How MLOs Can Grow Their Referral Sources
July 26, 2018 |
Obtaining a mortgage loan can be a stressful process. Most people don’t share information about their finances with other people. But when they want a loan, they must share all of their financial information with a mortgage loan officer (MLO). They must trust that MLO has their best interests in mind and will find them the best loan for their circumstances.
That’s why people choose an MLO very carefully. As a result, referrals must be a key part of a loan officer’s marketing plan. A homebuyer will feel much more comfortable working with an MLO who was referred by a person they already trust. Use the examples below to help grow your own referral sources.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are a natural source of referrals for MLOs. The agent is already working closely with the homebuyer. This puts them in a good position of influence over which MLO the homebuyer chooses to work with.
While it’s true that some agents may be easier to work with than others, in general, you’re both working toward the same goal of making the client happy. It’s in the real estate agent’s best interest to refer clients to an MLO who is accountable, reliable, and customer-focused. They want to work with someone who is good at matching clients with the best type of loan, finding great interest rates, and taking the initiative to deal with any issues that arise.
If you can offer those things, you’ll usually find that agents are excited to work with you. Help to deepen those relationships by staying in touch with the agent and the homebuyer regularly. While the loan is in process, everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting for a status update. You can be a hero to the real estate agent if you communicate regularly. That way, the agent won’t need to field questions from the homebuyer or waste time tracking you down for an update.
Another good idea is to interact with your real estate partners using social media. For example, you can comment on their posts when they promote a new listing. In addition, write guest blog posts for the agent and put their guest posts on your website. Besides improving your visibility, you’ll also be helping the SEO on both websites. To finish off the exchange, you can both promote the guest posts on your social media sites.
Financial planners won’t typically work with as many people who are buying a home as a real estate agent. But when you get a referral from a planner, it’s likely that you won’t end up working with a homebuyer who doesn’t have the financial strength to qualify for a loan.
Another advantage is, they’ll recommend their client gets pre-approved for a loan before they start looking at houses. In that situation, you can make a referral to one of your real estate partners. And, if you do have a client whose finances need work, you can refer back to the financial planner. It makes for an effective circle of referrals.
Real estate agents and financial planners are only two examples of how you can build your referral business. You can also consider builders, especially if you can do pre-approvals for people who are interested in buying new construction. It will save the builder time and offer a nice perk for the builder’s prospects. And, don’t forget to stay in touch with past customers. They’re often a great source of referrals.
Building valuable referral partners is well worth your time and effort. It’s a way you can build a community of professionals who will help you grow your business while you help them grow theirs.