Are You Asking The Right People At The Right Time?

Mortgage and Lending with Southwest Funding

Are you asking for referrals at the right time? Studies show that 90% of referrals come in the first 6 months after the close of the transaction. And yet, most loan officers and Realtors don't actively seek them. Asking for referrals is one of the most efficient and effective business development activities. They are effective because they make it easier to build the trust that is so critical in selling an intangible like mortgage services. You gain a measure of "reflected trust" when you are referred by a trusted source.

The Blank Stare
Have you ever asked your client for the name of a few referrals and received a blank stare? Each client that you service has a sphere of influence that you could potentially approach. When asked, "Who do you know?" often a client goes blank when facing such a large block of people in their mind. Studies show that helping a client to isolate groups of people that they know will improve the number of referrals that they offer you.

When asking for referrals, I found it beneficial to help my client isolate people that he/she may know by mentioning associations to specific people such as fellow church members, golfing buddies, home school groups and co-workers. Tapping into your clients' spheres of influence will increase your client base exponentially. You might even consider creating a simple referral sheet listing some examples of associations that he/she can choose from.

Be Selective
Not all customers are good referral candidates. I recommend finding the top 20% that are ecstatic about your business and ask them for referrals. Make sure their network is the type of client you want. Invest your marketing dollars into the candidates that can yield you the best return on investment.

Many successful loan officers and Realtors ask for referrals at the closing table, some at the time of origination, but a shocking number never do at all. I've learned that passively hinting and hoping for referrals does not work - You must ask for them!

Dallas Loan Officer

Jeff Schraeder

Imperial Mortgage

Comments (3)

Bruce Swedal
Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate
ask and you shall receive.
Jun 18, 2007 07:45 AM
Tom Engelhardt
First Choice Mortgage - Ocala, FL
I also agree with being selective. Many times I've asked after a difficult loan and received the same type of referral. But you gotta ask!
Jun 18, 2007 08:30 AM
Jeff Schraeder
Southwest Funding - Dallas, TX
Thanks for the feedback.  It is true you just have to ask.  Thanks,
Jun 18, 2007 01:12 PM