Announcing a whole new client for lifeâ€strategy for lendersBrent Houstonclient for life, business strategy, underwriting guidelines, sales leads, time management
For years, great businesses have seen increased profits with a
"client for life" commitment, and by quickly identifying that 20
percent of the customers create 80 percent of the revenue. Focusing
on those core "client for life" customers allows you to build a
solid bottom line. Over the last few years, with many lending
businesses, the bottom line started coming before the relationship
with the client. If you are a lender and want to continue to grow
and be in the market as it changes, get a hold of the strategies
below and understand the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20
rule or the law of the vital few) for building a solid business
and, more importantly, solid relationships.
In order to survive in today's climate, Mortgage Brokers need to
adopt a true "client for life" philosophy. No longer can a broker
simply view each customer or lender as a simple transaction.
Brokers must conduct a new way of thinking that has been true in
the most successful businesses for generations. It's no wonder that
the majority of lenders are getting out of the wholesale business
and marketing directly to the retail customer. Over the past
decade, excess flow of capital, loose underwriting guidelines and
pressures to meet investors funding demands created a culture
within the broker community to focus on solely obtaining new
transactions and not repeat business. This eventually led to the
collapse of the securitization market, as well as the downfall of
the Alt-A and sub-prime markets.
The credit crunch, following the collapse of the sub-prime and
Alt-A markets, has created challenges and uncertainty for many
Mortgage Brokers and lenders. Only those brokers who can adapt to a
new paradigm that strategically aligns their interest with the
interests of lenders and customers will survive the next generation
way of conducting business within the mortgage space. It's the
times of greatest uncertainty that offer some of the biggest
opportunities for professionals. For brokers to ensure their
survival, they need to be more focused and implement a strategic
"client for life" code of conduct.
The following 10 strategies are needed to help you transform a
world of chaos and negativity into a field of opportunity.
1. Create new strategies
Forget your complaints, and focus on new strategies to keep you in
business. Complaints only bring your attention to all of the
negativity and block your ability to strategically come up with a
new and improved business model. You will need 100 percent
dedication to formulating this new business strategy, and you just
don't have time to waste on negative thoughts. Make a conscious
effort to look and listen for what is going right, daily.
2. Focus on the present
Forget about the way it was in the past, and focus on how the
environment is today and tomorrow. Yes, the past can teach us
valuable lessons, but what we do know today is that the way
business was conducted yesterday didn't work. You need to focus on
what is needed today, which will lead to your ultimate survival.
Get a hold of what is working in other businesses. Too often we
focus on what others do wrong instead of looking for their
3. Focus on solutions
Forget about the difficulties, and focus on the solutions.
Inventors didn't create new gadgets, philosophers didn't create new
ways of thinking, and adventurers didn't discover that the world
was round because others told them their way was impossible. You
need to get yourself away from the herd mentality to find solutions
for today's climate. The herd will continue to support the limited
belief. Remember that newspapers would not print the original
success of the Wright brothers because man had proved he could not
4. Focus on opportunity
Forget about the losses, and focus on the opportunities. Negativity
creates further negativity. By simply focusing on all of the
opportunities life has to bring us, we will create more
opportunity. Don't let this business pass by you. Be among those
that survive. Look for survivors, and find out what they are
5. Create value
Forget about the sales, and focus on how you create value. A
salesman needs to sell others on your idea, but creating value
brings customers who will refer other customers needing your
services. Value creates word of mouth marketing that no television
ad could ever create. According to studies, we are bombarded with
more than 3,000 advertising messages daily. Only those we trust get
their recommendations and referrals through to us.
6. Help others
Forget about yourself, and focus on helping others obtain their
goals. By putting others first, you will show others that you care
for their well-being. Customers deserve to be held with the utmost
respect, and you will be nicely rewarded for it.
7. Strengthen relationships
Forget about the transaction, and focus on strengthening your
relationship. Establishing relationships helps close the sale
without even selling a product or service. Become the expert
amongst your peers, and you will see your business prosper. When
people know that you are a resource of knowledge, they turn to you.
They see the value that you bring to the table. Delivering value to
your relationships helps strengthen them; therefore, transactions
no longer exist.
8. Time management
Forget about being reactionary, and focus on time management.
Customers want to deal with professionals in high demand. Use your
time wisely by having set times to check voicemails, return calls,
schedule meetings with your clients (so you may interview your
client without being interrupted) and schedule set marketing
programs (so you are consistently in the mind of your customers).
The best leaders and business builders always respond, and
responsiveness requires good time management.
9. Become a partner
Forget about how your lender can help you, and focus on how you may
become a partner with your lender. In today's volatile marketplace,
lenders feel more comfortable when their interest is aligned with
their clients (i.e., the Mortgage Broker). Let the lender know that
your philosophy is alongside with their philosophy, and that you
will remain in constant contact with the client throughout the life
of the loan to ensure that the loan performs. This requires
stepping away from the old turn-and-burn mentality of the industry.
It requires a complete overhaul of your values and beliefs, and,
most of all, it requires your commitment to become your lenders
10. Be a mortgage planner
Forget about simply being a Mortgage Broker, and focus on how you
can make a lifetime change in your client's life by being a
professional mortgage planner. Clients' financial situations
continuously change due to job loss, inheritance, marital status,
or even a death in the family. Becoming their life planner will
ensure a lifetime of business. While everyone else is going out of
business or trying to revitalize files, separate yourself by being
your clients true assettheir professional mortgage planner.
Adhering to these 10 simple strategies will lead to life-long
relationships, thus creating business opportunities and surviving
these turbulent times. Most importantly, it will allow you to
maintain good quality of life standards. It is important to bring
more professionalism within the mortgage business, and customers
are counting on you. As most great business owners, salespeople and
leaders know: People work with people they like. We are attracted
to people like ourselves and people that care about our welfare.
Take the time to listen to your clients, build trust and allow them
to see that you are in it for the long-term. When you get a feel
for all that is necessary to live life to the fullest, you will
build great relationships which will harvest new opportunities,
rewarding you with repeat business and an abundance of referrals.
Creating "clients for life" is not a business philosophy, but a way
of life. Enjoy your new beginning.
Brent Houston is chief operating officer and co-founder of
Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Bridgelock Capital. He may
be reached at (818) 206-0657, ext. 1008 or e-mail [email protected]