Growing Your Mortgage Referral Ecosystem

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Mortgage Referral Ecosystem LednerHomePageReferrals are one of the top ways to gain mortgage leads. The strange thing is that not enough mortgage pros take action or time to nurture the relations that bring quality mortgage leads. We mentioned in a previous post that only about 9% of loan officers expected their current borrowers to refer their mortgage services. 

And when you don’t expect anything to come of it, little effort is put toward it. And that’s a shame since, across all industries, about 65% of new business is gained through referrals. But your past clientele isn’t your only referral resource. 

There are several opportunities for growing your lending business with qualified mortgage referrals. Here are a few hot examples of where to make those connections and how to nurture them into a vibrant ecosystem of mortgage referrals. 

How to get more qualified mortgage referrals

Real Estate Professionals

Before you skip over this first idea because it’s **obvious** consider how many referrals you’re gaining from real estate agents. If you have a steady stream of qualified mortgage leads coming from a network of agents, then you can skip ahead to the other tips. 

However, if it’s few to none, then read on.

The value of connecting with real estate agents is clear –you share the same consumers and complement each other’s services –like peas and carrots. But here’s another value that often gets overlooked by mortgage professionals: 

Real Estate Agents are Very Active on Social Media. 

There are about 2 million licensed real estate agents in the US right now, with a whopping 91% admitting that they use social media regularly. This makes them powerful networkers and allies in getting more qualified referrals and worth the effort in finding ways to collaborate with them.

One thing to keep in mind is that when we say “collaborate,” we mean building a relationship. That’s right. It’s about adding value to their business and being an all-around great person to work with. By the way, you should feel the same about the real estate agent(s) you’re working with!

Remember that the goal is to build an “ecosystem” of mortgage referrals, and when you’re working with people, that means being genuine. 

Here’s a couple of ideas to get started in building a collaborative relationship with real estate agents:

  • Offer to help out at their open house –perhaps setting up or cross-promoting. During the open house, share about the various loan programs with the home shoppers. 
  • Create some real estate related infographics and brand them with both your business and their business. They can use this media to share across social media, bringing more eyes to your services and giving them attractive media to share!
  • Offer a monthly Q&A mortgage column on their website or their emailing list. Good content is tough to come by, even more so when you’re looking for it for free. Answering one question a month with a simple yet insightful paragraph is easy to do and a lead generator.

Financial Planners

Just like with real estate agents, financial planners have money-minded clientele, making financial planners the perfect addition to your mortgage leads ecosystem. Linkedin is a great place to find a one (if not already connected to one). But just like a real estate agent, make sure there’s you “click” business relationship-wise. If the resource proves to be a steady one, you’ll be in frequent contact with them. 

Factors to keep in mind when collaborating with financial planners:

  • Assure them that working with you is a two-way street and that you will also be referring your clients to her/him as a credit counselor. 
  • If the financial planner doesn’t know much about loans -particularly refi’s and lines of credit –educate them! Sometimes the funds that the client needs to get their finances in order are just a mortgage loan away!
  • Re-examine the quality of leads. You might have found a partner that sends you several leads, but if few of those result in a loan or are otherwise poor quality, then it’s probably time to sever the collab.

Home Builders

Homebuilders are another connection to cultivate for widening your mortgage referral ecosystem. This relationship, however, requires a different approach. Builders aren’t necessarily “salesmen,” so qualifying the lead may prove to be too much for them.

So, instead, don’t require them to qualify the leads they send you. As the mortgage pro, you’ll run the pre-approval process for interested buyers. Remember to package this in terms of how it will benefit the buyer! They need to know “what’s in it for them.”

And what’s in it for them is that pre-qualifying prospects will ensure the builder that they are dealing with a strong homebuying candidate. 

Being driven, a great resource, and easy to work with are great selling points for convincing others to collaborate with you and refer your mortgage services, but there’s one other factor that seals the deal and sets you apart from the rest.


Including the right mortgage tech in your offer stands out first by just the mere fact of having it. While others offer a business card and coffee, you’ll offer a mortgage app that can be co-branded.

But more importantly, the right mortgage tech makes you undeniably more proficient –which reflects INCREDIBLY well on those that gave you the referral in the first place. What else can mortgage tech do for growing your business? Click here for a live demo to see for yourself!


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