Mortgage Daily

Published On: January 12, 2012

2011 Loan Originator Survey

Survey and analysis of the nation’s top-producing mortgage loan officers

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Some mortgage originators are thriving, even in today’s tough climate.

What are they doing right? What will keep them on top?

Just as importantly, how can mortgage lenders recruit, nurture, develop and support their own talented originators?

This study, conducted in July 2011, asked more than 50 questions of originators producing at the very highest levels, with a median loan volume of $56.5 million in the prior 12-month period. Here are the lessons:

  • Customer satisfaction is Job No. 1. More than 90 percent of top performers’ business comes from past clients and their referrals or referral partners that the originator has developed. In addition to providing top service, nurturing past clients and referral partners delivers business to these originators. 
  • Get help. Top producers delegate some aspects of the loan approval process so that they can concentrate on the work that generates the highest value for their firms. A firm that builds a team to support originators will help them succeed. 
  • Sharpen the saw. Publications, conferences, seminars and trade associations provide essential information that enables top producers to deliver what their clients need, whether it’s timely rate information, information about new products or ideas about how to improve their overall financial acumen.Firms should invest in obtaining the information that their originators need and are increasingly accessing through smart phones, iPads, and other portable devices.


  • Provide Compliance Support. Originators are clearly feeling the pain of a growingly cumbersome regulatory process, and using vendors and technology that ensure mortgage compliance helps free up more of their resources for customer satisfaction. 
  • Automate. Information technology can streamline the mortgage approval process. At a time when the steps to process each loan have increased significantly, optimal use of automation can provide mortgage firms an important edge. 
  • Build network of peers. When it comes to providing services to clients, top producers know that they can’t afford to guess. They will conduct research online and utilize company-approved services, but they also will ask their peers what’s working for them. Firms should encourage their originators to participate in industry organizations and conferences so that they can build their peer networks. 
  • Stay focused. Don’t get distracted from the primary drivers of success: delivering world-class customer service, developing referral networks and building and nurturing a deep client database.
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