Inside the mind of a top producer--Dennis Duncan.

Author:Cunningham, Casey
Position:COLUMNS: THE RIGHT STUFF - Interview

AS ONE OF THE LEADING MORTGAGE PRODUCERS in the country, Dennis Duncan has market-proven advice for his fellow loan officers. This summer, he will have closed $2 billion in loans over the course of his career. He is truly "the $2 billion dollar man" and joins a small, elite group of loan officers who have produced more than $1 billion in their careers.

After graduating from Virginia Tech, Duncan wanted to get into the banking and mortgage industry, but was turned down because his grades were too good and was told he wouldn't be able to relate to people.

After spending two years in pharmaceutical sales, he became a loan officer and proved the naysayers wrong with his immediate success. He says he uses this as motivation. "It made me just want to work even harder," he says.

Nowadays, Duncan has surpassed all expectations. He was named top producer in units every single year from 1986-2007 while at Dominion Bank-shares, Mortgage Service America and Chase Mortgage. Mortgage Originator magazine also ranked him in the Top 50 Unit Producers every year from 1999-2008. In addition, he ranked in the top 10 in units for Mortgage Originator four times.

Duncan produced more than $38 million with 199 units in 2013, and more than $32 million with 267 units in 2014--and this is him slowing down!

Because of his tremendous prospecting efforts throughout his career, his client database has become incredibly large with about 6,000-8,000 prospects and past clients. About 40 percent of his business comes from this database and about 15-25 Realtors[R] make up another 40 percent. He says the rest comes from financial planners and builders.

My question for him was: "How have you created such a large database and how do you use it?" Throughout our conversation, the one word he used often was "communication." Duncan leverages communication in many ways, especially customer service and prospecting. He sends out newsletters and holds seminars for his Realtors to keep them updated on the market.

He also uses search engines and social media, saying it is important to be "Google-able." He explains, "If I move somewhere, [I make sure] people can find me."

Duncan uses social media as a way to brand himself and to educate Realtors and consumers. He says he wants to educate consumers "so they can know what they're about to go through when they sign on the dotted line on a contract." Another way he has prospected is by taking advantage of the jumbotron on the nearby Virginia...

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