How Janna Dawdy of Closes a Loan a Day!

Loan Officer Podcast - Close More Loans - Janna Dawdy

In this episode of The Loan Officer Wealth Podcast, Janna Dawdy, owner of explains how her team manages to average more than a deal a day through her past clients and referrals partner relationships.


The Loan Officer Wealth Podcast | Ep. 70
Guest – Janna Dawdy of

During this incredibly valuable conversation, we discuss:
– Developing trusting relationships with your database to get a long-term stream of referrals…
– Managing and following up with your new clients…
– Building your business through realtor and referral partnerships…and more!

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Listen to the Podcast Below

How Expert Mortgage Marketing Strategies Help Janna Dawdy Close a Loan a Day!

Hello everybody and welcome back to another episode of the loan officer wealth podcast. So we are blessed today to be here with Janna Dawdy. Janna, thank you so much for being on the show.

Thank you for having me. It’s very exciting!

So you are running an incredible mortgage business and I mean you’re driving the whole thing. Can you share with the audience roughly where you’re at as far as production and what your team looks like?

Yeah, sure, absolutely.

So basically the team model that I have here is a little different than some that you will see. Some folks will have large teams of 10 agents producing, you know, they may have an assistant or not, but what I’ve chosen to do over the past several years is run an independent type of brokerage where I’m still the sole broker and agent, I have a couple of administration staff.

So all of my ideas and things that I want to come to fruition can still happen without having to be at the mercy of other agents, you know, bringing in the deals or business and that, you know up and down kind of volume. I’m always in the driver’s seat.

That’s amazing! 


Loan Officer Podcast - Janna Dawdy - Closes a Loan a Day
Loan Officer Podcast: Janna Dowdy structures her team so she’s running the show. This strategy has helped her consistently close a deal a day.

So basically what I do is, I work my database – I’ve been in the industry a very long time, you know, we’re approaching 20 years in brokering and banking is close to 30 years. I started out back in the day with, you know, a few realtors and then kept working my business with my clients and my database.

And the one key thing missing collectively, I think in business and in life in general was customer service.

So that’s kind of like the basis of my business and I wanted to design and create something different that made sure that clients knew that I did have a vested interest in them, in their mortgage and their finances, not just today, but going forward.

That’s so crucial.

I think especially in today’s marketplace, where, I mean, we’ve been somewhat commoditized over the last couple of years with the massive refinance boom and so many people are just trying to get deals through the door, they lose sight of really that long term career move, which is setting that up.

So I would like to drill into that, but just for our listeners, I would like to state that in your current team structure, you’re closing more than a deal a day right now.


Yes, currently, which is unbelievable.

And you know, your numbers really, really well, so would you mind sharing with our audience where the majority of your business comes from?

The majority of my business, about 78%, comes from past clients and repeat clients and clients referring clients back to me and JCMortgages. This is return business, repeat business, renewals, and clients referring business. Approximately 12% was everything else (real estate agents, new leads, etc.).

So the majority of my business that I rely on is my current database and ensuring that those folks are well taken care of.

I think it’s important for new agents to really focus on building their business with realtors or referral sources that they’ve started out with in the industry – really keeping the focus on the ones that they’ve gained really good relationships with. Because if you really look at my referral database or my database of financial advisors, they’re the same people that have been with me for the most part throughout.

I haven’t looked outside to expand to a massive amount of referral people. Even if they give you one deal a year or 2-3 deals a year, it’s really about the relationship and the quality of the clients they are bringing you. And if you treat those clients like quality, they will always refer you and come back.

I could not agree more and that’s the foundation for any solid business but especially in the mortgage business.

So I’m really interested in the stat you quoted earlier. 78% of your business is referrals, not from realtors but like from your actual past customer database itself. There are so many people in the mortgage industry that just completely leave that opportunity untouched. It’s just like they do a deal and they’re onto the next, they’re chasing the next one.

So first off, how do you position your relationship with a brand new client when they meet you for the first time, what does that process look like for you? And then maybe we can dive into what you do to nurture that relationship over time.

Yeah, so things have obviously changed because of COVID, so it’s a little bit different now we’ve had to change our model because that one-on-one has changed. Before, you know, they would come into the office and they had this warm, fuzzy feeling and my office was set up like a home. So it was not only my experience and how I would go through it, but it was the whole package and then that had to kind of shift because now we’re doing phones and Zoom calls and that sort of thing.

And it was like okay how are we going to make sure that these clients know that I am reputable and that I have the best at what I do? How do I convey that through this different format?

So what I’ve learned is that everybody is now geared to these new ways and what’s helped me is all of our mortgage marketing and Google, SEO, and all that stuff.

People like to do their research, so now when they’re calling in or emailing, I have an initial conversation with them. I like to get to know them a little bit better and understand what they need and have a full candid conversation, and then we move on to the next steps, we’ll get the application going.

Ask for documentation upfront. I think that’s the biggest thing.

I remember back in the day it’s like, like you’re just so excited at the thought of getting a deal you don’t cover all the bases up front. But really, asking for everything and being upfront and being direct right from the get-go is how you’re going to that trust in your relationship with that client because it sounds like you really know what you’re doing and you’re not going to play any games with them.

So anyway, then we move on to the next step which is the pre-approval process and then we move on from there. Some clients will then choose to do a Zoom call, or just an email, or come into the office and then we will start that process like anyone else.

Excellent! And do you have a system or a process in place for once you have that client pre-approved? Let’s say are you keeping in touch with them regularly while they’re shopping for their house or is it like here’s your pre-approval, call me back when you’re ready. What does that process look like?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no – it just depends.

I do keep a system running and then I’ll do a quick touch follow-up. In this market, it has been a little bit tricky because of the pre-approval numbers with the high benchmark, people need some time and you know you don’t want to be hounding but definitely getting them secured into a rate and then checking in on how they’re doing with a follow-up.

I give it about 6 to 9 months. I’ll do a few follow-ups within the first 90 days and then a few more throughout the first six months and then I will file them away and you know wait for them to reach out.

I don’t like to be overbearing and on top of them when we’re doing our initial pre-approval because there’s only so much we can do but definitely, follow-ups when you do have that good connection and you know that there is an opportunity there.

Absolutely! Okay, so we move them into the deal. They go through the process. They have a great transaction with you. What do the closing and post-closing follow-up look like?

Oh, that’s a big process.

That’s where we seal the deal and the client and we try to keep them for life. I made that model many years ago with my mortgage agents – you’re a mortgage agent for life. And so at some point, I wrote that and that was the basis of what I really wanted to have with my clients as well.

So then I was like, okay, well how do we build that and make sure that this slogan stays true so the deal closes?

We do a few things. There’s always a follow-up. If you follow my social media or my Instagram or Facebook you’ll see we do the door drops of gifts. I’ve always done a gift. I used to do gift cards for clients and then I realized some clients would be like “Oh, I never got a gift card” and it was like well, yes, you did. I would I document everything and they would just forget. They got an LCBO card but then they didn’t remember about it.

So then I thought, I need to think of something else so that when they see it they’re like “Oh, Janet gave me that!” That is when I started doing the door welcome signs and the door drops and all kinds of different things over the years.

So the next step is once they close and we deliver the sign we always send out a “How did we do?” message, which helps to know how we did, helps us to get Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and likes on our socials, the things that are important in 2023, you know. And you want constructive criticism back if there was an issue – if they had a circumstance that happened at the office with maybe an administration team member or something I don’t know about or they felt frustrated, I need to know about that.

Loan Officer Podcast - Janna Dawdy - Mortgage Marketing - Google Reviews
Loan Officer Podcast: Janna Dowdy creates lifetime customers with her unique posting closing experience and incorporating feedback requests into her mortgage marketing strategy.

After that request for feedback, that’s when we go on to all of our different other mortgage marketing stuff.

I touch base with my clients 3-6 times a month. It sounds excessive, but it’s fun stuff.

We do constant charitable things every month. We do different door drops. We might have pie pick-up days. We’d have different sorts of things where the clients can come in and donate to charity, but then pick up a tangible good and they feel like they’re giving back to the community and we’re giving them something. We do birthday cards every single month and they get a little gift in the mail for their birthday.

There are all kinds of different things that we do every single month to keep in touch with our clients. Once again, it sounds like it’s a lot, but it’s stuff that they’re actually engaging in. If something’s not working, I quickly say, “Okay, this isn’t working. People are annoyed with this.” and we take it down a notch or change it.

That’s amazing!

Okay, so many questions there because there are so many opportunities, and to all of our listeners, I think so many people will hear this stuff and they’ll be like, “Okay, yeah, I’ll get around to that.” But it really is the implementation of these strategies that drive results.

I had another fantastic podcast guest on and he was talking about making the referral process something that’s worthy of talking about.

I have so many people where we’ll ask them on an initial consult and just be like, “Okay, do you keep up with your database?” And they’re like, “Oh yeah, corporate sends them an email. I got that handled.”

It’s like nobody’s gonna talk about like, “Hey did you know I had a corporation send me an email this month about cleaning out my gutters?”

We handwrite all of our stuff here. So every single card is handwritten. We just did 1000 Christmas cards.

The other thing I should mention is that I have a referral program. So if you refer me to a client, you both get a referral thank you. If you referred me somebody, that person who closes the transaction gets a gift, they get a porch drop, and then so does the referral source and clients love it. But you have to be consistent, Chris.

Everyone wants to say, Janna, I love your model. I love watching your page. And I will spend time and sit with other brokers and have a one-on-one with them and I share openly what we do because you have to do the work. I mean I tell them what I do, but they still have to organize and spend time and spend money to do it.

But you’re right, the consistency is the most important part. You can’t say, well we decided to go to the trailer for the summer so I didn’t get around on my birthday cards. Well, people in July and August also had birthdays. You have to make sure that you’re consistent with everything that you’re doing and you’ve got to spend money to make money.

And that’s always been my very first thing in the industry – you have to make sure that you know that you’re not gonna make any money in the first 12 months. And if you do, you really, need to put that money back into your platforms into giving back to your clients and to start building, you know those referrals and deals and eventually, you’ll make money.

Oh, 100%. And, you know, a year sounds like a long time, but if you’re truly doing the right things it can ramp up pretty quickly.

And the thing about it is, in the mortgage industry, you spend a year getting your feet underneath you, and you’re building yourself a career that can make you a phenomenal lifestyle for. I mean our podcast is called Loan Officer Wealth because I have seen, at this point, countless mortgage professionals who are really truly independently wealthy as a result of the income that they get from running a good mortgage business.

So, I’m a systems and processes guy. I’m looking at your process and I’m like, that is absolutely incredible, but I know that I wouldn’t have the self-discipline to do it. I’m just like an entrepreneur squirrel guy. So do you have an assistant in your office that makes sure that it gets done or is it you that really makes that happen?

So it’s an assistant now. It was me constantly helping or saying this is what our process looks like, but they are the ones doing that physical outreach.

Like our renewal process, for example, I’m always six months in advance. So I’ve got my renewals coming up for six months. We’ve already got the first letter out from my office. I’ve already sent them an email to touch base.

Basically, we’ve done everything in Excel, so I have everything that I need to know through Excel spreadsheets. It sounds very simple and daunting, but there hasn’t been a CRM out there, in my opinion, for all of the things that we do that can beat what I can customize on Excel sheets.

So yes, the processes are processes of trial and error over the last 15-plus years. You know, this was working. This wasn’t. This got sloppy. Constantly cleaning it up.

And we’re actually in the middle right now of having a tech company creating our very own customized portal. So we’re gonna have everything from our Excels now in 2023 style. It’s going to be exactly what I needed to function so that I can continue to work my business and my database more efficiently than Excel.

Like we’ve had to make sure that our Mailchimp emails are going out to specific audiences. I don’t want to freak out the fixed-rate clients thinking, oh my gosh, what’s going on here? So we’ve had to make a Mailchimp campaign designated for just variable rate clients and letting them know right before Prime rate announcements, letting them know the morning of the Prime announcement.

So we’re just always ahead of the game when it comes to what needs to happen and it’s because of my years of knowledge and experience. I don’t think anybody could ever come in here and be the manager of that.

No, that makes total sense. And in your follow-up process, are you calling your clients in addition to the porch drops and the mailers and everything?

Not really, no. So as far as the phone call goes, not unless they’ve called and followed up. The other process that we do have actually is that once the deal closes, we contact customer service on every single deal to make sure that the payments were set up the way we wanted – that the payments fell on the week that they wanted. And once that’s confirmed, then we send them an email within five business days.

We also teamed up with a couple of law firms, so I have my own law clerks as well that I work with directly. I know exactly what’s going on from start to finish so that everything is just basically flawless for the clients and they feel like because there have been years, I mean years and years of dealing with clerks and stuff and as you know, it’s like, oh they didn’t get instructions. This didn’t happen. I thought I already gave you my check. I thought I already gave you this stuff and Janna should have it all.

And then they’re getting upset with us but really they don’t understand the process. It’s just two different entities. So I wanted to clean all that up several years ago and I was able to do that.

That’s excellent.

Now I noticed on your social media that you just ran a promotion with one of the law offices where you guys had come together and put together some boxes. I know again, a lot of people in the mortgage industry struggle with setting up relationships with financial planners, investment advisors, lawyers – that person that you’ve got to get through a gatekeeper to get to, you know, calling realtors is one thing, but those professional relationships are tougher to get.

How do you approach that and how have you really brought that into growing the business?

Yeah, so it’s taken me a few years to become very mindful of if I’m doing business with them or not, then I will ask. If I’m not, then it’s not fair.

I do a very large movie event twice a year and I will ask just those partners that I really do business with if they can sponsor. So it’s only really a couple of sponsors to help with you know door prizes and stuff because you do want to build that relationship where they’re referring business to you and you’re referring business to them. Really think about if you’re going to use a financial advisor, realtor, or something like that because you don’t want them to think that you’re using abusing them.

I tend not to co-sponsor things with realtors really to be honest because I respect them, however, I don’t rely heavily on realtors for my business.

I don’t want to cut any ties with a group of them because I do really respect them. And I don’t think realtors sometimes realize that we don’t have a whole lot of referrals to give all the time because most of the business is already coming to us from other venues and they may already have realtors. So when we have the opportunity to refer we really try to match up who would be a good fit.

So definitely though, financial advisors are really good because they’re seeking different types of clientele or whatever. It just depends on where your business is coming from.

Yeah and in that it’s such a beautiful platform that you’ve created in the fact that not only do they get to give to charity so they’re giving back to a worthy cause, but that’s the best type of advertising that you can put into a local marketplace because it gets them connected with the community that you’ve built.

And it’s just a phenomenal way for you to start that relationship. Like here’s what I stand for, here’s what my core beliefs are, do you align with this? Great, well we’re probably gonna do great business together but let’s go help out this worthy cause first.


Well, congratulations on building a passion-filled business because I think a lot of people miss that on the way to money, so it’s phenomenal to see both now. And again, thank you for being so generous with your time.

One little topic that I do want to touch on because you do a fantastic job on your social media, your reels are great, and your content is fantastic.

So I’m just wondering, how did you get over the hump from I’m not going to do video marketing to I am going to do video marketing? What was your process to getting through that, and then maybe a little bit more about how you come up with your ideas and process?

Yeah, so that’s a funny story because Marielle was my new marketing person. So I started off a long time ago with, like, a younger person as Facebook just started. The roles always grow every time you hire somebody who’s got more and more experience, so she’s like, we have to do these things, these reels or whatever, right?

And I was like, okay, so the very first reel, I have no idea what I was doing. She just said, okay, now you have to get off the chair, and I’m like, I don’t understand what’s going on. So she’s like, just get off it.

We were laughing last week about it. Like, we should actually post it again, because I’m like, okay, so I get on this and get at my desk and then I get off this and I don’t even know what it means at this point, but anyway, I’m going with it.

And so little thing about me is that I used to love to enter every lip-syncing competition when I was a teenager all through elementary school, I love lip-syncing.

No way.

Yeah, so the biggest thing I had to get over was not feeling narcissistic because I come from a generation, I think where it’s basically selfies are all about, you know, you just love yourself. It’s a different time now, right?

And now it’s like, no, people love that, and I was like, okay, so I had to get over the whole narcissistic part of it that I’m doing this for fun, and then I started to understand what Mary was doing. And once I understood what she was doing, the whole type of advertising content that it actually meant that we’re playing on it, I was like, oh, I get this now.

So then I just started filming 5 to 10 at a time at home or whatever on my own, and then I give it to Marielle and then I’m seeing how people are really loving the content of it and coming up with more ideas.

So I’m always trying to think of if I see something funny, how can I relate this to mortgages or you know, there’s a rate increase and I think it’s important to say that you have to invest in somebody to help you with this stuff if you’re not good at it.

And I think in the marketing thing, if it’s not your thing, get somebody who’s thing it is. Even get a student from a college to get you started, everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

So she’s the one that brought me into the whole video-making thing and once I started catching on to how it was all working and I got out of that narcissistic feeling of, okay, I’m just going to do this and have fun and you know, whatever, I think that’s where the turning point was for me and so now it’s like, okay, I’m in the middle of a move right now, but I filmed two quick reels today before I came work.

So I’m like, okay, I need to find two quick ones, get them done and then she’s got a little content to keep for when she needs it.

Well you have to, it’s part of your day-to-day process to keep up with all your marketing and all your business.

Yeah, that is so true. And I think certainly a shift for me has been in the mindset of what you do throughout the day changes when you realize that you are a content creator. But it also changes the way that you look at your day-to-day because you’ll be in a situation like, oh, this is content.

I think there’s a lot of learning that I also can take away from the newer agents that are more young and fresh, doing the newer stuff.

So absolutely, and I think you touched on one incredible point there and I learned this from Carl White. It’s an exercise in, so if you look at social media, it’s like, okay, I have to shoot the videos right? And that’s on you – you’ve got to come up with the ideas, you need to have the concept, you gotta have everything.

But as soon as that video is shot, well then there’s the other half of how do I get it off my phone? How do I get it clipped? How do I get the subtitles on it? How do I know what hashtags to post it on? How do I write the description?

Then? You gotta take it, and put it on Facebook, put it on Instagram, put it on Twitter, and put it on TikTok, right? You’ve got this list of all of the stuff. You could spend half to a good portion of your day just doing that content. So that’s when you need to ask, why exactly is it so important?

I have no idea about any of that stuff and I’ll be honest, I don’t want to know – it’s not gonna be my thing. I’m not going to know everything.

I have an idea. I love marketing and I love marketing this business. I built it from the ground up. If I could teach brokers for a living to do exactly what we do here step by step, I would do it. I love it. That is my passion. But on the marketing side of hashtags and putting in spending, I don’t like tech stuff. I’m not a techie person.

So that’s exactly why you’ve got to have the right people doing that stuff because you can film all the videos you want and if you’re not implementing them correctly on your page, then they’re useless.

So yeah, that is so true.

Well Janna, thank you so much for being so generous with your time here today. How can people find out more about you and your business?

How do they find you?

How do they follow you?

How do they get in touch with you?

Yeah, so just It’s pretty simple. That is the name of my company.

So we’re on Tiktok and Instagram and LinkedIn and Facebook and all of that stuff.

Well again, thank you for being just so generous with your time today. It was lovely to have you on.

Thank you. I appreciate it very much.

And to all of our listeners, the greatest compliment for the knowledge that you gained from today is a five-star review on Itunes. It helps move us in the algorithm and gets us more incredible guests like Janna on the show.

So make sure you head on over to iTunes, leave us a five-star rating and review if you’re seeing this on social media, make sure you hit us with a like and a comment with what you took away from the episode, and make sure you share this with everybody in the mortgage industry because rising tides rise all boats and we’re all in this together.

So again, thank you for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode.

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