How to lock up your past borrowers for repeat transactionsScott Tuckerleads, past borrower, automated systems, past borrower retention system
While most are now looking for something else to do for a
living, those serious about staying in the mortgage business are
again thinking hard about what they can do to make it possible to
stay. Many of those determined to stay in the business have decided
to stay because they've seen all this before and know we're nearing
the bottom and soon there will be another move upward. Besides, all
the folks who weren't serious about this business have already
left. That started last spring, and the last few months of
credit-market wobbliness put a good scare into them.
So, now that all the "non-hackers," used car guys and refi
boomers have left the business, let's talk candidly about smart
things you can do to keep the money coming in. Well, let's at least
talk about one of them.
I know, I know; everyone wants leads. Folks can never get enough
leads. But you know what's better than a fresh, new lead? A past
borrower is better. You are most likely currently ignoring yours.
It's not your fault, because that's what most loan officers and
brokers do. But is it smart? Is it something you should be
doing--something you can afford to keep neglecting in this
It costs a lot to get a new borrower. But it costs very little
to stay in touch with automated systems and a past borrower
What's that? Well, an effective past borrower retention system
has the following features:
1. Periodic "just calling to see how you're doing"
voicemail messages left on your past borrowers' voicemail/answering
machines in your voice
No, I do not mean that you have to spend all day Saturday calling
all of your past borrowers. This is done for you automatically by a
voice-broadcast system that leaves messages only on voicemails and
answering machines. You record one message, and then they're
delivered for you, right onto their voicemail! Hundreds are sent
all at once. Your past borrowers think you called and left them a
message just to check in and see how they're doing!
2. Periodic personalized picture postcards from
Just take a picture any old time with your digital camera, whether
it's with your dog, playing with your kids or at dinner with your
wife. It doesn't matter what the picture is, but it should be a
part of your private life that your borrowers wouldn't normally
see. This picture gets made into a picture postcard, you write a
little message once and it gets mailed to all your past borrowers
the very next day.
3. Periodic hardcover books on financial
Nope, you don't do these one by one either, and you don't pay full
price for these books. You buy them for 10 cents on the dollar from
a remainder house, have them shipped for you in personal-looking
padded envelopes by your mailing house and have your very own
handwriting font used to do the addressing and write a little note
that goes inside the envelope. Your past borrowers come away
thinking that you shop for them at Barnes & Noble! This
is a very high-impact technique.
What each of these things does is get past borrowers chasing you
on the phone to say "thanks," say "hi" and call to see how you are
doing. Some will call and say, "I've been meaning to ask you about
... " and ask you for a new loan. But even if a customer is only
calling to thank you for the book, pitch him on refinancing, buying
a bigger house or a second house, referring a friend to you or
whatever else is appropriate for his situation. These are only
three of the very easy and automated things you can do to your past
borrower list. Just keeping in touch, saying "hi" and sending
little gifts let them know that, yes, you're still in business and
that you are the guy where you live that does what you do! Morning,
noon and night, large brokerages and lending firms are trying to
steal your past borrowers like foxes in the henhouse. You must put
a fence around your property and keep the hens from being snatched
right out from under your nose.
By using this past borrower retention system, not only do you
keep past borrowers from being stolen from you, but you make money
on the whole thing, as well. A nurtured past borrower list can be
counted on for a few refis per month, no matter what the rates are
(and a couple referrals a month, too).
Done right, you make far, far more than you spend. In fact, I
most often see a return on investment of $100 for every $1 spent!
Getting new borrowers is fine, but keeping past borrowers is not
only easier, but much, much more profitable!
Scott Tucker is a veteran Mortgage Broker and loan officer
concentrating in sub-prime mortgages. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or through his company's Web site at www.mortgagemarketinggenius.com.