“Where do brokers go to find small-balance commercial mortgage leads?”
Residential mortgage originators typically ask some variation of this question following a Silver Hill Funding webinar – the specific query above came as a result of our presentation on owner-occupied mortgage opportunities.
These originators are excited about the prospect of diversifying their existing business by closing small-balance commercial mortgage deals. They just don’t know how to accumulate commercial leads. Unfortunately, that lack of knowledge can keep originators from establishing new revenue streams and generating additional income.
The good news is that sourcing commercial mortgage leads doesn’t have to be a mystery. If you’re looking to grow your business by closing investor and owner-occupied commercial deals, try incorporating the following tactics into your lead generation strategy.
1. Begin organizing your commercial mortgage referral network
Realtors, CPAs, and attorneys regularly work with the types of borrowers who need help acquiring small commercial mortgages. These professionals can pass opportunities your way if you can successfully communicate your ability to meet the needs of their clients.
Existing residential referral partners are the best place to start. But your commercial lending capability is also a good reason to meet with new referral sources you’d like to establish a relationship with. Use it as a way to differentiate yourself from other originators who are all promoting the same solutions.
A final benefit of forging your commercial referral network? Realtors, accountants, and other professionals who own their office property often have commercial mortgage needs of their own.
How can you get in front of these professionals? Try attending the business-to-business networking events, chamber of commerce gatherings, and industry trade shows that take place in your area. These events can be quite educational and are typically full of networking opportunities.
2. Consistently engage with your referral network to maintain top-of-mind awareness
This step is critical. In order for your referral partners to think of you when commercial opportunities emerge, you need to keep them engaged with you and your unique selling proposition (USP).
One way to stay top-of-mind with your network is to create and launch an email drip campaign. The idea here is to schedule a strategic run of emails that can be delivered to all or part of your database.
The objective of this type of initiative can be to establish yourself over time as a thought leader in the small-balance commercial mortgage space. Or you could use email to highlight your strengths and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Just be sure to provide real value for the reader – or else you may find your email opt-outs increasing and your commercial lead flow decreasing!
The goal of these communications is to generate face-to-face meetings with the contacts in your database. Then you can more easily describe your areas of expertise and build relationships that can soon lead to a steady stream of commercial mortgage referrals.
3. Use LinkedIn and other social media resources to connect with prospective clients and referral sources
Do you own a LinkedIn profile? If so, you already have access to a resource that can jumpstart your commercial mortgage origination business. A good first step is to use the search feature to identify possible connections in your area. While LinkedIn’s most recent update removed their advanced search tool, their platform still gives you the ability to identify prospective leads by searching for specific job titles.
This tactic works best when you search for business partners with an easily-identifiable job title – self-storage facility owners or CPAs, for instance – while commercial real estate investors may be more difficult to identify.
To expand your reach and further grow your network, consider joining relevant LinkedIn Groups. These communities offer great learning opportunities and access to industry professionals who can help you grow your business.
You can also take advantage of other social networks to promote your business and hopefully generate new leads. One tactic could be to post your initial closed loan photos on Twitter, along with a brief description of challenges that you were able to overcome. Originators have also found success marketing their business through Facebook, though the fact that many people refrain from sharing business information on the platform can make it difficult to identify prospective business leads.
A final note: As you use a service like LinkedIn to grow your business, don’t forget to optimize your own profile as well. By editing your content and adding commercial mortgage language, you can make sure your profile is easily identifiable by others searching for professionals with your skillset.
Hopefully, these tactics can help you build a database full of prospective clients and business partners. For additional marketing tools, including email/phone scripts and unbranded collateral, be sure to download Silver Hill Funding’s FREE Marketing Toolkit. To access your toolkit, simply create your Silver Hill online profile here.