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7 Quick Success Tips for Newly Licensed Loan Officers

By Michael Zuren, PhD Updated on 6/12/2017

new loan officer adviceCongratulations! You've passed your licensing and testing requirements to become a loan officer. Now the question is how can you become successful and have a lucrative career in the volatile mortgage industry?

First, take inventory of your skills, abilities, and strengths. Applying these positive traits to your career as a loan officer will undoubtedly help you be in the posititive frame of mind needed to succeed. 

Success in the mortgage industry will require hard work, dedication, perseverance, and the belief that you can positively affect your customers’ lives - never lose sight of your value as a loan officer, and constantly work to improve your performance.

Road Map to a Lucrative Career

There are core activities which are essential to your success as a loan officer:

  1. Find a mentor
  2. Create a business plan
  3. Continue your education
  4. Find your work/life balance
  5. Market your business 
  6. Network and build a referral system
  7. Offer excellent customer service

The difference between success and failure can come down to following through with your plan or not.  

Let’s take a closer look at each core activity. 

Find a Mentor

mentor is a valuable asset as they transfer their firsthand experiences and knowledge of loan officer success. An effective mentor will minimize and guide you through trial and error, increasing your odds of success based on a preexisting model of effective business strategy. 

Optimally, your mentor should allow you to observe and assist in their daily activities and functions. 

Creating a Business Plan

A business plan is a plan of action where all avenues of success are being utilized. Many mortgage marketingbusiness plans come with an end goal in mind, such as how much income you want to generate in a calendar year. Examples of what you should put in a business plan are determining how many realtors you need to call, how many emails you need to send, or how many potential buyers you need to qualify. All of these actions move to toward meeting your annual goal. 

To maximize the opportunities your business plan will need to adapt to the current market conditions and changes.

Continue Your Education

Gather all the knowledge you can about loan products, industry policies, and changing regulations from more experienced loan officers and seminars. While not every loan officer will find such in-depth knowledge necessary to their position, it is essential for opening some doors for new business opportunities and relationships. 

Find Your Work/Life Balance

The balance between work and family is crucial to the sustained success of a loan officer.  Loan officers are typically commission or at a minimum, salaried with a significant amount of their income coming from a commission. It is imperative that you develop a system that uses your time in the most efficient manner possible. This includes planning your day by prioritizing your time between essential activities, tasks due by a certain date, and tasks that you can delegate to office assistants. 

Allocating time only for your family is a fundamental ingredient to maintaining a strong personal life. If your family life is struggling, your business will be also.

Market Your Business Effectively 

Your marketing strategy should be based on your best characteristics and attributes. Based on those strengths, decide how much you can financially devote to marketing your business. As your business grows, so may your marketing budget.

Network and Building a Referral System

Networking and develop your sphere of influence by building relationships with real estate agents, local organizations, CPAs, insurance agents, past customers, etc.  It takes far more time and money to find a new customer than to maintain a relationship with an existing connection.

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is being responsive to both your customers and the real estate agents you collaborate with by keeping them informed of their loan statuses and clear communication. A happy customer is your best advocate and is the best source to warm leads.

In addition to the core activities needed for success, many loan officers specialize (create a niche) in certain loan types to differentiate themselves from other loan officers.  Loan products such as

  • FHA 203ks
  • USDA
  • FHA low credit scores
  • VA loans

are just a few loan types where expertise creates added value.


Steps in Success


Find a Mortgage Mentor

Gain the knowledge and experience of an expert.

Build your Business

Generate cash flow via a sense of purpose.

Continuously Seek Education

Add value to your portfolio, and create new opportunities to open more doors.

Find a Balance

Allocate appropriate time between your family and business life.

Implement a Marketing Strategy

Display your skills, services, and niche strengths; fulfill widely unadressed needs to establish yourself as an authority. 

Never Stop Networking

Grow your sphere of influence.

Be a Customer Service Poster Child

Be responsive; keep agents and customers informed in order to earn trust and more business.

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About The Author:
Michael Zuren, PhD
I have 25 years experience in the mortgage banking industry. My experience includes the following loan types: (1) HomePath, (2) OHFA, (3) FHA 203k, (4) VA, and (5) USDA financing. I have been serving Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties in Northern Ohio... more

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