In my last column, I answered a question from a “Struggling Loan Officer.” Here are some more thoughts on the topic.
As a reminder, here’s the original question I received: “I had a pretty decent year last year, but I can’t seem to get over the hump and move to the next level from a production standpoint. My biggest issue is time. I spend so much time closing loans, I can’t seem to find the time to market. What do you suggest?”
Dave: In the first segment, we recommended a self-assessment towards your application process. If you are spending your time fighting fires produced by an inefficient process, you cannot move to the next level.
If you ask most loan officers, they would agree that you should ask your present customers for referrals. But, those that do are likely to do so after closing, when it is confirmed that adequate service was provided. Again, these loan officers are uncertain how the process might turn out.
However, the best opportunity to do so is at the beginning of the process. This is because of the “law of selective perception” which indicates that a prospect’s perception towards homebuying is most acute when they are shopping for and purchasing a home.
Think about the last time you purchased a car and drove it around. Did you notice a ton of people driving your car? No, everyone did not go out and purchase the same car when you did. Your perception towards your new car was heightened, especially if it is the same make, model and color.
When someone is shopping for a home, they are asking everyone they know about the process—neighborhoods, types of mortgages, home styles, etc. At that point they are more likely to know others who are looking because their perception is heightened. The key is to tap into that knowledge as early as possible by delivering more value earlier in the process. In a future article, I will expand on this “law” and early value delivery.
Now I will focus on the end of the process. It is important to move the end of the process back as you have moved the referral process forward. In this way, you can widen the scope of opportunities from beginning to end.
How can you move it back? How about an important event after your prospect moves into the house
Sponsor the housewarming party with the real estate agent and perhaps the settlement agent. This party is a celebration of the success of purchasing a home. What better event to help put together for your clients?
Of course, you will also become even more memorable to your clients and assure that they become long-term referral sources. And, just in case that they are not good at referring, you will meet a good portion of their sphere at the party a month or so after they move in. You are not soliciting business from them at the party, but developing relationships which you can solidify in the future.
Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School – the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is www.OriginationPro.com and he can be reached at email@example.com.