The challenges mortgage loan originators face over the remainder of 2023 are best summed up in Fannie Mae’s June forecast that puts the total value of single-home mortgage originations at $1.59 trillion — down substantially from $1.66 trillion in 2022.
As a result, it’s vital for originators to close as many deals as possible in 2023’s remaining months to meet their goals. With that in mind, here are five ways you can maximize your mortgage volume in a tumultuous housing market:
1. Strengthen your online presence and emphasize a distinct niche.
After searching for homes online, more than one in six homebuyers (15%) found their mortgage lender online, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Among younger borrowers (ages 23–31), 23% found their lender online after searching for homes
Start by visiting Arch MI’s LO Toolbox — a resource for loan officers filled with helpful solutions and tools, including our detailed presentation on improving your digital presence, Social Media Strategies for Loan Originators.
Our presentation includes steps for boosting your Google readiness to improve your chances of appearing at the top of homebuyer searches for lenders in your area. It’s also important to highlight a specialty that suits your business experience. Real Trends recently identified the most promising and “profitable real estate niches to explore now,” including:
- First-time homebuyers — who are responsible for 26% of home sales, according to NAR.
- Luxury homes listed at $1 million or more account for more than half of all home sales in four California cities — Los Angeles (64%), San Francisco (62%), San Jose (61%) and San Diego — and Boston, Massachusetts (53%), according to a report from Point2.
Specialized client types, including investors, retirees or self-employed entrepreneurs.
2. “Give, give, give, then ask.”
With this online marketing technique — also called the value-first approach — you provide value to prospective customers by regularly sharing insights on your mortgage specialty using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn messages. The “ask” element is to occasionally promote specific products and solutions that could be valuable to your growing audience of followers. You can get more details in our Social Media Strategies for Loan Originators presentation.
Arch MI’s Social Media Templates are a good starting point for messages your customers will value, covering topics ranging from “How MI Increases Your Buying Power” to “Beat the Down Payment Blues with MI.”
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), successful B2C marketers are focused on specific types of messaging and favored platforms:
- The types of messages that produced the best results over the previous 12 months include articles/posts (83%), videos (61%) and infographics (51%).
- While TikTok, Twitter and now Threads are making inroads, Facebook stands out as the top “nonpaid social media platform that produces the best results” (63%) — followed by LinkedIn (53%) and Instagram (39%), CMI reports.
3. Focus on affordable homeownership products that set you apart.
For example, potential homebuyers say saving for a down payment is their top obstacle. You can offer Millennials and Gen Z buyers affordable low-down-payment loans using MIHome from Arch MI:
- Flexible MI guidelines that work with down payments as low as 3%; gifts and grants allowed.
- Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company (AMGC) programs provide MI coverage for loans with down payments as low as 1% or even 0% for eligible borrowers.
- Manufactured homes, condos, co-ops, single-family and construction-to-perm are all eligible.
Learn more about MI Home from Arch MI at archmi.com/mihome.
4. Build on your industry knowledge.
Read HaMMR Digest weekly for the latest housing data and expert analysis on what the numbers actually mean from Arch Chief Economist Parker Ross. Each new issue is an opportunity to share his findings on the most current economic data with your social media audience.
Arch MI offers professional training to help you compete in today’s lending environment and keep current with the latest requirements from the GSEs and industry regulators. Whether you prefer live webinars, videos or podcasts, you can access our resources on the Arch MI Training webpage.
5. Provide exceptional customer service.
Building strong relationships with clients is crucial for success as a mortgage loan officer. Focus on delivering exceptional customer service by being responsive, transparent and proactive. Communicate regularly with your clients, keeping them informed about the progress of their loan applications. Going the extra mile to address their concerns and providing personalized solutions can help set you apart from competitors.
In a crowded marketplace with fewer origination opportunities, you win the deal by paying constant attention to what your customers care about. By embracing technology, building a strong online presence, providing exceptional service, staying current with industry knowledge and cultivating a referral network, you can position yourself as a top-notch mortgage loan officer in 2023.
Interact with us! Send us an email about strategies you’ve had success with this year. We’d love to share your experience with other Insights readers.