Over my 27 year career as a loan officer, I have watched many newly licensed loan officers become highly productive and successful. Although, most of the loan officers used a variety of tools and marketing programs to achieve their success, they all employed hard-work, determination, self-discipline, integrity, and commitment. There are certain habits and qualities that I have noticed in top producing loan officers. The following is a list of these traits, practices, and routines that appear to lead to long-term success for mortgage sales professionals.
• Plan Your Day Before it Starts – Create, develop, and continually improve your daily routine to stay on top of your business and cultivate new lead sources. Consistency leads to long-term stability and eliminates the ups and downs of loan production. Always track, monitor, and cultivate your top referral sources. Call, email, and mail them regularly. Schedule a certain number of prospecting calls each day to stay in-touch with your lead sources and solicit new business.
• Network, Network, Network – Join and contribute to at least two networking groups and develop win-win scenarios with complementary businesses. You should also partner with realtors, insurance agents, attorneys, and contractors to share referrals.
• Become a Social Media Expert and Contributor – Create a blog and post useful material related to your profession. Be accessible to your lead partners, past customers, and new business.
• Customer Service and Great Communication – Your reputation is invaluable. Some of the best attributes a loan officer can have is timely communication, follow-up, and a commitment to superior customer service.
• Detailed Follow-Up System with All Prospects – Create a system to follow-up with all leads and lead sources. Always remember communication is the key.
• Be a Student of the Game – Educate yourself on loan products and prepare for upcoming changes in the mortgage industry that will help you stand out from the competition. Take complete loan applications and submit fully documented packages to underwriting.
• Hire Assistants – Top loan officers utilize the help of assistant(s) to support, maintain, and grow their business. Busy sales professionals can’t do everything. They delegate as much work as possible to free up their time to look for additional business.
Time is an asset; it should be maximized to your benefit. Review and adjust your daily routine to help improve your results. Becoming an expert in particular loan products will lead to real estate agents and customers seeking you out for advice. Refer loan types that you are not familiar with to another loan officer who knows that product. Don’t trap yourself by taking any and all loans that come your way. A solid company culture based on efficient processing, underwriting, and closing departments is also a key component to sustained success. The best loan officers pride themselves on complete loan applications and fully documented loan files. They take the time to thoroughly explain issues upfront with their support staff to avoid delays later in the process. Good loan officers are smart, and they know if it is possible to meet the closing dates and deadlines.
Effective loan officers manage their time, direct their efforts, build new habits, and develop their expertise. They are committed to communication and customer satisfaction. Determination and self-discipline will lead to long-term growth and success.