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Study IDs Successful Originator Traits

Mortgage Success surveys 3,600 originators

May 2, 2011

By staff

A new report takes a look at the practices used by high-volume originators. This elite group spends more time on customer acquisition, is well-informed and relies heavily on trade publications.

More than 3,600 originators were surveyed for the FirstUSA Data study announced Monday by Mortgage Success Source. Respondents included independent mortgage originators, mortgage brokers and mortgage banking firms. More than 650 of those surveyed also participated in a "detailed follow-up phone interview."

One of the biggest findings was that the top 15 percent of loan originators generate "seven times the sales volume of average originators." The top third of producers closed $30 million in production during the past 12 months, while the overall annual average was just $10 million.

Mortgage Success said that training, experience and compensation plans are the same between top producers and average originators. They also work the same number of hours.

The difference is how top producers do a better job of staying in touch with potential customers.

A third of top originators' time is spent either on new customer acquisition, maintaining relationships with prospective clients or keeping in touch with former customers. Average originators spend just a quarter of their time on such activities.

Another factor is the ability of a top producer to adapt -- like when many quickly shifted to refinances in 2009.

"We discovered in the study a seven-fold greater production level in the top 15 percent of mortgage loan originators compared to their average or even above-average counterparts," Mortgage Success Source Chief Executive Officer David Fournier said in the statement. "The best practices of top performers are effective for all originators regardless of the type of lending and financial institution in which they are employed."

Other traits exhibited by big players include becoming more educated about products, completing more accreditation and licensing courses and relying "much more heavily on trade journals and publications," according to Mortgage Success Vice President of Banking Mark Teteris.

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