Champagne marketing on a beer budgetMitch Millertelemarketing, mass mailing, buying leads, past clients, letters
The catch-22 of the loan originator is: "I don't have enough
money to do any marketing." You will never have any money if you
don't do any marketing. It is a longstanding conundrum. However,
like most struggles, there is an answer.
I think most of the problem is a lack of creativity. We tend to
think in terms of telemarketing, mass mailing, or buying leads from
someone else. You are much better off doing your own marketing or
having marketing done for you, specifically. It is also a fact that
marketing does not have to be done on some grand scale with
thousands of mailers or television airtime. You don't have to spend
thousands of dollars on lists and thousands more on postage. You
can develop an excellent list. You can put together a mailer and
send it. You can generate a great response by doing it yourself.
You just need to know how to do it.
Recently, I sent a letter to a list of about 70 people. That's
right—only 70 people. You might think I didn't get any
response at all to such a small mailing. I actually had 12
responses altogether to the letters, and approved and closed six
loans as a result. There is actually a strong possibility that I
could close four more loans from that mailing. Do you think you can
afford to send 70 letters? I think you probably can.
This is what I did to generate the mailing—many of you can
do the same thing. I worked off a list of past clients. Guess how
much my list cost. If you guessed zero dollars, you guessed
correctly. To start out, I gathered a list of clients who had
previously used our services to help finance their homes. I sent
these clients a letter thanking them again for their past business.
I also selected people who had purchased homes approximately one
year ago. Many of these folks were sub-prime at the time, and some
of them were on a Fannie Mae
MyCommunityMortgage loan program. I offered these clients a special
low-cost refinance to help in the current mortgage crunch, so they
wouldnt be subjected to an adjusting rate.
For a couple of hours of work addressing and stamping envelopes
by hand and about $28 in postage, I made about $28,000. Now that is
return on investment.
Here are the keys to making this work for you. Address and stamp
the envelopes by hand, and take an extra minute to include a
handwritten sentence in the letter. For example: "Hi, Tom. I can
really save you some money. Call me." Go through your list and make
sure you are sending the letter to people who have the correct
title seasoning for your program. If you have clients on a 2/28
mortgage, don't wait until their rate is about to expire! If you
wait until the rate expires to contact these clients, they will
have already refinanced with someone else. Make a deadline for the
special offer. Send a follow up letter. I sent a deadline reminder
to any of the original 70 who hadn't responded to my initial
letter, and I picked up a few more responses. Do not send anything
Needless to say, part of my monthly routine now includes sending
these letters. But what if you are new to the business and dont
have a big list of past clients to draw from? Depending on where
you work, it is possible that your office doesn't have a specific
person to follow up with past customers in a personal way. You
might go to your manager and offer to follow up with past clients.
There are a lot of ways to market yourself which don't cost a
bundle. You are better off marketing to a smaller list on a
personal level several times than marketing to a huge list once or
twice. If you have more time than money, do as much of the work as
you can. If you follow these steps consistently, you will soon have
more money than time. Then you can look into having some of the
work done for you or expanding your marketing efforts.
The most important things to remember with all marketing are:
Offer yourself as a solution to a problem, find the people with the
problem you want to solve and offer them the solution over and over
again in a personal way. Right now is a tremendous opportunity to
market yourself in our business. I hope you will put in the
targeted effort and reap great rewards.
Mitch Miller is a 10-year veteran of the mortgage industry,
with experience as both a broker and banker. He can be reached
through his Web site www.allmortgageanswers.com
or e-mail [email protected]