your approach and offer solutions that are specific to their situation.

In addition, making phone calls can also help you stand out from the competition. While many originators rely on digital marketing and other strategies to reach potential clients, a well-timed phone call can make a much stronger impression and set you apart from the rest.

Identify an objective

When you are ready to get back to the basics of prospecting over the phone, there are a few things you can do to improve your results. Before you start making calls, it’s important to set clear sights on what you hope to achieve. Whether you’re looking to schedule appointments, collect contact information or simply establish a connection, having a clear objective in mind will help you stay focused and motivated.

For instance, you can have a goal to get four referrals today by calling actively producing real estate agents whom you’ve worked with in the past two years — but not in the past two months. If you assume these referrals have a 25% close rate, four referrals per day equals one closing per day. That’s how the originators who close roughly 25 loans per month do it.

Develop your own script or use a proven script. While you don’t want to come across as robotic, having a script of what you want to say and ask can help you stay on point. You’ll avoid getting sidetracked by tangents or distractions. Your script should be flexible enough to allow for personalized conversations but structured enough to keep you on message.

It’s best to block out time for outbound prospecting calls. Thousands of originators have drastically increased their number of closings and income simply by prospecting for eight hours each week. Mornings (e.g., from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday) are usually the best time to do it and make sure it actually gets done.

Don’t get so busy building the farm that you forget to milk the cows. Setting up a sales funnel or creating social media content tends to be more fun and sexy. You might also have some fires to put out. Each of these things may be a good use of your time after you do your two hours of phone prospecting, which will move the needle for you the most.

Actively listen

One of the most important skills for successful phone prospecting is active listening. When you take the time to really hear what your prospect is saying, you’ll be better equipped to respond to their needs and concerns, thus building a stronger relationship in the process.

When you pick up the phone, always have a call to action. It’s most important to remember the purpose of the call. It’s not about “getting your name out there” or “touching base with people.”

If you’re calling a real estate agent, the purpose of the call is to get referrals. If you’re talking with a prospective borrower, the purpose is to get a commitment to do business together. Whatever you ask for is what you’ll get, and if you ask for nothing, that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of follow-up. Whether it’s scheduling another call or sending a personalized email, taking the time to follow up with these prospective clients and business partners can help you establish trust and build momentum.

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While there’s no denying the power of digital marketing and other modern strategies for reaching potential clients, nothing brings in more loans than the basics of phone prospecting in the mortgage industry.

By focusing on the creation of personal connections and taking the time to listen, mortgage originators can establish strong relationships that can lead to long-term success. When you’re ready to improve your prospecting efforts, become brilliant at the basics and start making some phone calls 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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