So many people ask about how to generate leads it is almost a full time job. People talk about building relationships with referral partners. They have dozens of ways of buying leads. The talk about lead generations while serious, is often so overpowering that people rarely see, and fewer discuss, the transactions that are lost because people don’t follow-up on an opportunity.
I find it shocking that most of the loan originators in this country have no idea what their pull through rate is from contact to closing. It’s even more amazing that most managers of originators don’t know, track, or even think to track this information! That would be the same as not tracking the batting average or on base percentage of a major league baseball player. Heck, they do a better job tracking performance statistics of a high school baseball team than most sales managers do tracking the performance of their loan originators.
What if we did? What if we knew? What if someone really made the choice to track the real numbers of their own performance so they could use this information to know what they need to improve on to close more loans?
Recently I worked with a branch and their manager to look seriously at the numbers. We actually began tracking some very basic information. The results were so incredible; we had to review everything we did to be sure the numbers were real. Some of the information was downright scary!
Since our business flows from one month to the next and one year to another, it is difficult to be exact in most things without tracking specific information over a long period of time, but what we did find was enough to make us want to follow-up further.
The first thing we saw was most originators have no idea what their numbers are! So let’s just say that their estimates were not even close to the reality. So far off, it’s not worth even going into it here. But the big take away was, it wasn’t that most originators didn’t get enough opportunities to do business, they just let much of what they did have drift away! They didn’t need more leads; they needed to stay connected to the business they already were in front of!
The biggest surprise was that the largest loss of opportunity comes from originators who never follow-up with their pre-approved borrowers! Can you imagine? You do all the work to talk to the client, run credit, collect documents, issue a pre-approval, then NOTHING! Just on to the next customer and hope the person you just spent all of the effort on calls you once they find a house. Is that really the way to run a business? Get 90% of the work completed and then sit back and hope the people find a house, get into contract, and then call you to put the package together? I don’t think so.
Now I know you all think that I have to be talking about some “other” people. I couldn’t be possibly talking about you! So here is a little test. If you aren’t already doing this, try tracking your own numbers. Try it just for a few months and really see what you discover. I guarantee you will find some very interesting numbers. Managers, do this for your office!
- Track every credit pull and keep track of how many had good enough credit to qualify for a loan.
- Of those good enough to qualify, how many pre-approvals did you issue?
- Once you issued the pre-approval, how frequently did you check up with that borrower to see if they were viewing property?
- Track how many of your pre-approvals found property and closed a loan with YOU!
When you start monitoring these numbers, you will certainly find room for improvement! If you don’t track the numbers, how can you make the proper adjustments to your system to improve your closing ratio? What would happen if you improved your contact to closing ratio by 10% – 20% or more?
Leads are an important part of our business, but conversion ratios tell the story about how well we process and profit from the leads we generate! In most cases we need to spend much less time trying to find or buy more leads; we need to a better job staying connected and closing the ones we already have!