Whether you’re just starting in the mortgage industry or you’ve been working as a loan originator for decades, there are tools available that can help you maximize your productivity and, ultimately, tell you how to close more loans.
Gaining clients, building relationships, and gathering information in your own knowledge bank are all necessary to grow your business. As the saying goes, If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Here are four ways to make sure you’re not only staying alive—but thriving as a loan originator.
1. Make connections.
A recent article by Embrace Home Loans highlights national and professional networks that loan originators can join, either in person or via LinkedIn. If you’ve been sending marketing emails and using social media to build your network, putting a face to a name in a physical setting is a great way to turn an online connection into a valuable relationship.
Connecting with other mortgage industry professionals is an easy and affordable way to build helpful connections and referrals. So, discover the networking opportunities for your area of expertise, show up, and press the flesh!
Meet other lenders, find a mentor, or, better yet, become a mentor. Build relationships with local real estate agents, home inspectors, and others in the mortgage industry. The more connections you have, the more you will understand about the mortgage process, and the higher the chances you’ll learn how to close more loans.
2. Continue to learn.
While you shouldn’t go out and buy 2,000 new books like Tai Lopez, here is truth to his proverb: “The more you learn, the more you earn.” Reading up on new approaches to selling loans, or getting refreshers on fundamentals you learned a few years ago but forgot can help you home in on your practice!
There are hundreds of books written just for mortgage loan originators. A few are even free. If reading isn’t your favorite pastime, there are audiobooks and podcasts available too. The Loan Officer Freedom podcast features interviews with CEOs, mortgage loan officers, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, realtors, and more. Guests share tips and their personal experiences in the industry, which could help you make business decisions and increase your revenue.
Tip: Capacity’s support automation platform can also help you learn important mortgage concepts from other members of your team. If you need information about how to close more loans, for example, Capacity will point you in the right direction.
3. Get an assistant.
It can be extremely stressful as a mortgage loan originator to help a client who is closing on a house, attract new clients with multiple marketing strategies, make time for reading and podcasts, attend valuable networking events—the list continues—all at the same time. Bringing on an assistant or new team member is a strategy that has worked for so many leaders. There’s a reason just about every CEO has an Executive Assistant. As the CEO of your career, think of the ROI an EA could generate for you.
Regardless if you’re an entrepreneur looking for an assistant or you need new team members to increase revenue, these words from Cofounder and CEO, David Karandish, ring true, “Think through the values your team needs in the stage your company is in, and consider how you might ensure your early team fits those values.” Once you find the best people for the job, things will start falling in place.
4. Automate tasks.
More hands on deck are ideal when everyone’s values are aligned and everyone is doing their best work. There are plenty of productivity tools available for teams to use—but it’s important to evolve, grow, and make improvements to stay competitive in any industry.
Capacity believes knowledge sharing is the key to empowering teams and boosting their productivity. The platform is built on a foundation of artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning it can automate various tasks such as mining documents, spreadsheets, and websites, helping organizations capture tacit knowledge. For loan originators, that means no more wasting time searching for information during the loan process. They can now access any information with a simple question.
5. Increase touches.
Increasing the number of ‘touches’—any time your organization comes into contact with a potential borrower — can improve loan closure times. That’s because you can move customers through your loan origination and service pipelines by asking for more information about their financial circumstances, encouraging them to submit required documents, or reminding them to sign contracts. Examples of customer touchpoints include email, text messages, and live chat.
6. Send follow-ups.
If customers don’t respond to a request, never ignore the situation as it can increase home loan close times. Send follow-up documents by mail or email, instead. Alternatively, use live chat to re-engage customers who haven’t answered your previous requests. You can also use follow-ups to attract more mortgage leads to your organization.
Tip: Capacity’s live chat feature lets you automate follow-ups or communicate with customers directly in an easy-to-use chat interface.
7. Increase speed.
Around four percent of all real estate deals fall through. Often, buyers get cold feet, or the loan origination process takes too long. You can reduce the time it takes to close a home loan by offering shorter approval times during the origination, approval, and sales process. You still need to carry out due diligence, of course, but a commitment to faster loan approval could help close loans quicker and improve loan officer sales.
8. Respond quickly.
Communication is key when trying to close more loans. However, loan officers don’t always have the time to answer questions from borrowers and sellers. Investing in the latest chatbot technology can help officers respond to customers quickly and deliver information that speeds up the home loan process.
Tip: Capacity features chatbot functionality that automates support for borrowers, sellers, and support staff. By automating answers to common questions about the loan origination and servicing processes, organizations like yours can speed up close times and streamline workflows.
9. Be proactive, not reactive.
It’s best to be proactive with customers when closing loans. That way, you can anticipate any potential problems with loan approval, rather than solving issues that have already happened. Taking a proactive approach might involve being honest to potential customers about their chances of being approved for a loan before they make an application, which can save time for both borrowers and loan officers.
10. Understand your home buyer and the market.
Learning how to close home loans has a lot to do with each buyer and the current state of the property market. Loan officers should carry out due diligence by assessing a borrower’s affordability at the time of origination and then determining whether they are a risk based on the latest market conditions.
11. Qualify the client.
Even if a potential buyer or seller pre-qualifies for a mortgage, loan officers will have to delve deeper into a borrower’s financial status and history to ascertain whether they are a ‘good fit’ for a loan product. The qualification process might involve assessing a borrower’s employment details, tax returns, bank statements, and other financial documents before underwriting a loan.
Tip: Capacity’s support automation platform provides quick access to the latest Fannie, Freddie, USDA, FHA & VA guidelines, which can help officers qualify customers based on their affordability and eligibility for a loan.