If this option sounds appealing, start by identifying influential figures who hold these roles at companies, universities, churches, etc.,
in your area. Set a meeting, put on your best suit, bring all of your collateral material and sell yourself. Do not give up after the first few
attempts. It will take time to cultivate these relationships.
Finally, many originators get heavily involved in their community as a way to network. These originators coach their kids’ soccer teams, are
on the boards of the rotary club, the PTA and their local homeowner’s association. In addition, many are active at their place of worship
and volunteer several times a year at charity events.
By becoming deeply involved in the community, business will build over the years for these originators from simple exposure and their
hard work maintaining a great reputation. They must still ask for the business, however. It won’t just magically walk in the door.
Brian Kent is general manager of C2 Financial Corp., an award-winning mortgage
broker/banker based in San Diego. With more than 400 originators under its umbrella,
C2 is the largest mortgage brokerage in California and one of the largest nationwide.
Reach Kent at email@example.com.
Many originators today use online leads from Lending Tree or other similar sites. These originators have a very simple business plan. They spend a lot of money on leads and work those leads
hard. They follow up quickly, are great at establishing rapport on the phone and don’t stop until
they win the business.
This is a low-margin and intense business, but enough of it can turn an originator into a top
producer. In the long run, these low-margin leads can become repeat clients. So, although an
originator may have spent $250 on a lead up front, if that client comes back a second, third and
fourth time for refis or other purchases, that lead costs them much less long term.
Instead of buying leads, some originators generate passive leads by building and maintaining a
crystal-clean online reputation. They use highly rated sites like Yelp or Angie’s List and search-engine optimization techniques to make sure that when borrowers search online for “home
loan in San Diego” or “mortgage in Seattle,” their name comes up near the top. If you’re not on
Page 1 of search results, you pretty much don’t exist.
These originators monitor their online profiles vigorously to make sure they have a positive reputation. Many of their leads result primarily from their online reputation, but then they build their
referral business from there.
Finally, some highly successful originators literally grew up in the business. They benefited from
being mentored by someone, usually a parent, to gain the knowledge and, more importantly,
the relationships their parent or older sibling had worked to cultivate. These originators get
referrals from their family member and even get introduced to the best lenders and vendors in
If you didn’t grow up in the business, you can still gain some of these benefits by finding a strong
mentor. Working with a mentor is a great way to get a start in the industry. Simply commit to the
mentor for a period of time — perhaps two years — before going off on your own filled with
knowledge and on-the-job experience.
Ask around. The industry is aging and many originators who are nearing retirement would be
thrilled to pass on their knowledge to an eager originator looking to learn.
n n n
So, there you have it: Multiple strategies that top producers often use to find success in this business. Where do you fit in? If you’re not seeing the results you’d like, perhaps looking into one or
more of these strategies can help get you get on track to becoming a top producer. n
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