be a successful loan officer

How to Be a Successful Loan Officer – 13 Strategies from a $200M Producer

The mortgage industry is appealing for those looking to make a sizeable income while helping people achieve their dream of homeownership. But oftentimes, it’s not until you have taken the leap to become an LO that you realize you don’t know where to begin! To become a SUCCESSFUL and top producing LO, you need a clear goal plan that includes actionable steps to help you move the needle closer towards your goals every day.

As one of the nation’s top 1% originators running a branch of 32 LOs, I hit over $200 million in personal production at the height of my career. Seven years ago, I followed a higher calling to live out my dream of helping mortgage professionals like you grow a thriving and successful business, while leading a fulfilling and balanced life.

Loan Officer Success

In this article, I will share some of the strategies that I used personally and that have also helped my coaching clients scale their mortgage business to seven figures and beyond.  

Table of Contents

What Does a Loan Officer Do?
Can You Be a Successful Loan Officer Without a College Degree?
How Do I Become a Successful Loan Officer with No Experience?

How Much Money Do Loan Officers Make?
Is Becoming a Loan Officer Worth It?
Is It Stressful to Be a Mortgage Loan Officer?
How Do Successful Loan Officers Get Clients?
What Skills and Qualities Do I Need to Be a Successful Loan Officer?
13 Tips for How to Be a Successful Loan Officer

What Does a Loan Officer Do?

A loan officer typically works in the mortgage industry and helps people apply for, qualify, and obtain a mortgage loan to buy a home. A mortgage loan officer works with a bank, credit union, or independent mortgage company to service borrowers.

Loan officers will need a comprehensive understanding of mortgage industry rules and regulations. To be a successful mortgage loan officer you will work with potential and current borrowers as well as referral partners to create a systematized business to serve and help people achieve home ownership.

Loan Officer meeting

Can You Be a Successful Loan Officer Without a College Degree?

Yes, you can be a successful loan officer without getting a college degree. However, you will need proof of a high school diploma or GED to obtain your mortgage loan originator license. Some states or companies may still prefer you to have a college degree as well, but it is not typically a requirement. Many mortgage loan officers can still be successful and make a substantial income without a degree.

Mortgage loan officers who do receive a college degree typically major in a field such as business or finance and will likely want to take courses related to accounting or statistics. Loan officers will need excellent communication skills to serve their clients most effectively, so courses in communication or public speaking would be beneficial as well.

How Do I Become a Successful Loan Officer with No Experience?

If you do not have experience yet as a mortgage loan officer, you can start by taking some courses in business or finance. Many loan officers will also start in a broader sales role such as at a call center or phone or car sales before transitioning to the mortgage industry. 

• Here are the 5 things you will need to get your mortgage loan originator license.

Additionally, the best way to become a top producing loan officer is to be open to learning and to serving others. Take in as much as you can from courses and mentors to learn the fundamentals of the role. From there, focusing your energy on helping others and building deep relationships will take your business to next-level success.

How Much Money Do Loan Officers Make?

The average loan officer in the U.S. makes a median income of around $64,000 or up to and over $134,000 per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

It is hard to give an exact number for how much money a loan officer makes as income depends largely on commission that is influenced by living costs per location, market trends, and how much business the loan officer is generating.

For example, the top, most successful loan officers in California can make upwards of $240,000 per year. One of the best reasons for becoming a loan officer is the uncapped earning potential for top-producing LOs.

Is Becoming a Loan Officer Worth It?

Becoming a mortgage loan officer is absolutely worth it! Not only do you have the opportunity to build wealth for yourself and become a strong leader of your business and your life, but you are also able to help people achieve homeownership: one of the most exciting and sought-after goals for many Americans.

Loan Officer Helping buyers

Is It Stressful to Be a Mortgage Loan Officer?

While it can be stressful to balance the many obligations that come with being a mortgage loan officer, there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success and minimize the potential stressors. Align yourself with like-minded professionals who can help offset some of that stress by sharing best practices and challenges they faced on their own journey.

My Millionaire Mortgage Club members, for example, learn techniques to effectively manage their time and energy, systems for how to easily track and manage new leads, and strategic marketing plans to effectively communicate with and satisfy client and referral partner needs.

Do Loan Officers Work from Home?

It is possible to work remotely from home and be a successful loan officer. Especially with the pandemic changing the way all industries work, it has become increasingly easier to work from home as a mortgage loan officer.

Loan officers that work from home will need to be especially aware of the effort they put into developing trusted relationships. It can be difficult to create a lasting impact when you are meeting online, but certainly not impossible.

How Do Successful Loan Officers Get Clients?

Successful mortgage loan officers get clients in a few ways:

  • Offering their services to friends, family, and community members.
  • Retaining and marketing to past clients.
  • Developing relationships with referral partners such as realtors, financial advisors, or divorce attorneys.
  • In-person and online marketing to attract new clients.

• To go in-depth with mortgage marketing tactics and ideas, CLICK HERE.

How to Be a Top Producing Loan Officer: What Skills and Qualities Do I Need?

Successful mortgage loan officers acquire and perfect a wide range of skills. A few of the most important skills and qualities that loan officers should build are:

  • PERSISTENCE AND PATIENCE. The mortgage industry can be challenging at times. The most successful loan officers have a tough skin and stay persistent when difficult situations occur.
  • OUTSTANDING COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Mortgage loan officers require good communication skills to develop trusted, long-term relationships with their clients and referral partners.
  • UNDERSTANDING OF MORTGAGE CONCEPTS. Mortgage loan officers clearly must understand the workings of a mortgage loan process. They also need at least a basic understand of financial concepts as well as a decent grasp on mathematics and critical thinking.

Click the link for your FREE DOWNLOAD of “7 Instant Skills to Ignite Your Life, Business and Income.”

Loan Officer Plan

13 Tips for How to Be a Successful Loan Officer:

1. Always provide value.

The most successful businesses, mortgage industry or not, always focus their goals around providing value to their clients. For mortgage loan officers, focus on providing exceptional service and information to your clients and referral partners.

2. Be transparent and trustworthy with your clients and referral partners.

3. Prioritize relationship building.

I always tell my coaching students that as mortgage loan officers, we are in the relationship-building business. Yes, as a new loan officer you will be spending much of your time learning the details of the loan process and getting a handle on the business. However, once you have the basics of the job down, you MUST prioritize building relationships if you hope to become a successful loan officer.

4. Commit to excellence in everything you do.

5. Use your sphere of influence and closest connections.

New mortgage loan officers often don’t use their sphere of influence enough. Even as experienced loan officers we may assume that our friends, family, and community members know what we do and would come to us to service their mortgage. However, I once lost the business of my sister-in-law because she thought I didn’t do refinances! Make sure you connect with and educate your closest connections on what you can help them with as a mortgage loan officer.

6. Be driven and client centered.

7. Develop a good post-close marketing plan.

It is significantly easier to keep clients than to find new ones. Make sure you are sending a closing gift, sending consistent emails, reaching out for milestone events such as birthdays or home anniversaries, reaching out with refinance opportunities, etc. A good way to stand out is to send direct mail and handwritten cards with thoughtful gifts.

8. Think ahead and build a good system of organization.

8. Be able to multi-task.

Mortgage loan officers need to be able to handle multiple pressing tasks throughout their day. Successful loan officers are constantly building relationships, marketing their business, growing their referral partner network, getting 5-star reviews, systematizing their process, and putting full effort into all parts of the loan process from beginning to end and beyond closing.

9. Stay active on social media.

10. Implement daily income-producing activities.

Make a list of 5 activities that produce income and fulfill them every day i.e., calling past clients or calling 5 potential new referral partners.

11. Stay up to date on new technology and ways to simplify your business.

12. Never stop learning.

The best way to be a successful mortgage loan officer is to build habits for growth by continuously learning, even after you understand the business. A few ways to continue learning:

The absolute best way to grow and create success for yourself is to hire a mortgage coach. I have had many business coaches throughout my life that I attribute much of my success to. For example, my mentor Jack Canfield helped me breakthrough to a new level in my career and gave me some of my most valuable lessons and growth strategies that I now often share with my own coaching students.

A business coach helps new AND experienced (even top producing!) loan officers take their business to the next level by providing years of expertise, proven systems and strategies to grow, and a network of support and accountability. The best way to set yourself up for success as a new loan officer is to find the right coach.

Loan Officer Cindy Ertman

It takes a lot of time, energy, and patience to learn how to be a successful loan officer, but the benefits of a successful career in the mortgage industry are hard to beat! Above all else, focus on building trusted relationships and putting your clients’ needs at the forefront of everything you do.

• If you are looking to be a successful loan officer, you can schedule a complimentary strategy call here to see if one of our programs is the right fit for you.

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