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9 Ways to Make Mo’ Money as a Loan Officer (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous post {add link to that post}, I shared the first 4 of 9 ways to make mo’ money as a loan officer. Remember: “more money” is like going from a little bit of money to a little bit more; “mo’ money” is like an exponential increase. A quick review on how to do that:

  1. Up the quality of realtors you work with
  2. Increase your loan amount
  3. Get a bigger cup
  4. Relocate

My goal is to help my fellow loan officers close more loans while grooving (not grinding) through life. Making mo’ money is how we get that done. So, let’s learn about those last 5 ways to make mo’ money!

#5: Get Paid More

When we’re talking about bps and your comp plan, going from 75 to 100 is going to give you a 25% raise without doing any extra work. Everybody’s on a different kind of scale, but if we can increase our volume and provide more value, then we’ll be able to renegotiate our compensation and get paid more per loan.

This can be a controversial topic. I don’t want to make branch managers mad, but nobody’s mad when their employees make themselves more valuable. If you’re #1: getting higher quality agents; #2: increasing your loan amount; #3: getting a bigger cup; and #4: relocating or targeting bigger areas, you’re worth more to your branch manager. And you’re due for a renegotiation. If a loan officer doubles their production and asks their branch manager for another 10 basis points, they’ll get it. 

Every time we hire someone new in our office, I say, “Hey, Susan, your job is to make it so that Carl breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of you ever leaving.” When people ask me if there will be opportunities to make more money, I say, “I don’t dictate your income. You do. Make yourself so valuable that I can’t say no. When you come to me in 90 days, 6 months, a year, and ask for more money, make me say yes, because I can’t afford to lose you.” 

Get paid more by proving how valuable you are. And do that by working on #1-4. 

#6: Grow Your Database

In the mortgage industry, we’re really in the database business. Most people have at least 300 people in their personal past database or sphere of influence—your Facebook friends, people in your cell phone, your neighbors, co-workers, friends from church. 

As a general rule, for every 100 people in your database, you should be closing one loan per month. With 300 people in your database, you should be closing a minimum of three loans per month. At an average of $2000 per loan, that’s $6000 a month, $72,000 a year. This is extra money, on top of what you’re already making. Take that $72,000 and divide by 300, and this means that every single time I add a person to my database, I just made $240. 

How do you close more loans? Grow your database. So, what do we do with this database to make the magic happen? It’s simple and easy. We do phone calls, mailers, and emails. 

Our phone calls produce the best results. We call 2 letters of the alphabet every week, which takes us through our whole database 4 times in 52 weeks. We call them to say thank you, then we use our scripting and our call to action to get referrals, refinances, repeat business, people buying investment properties or vacation homes. There’s just so much opportunity. 

We also do a personalized mailer—and track it—because it creates such a great response. Our mailers cost us $1.27 each. That’s $15 per client every year (we send one a month). But, remember, each client gives us $240. I put $15 in the machine, and $240 pops out. 

Our email gets the lowest results of the three, but we continue doing it, because it’s so easy. And we’ll email fun things that do get a response from a lot of people. 

So we call once a quarter, email once a week, and send a mailer once a month. And we make a whole lot of money from it. It’s one of the best loan officer strategies in existence.

#7: Get Paid Off Other People

If you can recruit more talent to your company, that makes you more valuable. You’re getting paid off other people’s production. Even if you’re not a branch manager, you can hire someone to chase conditions, put out fires, answer the phone, take applications, and help with the simple things. You want potential clients to talk to a human, even if that human isn’t you. An assistant takes the paperwork off your plate, so you can focus on getting more loans. 

When someone gets an assistant, they get 6 more loans a month on average. Six loans at $2000/loan is bringing in $12,000 more a month. If your assistant costs you $4000/month, you have a net of $8000/month and less headaches. People don’t cost us money; they make us money—as long as we’re doing the activities that generate new business, and we let them do the after-the-phone-rings activities. Don’t hire someone to do the busy work, then micro-manage them while they do it. 

What about hiring other loan officers? Should you focus on your own production or work with others? There’s no one right answer. Whichever one feels right to you. It’s really a personal decision, and they can both be profitable. They both also have their own challenges. Go with your gut. 

Bottom line: you’ll never make a lot of money running the show by yourself.

#8: Decrease Expenses

A penny saved is a penny earned. It goes right to profit. Every 90 days I meet with my accountant. He’ll look at my business credit card and go through it line by line and ask me, “What is this? What does it do? How does it help you close more loans?” I have to defend each dollar I spent and prove how it helped us bring in more loans—or save time.

I’ll be honest though. I’ve found it easier to double my income than to save 10% on expenses. But I still think it’s the right thing to do—to be a good steward of my money and make sure it’s not being wasted. 

Help is not the place to save money. If you find someone amazing, and instead of paying them $50,000, you try to squeak in at $45,000 and maybe lose them? Don’t do it. The right person isn’t going to cost me $50,000. They’re going to make me $100,000. Hire experienced people who already know how to do the job. I hire people who tell me what I need to be doing that I’m currently not, who will show me a better way going forward.

Don’t skimp on your valuable employees’ salaries. Do pay attention to where your money is going in other areas, so you’re not wasting it.

#9: Always Always Always Ask for the Business

When I say “ask for the business,” I’m talking about referrals. We want to ask the people we’re already communicating with—real estate agents, insurance agents, financial advisors, CPAs, title reps, builders—who else we can help them with. 

Current clients are one of our best sources for new business. While we’re working on their loan, we ask them if they have any friends or family members who are also looking to buy a home or refinance.

A lot of loan officers don’t want to do this, because they don’t want to “beg for business.” We get that. Nobody wants to feel desperate or salesy or pushy or aggressive. But we don’t look at it that way. We help people. We do amazing things in the community. We help people save so much money over the years by putting them in a better position than when we found them. We help people move into the home of their dreams. 

That one single activity—asking for business—will likely grow your business more than the other eight combined. 

And there you have it. I’m living proof that these 9 Ways to Make Mo’ Money as a Loan Officer absolutely work. And they haven’t just worked for me. They’ve worked for hundreds of other loan officers as well. If you’d like some help getting started on your Mo’ Money journey, we’d love to map out a plan for you. Click HERE to schedule a FREE call

Making Mo’ Money starts TODAY!