Last year, Colorado joined the ranks of states to finally regulate mortgage brokers to register. Over 10,000 loan originators state-wide filled out the necessary paperwork, got their E&O Insurance, Surety Bond, and criminal background check. Later in the spring, the State of Colorado changed the rules and said that mortgage brokers had to take 40 hours of education along with getting tested by December 31st. The last number I heard, only 1,200 brokers completed and past the test. Did we lose that many mortgage brokers? Are mortgage brokers procrastinators or did that many leave the business? It?s probably a little of both, and I can only assume that the percentage of exodus in Colorado is similar to those in your territory. There is a tremendous amount of orphaned builders, Realtors, buyers, sellers and professional referral sources waiting for you to call on them. They are looking for professionals like you to help them with their clients. Now is the time to make prospecting and setting up appointments as a daily discipline. When it comes to building relationships, it takes more than one sales call. Statistically, 46% of all sales people ask for the business once and stop making calls to the client. 24% ask twice and stop. 14% ask three times and stop. 12% ask 4 times and stop and only 4% ask 5 times or more. An interesting fact is that 60% of all business is sold after the person is called on at least 5 times! This is the number one reason why I like calling on builders. Most of my competition already assumes that the builder has a lender in place so why bother making the call. In this kind of market change, most builders do not have a relationship. A number of them closed down their mortgage company and are looking for solid lending relationships. I?ve had builders tell me how surprised to see me call on them multiple times as most lenders stop after the first call. It?s immature for a sales professional to expect business the first time out. It happens sometimes?but rarely. The one who has the ?call till it croaks? will have success. Same goes for Realtors. A Realtor called me a few weeks ago and was surprised how quickly I returned her call. I told the Realtor that I?m neurotic about returning calls quickly and that when someone doesn?t return my call in a timely matter, I consider it unprofessional. Lenders are finally getting busy with refinances and have abandoned the agents. This Realtor ask to set up an appointment with me as she put in a call to her loan officer three days ago and still hadn?t heard from them. Past clients, buyers and sellers have also been abandoned. Even in normal markets, loan officers do a poor job in staying in touch with their clients. I read an interesting article from Kevin Johnson regarding client satisfaction and client retention in the mortgage industry. Over 1,000 clients were asked the question how satisfied were you with your last lender and how was the experience. Over 89% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service. The next question was, ?Did you go back to that lender the next time you did your next purchase or refinance?? Only 16% went back to their previous lender. Why--Because 80% of us do not stay in touch with our clients. We assume that since we did a good job the first time, that the client will break their necks trying to find us for their next transaction. As mortgage professionals, we have to look at our business long-term and our responsibility to our clients is to manage their mortgage, even though we are not servicing the mortgage. You must have a ?Customer Management and Retention System? in place that lets you know when a client?s birthday, mortgage anniversary, ARM is adjusting and alarms when it makes sense for past clients to look at refinancing. Lastly, buyers and sellers are looking for a lender who will adopt them. Write press releases, articles on market changes. Offer free seminars on what?s going on in your market place. Participate in civil, social and community groups. The one who builds the biggest list, maintains that list and works that list will win big in today?s market. Tom Ninness is Vice President/Regional Production Manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Denver, CO. He is also the President of Summit Champions, Inc. and creator of the ?The 90 Day Journey to Your Sales Success?, a powerful 90 day action plan for the sales professional. To learn more about The Journey and all what Summit Champions has to offer, go to www.90dayjourney.com, www.summitchampions.com or contact Tom at [email protected] Office: 720-221-4396.