To build a business designed for 2012 and beyond, mortgage originators cannot depend solely on refinances. Instead, they must craft a business that
targets purchase transactions and the creation of customer referrals. To do
this, originators must have the freedom to act in various roles — as a mortgage banker, mortgage broker, loan officer or branch manager — depending
on their immediate needs. In this way, originators can place themselves in
the right situation at the right time and build their business through multiple
Freedom of choice
Most successful mortgage professionals are in this business for two primary
1. to provide quality products and services to the clients they assist, and
2. to make a decent living to support themselves and their families.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a lot of money — and
certainly the mortgage industry provides originators with this opportunity.
Having a choice in where they work can make a difference in how much
money mortgage originators end up putting in their pockets to support their
The most successful mortgage companies are often the ones that
allow originators to direct loans either to the company they work for or to
a wholesale lender. Originators’ business should be earned rather than
mandated because they, too, are someone’s customer. additionally,
originators must examine various retail platforms to determine where they
have the opportunity to earn the most money while still complying with
Federal reserve Board regulations.
Once mortgage professionals have determined whether they will work as
branch managers or mortgage originators, they must position themselves to
grow their business.
The vast majority of originators depend on company-generated leads.
This can come from Internet marketing, phone contacts, radio and TV
spots, purchasing leads, and more. Others also market to their sphere of
influence, including friends and relatives. Many originators, however, are too
dependent on this kind of marketing and leave their livelihoods vulnerable
to fluctuations in mortgage interest rates. If rates improve, they make some
money, but if rates spike, business declines and they start looking for their
next career. Depending solely on these two methods for new business is not
sufficient to build a solid foundation or to maximize income.
Four target streams
In addition to the above lead-generation sources, the following are four
additional income streams to which loan originators can market. no one
needs to target all these business-development options, but those who
specialize in one or two could build a solid enterprise to complement their
1. for sale by owner (fsbo): There’s no question that business can be generated from FSBOs. In addition to being able to finance the homebuyer’s
purchase, originators also may be able to help the seller, who likely will
purchase another property. also, interested parties who don’t purchase
the home represent opportunities for later financing deals. More important, there is occasion to refer the FSBO to a realtor partner if the sellers decide to list the property. This tactic will require a plan of action,
with scripts and knowledge of FSBO basics. The extra effort can lead to a
steady stream of borrowers and referrals, however.
2. real estate agents and builders: These people aren’t looking for rate
sheets or for someone who claims to give them the best service in town —
they’ve heard it all before. What do they want is someone who can help
them grow their business, secure more listings or sell more homes.
Mortgage originators can do that by offering value-added services to these
potential referral partners. The objective is to make agents and builders
better and more successful by conducting training programs for them,
working with them to generate more leads and becoming true partners.
3. educational or training seminars: Originators who learn how to conduct
seminars for real estate agents, builders and the general public can find
a subject that is vital to each of these groups and then study that subject
enough to develop a presentation on it. If possible, write an article on the
subject and get it published in local newspapers or trade journals. In addition, you can arrange to teach it for a state or local agency. This will give
your presentation credibility and provide you with another resource for
4. financial advisers and certified public accountants: These professionals are looking for the same thing you are: lead generation. Many financial
advisers and accountants are willing to work with mortgage brokers and
originators if it means they could earn more referrals. remember, financial
advisers’ clients often need to take cash out of their home to purchase an
investment property or to move up in housing.
Expanding your reach
Originators should think on a larger scale when it comes to lead generation.
For example, most loans are created for someone in a corporate setting, so
originators should actively pursue doing business with co-workers within
the same company. Originators can provide these employees with financial
education as a part of a seminar or a lunch-and-learn.
reverse mortgages also can be a lucrative addition to originators’
businesses, as well as a benefit to the senior community. Figures from the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development show that only a small
percentage of all seniors who could take out a reverse mortgage have done
so. Learn how to partner with insurance agents and financial planners in
soliciting seniors who may need your services. Create a presentation to offer
to senior groups or consider becoming a member of your local government’s
Each of the above business-development opportunities requires a well-
thought-out plan of action, and each can lend itself to achieving personal
and financial goals for mortgage originators. To thrive this year and beyond,
mortgage originators must make sure they are in the best situation to maxi-
mize their income. Developing additional revenue streams through innovative
business strategies can help improve their chances for continued success. •
Stuart Blend is business-development manager for Southwest
Funding, which has about 100 retail offices in 14 states.
Blend has more than 20 years of mortgage-industry experience, which includes developing and running the retail
mortgage division of several large multibranch mortgage
companies. Blend also is known for his training and speaking.
reach him at (877) 878-8989 or email@example.com.