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BNY Mortgage Company becomes EverBank Reverse Mortgage

National Mortgage Professional
Nov 19, 2007

Long-term relationshipsJoe CornoMortgage customer relationship management I was bombarded with e-mails in reference to my articles published on fraud and who was responsible. Amazingly, all of them were positive and supportive of my position and opinion. No negative tones from anyone. There was one in particular that stood out and expressed the consensus best. The person thanked me for the specifics on the article and then shared something that developed into this article. Telling me about a specific customer, the person stated to the customer, "We need to do some repair work on your credit, map out a budget that will allow you to pay off some debt and then see where we are in a year or so." We have been in the "make hay while the sun is shining" mode for so long that we have neglected to do some plowing and re-seeding for future business. Brokers need some fast food to survive because they neglected to store up for times that require planting, nurturing and growing. I see plenty of the fast-food servers out there telling you to create newsletters, radio and TV commercials equating brokers (who charge fees) as predators, using foolish programs like the option adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) to go commercial and get more high tech with your business. Of course, the ones serving up such fast-fixed meals are in the related businesses that they are writing about. In essence, they want you to buy their solutions. The e-mailer holds remedy to the industry ills that we face today. They are establishing and maintaining long-term relationships. I love establishing and maintaining long-term relationships. I have that sentence on my résumé as one of my favorite things. With such a powerful message, I had to credit the e-mail on bringing the topic to the forefront. When I train, I call it service, but the reader rephrased it so that more can comprehend the quote. The reader does not look at a potential customer or client for the instant gratification of the one loan, but developing a client for life instead. I know where the e-mailer is coming from because that is where all successful professionals come from. They approach each person as a relationship that will routinely bring them into contact throughout their lives. They do not represent their customer as their financial guru, nor do they impose birthday or holiday greetings. They get to know their customers personally and intimately. In my "Seven Steps to a Successful Close" concept, the third concept is about discovering the customers' compelling, personal reasons for wanting the loan. You get to go inside the minds of the customers and share the emotions and real personal reasons about their purchase. This does not show up on any financial spreadsheet or any risk management analysis form, yet it is as real to the customer, as is the rate of interest, the payment and the fuel cost to commute to work. So, let us list some basic fast-fix things that you can do that do not require any money to print and mail newsletters, run commercials slandering the competition, changing what we do, or upgrade our technology. However, I will revert to the technology part in my first suggestion. To truly define the things, they are things you do for long-term relationships, but are fast to implement. I just recorded some podcasts for a Web site. The podcasts are free and informative. It is a fantastic marketing tool for people to hear my voice, become acquainted with my training methods and to gain a lot of data within 45 minutes. Please note that the operative word here is "free." I am not paying to be part of the Web site that will receive, on average, 35,000 hits monthly. Utilize all of the technology that will get you known, but do not pay for it. Times are for planting, nurturing and growing. You will not receive compensation until you harvest what you plant. The podcasts reach people while I sleep and do other things that I enjoy. So, I am not discounting or discarding any of the fast-food servers of our industry. They write very interesting articles. Just use your money wisely. A voice message does not substitute for answering the phone. I have written previously about this, and it takes very little effort to take the call when it comes in. In fact, it takes more effort to divert and respond later to the call. Your awareness of the importance of a human voice communicating with your customers is simply unmatched in the industry today. Use all the technology available to ensure that calls are directed to a real person, even if it is you. I wonder how many brokers today would like the client base that they lost while electronically informing them that they only return calls twice daily in the heyday times? I bring this forth because the formula is to continually plant, nurture and grow in harvest times, as well. The e-mailer brought forth credit, budgeting, debt elimination and future goals creating a long-term relationship. Instead of being all engulfed in the immediate, they started building steps to a long journey that she would be part of with the customers. I will end my article with a true example. I had financed a home for a family that relocated from another area. The wife and mother did not know how to assimilate to a small-town atmosphere and was going to travel to the "big city" to purchase a washer and dryer. The wife told me this while we were conversing on the phone. After all, I was one of the very few people that she knew in town. I asked her if she could hold for a moment. I then called the appliance store manager, who I financed previously. I told him of the new family, requested that he meet the woman when she came to the store and thanked him for his commitment. I then returned to the woman and told her to go to the local appliance store and that the manager was waiting for her. The e-mailer is absolutely correct! Long-term relationships are what it is all about. What do you think the appliance store manager thought of me after the call? What did the newly transplanted woman think? I cannot graph on a spread sheet the return on that investment because it was so huge that the referrals went beyond fiscal years. I had three- and four-repeat return from these families. The major lenders who were in it for the fast money close and fade away. While the top five world institutions continually seek to remove the small independent correspondent/lending broker, start planting, nurturing and growing long-term relationships. This includes finding local sources of loans within your community so that you cease in dealing with the big box lenders that are committed in taking your customer base away. In doing so, you develop your own economy and you level out the peaks and spiral declines of your business. That is what independent truly represents if you classify yourself as an independent broker. I want to thank all of you for all of the e-mails that I receive. Joe Corno is president of Utah-based We Be Consulting & Seminars. He may be reached at (801) 836-2077 or e-mail [email protected].
Nov 19, 2007
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