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National Mortgage Professional
Jan 30, 2006

Market atypically for extraordinary resultsJoe CornoMortgage leads What do your grocery store manager, your hair stylist and your chiropractor have in common? They all make money from you. Because their livelihood depends, in part, on your money, all of them want you to be successful. My suggestion is to get these sources to help you succeed by enlisting them to market your business. When you're standing in the checkout line, sitting in the salon chair or being tweaked by the chiropractor, why not ask to use their business locations to set up a giveaway? It could be, for example, a contest to win $50 of groceries, a perm and style or bone cracking that you will pay for. Go through your check register or debit/credit statements. Market to those where you yourself go to purchase things. You'll be at the veterinarian, the school and the pizza place anyway, so why not ask to put a drawing box up to give away products or services where you are shopping? Builders, insurance agents and other professionals in the periphery will become a byproduct of your atypical and unique lead generation system. You can market them as they come into play, but the important point is to generate buyers before they become buyers and sellers before they become sellers. Create an entry form to gauge customer responses. The contest entry form that you develop should request certain responses from the contestants. Ask for a name, address and phone number. List a simple survey that needs to be completed to be eligible for the drawing, such as which of the following categories the consumer fits into: first-time homebuyer, relocating to next home, refinancing, equity/debt consolidation, construction loan, home-improvement loan or, most importantly, not interested--in that order. Provide a simple, cardboard, ballot-type box for completed entry forms. Place a small, computer-generated, color poster above it that summarizes the grand prize and the contest rules, such as "Win $50 in stuff," "Must be 18 or older to enter," "One entry per household," and "Must complete survey." To start, go to the places that you go to every day. Ask to see the owner/manager and express to him that you love his store. Compliment him on something that you love about the store. Offer a paid contest to give away $50 worth of products or services that he has. Be sure to explain that it will be an unmanned display. If he asks what you get out of it, tell him. Have an entry form available to stress the no-pressure approach and the not interested survey choice. Promise that you are only going to call those who mark an interest on the form and keep your promise. Place boxes in locations for a specific time period, depending on the logistics of the location. Place your box in a grocery store for only one week to reduce the amount of repeat customers. For lower-traffic or non-repeat locations, like a plant nursery, two months is a good amount of time. In a place like a restaurant, the amount of time the box can be left is at your discretion. However, empty the entries every day for two reasons: to work the leads promptly and to reduce the amount of theft perpetrated by identity thieves and unscrupulous fellow industry people. Properly marked and complete leads are all warm leads. The cold calling (not interested) leads are sorted from the interested leads. There is almost going to be an equal ratio of warm to cold leads, but the system has shown you whom not to call. The warm leads want someone to contact them. You will need to call them at three different times of day: day, night and on the weekend. Call in the order that the form lists them. Contact first-time homebuyers within two days, or they will go elsewhere for their financing. Call those relocating within five days, refinancing within seven days, home improvement within 10 days and construction within 14 days. By sorting the leads in priority order, they are manageable and net the best return. Do not call any left blank or not interested leads. No one likes to be called after requesting to be left alone. Instead, develop a mailer system to send to these leads; they are not necessarily dead leads just because they are cold leads. They may be cold leads for two specific reasons: they have detrimental credit and/or they have no down payment saved. They do not wish to get their hopes up (and they have requested not to be contacted by phone), so send them two separate mailers, instead. The first mailing should be on credit repair and the second should be on down payment assistance and 100 percent financing. The envelopes need to invite the consumer to open them as well. Handwrite (or use a handwriting font) to address the first envelope, and make the second a window envelope, making it appear like a bill. This will net the best results. You need to think small when using this lead generating system. A major chain grocery store will create 300-plus interested leads daily. You will not have time to market the leads and you do not need that many, anyway. You would implode with the mounting leads, your staff would quit from exhaustion and you would be a disservice to the people wanting you to call them. When the contest, giveaway or seminar winner is selected, let the owner/manager of the local business notify him, and be sure to properly divide all of the leads among your sales staff, as well. If you stray from these specific instructions and let the number of leads get out of hand, you will not be able to respond to the demand for your services. You must always deliver the best service, because the referrals from the leads will replace and outlast this lead generation system. Joseph Corno is president of Utah-based We Be Consulting and Seminars. He may be reached at (801) 836-2077 or via e-mail at [email protected]
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