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Building Your Volume One Day At A Time

Put this five-day plan into place to increase your unit production.

Caleb Mittelstet
Caleb Mittelstet
Building Your Volume One Day At A Time

Rising interest rates and soaring home prices are making the 2022 origination landscape more challenging. Mortgage loan officers seeking to maintain or increase volume can overcome those hurdles.

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts purchase originations will increase to a record $1.77 trillion in 2022. With 1 million more new homes on track to be built, more entry-level homeowners could list their homes for sale and purchase move-up properties, according to the MBA.

A solid business plan can help increase your share of that purchase volume in the year ahead. In the five-day plan below, you commit three hours a day to building your customer base and home loan volume from various sources each day of the week.

Mondays: 30 Cold Calls to Potential Sources of New Clients

There are multiple methods of cold calling, but the goal is usually the same: Sharing your value proposition. Write a two-minute script with a three-minute encore to use when you get a positive response. Once the source accepts your call, push to Facetime or Teams so you can speak “face-to-face.”

Your goal is to create enough interest that they agree to learn more about your value proposition. Note: Your value proposition isn’t product or pricing. It’s the service you provide. Talking price is like shopping for a shirt at Dollar General versus Nordstrom. Dollar General is cheaper, but you feel better when you shop at Nordstrom because there’s someone ready to help you find a shirt that looks great on you and immediately ring it up. People want the Nordstrom service from you as a lender.

Every Monday, call a mix of sources — people you know 100% will send you borrowers, people you know who send you a deal here and there, people you hope to get business from in the future.

If they see you’re trying that hard to get their business, they may first send you a first-time homebuyer with a 610 credit score who wants to use down payment assistance. Be grateful and do everything in your power to help those customers. They know you’ll be that consistent with their customers if you’re that consistent in contact.

Tuesdays: Update all real estate agents and clients

This is back to basics. You’re calling the customer for every refinance transaction in your pipeline, as well as the selling and the buying agents for your home purchase loans (with the borrower’s permission). During the call, you’ll update everyone about where the loan is in the process and what’s happening next.

You may wonder why you need to make calls when so much technology in your marketing tech stack communicates automatically with customers and agents. If everyone gets in-process videos, why do you need to personally update them?

Your personal interaction builds relationships in a way that even the best technology cannot. A conversation can make the difference between doing a transaction and having a relationship. Automated marketing will keep you top of mind. Still, the mortgage loan originator who meets with me in person and speaks with me on the phone each week is the one I’ll use for the next transaction.

People want to know that you have their best interest at heart. I’m not saying the technology is not critical. It is. I’m saying technology is the cake, and you are the icing.

Wednesdays: Pre-Approvals

A typical mortgage loan originator might have a couple of dozen customers who are at some point in the pre-approval process. In many markets, pipelines are brimming with pre-approved customers out there trying to buy homes — and failing.

It can be discouraging to go out every weekend and put in an offer on a home only to lose out to an all-cash investor or a buyer willing to go $100,000 over the asking price. When it takes four to six months to find and buy a home, your customers have time to get a lot of emails, phone calls and text messages from competitors.

Be the one they talk to about the properties they saw and what they bid. Educate them about other options they can try, like buying a fixer-upper with a purchase plus renovation loan, a bridge loan or a new home community breaking ground next month.

Thursdays: Database Mining

A solid database is a fundamental marketing tool for lead generation. Contact information for anyone you have ever worked with or prospected should be in it — including current and former customers, builders, Realtors, attorneys, and tax professionals.

Database mining can be as simple as scheduling mortgage check-in calls to customers every six months to chat about home values and current life changes, like financially preparing to pay for college.

Some companies retain servicing and use sophisticated analytics to drive database mining. The marketing team can send automated communications to customers and alerts the original MLO when a customer is “in the money,” for example, having enough equity to make a cash-out refi appealing, or they’ve taken an action that makes its likely they’re in the market for another home.

While some of those leads need to be worked on immediately because time is of the essence, the rest can be set aside for Thursday follow-ups. If your company doesn’t apply analytics and send leads back to the originator, you may purchase those services directly from a vendor.


Fridays: VIP Calls and Community Service

On Friday, make calls to your VIPs. If I’m a branch manager, my VIPs could be my top five recruits and my regional manager. For an MLO, the VIPs might be clients who have given me at least six transactions and my mentors.

Community service is another crucial component of networking because it builds your brand visibility and allows you to give back. Spread your time between local groups that serve a broad audience, like the Chamber of Commerce, sports clubs or community groups, and those that serve the industry, like the local home builders.

If your city is large enough to have a local chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, or the National Association of Minority Mortgage Bankers Association, attend those meetings to build your career network.

Work the Plan

Having a great company brand behind you is just the ante. You’re the winning hand, the professional customers trust. People want to be able to say, “Go look at their reviews. Check out their Facebook – there are so many stories about happy first-time homebuyers they helped.” That’s who I’m setting you up with.

Your contacts are handing you their baby — their clients, friends or family members. It’s like hiring a babysitter you don’t know versus the kid down the street. Following the 5-Day Plan makes you the kid down the street.

This article was originally published in the NMP Magazine July 2022 issue.
Caleb Mittelstet
Caleb Mittelstet,
Caleb Mittelstet

Caleb Mittelstet is executive vice president, national production distributed retail sales, Planet Home Lending.

Published on
Jul 18, 2022
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