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Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Made By By Loan Officers


The world of marketing is foreign to many loan officers, and that’s understandable. 

Your expertise is in mortgages, lending, finance, and property, not marketing strategy. 

But whether you like it or not, you’re most likely aware that building a brand and investing in marketing, is essential for any loan officer who wants to grow their business. 

Having worked in media, branding, and marketing for over 20 years, spending much of that time supporting property finance businesses and professional services firms in the USA, UK, and Australia with their marketing ambitions, I’ve seen most professionals fall for the same, common traps. 

And it isn’t choosing the wrong marketing strategies, poor execution or working with the wrong marketing consultant, team or agency. 

It’s mostly about mindset. 

And the problem with a wrong mindset in marketing is it is the foundation that upholds everything you do related to your brand and business growth. 

So before you start strategizing or launching new marketing campaigns, check out the 10 most common mistakes that I see made by loan officers, and remove the barriers that are impeding your business growth.

1. Believing that “A successful business is all about being a great loan officer”

That’s a half-truth. Yes, you must be great at what you do, but you must also be able to sell.

Now the word ‘sell’ triggers a lot of loan officers. You think of the used car salesman and the hustler trying to do a deal.

And while it doesn’t need to look like that, you must be able to ‘win’ your own clients to have any chance of success.

2. Believing that “I’m not good at marketing or business development”

This is the most common lie I hear repeated among professionals.

Everyone has a sweet spot in branding and marketing, you just need to find it, and then play to that strength.

I’ve worked with the most unlikely finance experts and professionals who have gone on to successfully grow their business simply by discovering what they were good at and liked doing in this marketing space and investing their efforts into that. 

3. Believing that “someone else can just build my brand and do marketing for me”

This is a common but unsustainable approach. As a loan officer, you are the brand. You are the face of your business. Sure, a marketing team can add fuel to the fire and accelerate your strategy if you have access to those resources, but ultimately you are responsible for your own brand and business growth.

When you take full ownership of your brand, you foster authenticity and connection with your target clients, and this will start flowing through your messaging and your marketing, and you’ll start seeing results quickly.

4. Relying on anecdotal evidence instead of being data-driven

It can be shocking how many loan officers make big, often expensive marketing decisions based on a ‘feeling’.

Believe it or not, even the largest firms with enormous budgets do it – in fact, they’re often the biggest culprits.

Not having marketing metrics, or understanding what metrics matter, is extremely costly. It is crucial to make smart decisions based on relevant data, instead of simply trusting your gut.

5. Sticking to your guns when the guns aren’t firing

Loan officers get emotionally attached to their marketing. It might sound bizarre but it is true, and I understand why.

Sometimes loan officers have sunk so much money or energy into a marketing campaign that they don’t want to accept that it failed.

Sometimes they stick to what they know.

But we want to take emotion out of marketing – we want to test ideas, we want to make decisions based on real data, and either “fail fast” or double down on what’s working.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a marketing idea wrong if you learn quickly. The mistake is allowing it to continue to bleed out your business.

6. Fear of the unknown

Those who work in professional services industries can be creatures of habit, making conservative decisions based on what has worked in the past or is typically accepted by the industry.

But the unknown is where the biggest opportunities are, because that’s where your competitors fear to tread, and there is often an untapped pool of potential clients.

So failing to embrace the unknown is placing a ceiling over the growth of your business.

7. Inconsistency

I have worked with many professionals who think growth works like a tap – ‘business is quiet, so I am going to turn on the tap and get some more clients, then when I’m busy I’ll turn the tap off and stop investing in marketing’.

But this is a huge trap. The best way to build a brand and sustainably grow a business is to commit to being consistent, irrespective of how busy you are.

It takes time to build a brand. If you constantly stop and start, you’ll never gather the momentum needed to build a thriving practice.

8. Making it about me, instead of our my clients

Many loan officers believe ‘if my potential clients know how qualified I am, how experienced I am and how good I am, they will be lining up at the front door’.

Again, this alone does not work. Don’t get me wrong, building a strong brand around your skills and experiences is fundamental, but it is secondary.

First, you need to make it about your clients. They should be at the center, their problems and how you can solve them should be your main message, then you can talk about why you are the right person to help. 

9. Under-utilizing existing client networks

Every loan officer is under-investing in their client network as a source of new work.

Despite the fact that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, only 10% of professionals ask their clients for referrals and recommendations. That’s crazy.

Based on this, every loan officer is likely sitting on a gold mine of new business.

10. Caring more about what peers think than potential clients 

Over the years many professionals have told me they didn’t want to write a blog or social media post because they were concerned about what their peers would think. For example, they might think the content is ‘dumbed down’, or simplistic or doesn’t cover everything that needs to be covered, and their reputation in the industry would be impacted.

While peer reputation is important, this concern is rarely important or relevant. This is where it is crucial to remember your target audience.

It is your clients, the everyday people reading your content who don’t know much about finance and property, who you are speaking to. It is your referral network, who are experts in other fields, who you ar engaging with.

What your peers think of your content matters a lot less than you think.

Next steps

When you’ve addressed these common mistakes, you’ll notice a fresh mindset and approach to your brand-building and marketing efforts.

You will have overcome key barriers that are stopping you from achieving the growth that is available to you. 

The next step is to get equipped and empowered with the knowledge to build your brand and grow your business.

With Reverse Focus, I’m running a Brand Growth Boot Camp for loan officers with four action-packed sessions over just two weeks.

You’ll come away with the insight, direction, and confidence to build a brand that connects with your clients and develop an action plan for growth.
Numbers are strictly limited. Find out more and sign up now.


Shannon Hicks

Editor in Chief:
As a prominent commentator and Editor in Chief at, Shannon Hicks has played a pivotal role in reshaping the conversation around reverse mortgages. His unique perspectives and deep understanding of the industry have not only educated countless readers but has also contributed to introducing practical strategies utilizing housing wealth with a reverse mortgage.
Shannon’s journey into the world of reverse mortgages began in 2002 as an originator and his prior work in the financial services industry. Shannon has been covering reverse mortgage news stories since 2008 when he launched the podcast HECMWorld Weekly. Later, in 2010 he began producing the weekly video series The Industry Leader Update and Friday’s Food for Thought.
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  1. Hi Shannon,
    I’m looking for a high quality set of monthly “Reverse Focused” marketing pieces that I can send out to my database and prospects. Are there any companies that have a series of emails that I can purchase and send to my database? Must be reverse focused pieces???
    Thank you, BD

    • Bill- We can give you a demo of Sales Engine CRM which has several email marketing pieces. Just book a time at:

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