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<STRONG>Eight quick credit tips to combat the credit crunch</STRONG>

Jan 28, 2008

What your dentist can teach you about marketingJeffrey Nelsonmaking contacts, marketing race, creating visibility, content strategies, insider information, marketing campaigns Even if you dread a visit to the dentist, you probably think about scheduling an appointment at least twice a year. Your dentist uses a simple marketing tool to make sure that you always keep him in your mind--the semi-annual postcard. This little postcard is important because it reminds you to schedule an appointment, and it's also a great referral reminder. What could you possibly learn from this postcard? It's simple. Your dentist uses the mailer to make sure he establishes visibility with clients. Most mortgage professionals suffer from a common ailment: they become the invisible man (or woman) with real estate agents. Because they aren't actively reaching out to agents, they are out of sight, out of mind. While a postcard might motivate you to make a dental appointment, studies show that it takes an average of seven to 12 contacts before people take action. Are you making seven contacts with agents? If you aren't making yourself visible to agents, you're losing the marketing race. Contacts with content Can you imagine meeting with an agent seven times? Of course you can't. The real estate agent would probably file a restraining order. But you can make repeated contacts with the agent and keep yourself in the top-of-mind position. You need to find ways of making contact with agents in a way that not only reminds them of you and your business, but also imparts information, establishes credibility and positions you as a mortgage expert. In other words, you need contacts that have substantial content. You can accomplish this easily enough through your marketing efforts. By delivering repeated contacts (postcards, brochures, mailers, e-mail newsletters, etc.), you create visibility with the agent in a non-intrusive manner. And, with careful design, these contacts can provide the content you desire--the proof of your expertise. Your content strategies can include the following: Tips or ideas for improving business When you become a specialist in a niche, you become recognized as an expert. You solve business problems, share your knowledge and demonstrate your expertise for agents. There are plenty of opportunities to establish this expertise. It simply takes time to investigate and uncover opportunities by learning the agent's business and needs. For instance, they may need help increasing client loyalty, producing more traffic to open houses, staying in touch with clients, etc. When you deliver information on improving business, you get noticed. Insider information Many agents want to know the inside track on the mortgage industry because it establishes them as the expert with other agents and clients. Share information on current market conditions and new loan programs. Information from other sources As an industry professional, undoubtedly you've met a number of other essential and valuable professionals--accountants, financial managers, tax specialists, contractors, landscapers, etc. Ask these professionals for information to share with your database in newsletters. Your network of sources can assist you with composing content while enhancing their credibility at the same time. Success stories Proof of your expertise and ability is right at your fingertips--satisfied clients. All too often, mortgage professionals are afraid to toot their own horn for fear of sounding like they're bragging. Actually, you can deliver success stories or testimonials in a compelling and interesting manner through newspaper-like articles. A well-crafted article with supporting quotes from satisfied clients delivers your success story in a neutral and factual accounting without the appearance of boasting. It establishes social proof of your abilities and expertise. Innovation in progress Are you the kind of person who loves technology? Do you regularly attend conferences and training sessions? If so, you have information that could help agents improve their businesses. You can also find a wealth of information online, such as product and tech reviews. Some excellent sources for information are and Leisure news Too many real estate agents and mortgage professionals send out recipes with their postcards. That's not quite the kind of leisure information that inspires credibility. However, if you meet an agent who enjoys a particular hobby, provide that person with useful information, magazine subscriptions (check your local RESPA laws) or complimentary copies of a leisure magazine. Of course, you have to tailor this to each agent. Without relevant content, your marketing efforts will fall short and be relegated to the trash can. But thoughtful marketing campaigns result in contacts that establish you as an industry expert and keep you at the top of agents' minds. Of course, there's one other element your dentist uses so successfully--a call to action. Each postcard from your dentist includes an invitation to call and schedule an appointment. If your contacts don't include a call to action--an invitation to get more information--your efforts fall short. Who knew that your dentist was a marketing expert? By employing his techniques of regularly scheduled contacts, you establish value, credibility and the top-of-mind visibility that brings success to your mortgage practice. After beginning his career promoting Tom Hopkins professional development courses to real estate agents and mortgage professionals, Jeffrey Nelson formed Salesachievers Inc. to exclusively train loan officers on how to earn more referrals from real estate agents. He is the author of the program, "Become an Agent Magnet." He may be reached at (800) 930-8350.
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