David Lykken: Does traditional networking still work in the mortgage business?

by MPA08 May 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

In the old days, going to networking events with realtors was perhaps the most effective way to build business. For mortgage bankers, that's where you can meet a large a number of prospects and build meaningful relationships. You can ask good questions, have solid conversations, and really get to know people. It still sounds like a great idea but, in today's marketplace, does it still work?
Not exactly. And the problem isn't new media. It's not that digital communication is somehow better than face-to-face communication. Meeting a business partner face-to-face is always preferable, if it is feasible. The problem is that realtors today simply don't have the time; they're mobile. They're always on the move. So, we as mortgage bankers need to find alternative ways of connecting.
The problem with traditional networking events is that people have begun to think of them simply as massive business card exchanges. Everyone who shows up has something to sell, and it can feel like you're in one giant infomercial. I believe that realtors are still seeking great, insightful relationships. We just need to get creative about how to build them. And perhaps we need to start thinking beyond traditional networking.

David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.


  • by CC | 5/8/2014 5:24:10 AM

    As an event coordinator for people in real estate and lending for nearly a decade, I always emphasize to the hosts and attendees to keep the selling to a minimum during the event itself. These days I even discourage 'passing the mic' to the event sponsors - nobody wants to hear the pitch anyway. How a networking event goes depends largely on the people who are putting it on. If the main idea is to meet, circulate and POSSIBLY build a good relationship, the atmosphere is much more relaxed and fun, vs. feeling like an infomercial. I have found that networking events are still incredibly valuable (granted, I am biased) - it's true that Realtors are busy, but they usually aren't too busy for a free cocktail and appetizer, a possible door prize and photo ops.

  • by Wm Matz | 5/10/2014 10:39:48 PM

    The whole lender- realtor relationship has always been backwards. Would-be buyers should always start with the method of payment determined, then start looking. Smart Realtors will never work with a buyer until the buying capacity is determined [perhaps the same day]. Starting to house shop before qualifying is like making retirement plans before figuring what your income will be.


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