Like most mortgage originators, you probably have a bunch of mortgage referral sources saved into your phone: Realtors and builders who send you borrowers. In return, you try to send them any of your customers who haven’t already chosen homes.
These types of quid pro quo relationships are a staple of the mortgage business, especially for independent brokers who don’t have a bank’s customer base and marketing apparatus at their disposal. When you sell a product that’s basically a commodity, you have to leverage relationships to secure more deals.
But your realtor and builder friends can only refer so much business. They can only send you what they come across. As much as you’d prefer to be the only person they recommend, there’s a good chance they work with multiple mortgage originators besides yourself.
In an era of rising mortgage rates where some borrowers are being pushed out of the market, it’s important to accumulate more referral sources who will keep loans flowing into your business. Rather than compete with other mortgage originators for the same referrals, it’s smarter to go after some of these unique referral sources.
Like a lot of brokers or loan officers, you probably know a bunch of attorneys. Most mortgage originators rely on lawyers from different specialities, like family law, bankruptcy law, real estate law (naturally), personal injury law, and tax law.
Divorce lawyers, however, can produce a surprising number of mortgages. When couples split up, one party tends to keep the house, which often requires refinancing. In some cases, one or both parties opt to sell their joint home and purchase new homes without the sentimental connection to the old relationship.
Market yourself to these types of referral sources as a way they can add more value to their client relationships by offering a more comprehensive service. Their clients, who are dealing with a painful time in their lives, might welcome the simplicity of avoiding the mortgage hunt.
Financial planners make excellent referral sources because they’re intimately aware of their clients’ financial situations. Borrowers usually consult with their financial planner before they seek financing. You want the planner to send his/her clients directly to you.
People who retain financial planning services generally have a stronger financial situation than your average middle class American. They’re easier to approve for a mortgage and they tend to buy bigger houses, which means a healthier fee for you. Plus they’re more comfortable with the process because they have an educated finance specialist in their corner to turn to if they need.
Using a financial planner as a referral source should be a two-way street. You can refer every one of your customers to the planner, even if the mortgage process falls through. Make sure to send over any leads that come to you via a credit counselor.If you want to expand your business, it’s logical to accumulate more referral sources. Click To Tweet
Local contractors who remodel homes, build additions, or finish basements can be surprisingly lucrative as referral sources. Many of their customers need refinancing, home equity loans, or other mortgage-like products once they discover how much it will cost to make changes to their home.
You can support these kinds of referral sources by providing them with regularly updated information regarding refinancing costs to cover the average kitchen remodel, bathroom addition, porches/decks, basement finishings, etc. They can use this information to not only push your service, but also close their own deals.
This is another two-way relationship. You can add value to contractors by referring them whenever a borrower expresses the need to make changes to their new purchase. In some cases, you may be able to roll the cost of home improvements into the mortgage.
School personnel in local public districts, private schools, colleges, junior colleges, and technical schools are connected to countless potential homebuyers. This is especially true if you live in a highly populated area with large districts or near big universities.
Not only do these sources help you reach a lot of potential borrowers, they can put you in touch with borrowers who want to stay in the area and have steady, good paying employment. Depending on the age range of the school’s employees, leads from these sources could be very warm.
Connect with these sources by putting together packets of useful area information, including estimated mortgage rates and payments for lower, middle, and upper average priced properties in the area. Ask your referral sources to distribute them to anyone who expresses interest in a mortgage, especially if they’re new to the area.
If you’re interested in a softer approach to capturing leads, these sources can also help you organize presentations, seminars, and workshops for faculty, students, and their parents. Establish yourself as an authority by volunteering your time to present in local classrooms.
You could teach about mortgages, credit, the homebuying process, and other financial topics that raise your profile as an experienced expert. Make sure everyone leaves with your contact information. This technique is a good long term strategy that bolsters your overall reputation in your community.
Certain leaders in the community have enormous influence over their followers. Their followers come to them when they need guidance and advice. When the leader makes a recommendation, their followers take it seriously.
This group includes any local personality who leads, organizes, or mentors others. It’s a broad category, no doubt, but that means there are plenty of opportunities if you’re creative.
Community leaders can include people like…
While community leaders have access to a large number of people, many of whom will need homes at some point, they can be challenging to capture as referral sources because you may not have much to offer them in return. For instance, what would you offer a softball coach in return for referrals? How could you support a priest?
The best way to connect with community leaders is to embed yourself in the community. Join the softball team, book club, or biking group. Attend the craft fair and meet the organizer. Find ways to add value to the lives of people in your community and you’ll build a reputation that attracts new mortgage business like a magnet.
We’ve offered a few unique mortgage referral sources, but there are potential sources all around you. The keys to success are to identify people who interact with would-be homeowners, build a relationship, and support them any way you can. If you think creatively, you’ll build a referral network that fuels your business’ growth.
As you develop your referral network, make sure you’re doing everything you can to make yourself a power resource. There is no more powerful or accurate tool than TrueCast MBS Forecasting to help you become the “go to” resource in your referral network. Learn more.