Yanni Raz is CEO of HML Investments and has been a hard
money lender for more than 10 years. Raz was a real estate
broker for five years before he partnered with a group of
investors from California and began assisting real estate
investors in financing commercial and residential projects.
He writes about real estate financing for magazines, blogs
and other online news outlets. Reach Raz at (818) 308-4443
Create a Community of Clients
Cultivating the trust and respect of borrowers can expand your business
By Yanni Raz
When it comes to the mortgage indus- try, business development is all about expanding your client list, gaining the trust and respect of your
borrowers, and getting repeat business. To develop
your business, it is important to focus on building and
cultivating trust and not just on making money. It never
pays to nickel and dime clients.
Residential mortgage originators should understand that potential clients will check out who they are
and how they do business before making a decision
to work with them. In addition, during the mortgage
process, originators also can become the focal point of
client anger when something goes wrong, which can
tarnish a reputation if it’s not handled professionally.
To counter this, originators should always focus on
giving borrowers reasons why they should work with
them instead of reasons not to trust them.
The way originators dress, the way they talk and
their knowledge — or lack thereof — of products
and process all factor into a borrower’s perception of
them, which affects the borrower’s decision of whether or not to do business with a particular originator. Although these aspects may seem trivial, they can make
or break an originator’s business.
In addition, mortgage originators represent their
company and their brand. Their ability to project confidence, timeliness and efficiency will speak more for
that brand than anything else. In this business, actions
speak louder than words.
The people business
An originator needs to be the kind of person whom
people want to do business with, and this starts with
networking. Networking is not just about meeting
people who you want to work with. It is more about
being able to introduce yourself as someone other
professionals will want to work with.
Remember, you are not just selling mortgages, you
also are selling yourself. You want people to know that
doing business with you and working with you will not
only make them more successful, but will make them
feel more successful.
It is easy to forget in this business dominated by
numbers and dollar signs that you also are in the
people business. When dealing with people, you also
are dealing with emotions. Borrowers should not just
know they are being taken care of, they should feel it
Nobody likes to feel like they working with someone who is constantly trying to sell them something.
They want their needs taken care of. So, before anyone
decides to work with an originator, they want to make
sure that originator isn’t the kind of person who just
wants their money.
Any successful salesperson will tell you that sharing
Community is key
knowledge and information with potential customers
is much more efficient than selling. Providing potential
clients with information even before they become a
borrower will show them that you are invested in their
success, which will earn their trust and help build that
relationship. People do not do business with anyone
who seems more concerned about closing the deal
than about helping them. People do business with
professionals they know and trust.
Never underestimate community, either. You can
always learn things from other originators, even if they
are your competitors. Although networking functions
may seem boring and unhelpful at times, they offer
great opportunities to connect with your community. Even one interaction with a potential client will
increase the likelihood that they will work with you
in the future. Being involved in your community gets
your name out to potential clients and establishes you
as a prominent fixture in your local market.
In addition, a good mortgage originator needs to
stay competitive and know the market, because potential clients will shop around before they decide
who they want to work with. To gain the trust of potential clients, stay competitive and never try to sell
higher rates or extra fees to borrowers who have
not done their homework ahead of time. Doing this
will kill your reputation.
To build a sustainable business, you need to build
trust with your clients and make sure they will come
back to you and refer their friends and family to you as
well. If you overcharge clients, you risk losing their trust
and their business — and your own integrity. Honest
originators have former clients calling them back for
more business because they are truthful and fair.
Finally, borrowers want to work with someone
whom they believe is an expert. Educating yourself
should not end when you graduate college or finish
your training. It is something you must invest in on a
daily basis. Read books, listen to podcasts, go to seminars, and ask mentors and other professionals for advice and information on how to do your job better or
about nuances in mortgage products and processes.
Always be teachable. Do not be too quick to say, “I
know,” and don’t shut down people who are trying
to help you just because you think you already know
everything. You may know a lot about the mortgage
business, but there is always someone who knows more.
n n n
Building a community of loyal clients and referral
partners takes time and patience. It requires that originators follow up with borrowers, network with peers
and also that they always maintain their integrity. Cultivating trust takes honesty and humility because no
one wants to work with someone who is arrogant and
mistrustful. This will take time and effort, but if it was
easy, everyone would do it. By taking the time to build
a relationship and cultivate trust with clients, you are
sure to grow your business. n
by Yanni Raz
View these articles and more at
“Underwriting Reverse Mortgages,”
Through Digital Marketing,”
“Go Beyond the Baseline,”