It is amazing sometimes what you can find in common with someone if you ask and listen. Today was my 'road day'. And I head to Hardee County in central Florida to meet new people, say hello to folks I have met there recently and to build a referral network a little bit at a time. Referral sources are not always Realtors if you are a mortgage officer. Sometimes they can be loan officers whose product mix is different from yours. And ignoring this group can be something I prefer that my competitors will keep doing.
One product that is not offered by everyone is the Reverse Mortgage. VA loans & FHA loans are other loan types that may surprise you as being absent from some lenders' offerings. But, like anything else, you have to build relationships. In my case, I am not going to be some schmoe who stops in with business cards and asks for referrals. I want to get to know the other loan officers and I want them to get to know me. Think about referring friends for a moment. Would you send them to a mechanic you found in the yellow pages but had never used? Why should you expect anything different from your referral partners?
In this case, I found out that the loan officer had lived in Bangor, Maine, about 10 miles from where I went to college and Houlton, Maine, where I bought my first car. She had also lived in a small town not too far from Plattsburgh, NY, where I worked for several years and knew of the 'singing bridge' in Chateauguay, NY, that spanned a high gorge. I did mention that I did reverse mortgages as well as VA & FHA loans, which she could not do. And I found out something about her on a personal level which means more than "Here's my card--call me". I hope to meet some other bankers over there on my net trip. But, before I go, I will ask this new contact who I should speak to at these banks. Because knowing this loan officer will be one thing we will have in common.