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Top Reasons Loan Officers Miss Out on Referral Business

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Just about all loan officers love getting referral business. But so many of us aren’t fully maximizing this stream of business. It can feel like earning referral business is more passive, just waiting until someone sends a client your way, as opposed to more active marketing efforts, but this isn’t necessarily true. Loan officers can take a more active role in generating the referral business they need. This week, I wanted to look at some of the most common reasons LOs miss out on this kind of business:

They haven’t established clear standards

What targets are you committed to hitting with every single client? While we’re all committed to providing high-quality service, if you don’t break that down into some specifics, it can start to lose meaning. This is about defining your client experience strategy. When you establish clear standards for yourself that you strive to hit with every client, like getting things done as quickly as possible and forming a genuine connection, you ensure that every experience you provide is worthy of earning referral business.

They don’t invest in networking

Of course, some referrals come from our profession and personal networks, not just our past clients. This is why networking is so important. I’m not talking about occasionally logging in to LinkedIn and scrolling through your feed, liking a few posts, and calling it a day. When you truly invest in your connections and make the time to stay actively involved in your network, you stay on people’s minds, making them much more likely to send business your way.

They haven’t explored partnership

As loan officers, we’re often used to working independently, but that doesn’t mean we should rule out partnership. Tap into your network and consider if there’s anyone you might want to build a referral partnership with. From real estate agents to financial advisors, there’s a range of professionals who make great referral partners, and building this type of relationship can be a mutual win for you both.

They don’t ask

I’m not talking about begging your past clients for business. But do you ever mention referrals to your clients? Many professionals feel uncomfortable with this, as they don’t want to appear desperate for business or put their clients on the spot. Rather than winging it, consider prepping an approach in advance. Similar to an elevator pitch in networking, coming up with just a sentence or two about referrals in advance means you can go about this in a way that feels right to you. It might be as simple as thanking your client for their business and letting them know you’d be happy to help any friends or family members in need of a loan officer. Maybe it’s even less direct and simply checking in with them about their experience. By preparing in advance, you ensure you deliver the message you want to send.


Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on referral business? Do you think any of these reasons are holding you back? Are there other challenges you think are standing in your way? If you’re interested in discussing how loan officers can overcome these challenges and build a stronger pipeline of referral business, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d be happy to set up a time to connect!


Don Riggs






This is not an advertisement pursuant to 12 C.F.R. 1026.2(a)(2). This is informational, recruiting material intended for mortgage professionals only and is not for distribution to consumers or prospective applicants for residential mortgage loans. Cardinal Financial Company, Limited Partnership, NMLS ID 66247, is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender. Corporate Address: 3701 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 200, Charlotte, North Carolina 28273. Licensing information can be found at: