How One Client Turned Into 72 Closed Transactions

Mortgage and Lending with Cognicorp Mortgage Banking Advisory
We always hear about building a 100% referral based business. While I don't think very many can claim 100% of their business is referral based, I know numerous superstar mortgage and real estate professionals who's business is in fact at least 90 to 95% referral.

The Best Time To Get A Referral

What do people talk about with their friends when they're buying a new car? About new cars! Better yet, what do people talk about when they are buying a new house or refinancing a mortgage? That's right...houses and mortgages.

More importantly, when they talk about mortgages, are your customers talking about YOU?

Your goal as a salesperson is to maximize your referral business. To do that, you MUST make the process systematic and so easy that every client working with you will recommend their both family and friends exclusively TO YOU.

Yet, most mortgage and real estate professionals don't live on referrals - WHY NOT?

I've found they are either embarrassed or they get so busy with the transaction details during the mortgage process they never get around to asking!

How I Turned One Transaction Into 72 Closed Loans

Yes, you read that correctly...72 closed loans.

It all started with taking the application and consistently asking for referrals throughout the loan process and loan management period after the loan closed. In fact, from the time I took the loan application and the loan closed, my client referred six other family, friends and neighbors (they all closed). Long story short, within the next four years I closed 72 loans that stemmed from the original six referrals provided me by my client....talking about a referral tree with a lot of branches!


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Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
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Beth Butler
Beth Butler - Big Mouth Consulting - Miami, FL
This is great Tony- talk about words to live by... thanks for reminding us about how the business should be done.  Hope you always have trees producing for you
Jun 01, 2007 04:17 AM #32
Tony Gallegos
Cognicorp Mortgage Banking Advisory - Marietta, GA

"The best time to have planted a tree is twenty years ago, the next best time is now!"

Chinese Proverb

I'm amazed at the response received on this post. While this was an example that proved to be extremely successful, even if you can close four additional loans from referral off of every new client, think of the possibilities. Here are a few recent posts I have made regarding this:


Brian - You might be surprised with you own referral trees, having met you, you most likely have a few golden nuggets!

Mark - Of course, I'm going to tease you! Actually, I plan on posting about the process during the months of June and July. There is really no great secret, just being a mad-man about setting up systems and following through.

John - Thank you so much, greatly appreciated.

Axel - Appreciate the encouragement.

Tim - I have never been part of a coaching system (done a lot of it though). However, I have had GREAT mentors that have guided and provided invaluable advise throughout my career. I have always been an enthusiastic student of marketing and our industry, so along the way I have morphed my own systems by leveraging what has been successful for other superstars and made it my own. One of my early mentors taught me the importance of systems, consistency and making it relevant for our clients and referral partners.

Jim Lee - Absolutely, I couldn't have said it better.

Mark - Funny you mention that crossed eyed look superstar originators give you when asked what the secret to their success is. Immediately I thought of Greg Clements (912 first mortgages closed in one year) and that's exactly his reaction.

Carolyn - Exactly, you are right on!

Shawn - It's funny how when we get away from executing the fundamentals, our production and enjoyment suffer...happens to all of us!

Randy - Getting newbies and veterans alike to understand and commit is the key.

Scott - Right must systematically ask for referrals, yet in a way that is not pushy.

Paul - Thank you so much, glad you found value.

Amanda - Great and powerful advice.

Lynda - It really is a tree and if you prune, water, fertilize and cultivate, it will bear bountiful fruit!

Christin - It's interesting you mentioned you have systems to manage your clients real estate needs for twenty years. About 18 months ago, the Mortgage Banking Assn. released a study that indicated a first time home buyer would get 8.3 1st mortgages (both refinance and purchase) over the next twenty years. While I did think the 8.3 figure was a little high, even if it's 6.3, think of the exponential business you could get by effectively positioning yourself as the person to go to when they need either a mortgage or to purchase real estate. That along with their friends and family!

Christy - Thank you...appreciate very much!

Beth - And may your trees be fruitful and multiply!

Ethan - I developed my own system over the years.

Jun 01, 2007 06:34 AM #34
Daniel Gates
Insure Consulting - Palm Bay, FL
Great reminder, Tony!  For people in this business who don't like self-promotion, this is a great encouragement that we can help our business and help others with our services by asking happy customers to refer us to their friends and family.
Jun 01, 2007 06:49 AM #35
Tony Gallegos
Cognicorp Mortgage Banking Advisory - Marietta, GA
Daniel - Absolutely and thanks for the comments.
Jun 01, 2007 06:53 AM #36
Heck of a job Tony! Great resources on this post. Keep it up!
Jun 01, 2007 06:58 AM #37
J.R. Quarles
Mortgage Executives LLC - Memphis, TN
The Mortgage Innovator
Congrats.... that is superb.... Its no telling how many i let slip through the cracks. I will think about this while i'm taking my next app or next closing...
Jun 01, 2007 07:24 AM #38
Matthew J Blum - (retired from the business)
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Tony thats fantastic... Good for you

Jun 01, 2007 09:50 AM #39
Doreen McPherson
Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe - Tempe, AZ
Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~


I am looking forward to your future posts on this.  I am curious to know how to do this during the process and not sound repetitive and annoying.  You must have some really great ideas to share. 

Thanks, Doreen

Jun 01, 2007 11:56 AM #40
Kevin Ray
Access Realty - Superior, MT
That's a great example, thanks for sharing this.
Jun 01, 2007 01:35 PM #41
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
Good job -- One really has to get over the hestitation to ask for a referral.  If you do a good job, then people do want to refer others.
Jun 01, 2007 03:11 PM #42
Jennifer Walker-Derby
Re/Max Westside - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Extraordinaire
wow Tony, that is a lot of referrals!  congrats to you!  I tend to get the same referral business from the same % of people over and over.  Some of my clients always think of me.
Jun 01, 2007 03:13 PM #43
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Tony, it's amazing how one transaction can multiply exponentially. If we dont' ask, we won't get the business most of the time, but having truly enthusiatically satisfied clients will do alot of that work for you. I have one client, who closed about 8 weeks ago, who has already sent me 2 other clients because they're so happy... and I never had to ask for the referrals. That's only one client of many that send me business and it's so much easier to get clients that way than the cold way, isn't it? Great post!
Jun 01, 2007 03:40 PM #44
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Sounds great.. Keep up the good work.

Carolin Benjamin
Bob and Carolin Benjamin - The Benjamin Team
Keller Williams Integrity First Realty
Gold Canyon Arizona

Jun 01, 2007 06:02 PM #45
Robert Kerr
Kerr Financial - Warwick, RI
An excellent lesson in networking. Great job, Tony!
Jun 01, 2007 06:44 PM #46
Maurice McLaughlin
Nations Princeton-Nassau Inc. d/b/a NATIONS - Naples, FL
Maurice McLaughlin
Your insight on referrals is right on the money....closed 10 listings and sales for 1 client alone....just sold the mothers home too!
Jun 02, 2007 01:18 AM #47
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Congratulations!  That's quite a referral tree.  Most of my business is by referral and I strive for that with each and every client.  My goal is to provide an experience so AWESOME that the clients will refer their friends, family and coworkers to me.

Good going!!!

Jun 02, 2007 10:48 AM #48
Tony Gallegos
Cognicorp Mortgage Banking Advisory - Marietta, GA

J.R. - You are serving a perfect niche in that while they may need a band-aid loan today, once you council your borrowers during the loan management phase, you can follow-up and place them in a prime loan later. A perfect niche that can grow many branches.

Matthew - Fantastic, another smart marketer with a well defined niche...thanks for reading!

Doreen - Hope you find value in future posts

Kevin - Happy you found value

Joan - Very true...

Jennifer - I wonder if you tied all the referrals back, what your referral tree would look like?

Ryan - It absolutely hit the head on the nail. While it can seem awkward (at first) asking for referrals, it's still a MUCH easier, enjoyable and more profitable way of getting business.

Carolin - Thanks so much....appreciated.

Robert - You are very welcome...glad you found it interesting.

Maurice - That's AWESOME Maurice!!!!!

Irina - Sounds like you are a networking and referral based business person. It's the only way to go.

Jun 02, 2007 11:24 AM #49
David A. Podgursky PA
THE PODGURSKY GROUP @ Re/Max Direct - Boynton Beach, FL
THE PODGURSKY GROUP - Make the Right Move!

that's a great example of how it is supposed to be done!


Jun 03, 2007 03:37 AM #50
Tony Gallegos
Cognicorp Mortgage Banking Advisory - Marietta, GA
David - Thanks and you are so right!
Jun 03, 2007 05:22 AM #51
Corry Green
*Private* due to Top 5 National Lender Status - Atlanta, GA
Great Post!
Oct 25, 2007 06:28 AM #52
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