Business Plans for Mortgage Loan Officers, Originators, and Brokers
Whether you’re becoming a Mortgage Loan Officer, a Mortgage Broker, or a Mortgage Loan Originator, you’ll be required to invest a lot of time and energy into your success — so why not do it as efficiently as possible? By creating a business plan from the start, you’ll be better equipped to build a successful practice more efficiently than your non-planning peers. This guide will cover the basic steps to building your business plan. Let’s plan!
6 Steps to Building a Mortgage Loan Officer Business Plan
1. Set Goals and Business Objectives
Goal setting and business objectives are a must for any entrepreneur looking to grow their own business. However, setting goals can be challenging in its own right. If you’re feeling stuck, try approaching your goals by using the SMART method. SMART (an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals are used by professionals from many industries, and for good reason. A 2014 study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews found that 76% of participants who set SMART goals and shared their progress regularly with a friend successfully achieved them.
With that in mind, set your direction, hone your mission statement or executive summary, and make sure your goals are SMART. If you’re still feeling stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to a peer or mentor who’s been in the game for a while. They’ll often be able to point you in the right direction and might even share some insider tips to make your goals a reality.
2. Evaluate Your Target Market
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is an MLO career. Find your niche or your target market and begin there. For example, maybe you’re excited about vacation home mortgages — lean into that excitement! If you try to take on too large of a demographic from the start, you might find yourself spreading your marketing and networking resources too thin, resulting in fewer transactions.
One of the most powerful tools for mortgage professionals is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. A good CRM is a game-changer when it comes to chronicling your workflow, organizing your inbound leads, and running automated marketing campaigns. Here are a few you might want to consider:
3. Create a Marketing Strategy
Marketing without a strategy is like driving without a destination. Once you’ve defined your target market or “destination”, it’s time to make a marketing plan. The United States Small Business Administration recommends spending somewhere from 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing. However, if you’re just starting a new business, those figures may not apply.
Start simple (and cost-conscious) by tapping into your sphere of influence via social media posts, handwritten notes, and handing out business cards any chance you get to meet face to face. Then work your way up within that 7-8% range to larger social media spends, Google AdWords campaigns, or billboards.
4. State Your Daily Objectives
They say to make big changes, start with little ones. This saying definitely holds true in the mortgage industry. In your business planning, don’t forget to include the daily objectives and tasks you’ll need to complete to make the bigger initiative happen. Creating a routine with daily objectives not only helps you stick to your plan, but it also improves your chances of success. Nearly every great leader has a routine, whether it’s in business or something else — so what’s yours?
5. Reach Out to Your Mortgage Network
Networking is at the core of nearly every business. Be sure to consider how you’re going to leverage and grow your current network, then incorporate this strategy in your business plan. To this end, lenders, REALTORS®, real estate agents, first-time homebuyers, Salespeople, and other referral partners are all great relationships to maintain.
6. Measure and Track Your Performance
If you don’t pay attention to your performance, then you won’t know where to adjust your strategy or invest your resources. The good news is that there are many ways to measure and track your performance. CRMs, Google Analytics, and simple tracking via spreadsheets (like Sheets or Excel) can help you find the data you need to tweak your goals as you head down the road to long-term success.
And remember, you aren’t on this journey alone! The CE Shop is here to support your mortgage career with high-quality education. Our team of industry experts also produces free resources via our Mortgage Essentials hub. No matter where you are in your mortgage career, we’ll be there to help!