■ n Measure time and results.
■ n Learn to interview clients.
■ n Record clients’ important life details.
■ n Follow up, follow up, follow up.
■ n Request referrals.
■ n Ask to hear complaints.
■ n Create a transaction-status report.
■ n Spend time each week prospecting.
■ n Celebrate the borrower’s success.
Make your business
more efficient and effective
Develop an interview form that has your favorite
interview questions, all of the borrower’s contact
information and room for notes. The questions will
start around credit, budget, bills, cash to close and flow
to end-of-the-meeting questions or closing questions.
Once completed, enter all of the data into your
customer-relationship management database.
That way, you have all of their important, intimate
life details, such as birthdays, favorite restaurants, life-style and family information. This one step makes your
job easier because you are starting to make them your
clients for life. This is an often-missed step.
Many originators provide a mortgage quote and have
no follow up plan afterward. Why in the heck would
you invest your precious time and not follow up? Now
if you entered them into your database, follow up
becomes much easier.
Plan on connecting with the prospect as many as 12
times in different ways. That is the only way to maximize
your leads. The best follow-up is to provide information
that your prospects need. That’s what’s valuable to
them. That might include things like finance and market
information, a short bio about yourself, rate updates,
new programs, your company information, neighborhood information, what to expect next during the loan
process or during the move, background on your team
and who to contact for any other pertinent information
related to their loan.
You also can leverage referrals through this process.
Develop a habit of asking for referrals right up front,
then put out a reminder somewhere in the middle of
the transaction and then again at the end.
Use a script that says something like: “My team and
I are going to work very hard to give you the best
customer service experience. By doing that, I am going
to ask you for five referrals and the highest score possible
on the survey you get when we close on the loan.
If, at any time, you feel we are not giving you superior
service, I would so appreciate if you would give me a
call and tell me how I can improve. Do we have deal?”
In this script, you give them permission to call and tell
you if you are not doing the job as promised or expected, so you can improve your systems and/or your team.
That is better than not knowing at all.
By doing this upfront, you set the stage for a positive
outcome and higher client-retention rate, and you will
find out about any hiccups in service levels, in advance,
before the closing. Plant the seeds of getting referrals
and positive survey scores right away. Borrowers will
remember the promise you made and refer their
friends and family. If your goal is to get five referrals
from each client, and if you only get two, you still win.
You get two more referrals, trust and a warm handoff,
instead of having to rely on a cold call.
Educate and communicate
Make sure to set the right expectations upfront about
the process, and educate your clients. Then make
sure you have amazing communication with them.
Make sure they understand who your team is and
how they will be supported going forward. You and
your team should communicate in all ways — e-mail,
text, phone, video — to make clients feel cared for,
informed and supported.
Create a transaction-status report that you can
utilize no matter where you are. Make sure your entire
team uses it regularly and keeps it up to date. Everyone needs to be able to trust what is on that report.
Then makes sure it goes out to everyone involved in
the transaction and the client gets a weekly call with
the status. This step is one of the most critical in making
you more efficient because you will not have as many
problems or complaints.
Have an efficient sales-call route and call list that
you design and refine to maximize your time in the
field. Make sure it has a spot on your weekly calendar,
and honor it each week. To be effective you must always prospect. It’s part of longevity.
Your time prospecting is just as important as meeting
with a new client. Get in as many calls as you can, and
bring something of value to talk about when you go.
Make sure on the calls you are asking great questions
and earning that business. Be known for being consistent and showing up, same time, each week.
As you look at efficiency, you need to encourage
your team to do the same with every task they encounter. They are a reflection of you to your clients, so they
must be great. There is a process to everything, a way
a task is done.
Taking a loan application, drawing docs, funding
loans all have a process. Having that process written
down in a timeline and order format improves the efficiency of your team and saves time. It also helps new
employees onboard quicker and also helps to ensure
everyone will be doing your business as you desire it
to be done.
Keep a file with all of these processes for your team,
so it is readily accessed and updated regularly, and use
it for cross-training and onboarding. That way, when
you reach vacation season, your service levels don’t
suffer. There is no better way to onboard, manage or
grow your team than replication of everyday tasks.
Finally, you’ve worked really hard to do a great job
throughout the transaction. Closing is your last opportunity to hit it out of the park. If you are going to expend
energy, this would be one of the most critical times to
do it — and it’s the step that is missed the most.
Have a closing and after-the-close process for your
clients. Celebrate their homeownership success with
them in some way, and also follow up with them afterward, on a regular basis, so they remember who
their loan guru is. You didn’t work hard to forget about
them or have them forget about you.
Celebrating their victory doesn’t have to be expensive. Provide a red ribbon for them to cut and shoot a
video so they can post it on social media. Providing
pizza or sandwiches on move day is another simple,
easy thing they will appreciate. These are things your
marketing person can handle or you can do in person.
Then, after the close, make sure to initiate a multi-touch campaign on all levels for all of your past clients
in your database. That means reaching out to them
via mail, e-mail and phone multiple times to check in.
Don’t forget to thank them in some special way for
each referral as well.
By adopting these approaches, your business will
change dramatically. Take one step at a time and integrate each into your business, and your business will
become more efficient and effective. By doing this,
your sales will go through the roof. n
“As you look at efficiency, you need to
encourage your team to do the same
with every task they encounter.”
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