Mortgage origination involves heavy sales work. You can only maximize profits if you have a strategy to funnel referrals into your pipeline continuously. Referral business in the mortgage industry springs from positive relationships with realtors, brokers, and past customers. These loan referrals are often pre-qualified and more likely to convert into closed deals. Below, we explain how to build and maintain relationships with referral partners so your business can generate more loans.

The Power of Mortgage Referrals

Referrals are crucial for mortgage originators because they bring in high-value customers who may be unreachable through organic marketing efforts. Borrowers trust people in their lives more than generic ads. When people refer their friends or family to you, they are vouching for your expertise and reliability. Having relationships with industry contacts and old clients gives you access to a pool of potential customers who have reason to prefer your services.

Building Relationships with Realtors

Out of all your potential referral partners, realtors are the most important. They're many homebuyers' first point of contact and are instrumental in making sales happen. However, every other originator is also trying to figure out how to get mortgage referrals from realtors. If you want to get noticed, you must make your alliance appealing. Here are some tips:

  • Research: Don't make the mistake of immediately honing in on top performers; every originator is angling for them. Research agents and decide who you want to connect with based on their current listings and sales history. Steady business matters more than peaks.
  • Provide value: Approaching with a bald request to send leads your way is unlikely to win realtors to your cause. Show that you can add value to their business, too. Offer to help with open houses or refer clients to them when appropriate.
  • Communicate efficiently: Understand how individual agents communicate and respect their preferences. Some may prefer emails, while others like phone calls or text messages. Be responsive and respectful of their time.
  • Build rapport: Remember, you don't have anything to sell. Take the time to get to know your realtor contacts personally. How to get realtor referrals as a loan officer is a question you can answer in many ways, but every answer revolves around forging solid relationships.

Key Tactics for Maximizing Mortgage Referrals

Providing Exceptional Service

Customer service helps you reach another tier of potential referral partners- past customers. Data shows that 94% of consumers who experience "very good" customer service are willing to recommend the business to friends compared to 13% of those who rank their experiences as "very poor." For example, let's say you've just closed a deal for a family. The experience was positive, and they’re excited about moving into their new home. Send them a congratulatory card or gift basket to show appreciation and remind them that they're more than a number in your Rolodex.

Effective Communication

Communicate often with customers and referral partners. It's critical to show customers that you care about getting them into their new homes as soon as possible, and your partners need to remember who you are. It's a good idea to develop a consistent schedule. You might send a newsletter twice a month or call customers on their birthdays. This way, you're remembered in the long hiatus between loans.

Educational Content

Educational content is powerful because it increases client credibility while positioning you as an industry expert. However, make sure the content is valuable. A filler post won't do anything for your business. Here are some ideas for effective educational content:

  • Financial advice for first-time homebuyers
  • Current market trends and insights
  • Tips for improving credit scores to qualify for better interest rates
  • Common mortgage myths and misconceptions
  • Step-by-step guides for the mortgage application process.

Referral Partner Programs

A referral partner program is a formalized system for incentivizing individuals or businesses to refer customers to you. They can effectively generate leads, but managing the system requires time and organization. Before you announce program details, run through every scenario. This includes everything from how they'll track and share leads to compensation. You should have clearly defined expectations and incentives for each mortgage referral. Remember to monitor progress while the program is running. You may need to make adjustments.

Networking and Community Involvement

Networking within the mortgage industry and the local community helps establish your brand and introduces you to new referral sources. You can attend conferences, workshops, trade shows, etc, and speak to as many people as possible. Look for events that you're interested in. It'll be easier to initiate a conversation if you're willing to engage with the stated agenda. And, of course, be yourself. You want people to like you.

Streamline the Referral Process

Prioritizing your referral business is hard when you have a million tasks and clients demanding your attention, but technology can streamline the process. Sonar integrates all aspects of mortgage origination into one central hub, making them easier to control. With features like automated lead tracking, data analytics, and on-the-go communication tools, implementing Sonar improves the effectiveness of your methods so you can get a better mortgage referral from every partner. If there is a problem, key performance indicators (KPIs) are visible 24/7.

A successful mortgage origination business feeds on the work of many people. You can't do it alone; you need referrals to capture a broader customer base.
Fostering relationships, consistently communicating, and demonstrating your value lets you tap into a flow of mortgage referrals and ultimately grow your business. Sonar hastens the process by automating lead tracking and highlighting KPIs. Trust our technology and experience for a more efficient way to manage operations and referrals. Ready to revolutionize your mortgage origination process? Schedule a Sonar demo today!