Think of Clients as Referral Partners

September 2008

Mutually beneficial partnerships can expand your network

More than anything else, mortgage professionals ask me where they can get more leads. The answer is referral selling, the least-used marketing method in our business.

When you think of referral partners, you most likely think of sources such as Realtors, banks or attorneys. Many of us try to build relationships with cold calls, which can take months to yield any results. We often overlook clients, though they are an untapped goldmine for referral partners.

How does it work? Consider a client of mine who responded to my request to be a partner by sending an endorsement letter to his clients on my behalf -- all 1,100 of them. Within 30 days, I received 65 new applications and closed 37 loans.

My client not only sent me hundreds of referrals over the life of our partnership, but he also was the catalyst that got me into a new arena of lead opportunities. With his endorsement, I had instant credibility in these clients’ eyes. Additionally, his colleagues also had contacts that they shared with me. The applications poured through the door. And the best part was that my marketing costs were almost nonexistent.

To set up this kind of partnership, it helps to know where to start. Consider four primary criteria before you ask for referrals.