Many streams make a river!Karen Deissub-prime, niches, apartment complexes, corporate accounts, for-sale-by-owner, real estate agents and builders
We have just experienced a river of sub-prime lending! That
river has dried up, so your ship has been dry-docked! The fish are
no longer jumping in the boat. Your wallet is experiencing the
drought. My advice to you is to stay away from the river and
consider creating different streams (i.e., niche markets), so that
when one of the streams of income dries up, you'll still have money
flowing your way.
Here are five niches to consider. Pick any three of them, and
you'll never be without water (income) again.
Marketing to apartment complexes
While a majority of first-time homebuyers can be found living in
apartment complexes, they may also be temporary housing for people
going through a divorce, getting married or transferring to a new
job. The beauty of marketing to apartment complexes is that once
you have the mailing addresses, you can market to them forever,
because the addresses never change, but the people who live there
do, so you are constantly marketing to new people.
Marketing to corporate accounts
This is not the same as calling on the human resource managers.
It's targeting mid-sized companies with bundled discounts of more
than $1,000, so you become the endorsed lender for all of their
employees. Why should you choose mid-sized companies? They are the
ones hardest hit with higher insurance premiums and retirement fees
for their employees. Choose companies where you have done loans for
their employees. Get them to endorse you. Create real,
honest-to-goodness savings by asking your appraiser to reduce his
fees, your title company to reduce its closing fees and your
financial planner and tax preparer to provide free services. I had
46 companies with a total of 36,000 employees that distributed my
brochures every single year.
No, I'm not talking about putting a sign in their yard or asking
them to refer their tire-kickers to you! These are the people who
have literally put a sign in their yard and told you that they are
selling a home and are ready to buy another one. You have two
opportunities here. The main goal is to get them pre-approved
before they sell their home. The headline on your letter should say
something like the following:
"Don't sell your home and discover that you can't buy
another one! Our free report tells you why it's critical that you
get pre-approved so that you don't find yourself homeless and
living under a bridge."
According to the National
Association of Realtors, on average, for-sale-by-owner sellers
will attempt to sell their homes themselves for an average of 75
days or less. They eventually get tired of the marketing and
holding open houses, and they take their homes off the market.
Opportunity number two is your ability to refer them to three real
estate agents of their choice when they decide to list their homes
Free report marketing
This is the way to add leads to your database. In fact, this is one
of the methods lead-generation companies use. Some loan officers
pay big money for leads like this. You don't have to, because you
can generate them yourself. You've seen the headlines and the
offers to send a free report published in real estate magazines.
But, there are other places to consider offering a free report,
such as the real estate classified ads (especially if there's a
special section for for-sale-by-owner sellers), the Yellow Pages, bar association
directories, the radio, TV or a toolbar on your Web site.
Real estate agents and builders
Begging for referrals is so last decade! Create a seminar series
with ideas on how real estate agents and builders can get more
business. Offer to train rookie agents on the top five loan
programs. Start a book club using business books as the basis of
discussions. Refer your for-sale-by-owner and apartment complex
leads to them. See if they want to be included in providing
commission discounts for your corporate marketing system. Turn the
table and create your own list of preferred agents.
Just remember one more thing: You are not violating RESPA by
offering discounts on behalf of yourself or other mortgage
professionals, because there are no kickbacks involved and the
discounts are for the benefit of the consumer.
In conclusion, don't put your eggs in one basket, many stones
make a mountain and many streams make a river!
Karen Deis is president of Consumer-Direct-Marketing.com
based in Hudson, Wis. and has been in the mortgage business for 28
years. She may be reached at (800) 535-3343 or e-mail email@example.com.