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Don't Forget Your 2012 Marketing Plan: Enhance Purchase Business!

Al Crisanty
Aug 17, 2012

It’s the middle of 2012. You had an excellent marketing plan when the year began. You believed that 2012 might be a year of transition from the heavily refinance-driven market to one more focused on core purchase business. You wanted to get ahead of the curve by reestablishing and strengthening your real estate agent and referral base. As the year started, it appeared your instincts were right on the money. However, somewhere around the beginning of February, the seemingly strengthening U.S. economy began to slow and mortgage rates began to fall. The U.S. job market, which had been making progress, turned negative. Housing sales, surprisingly strong through the early winter, turned weaker. Across the board, from manufacturing to retail sales, the measures of the U.S. economy moved lower. Added to this was a renewed crisis in Europe. Finally, changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and more recently, the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Streamline Refinance program, continue to support a refinance market that is the best in years. Your analysis of the future mortgage industry was accurate—just a little premature. So, how do you, the mortgage loan sales professional, prepare to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to capture as much refinance business as possible while maintaining and growing your purchase business referral base for the future? I. Customer service, customer service, customer service Mortgage origination is, always has been, and always will be, a service-oriented business. The degree to which you can differentiate yourself from your competition by setting and meeting expectations, delivering on timelines and keeping your customers and referral sources informed through the origination process will determine your level of success in the coming purchase market. II. Communicate your “UVP” Make sure, as you are communicating with your customers, real estate agents, CPAs and financial advisors, that you are consistently reminding them of your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Do you use a loan presentation system? Do you employ a unique status update system? Are you a specialist with certain product or customer types? Whatever sets you apart—you need to communicate it repeatedly. Broker clients of our firm are utilizing our HARP and Fannie Mae Expanded Approval offerings to establish their expertise as it relates to specialized government programs. Our clients are also able to utilize our innovative technology platform, including a “live chat” feature to answer questions and stay fully informed during the loan approval process. III. Be a sales professional From the clothes you wear, to the appearance of your office, you need to reflect that you are a professional. If you expect to attract and work with other professionals as clients and referral partners, then you need to look and act the part. Once the mortgage market shifts from refinance-oriented to purchase-oriented, you’ve missed your chance. By giving in to the seduction of the continued “refinance boom,” tossing your plans in the trash and thus postponing preparation to hope for the best, you can seize the opportunity to prepare for the changes and use the time to “cast a wider net.” This establishes yourself as a true sales professional and a valued resource to your customers. As we have seen repeatedly in our industry, change is inevitable and even necessary for growth and survival. Just as the mortgage industry experienced a cataclysm of change in the past few years, the industry will continue to change in the years to come. If you are willing to embrace change, create a plan of action to capitalize on the changes, and work hard to differentiate yourself from the competition then you will maintain your customer base and succeed in any environment. Al Crisanty is vice president of national wholesale production for 360 Mortgage Group and is responsible for overseeing territory sales managers as the company seeks to expand operations to all 50 states. Al has accumulated more than 25 years of management and leadership experience in the mortgage industry, holding positions in secondary marketing, retail, wholesale and correspondent lending. Formerly the national wholesale director for Caliber Funding, Al was responsible for the development and expansion of Caliber’s wholesale production channel. Additionally, Al served as executive vice president of national production for American Home Mortgage, successfully transitioning the 500-member production team from Capital Commerce Mortgage Company after its closure. Al may be reached by phone at (916) 761-1624 or e-mail [email protected]
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