How To Go From Buying Leads to Sustaining a 100% Referral Based Business Through Building Trust & Communication, One Step At A Time (with Joe Green) – Episode 96

Posted December 14, 2021

California Mortgage Broker Joe Green is The Little Engine That Could. After first going independent just before the ’08 market crash, Joe is back but had to start from scratch. He went from buying leads with an end goal of four loans a month to becoming a 100% referral-based business averaging twelve loans a month. He doesn’t credit his success to anything crazy. Just be there for your client, communicate clearly, and always strive to do everything you can to help make their life easier. If you do this consistently, everything will accumulate. You don’t need to take leaps and bounds; take everything step by step. 

Returning to the Wholesale Channel in 2013, Joe didn’t find his footing right away. It took him 18 months to get going again. Joe claims that the slow ramp-up was his biggest hurdle, but he wouldn’t give up on himself. He sent out mailers, bought leads, and sat through many coffee appointments. But most importantly, when leads became opportunities, Joe made sure to communicate clearly and concisely with everyone. Clients and realtor partners want to be updated whether you have good news or bad news; nobody wants to feel out of the loop. 

Slowly but surely, by doing right by every customer during every transaction, Joe built a book of business based entirely on referrals. Instead of ignoring realtors during the 2020 refi-boom, Joe made sure to stay top-of-mind with his partners. Refis are easy, “but you pay the price in the long run,” Joe says. If you aren’t active in purchases now, you won’t have any relationships when the rates rise again. Joe shares a great example where a deal fell through with a small builder in his local area. Instead of moving on, Joe stayed in touch and was the first person the builder went to when his duplex tenants wanted to refinance. 

“I have a simple motto,” Joe shares, “help people get things done.” Want to redo your bathroom? Joe’s got a guy. Need a financial planner? Joe can send you a reference. Help people with no motive other than providing a service, and the “universe just ends up taking care of you.” Joe shares one last piece of advice by disputing a common saying. “You know that saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? It’s a lie.” Just listen to people, understand you still have a lot to learn, never stop growing, and stay enthusiastic. 


  • Intro to The Wholesale Channel (1:26
  • Operations (6:06)
  • Referrals (11:42)
  • Family Business (25:48)
  • Parting Advice (36:11)

This episode is sponsored by EPM.

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