Residential Magazine

Put Success at the Top of Your To-Do List

Focus your efforts by planning ahead each day, then watch the results

By Nathan Rufty

If you are a mortgage originator who moves a stack of paper from one side of your desk to the other and feels you’ve had a successful day, guess again. As a commission-based business owner, you need to produce positive results every day you walk into the office.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a to-do list. Write down what you plan to tackle the following day before you leave the office each night.

Generally, the list should have eight or more items. These can include: Make five follow-up calls to past clients; mail birthday and thank-you cards; put together an informative blog or video; update all parties on the status of a loan; connect with real estate agents on LinkedIn; or text listing agents to see if you can create an open house flyer. Checking these off your list will focus your day and lead to growth for yourself and your business.

Small kindnesses

Call past clients to make sure they have received their first mortgage letter, or their Form 1098 and final settlement statement, so they can write off allowable tax deductions. Look up information on that borrower to see if they have the equity to refinance. In states that have supplemental taxes, look on the corresponding county’s tax site to make sure those taxes are paid.

With these calls, you’re looking for a way to connect with the client rather than just asking for a referral. Doing the latter will quickly turn off these clients. Instead, look for a reason to call them that can actually benefit them. And if a referral comes your way, all the better.

Every time you run a credit report on a borrower, you gather valuable information, including their date of birth and address. Use this information to mail them hand-written birthday cards. This will keep you in the minds of these clients.

In the same vein, send thank-you cards to your associates. When you talk with them, really listen to the conversation. Did they go away for the weekend to celebrate a birthday? Jot that down and next year you can send them a birthday card. Sending a card is a personal touch lost with today’s technology. These small kindnesses will go a long way toward building relationships with past, current and future contacts.

Fingers to keyboard

You are a knowledgeable mortgage loan officer or broker. Put your fingers to the keyboard and write an informative blog about a specific topic. “How to buy a house with zero money down with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development home loan program in Mesquite, Nevada,” is an example.

When you write a blog, concentrate on your local market. That way, the article will appear on page one of Google results in your area, so future borrowers can easily find you and call you for service.

Like a blog, videos are a great way to reach an audience and connect with potential clients. If you’re in Seattle, for instance, do a video on home loan services in the area and viewers will call you to help them with their purchase or refinance needs. Videos rank very well on Google.

Homebuyers often go to YouTube as well to learn about such things as the mortgage process. You also can post the video on your website.

Follow through

You’ve already got prospects in the pipeline. Follow up to see if you can get started on the pre-qualification process to purchase a home or refinance an existing loan. Ask them if they have any questions or need some assistance on completing the home loan application.

Do this with an e-mail, text message, phone call or all three. Deliver great customer service by following up and offering to help.

Be the proactive originator rather than the reactive one. Call clients to update them on their refinance and purchase loans, and let them know where the loan is at in the process. These status-update phone calls will be welcomed by all parties.

This is another opportunity where you can — wait for it, wait for it — obtain a referral. By making these status calls, real estate agents and borrowers have every reason to mention other people who could benefit from your services.

Build connections

Find the local, professional real estate agents in your preferred lending area on LinkedIn and invite them to connect with you. Change the auto-invite verbiage to one that will give the recipient a reason to accept your invite.

LinkedIn is where loan officers and brokers can connect with active and engaged real estate agents. Using this platform, you can find some common interests with these professionals. Join like-minded groups in which you can have a positive impact.

You can find Realtors with listings in your area by searching or Zillow, for example. You also can identify listings that can benefit from a USDA loan, one that could benefit from a jumbo loan product with 5 percent to 10 percent down, or even a home for which a downpayment-assistance program might be an option. Demonstrate your value to these agents by highlighting the loan programs that can benefit them.

One way to build business is by offering to create a flyer with payment, cost and available loan programs on a particular property. Include your contact information on that flyer. When someone falls in love with the place, you’ll be the first one they’ll call.

• • •

Create a to-do list each day you work on your mortgage business. Stick to the plan and it will pay off. Put in the effort and you’ll be rewarded. 


  • 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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