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Live in the now

August 17, 2008

A system that is just rightPaul WylieHome Buyers Marketing, Home Buyers Marketing II Inc., relationship-based system,
The story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" begins with three
bowls of porridge: One too hot, one too cold and one just right.
The story continues with chairs that are either too big or too
small and beds that are either too hard or too soft.
Finding that sweet spot is not easy. Just a few short years ago,
most mortgage professionals had more business than they ever
imagined. These days, most have considerable capacity and desire
more business. Many are finding it harder and harder to control the
volume of qualified buyer leads and loans coming through the
pipeline. Despite the market dip, those willing to commit to a
systematic and comprehensive business development system can
continue to give and receive qualified buyer leads.
Originators often ask me how it is possible to keep a steady
stream of clients in an industry that is so cyclical. In today's
market, now more than ever, success is contingent upon commitment
to a business development system such as Home Buyers Marketing
(HBM). When implemented with full force, the business development
system, combined with the separate real estate brokerage service
provided by Home Buyers Marketing II Inc. (HBM2), assures a
significant increase in qualified leads and clients. To be sure,
following any system with passion and consistency can bring more
than a 50 percent increase in business, but following this system
can bring more than a 100 percent increase.
Minneapolis-based HBM2 is a national real estate brokerage
services company operating in 400 major cites around the country.
Buyers who use the real estate service provided by HBM2 log in an
average of 53 times each month, as compared to 15 times a month for
other online real estate experience. The real estate sales platform
is customized for every homebuyer, who is granted access only after
communicating his financial ability to buy with a loan officer
working with HBM. The system recognizes several important facts
about the current lending environment:
•The real estate home search has moved to the Internet.
According to the National Association of Realtors 2006 Profile of
Home Buyers and Sellers, 86 percent of homebuyers actively used the
Internet to find their most recent home purchase. To position
themselves for success, mortgage originators must become a part of
the point of entry for a homebuyer's Internet search.
•The mortgage industry is largely relationship-based, with
the head of the economic chain being the real estate agent.
Mortgage originators typically receive most of their business from
real estate agents, and the system creates a pipeline, whereby
leads from real estate agents will increase. Historically, about 70
percent of all real estate agents introduce buyers to mortgage
originators. These buyers then go on to close loans through the
mortgage originator about 70 percent of the time. That means that
approximately 50 percent of all the country's buyer transactions
close through the mortgage originator introduced by the real estate
agent. By integrating into the HBM2 real estate sales system,
mortgage originators can significantly solidify meaningful,
long-term relationships with real estate agents who will direct
traffic their way.
•More than 50 percent of people who are "just looking" will
buy in the next 12 months. Knowing that 80 percent of people are
just looking, most real estate agents focus most of their energy on
those clients they believe are most likely to buy. However, more
than 50 percent of those just looking will buy within 12 months
from someone! If real estate agents do not have a system in place
to handle these leads with the mortgage professional of their
choice, the real estate agents miss future opportunities and
income. HBM2 catches the "just lookers" and places them on the real
estate agent's and originator's radar, allowing both to connect
with the potential buyer and strike when the time is right.
It works like this: Originators and real estate agents work with
HBM2, which gives potential homebuyers a unique login name and
password to access its online listing of homes for sale. The
homebuyer is given a detailed listing of homes matching his
personal search criteria. In addition to the usual bedroom, square
footage and lot size information, the Web site also provides
homebuyers with notifications about price reductions and new
listings. Full details of neighborhoods, school districts, voter
districts and anything else a consumer might need to know are also
available. Want to know how close the local Starbucks is to the
home? With HBM2, you've got it!
Best of all, the real estate selling system features an
electronic business card, including the picture and full contact
details, exclusively of the originator and real estate agent team
who are working with the buyer. Since buyers who use the system log
in about 53 times a month, mortgage originators have 636
opportunities to put their name and face in front of a buyer over
the course of a year.
As well, the system generates reports that tell mortgage
originators and real estate agents how often a potential buyer is
logging in and which houses they are following. In this way, the
system incubates the "just lookers," alerting both the mortgage
originator and real estate agent when buyers are getting warm and
then hot to buy. This information then feeds into the mortgage
originator's sales calls and e-mail marketing efforts, allowing the
originator to make smarter, more focused connections with potential
buyers.
This relationship-based system relies on an informal partnership
between a real estate agent and an originator, acting as an
accountability buddy. The teammates check in with each other
weekly, making sure the other teammate is aggressively entering and
following up with leads.
HBM has been in business for 15 years and is extremely
particular and passionate about its clients and preferred mortgage
lenders. In addition to the training, the system generally requires
a mortgage originator to spend 90 minutes a day following up on
existing and prospective new buyers (about 50 a week), and meeting
with their real estate partners. Originators are given extensive
training materials, which include activation meetings, manuals,
scripts, checklists and executive management training.
Those originators who have immersed themselves in this system
see increased loan activity and greater personal income. They form
deeper, more lasting relationships with real estate agents, which
encourages a real estate agent to make a specific mortgage
originator a critical point of contact for their clients. The HBM
system provides originators at participating companies a rare
opportunity to create long-term real estate agent relationships,
initiate relationships with buyers prior to the point of sale and
increase their income.
Paul Wylie is the founder and former chief executive officer
of Metrocities Mortgage. He may be reached at (818) 878-9581 or
e-mail paulwylie@paulwylie.com.

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