Advice from 22 Top Producing Loan Officers about the Marketing Tool They Can’t Live Without

Mortgage Marketing Advice from 22 Top Producing Loan Officers

There are so many mortgage marketing tools available it can be overwhelming. 

How to pick the right ones? Well, I asked successful loan officers ranked by Scotsman Guide Top Originators for 2018 about their most loved marketing tool.

Scotsman Guide Top Originators 2018

So I asked….

Which marketing tool is your favorite? 

What does it do and what results has it helped you achieve?

Some responses surprised me.

In fact, a couple participants were apologetic, expressing concern that what they shared wouldn’t be appealing because it was old school or wasn’t sexy.

If you aspire for success, wouldn’t you want to know what the best of the best do?

I thought so too : )

Let’s meet our panel of experts…

Based on their response to my questions, it was placed into one of three categories; third party, in house and personal.

Let’s see what they shared.


The responses below are from top producing loan officers who use a third party tool or software to support their marketing efforts.

Kelly Zitlow

Cornerstone Home Lending Inc. | NMLS 164330
2018 Production: $63,425,912
Years in Biz: 23

The marketing tool that has been a favorite over the last several years is Constant Contact

I send an email to my business partners once per week and once per month to my clients. 

Video is the foundation of my marketing and having a professional vehicle to help deliver these email blasts containing my videos has been huge. 

The ability to track the engagement via their reporting tools has helped us identify what the audience responds best to and therefore, has been key in shaping our marketing strategy.

michael deery

Citywide Financial Corp. | NMLS 282718
2018 Production: $98,452,178
Years in Biz: 20

I am an avid writer and write lots of mortgage articles. The goal is to drive everyone to my website. 

I pen a bi-weekly newsletter “The Mortgage Market Insider”, that is sent to over 12,000 clients, real estate agents and industry professionals.


I also have a mortgage blog and mortgage resources section on my website, that has over 300 mortgage and real estate articles for consumers and realtors to access.

I also have a Facebook business page with over 7,600 people on there.

I try to write something new every day.

When rates go down like they have recently, it is very easy to reach a large audience with my articles and attract a lot of new business.

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mark johnson

Homebridge Financial Services | NMLS 244919
2018 Production: $94,962,252
Years in Biz: 32

As a top loan originator, it’s important to have reliable marketing tools. The back bone of my business if my Filemaker Pro based database. 

Filemaker Pro is a CRM platform I use to keep my clients and transactions organized.

I can instantly access any client or transaction detail going back to 1987. I can coordinate email announcements for important news and ongoing marketing communications. 

For social media, I like CirclePix.

It provides curated content I can choose from that’s relevant to the mortgage industry and to residents in my area. This tool helps me automate my marketing, so I have more time to focus on loans.

jill lyons

CMG Financial | NMLS 206346
2018 Production: $60,915,147
Years in Biz: 26

I really don’t have a  favorite marketing tool.  I have not dived into some of the new latest and greatest and have relied on my past clients and personal sphere of influence to help me grow my business.  

Jungo is what I have used to help not only manage my database, but also to allow me to send custom mass emails that are timely to market conditions.

mark fisher

United Northern Mortgage Bankers Ltd. | NMLS 478240
2018 Production: $62,919,291
Years in Biz: 8

One of the newer marketing tools that I have used and implemented into my business is Agent Legend.

This service allows you to create custom campaigns which include voicemail drops, text messages and emails. 

You can set up a campaign to follow up with your Zillow leads, open house lead, past clients etc.

Once you create the campaign you just need to set up the integration (example Zillow) or add someone (ie someone from an open house that you met) and they will automatically receive texts, voicemails and emails from you on a set schedule. 

This is a great was to automate part of your prospecting activities and have a higher conversion rate on these leads. 

It’s all about implementing systems into your business!


Bank of England Mortgage | NMLS 788842
2018 Production: $73,868,205
Years in Biz: 7

Bomb Bomb is the #1 marketing tool I am currently utilizing. 

The addition of video to my marketing efforts both to my referral partners and to my past client database has created better engagement and allowed me to get information out more quickly and effectively.


First Home Mortgage Corp. | NMLS 1065782
2018 Production: $78,648,183
Years in Biz: 6

Although it’s not typically referred to as a marketing tool, Facebook is absolutely my favorite marketing tool.  

I utilize it as a CRM and it constantly reminds me of people I should be reaching out to. 

I create posts and stories about new products or grants that are available and this often generates a new lead and sometimes, a new referral source.  

I will often keep in touch with a new acquaintance on Facebook and occasionally, they end up reaching out about a home loan.  

Lastly, posting pictures with clients, friends or even family can be a reminder for people to consider reaching out to me about a residential lending question, or to send their next referral to me.


Guild Mortgage | NMLS 113328
2018 Production: $65,398,758
Years in Biz: 26

I’m super fortunate at Guild Mortgage to have Salesforce as my CRM System. My marketing team creates “set and forget” email campaigns that are delivered to my clients and has been a game changer.

My favorite marketing tools are List Reports and Homebot.

My Realtor partners use List Reports with me to create relevant marketing packages for their listings. It’s free for them and keeps my team top of mind.

Homebot is a financial dashboard, built around my client’s home and its value. This resource has been invaluable as it keeps me in touch with clients once they have closed on their home.


First United Bank Mortgage | NMLS 323935
2018 Production: $81,869,181
Years in Biz: 21

I have used television to market myself. I started off with TV commercials for my website and then I have morphed into being a regular on the morning shows here in San Antonio. 

I go on and educate people about all things mortgage related. TV has helped strengthen my reputation and name recognition.

I have now become kind of the “face of home loans” down here in San Antonio. Clients love it and so do my Realtors and builder partners that I work with.

Niki Salter

Legacy Mutual Mortgage | NMLS 196623
2018 Production: $69,330,296
Years in Biz: 17

My favorite marketing tool is the accounts pyramid that I learned as a member of the Core Coaching program.  

It’s a form to identify my top referring business partners by tracking the amount of referred and closed business.  

Each relationship is analyzed by it’s value so I can identify where my business is coming from and practice real gratitude by building my services, my team, and my personal commitment around them.  

Before I started using it, my average loan size was $147,000, my lead to closing ratio was 7%.  

18 months later, my average loan amount was over $280k, my conversion was 22%, and my income tripled.  

And 12 months after that, my average increased again to $295k, and conversion grew to 35.5%, income doubled over again.

In house

The responses below are from top producing loan officers who use an in-house tool or software to support their marketing efforts.

Andrew Quezada

AQHL Bancorp, dba Prime Equity Mortgage | NMLS 303978
2018 Production: $74,614,564
Years in Biz: 7

One of my favorite marketing platforms is our company’s pricing engine, Optimal Blue. 

Being that we are a mortgage brokerage, we can shop among our 50+ wholesale conduits and identify the bank(s) offering the best/lowest rates. 

We can then relay that information to the consumer in real time. 

It automates the shopping process for them while reminding them we are equipped to deliver the best mortgage rates. 

We believe in a high trust business – transparent systems like this allow us to market what we do internally to our client-base.


Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. | NMLS 100776
2018 Production: $121,462,982
Years in Biz: 14

We have cutting edge technology at Fairway which makes the loan process quick and easy for our clients, but my #1 marketing tool is my CRM. 

I use a fantastic program, which not only updates clients & agents on the status of their loan in process, but also communicates to my prospects. 

Consistent, customized contact with your database is crucial to growth and success in this business. That’s what great service is all about!


What surprised me the most was the number of top producers who responded that their favorite marketing tool was their personal touch.

Stuart Crawford

V.I.P Mortgage Inc. | NMLS 156166
2018 Production: $77,623,159
Years in Biz: 15

My favorite marketing tool is good ol’ fashioned customer service. 

Great customer service begins with relationship building and spending ample time with both clients and referral partners to get to know them and understand what they need to be successful and reach their goals.

The better we can uncover this, the better we can build a strategy to consult and work towards a common goal.  

In a world full of marketing tactics and tools, we always seem to fall back on the notion of simply taking care of the folks that give us the opportunity to do so. 

In a service related industry, this is our priority, as it helps us grow our network as our satisfied clients spread the word and help support us.


Finance of America Mortgage | NMLS 340366
2018 Production: $86,061,142
Years in Biz: 20

I have been in the mortgage industry for 21 years. I have experienced many ups and downs in the market but one thing that I can keep consistent is good customer service. 

I use some great technology to market to my buyers such as Top of Mind with their email updates and automated videos and I also love MBS Highway which was created by Barry Habib. 

Although, these are great resources and great ways to keep in touch with the buyers I don’t completely give in to the rising popularity of automated service and technology. 

I still do handwritten notes and cards to my buyers and referral partners during important times of their life such as birthdays, holidays and the major milestones of the loan process.

Business to me is still personal and I believe that it has contributed to the success and foundation of my career.

Chris Kostoff

Mortgage Direct Corp
2018 Production: $62,486,890
Years in Biz: 23

I don’t do much marketing ….

Simple strategy:

  • Hard work, great phone and in person skills
  • I hit singles, we do relentless follow up—90% come back
  • Constant letters, texts, emails

Build trust ………………..

High IQ………

My team is amazing –2 processors both 25-30 years in

I am in 24th year…

Part broker/part math teacher


First Western Trust Bank | NMLS 477166
2018 Production: $84,754,859
Years in Biz: 17

Honestly my favorite marketing tool is “being available.”  

I don’t do any marketing or advertising – it’s all based on the relationships I have, and the trust that my clients have in me.  

I build that by simply answering my phone, returning calls, and always taking as much time as necessary to make sure that my clients’ questions and concerns are answered thoroughly.  

The result?  

My phone rings, and my inbox fills, day after day.

Joseph Massey

Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC | NMLS 7538
2018 Production: $66,805,506
Years in Biz: 17

I have two favorite marketing tools:  my phone and handwritten notes.

I know a lot of originators are reading this and thinking “really?”  But it’s true, I make more money with follow up calls and handwritten notes than any other marketing tools that I use.  

Here’s a good way that you can use these: 

  1. Call every realtor that you closed a loan with last year, buyer’s agent AND listing agent.  Tell them that you enjoyed working with them and you would like to find a time to connect to talk about how you can provide them with great service for more buyers and sellers.  If you call 50 of these people from last year’s database, you should be able to set 10-15 face-to-face appointments. 
  2. Immediately following the meeting, send them a handwritten thank you note.  Be sure to acknowledge their time and acknowledge any specifics that you discussed.
  3. Call them and invite them to your CE classes, to your agent masterminds, to your happy hours and to any client appreciation events that you do.
  4. Send them a handwritten note after EVERY event that they attend. 

From these 10-15 meetings and building relationships with these agents, I should be able to get 5-10 transactions per quarter.  

That works out to 20-40 transactions per year.

If you want to close more transactions per year, then simply do the math and multiply how many additional relationships you need.  

Using the phone, face-to-face meetings and handwritten notes, you can easily grow your database and close as many loans as you would like.


US Bank Home Mortgage | NMLS 282718
2018 Production: $108,654,862
Years in Biz: 10

I take the stance that everyone sends mass mailers out, so instead, I personally type all emails to my clients and referral sources. 

I do this every single day and try to personalize them as much as possible.  In doing so, I find I receive a much better response rate.  

My go-to is Microsoft Excel.  

It helps me stay organized and on track.  I’m sure there are much more efficient ways to do this, but I’ve taken the mentality at this point, if its not broken, don’t fix it!

Tracy VanLandschoot

Mortgage 1 Inc. | NMLS 371904
2018 Production: $60,266,496
Years in Biz: 29

I have found one of the best marketing tools is “word of mouth” and a stellar reputation. 

If you do an exceptional job for your client, they are going to share their experience with others and continue to do business with you. 

Additionally, most people are more apt to Google search a company before doing business with them.

Our reviews from previous clients speak volumes as to the kind of work we’ve done for them.

They are more than a number to us, it’s about building a relationship.


Leader Bank | NMLS 613440
2018 Production: $111,555,353
Years in Biz: 14

At Leader Bank, we have a database management tool and it does some routine emails – your industry standard of birthday, loan anniversary and the holidays.

I find personal emails / offers work best. 

I keep my own spreadsheet of clients and if I see a reason to reach out I’ll send a personal email usually breaking down the point of the email with rates/payments and calculation right in the body.  

It’s time consuming but if it is worth typing out the client usually finds its worth it for them too.  

Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of other marketing and nothing has ever stuck – for me at least.  So just the personal custom emails and the automated database management software.

Michael Dunsky

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. | NMLS 21372
2018 Production: $68,522,768
Years in Biz: 26

The best marketing tool available is often overlooked.  It’s not high tech. It doesn’t come with widgets and hyperlinks or online portals and spreadsheets…

…it’s the phone.  

We’ve all heard it before but mortgage banking is high tech AND high touch.  You can’t build relationships and market yourself from products or social media or apps or technology. 

You can use all of this to enhance your relationships and marketing but there are no replacement for one-on-one conversations to build trust.  

I, like many in sales, have call reluctance and most tend to hide behind the technology but you have to have the courage to pick up the phone and dial.

There is no better tool out there to enhance your business.


Certainty Home Loans LLC. | NMLS 129691
2018 Production: $75,393,399
Years in Biz: 8

Our favorite marketing tool is pretty boring as it is completely old school. It’s our personal touch of writing handwritten thank you notes that has been the secret to our success and longevity in this industry. We send a handwritten note to the buyer, buyer’s agent, seller and seller’s agent on every transaction.

This personal touch and meeting with 90% of our clients face to face before home purchase is the reason we are referral driven with no advertising. While we see competitors adding automation that comes between building relationships, our personal touch brings relationships closer and is our competitive advantage.


I’m appreciative for each participant taking time out of their busy day to share thoughtful, insightful – and in some cases surprising – observations.

And what about you, the reader? Did you find something mentioned that was inspiring?

Share your comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Advice from 22 Top Producing Loan Officers about the Marketing Tool They Can’t Live Without”

  1. Thanks for the invite to joinus this group. Great ideas from these lenders. Wondering why there’s no input from Realtors. I’m looking forward to getting up to speed with Booj the new tech program ReMax is rolling out.

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