As a loan officer, you are always looking for an edge. Tools and techniques to find new business as easy and as quickly as possible, as well as strategies to increase your time to more effectively process the loans that are already in your pipeline. However, with all the choices and technologies now available to mortgage professionals, it can be somewhat overwhelming to find the best options to use.
Through interviews and personal experience, I have come up with 5 mortgage marketing tools that will increase your commission checks and reduce your stress while spending less time working on your business. Some of these tools will be obvious but under utilized, while others will be a complete surprise. I hope that this article opens up your mind to new possibilities for marketing and running your mortgage business.
Tool #1: Business cards. Every loan officer I know has more than enough business cards, but I have yet to find a mortgage professional who is really working this tool to its full potential. Your business card is your own little advertisement, and should be given out at EVERY possible opportunity on a daily basis. Give out more than one. Ask the individual to give them to friends and family. Beyond giving them out, you need to make them more unique and valuable. How do you do this? You can make them unique by making it a different color or shape, making it magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, etc. You can add value to them by making it a phone card or CD-Rom, or by writing down a personal message on the back.
Tool #2: Toll-free 1-800 hotlines. Back in the late 1990s, very savvy loan officers were using this tool to the max. Here is how it worked. The loan officer would place a classified ad in the paper offering a free report. All the prospect had to do was call the hotline and leave their name and address. However, the hotline captured the caller’s phone number as well. So the loan officer would call back the prospect to verify the mailing address and build rapport. It was effective then, and is effective now although it seems that fewer loan officers are using this tool.
Tool #3: Autoresponders. Autoresponders have been around for about ten years, but are just now starting to become mainstream. An autoresponder is simply an email program that responds automatically to any email that is sent to it. They now also have the ability of sending an unlimited number of follow-up messages plus managing your database of email addresses. All automatically. The most popular autoresponder service being used is Get-Response (http://www.Get-Response.com). Using the marketing technique for the 1-800 hotline, loan officers are now directing prospects to send an email to their autoresponder service to get the free report. Once the prospect does that, the free report is automatically sent, as well as the follow-up messages. These messages are not only sent automatically, but you can also decide on the delivery times (ex. one day after report sent, 3 days after, 7 days after, 21 days after, 6 months after, a year after, etc).
Tool #4: Loan Officer Websites. It seems like everyone has a website these days. But 99% of loan officer websites are useless. Why? It’s not because they aren’t professional-looking or lack valuable information about you, your company and your products. It’s because setting up a website is just the beginning of the process. If you don’t know how to market that website and get people to it, it serves no purpose. First, you are going to need to place your web address on all of your promotional and marketing materials. Next, you are going to incorporate your autoresponder with your website. So you place a classified ad offering a free report. The prospect emails your autoresponder, and you start your follow-up series to them. Now in those follow-ups, you need to stress the value of visiting your website. Maybe it’s the helpful mortgage calculator. Maybe it’s the additional 3 reports they can download by visiting. You need to really promote your website through your autoresponder series.
Tool #5: Ebay. Everyone knows that you can sell Beanie Babies and antique clocks on Ebay, but some smart loan officers are promoting their businesses their too. Here’s how they do it. They take that same report used in your other marketing campaigns and put it up for sale on Ebay for $.99, or even a penny. The goal here is not to make a profit selling these reports (you will be lucky if you even break even). The goal is to find people who are interested in doing a mortgage loan. Once they purchase the report from you, you then email them the report and offer to do a free evaluation of their mortgage needs. Or, you can send them to your autoresponder and hit them with a series of follow-up messages. This technique works only if you can originate loans outside of your state (which most originators are allowed to do – if you are not one of these, you can still sell these leads to the numerous mortgage lead companies on the Web).
These are certainly not the only tools available to mortgage professionals, but used effectively, these tools can get you more mortgage leads with much less effort. A few of these techniques really use automation to your advantage. The hardest part is setting up the process up initially. After that, they pretty much runs on their own.