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United First Financial provides tips on working through the current market crunch

National Mortgage Professional
Sep 27, 2007

Technology: Delivering value to your sphereDave Hershmannewsletters, marketing, database, value, credibility Newsletter marketing For years I have been teaching loan officers the meaning and scope of their sphere of influence. They come into my three-day advanced class with 300 names in their database and leave knowing that the number should be 3,000. Why? Because I am asking them to take an inventory of their life. This inventory includes relationships, experiences, educational background, skills, hobbies and more. Most loan officers get in the business or try to increase their production by attacking the world. I want them to attack their world. It is the key to building a foundation rather than a business model that puts them on a treadmill. It is also a key in development of their unique selling proposition. Of course, a logical question follows: If I have 2,000 to 10,000 in my sphere, what do I do with this list? The fact that you have found this many contacts is only the first step. Yes, there are many who know you, and you know them. And there are many with whom you have something in common. Now you must: -Develop a database. You can't keep in touch using sticky notes. You must have the technology necessary to implement your actions. -Develop a marketing plan around the data. Instead of marketing the world, you will now be able to build upon your life. A marketing plan begins with prioritization. Some targets are more important than others. Some will get a face-to-face meeting. Others you will just mail to--for example, a newsletter. -Deliver value through this plan. It is not enough to send a letter or e-mail every month saying, "Give me a loan." This will be quickly ignored. You have to deliver value. This should be the objective of a newsletter service--to deliver value. Well, it should be more than that. It should: -Establish credibility. Not recipes or handy homeowner hints. But real value that establishes you as an expert. I love brownies, but I don't want cooking or handyman expertise from my expert loan officer! -Be relevant. Even though you want it to show you are an expert, you need the average person to understand what you are telling them. If you want them to take action, they can't be befuddled. It can't be esoteric secondary terms or charts. -Make the phone ring. With material they understand, there should be response mechanisms attached to your newsletter service. Just because you are not doing a sales job does not mean the phone can't ring because you are making offers of value. Today's newsletter must be flexible from a technology and substantive viewpoint. That means you need to be able to distribute the newsletters in different ways. For example: -Face-to-face. Bring something to your important meetings. If these are your most important contacts, should they not get something of value? -Mailing. Some still prefer snail mail. There is still room for traditional four-page formats. -E-mailing. When you are sending to 10,000 because you have a steady stream of prospects, you don't have the time to deliver them personally or the money to mail every week or month. Your newsletter system must have an HTML component that facilitates delivery to the masses. Keep in mind that when you e-mail, you must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, which, among other things, requires for clear instructions for removal from your list. The substance Remember that your goal is to deliver value. This means that you should not be sending the same piece to everyone on your list. It must be more targeted. For example, you may want a sales article for real estate agents and other business-to-business targets such as financial planners. In this way, you are helping them build their business. In addition, if you can provide pieces that they can send to their constituency, you are basically leveraging your efforts. An example might be consumer articles that are relevant to their interest. There is nothing more effective than achieving maximum leverage. Consumers and business-to-business clients will not respond unless the information is relevant for them. They will not pick up the phone or e-mail unless they see a substantial benefit. The substance usually needs to contain more than one piece in order to generate a response. The technology In order to achieve these lofty goals, you don't just need the substance. You need the technology necessary to carry out these goals. Your newsletter system must have print and e-mail formats. Even the print formats must vary from a one-page article to a four-page newsletter. And you must have a robust customer relationship manager system directing your efforts. You can do this in-house or subcontract the work out. Either way, the results will be worth it. Wondering whether such a newsletter system exists? It does! Go to www.originationpro.com and you can download free samples. Dave Hershman is a top speaker and leading author in the mortgage industry with eight books--including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His mortgage school is the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information and articles by Dave call (800) 581-5678, e-mail dave@hershmangroup.com or visit www.originationpro.com.
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