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With the Federal Reserve recently announcing plans for tapering its asset purchases, mortgage professionals can expect that interest rates are likely to rise as well. As rates rise, refinances are likely to taper off significantly, sparking renewed competition for purchase business.
We enlisted the help of some of National Mortgage Professional's Top Originators, who were featured in our March 2021 issue, to make sure that you're getting expert advice from the best of the best.
Our Top Originators believe this is the time to go back to building relationships with local Realtors, paying extra attention to your market's top listing agents and even some local associations.
“Join the local Realtor and builder associations in order to develop strong relationships with active agents and builders,” suggests Michael Borodinsky, a producing branch manager for Caliber Home Loans. He also suggests that originators volunteer their time to not only attend local realtor and builder association events but join local committees that plan those events, including charitable fundraisers and networking. Borodinsky believes that offering to sponsor and speak at these events, when possible, can help put you in front of the right folks to help you build your purchase business.
“When I get a purchase contract, I reach out to the listing agent to introduce myself. If you do a good job, they will be your next referral source or at least someone you can take to lunch and get to know,” said Ann Fisher, a loan officer at Towne Bank/Fitzgerald Financial. Fisher says she also teaches classes to local Realtors and tries to be an added benefit to their business.
Sosimo Avila, a producing branch manager and vice president of Production Training for Neo Home Loans, suggests partnering with CPAs, Financial Advisors, and Realtors.
“Don't just become a vendor they use for clients, but ensure your synergized businesses create a great value to the consumer and mutually complement each other's businesses,” Avila said. “Funding a loan and providing updates is too low of a standard for success. Elite businesses need more from the financial arm of the real estate transaction.”
As mortgage technology continues to evolve, our Top Originators also suggest that building a strong technology stack can really make a difference and help strengthen your purchase business. Along with building a technology stack is building the best team and providing them with all of the best tools possible.
Thuan Nguyen, a broker for Loan Factory, advises originators to make sure they have a good system, good staff, and good technology to support them.
“You must invest in technology — for yourself and your staff — if you want to win. You have to work hard every day, consistently trying to improve everything if you want to win,” Nguyen said.
[Listen: Thuan Nguyen on the Mortgage Leadership Outlook Podcast]
“Innovation is needed to better serve immediate business but even more so future business,” Avila added. “Our technology and process have to be irreplaceable when competing in a fintech world.”
He also said loan originators need to provide far more of a benefit to their clients than simply gifting them a pumpkin pie and a holiday card at the end of the year. “We need to provide them with the resources needed to grow their wealth, protect their assets, and have access to the financial information that can help them create a better legacy,” he said.
Avila also suggests maintaining control in the conversation with clients.
“Customer service is not defined by just giving the client what they want but providing for them the data, resources, and feedback for what they need,” he said. "Helping them see more options than they even thought were available and teaching them things that we should know as elite producers is what the client needs, but most of all deserves, in making well-educated decisions.”
Fisher also stressed the importance of closing deals on time and staying honest as a way to help you succeed in a competitive market.
“I also market to my clients with a 7-year touch program,” she said. “This is the best way to stay in front of your past clients hoping they will refer their friends and family.”
Opportunities to build your purchase business can come from implementing as many of these suggestions as possible. Ultimately, it comes down to visibility, relationships, technology, and education. Going above and beyond for your clients will always leave a lasting impression on them and you'll likely be the one they turn to when it comes to their refinance or next home purchase.