Speed marketing for loan officers: Digging for oil wells in your mortgage business Geoff Zimpferbusiness plans
Are you ready for your best year ever? Have you got your
business plan in place? Your target markets identified? How would
you like to own six, seven or even 10 oil wells that consistently
spew rivers of black gold from the ground and all you have to do is
hold your bucket out to catch enough oil and you'll be richer than
'ole Jed Clampett himself? Just imagine, you could follow in the
footsteps of the Beverly Hillbillies and " ... move to the land of
swimming pools and movie stars."
So what's an oil well in our business? An oil well is any source
of business that, once located, drilled and tapped, continues to
produce business without significant, continual effort on our part.
If part of your business plan this year is to grow your purchase
business and no longer live and die by the refi, there simply is no
better oil well for originators than our friendly local real estate
agent. Now, stay with me here. I know what you're thinking: "Real
estate agents are XXX!" Just fill in the blank because I've heard
it all before.
According to the National
Association of Realtors, 40 percent of homebuyers get their
mortgage from whoever their agent recommends and 28 percent of
homebuyers already have a mortgage person they know or have worked
with before. That means if you're counting on advertising or
prospecting to fill your pipeline with purchase money loans, 68
percent of the market is already gone. So all your advertising is
chasing just 32 percent of the market! Even worse, for every $100
you spend on advertising to attract homebuyers, you're immediately
down to just $32 because 68 percent of every dollar spent is
skimmed off the top - already spoken for in the marketplace. Would
you put your money in an investment that took 68 percent of your
money right off the top?
Most of the frustrations in working with real estate agents come
from originators lacking a proven system for finding, drilling and
tapping those agents who will become referral producing oil wells
in your business. If you were going to drill for oil, wouldn't it
make sense to have a plan? First you have to find the oil. Doing
open houses, dropping by offices without an invitation, cold
calling and running "me too" advertising is about as effective as
drilling for oil by throwing darts at a map. It's completely random
and produces unpredictable results that lead to burnout and
frustration, yet most originators keep repeating this insanity
hoping that they'll hit pay dirt. Eventually, you fall prey to the
belief that there's no oil in your backyard and you go back to
doing refis, buying leads, trying direct mail or even cold calling
Let's quickly look at how we locate and dig for oil wells in our
business. First, we have to locate where the oil is among the local
real estate agent population. One of the biggest mistakes
originators make trying to find agent relationships is to simply
push information about their services and themselves out to agents
hoping that this will result in attracting referrals. Because
agents are already bombarded daily by other originators using this
same approach, it rarely produces the response from agents you
An alternative to what I call the "push and pray approach" is to
pull agents in by providing useful information that helps them
overcome their nagging business problems. One way to do this is by
hosting wow-factor seminars for your local agents that add value to
their businesses while positioning you as a leader and becoming a
valuable resource for their business. Only then do you begin to
earn the right to pursue a relationship with them. What you've now
done is engaged in reverse prospecting by having agents seek you
out and what you have to offer. Of course, some oil wells produce
better than others. By hosting seminars, you expedite the process
of locating the producing oil wells because you're now sifting
through hundreds of agents at a time versus one at a time.
Just what are wow-factor seminars? These are not seminars
dealing with the latest contract changes, by-laws, committee
meetings, etc. Here's a sample of proven topics that put agents'
butts in the seats and loans in your pipeline: "Instant Tax Relief
for Realtors;" "Gain the Inside Edge - Secrets of America's Top
Producing Realtors;" "The Power of Focus - How to Hit Your
Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Certainty;"
and "Survival of The Fittest - How to Thrive and Profit In Today's
Real Estate Market." Hosting these types of events for your local
agents is the first step to quickly finding lots of potential oil
wells that you can then move to the next step, which is drilling
for the oil, or, in our case, getting loan referrals.
You'll have a mixed bag of duds and studs among your oil wells
and some that just take a little longer to produce than others.
It's important to recognize this upfront so that you don't get
discouraged or stop drilling before that well pays off. But that's
equally true whether you're digging for real estate agent referrals
the same old slow painful way everyone else does or hosting
wow-factor seminars. It's just a lot easier and quicker finding
those referral producing oil wells when your first appointment is
with 187 agents at once versus the slow death of open houses, board
meetings or any other method you've tried with little results.
When you're drilling for a large number of real estate agent
wells - which you will be when you host your own seminars - the
only way to effectively manage the process is by having a system to
handle most of the heavy lifting for you. There are a lot of moving
parts involved in hosting seminars that are most likely not your
core competency. Staying focused on your mortgage business is a
better use of your time and resources.
Things you should consider outsourcing:
- Marketing/promotions (e.g. filling the room);
- Speaker selection/topic;
- Co-sponsor selection/support;
- Database/list management; and
- Post-event marketing/follow-up.
Once you've experienced the feeling of seeing a room full of 50,
100, 200 or more agents eager to listen to you, heard the positive
feedback, booked appointments, closed loans and cashed your
commission checks, you too will become a true believer in the power
of hosting seminars to quickly boost your agent referral business.
You will also eliminate the common frustrations many originators
struggle with when working to build a real estate agent referral
business. Better yet, you'll have more fun working with agents
because you now have a system you use to dig for oil wells that
will continue to produce a steady, reliable source of purchase
business for you. It's really just a matter of how many oil wells
you want and how fast you can find them. Now go get yourself some
oil wells, ya hear, and make it a great year!
Geoff Zimpfer is a loan officer and creator of Speed
Marketing for Mortgage Brokers: How to Get Maximum Realtors in
Minimum Time. He can be reached at (949) 584-9943 or visit his Web
site for a free report at www.speedmarketingsystem.com.