Local banks, credit unions, and fintechs are what many Americans consider as options when getting a mortgage. Brokers aren’t usually first of mind on that list — despite being a significant part of the mortgage process.
But that hasn’t stopped brokers from making their mark, especially when it comes to their referral sources. Three brokers from across the country shared what works for them.
Debbie Siegel, who owns and operates Westchester Mortgage, a mortgage brokerage firm based out of Massachusetts, says that she’s been a broker for over 20 years. “A lot of people don’t even understand what a mortgage broker is,” Siegel says. “And based on experience, a lot of people have the misconception that using me will cost more money.”
When Siegel started in the business, she knew that she had to study her competition in order to stand out. Her best method of putting herself out there was writing solicitation letters — about 50 a week, she said. “Back then, I used to have to buy leads from banks,” she explained. “And I would get a lot of phone calls from my letters that started fielding me a lot of business.”
Siegel is firm in her belief that being a broker isn’t about the money — it’s about establishing a trusted relationship while customers are buying the biggest asset of their lives. “A piece of real estate fits into your overall financial picture, and part of my job, what I love, is being able to educate my customers about their purchase being an investment, not just their home.”