Caleb Guillory is president of TagQuest Inc., a leader in the direct marketing, prospect management and lead generation arenas. Based in Medford, Ore., TagQuest works with many leading financial services firms and has deep experience working with mortgage lenders to enhance their sales process. Through its data-driven, customized targeted marketing campaigns, TagQuest helps mortgage sales teams directly reach qualified prospects and close more loans.
Tag Quest’s Web-based reporting capabilities, such as its Leads Tracker, allow the firm’s clients to increase control over sales and marketing efforts, improve efficiency and productivity, as well as gain control over lead tracking and account status. TagQuest’s solutions also drive sales and marketing productivity, which allows clients to lower customer acquisition costs and drive new revenue opportunities through superior customer care. To learn more about TagQuest, visit www.tagquest.com.
National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently sat down with Caleb Guillory to get an update on TagQuest.
Can you give our readers some background on how TagQuest was founded?
TagQuest was started in 2004 as a data provider selling data lists and pre-screened leads from the credit bureaus and other data files. The company evolved into a full-service marketing firm out of necessity. Once a client had the data or leads in their hands, they wanted but more importantly needed, to know how to effectively market directly to their potential customer.
The mortgage industry has always been our top market and will continue to be as we move forward. We understand the mortgage business and what our clients need to be successful, especially in a purchase-driven market. Our mortgage industry expertise and our full understanding of all compliance rules/regulations allows TagQuest to target a better prospect, with a higher conversion rate and a higher return-on-investment.
What are the keys to the success of TagQuest’s product offerings?
Our unique value proposition is called “Customized Customer,” and has three key criteria: (1) Lasts the longest; (2) Is the easiest to work with; and (3) Is the most profitable. This approach is the backbone of our company. In addition, saving our clients time saves them money. We don’t have “widgets.” We customize each campaign for our client based on their needs. Most marketing companies have one or two products or services that they offer. We have hundreds. It does lengthen the startup process for new companies using sophisticated marketing techniques for the first time, but our clients agree that it is the right process. Being able to offer a full spectrum of marketing services allows our clients to have a one-stop marketing firm they can grow with and change their campaign as the industry changes. It eliminates the need for clients to move from one marketing company to another, which has become common for many mortgage lenders and professionals.
If I had to pick a second key to our success, it would have to be compliance. We are one of the most compliant marketing firms in the nation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is looking closely at predatory lending and paying close attention to how mortgage lenders are marketing. Even though we are not a legal entity, we are able to help our clients get education on compliance and how it could affect them.
What is TagQuest’s current client focus?
At this time, it seems we are working with and getting new inquiries from larger corporate companies that have national licensing. But, we have a strong niche within the mortgage industry and work with many start-ups and mid-tier lenders. We pride ourselves on being able to help everyone, no matter what type of loans they write, the channel they originate in, or location or size.
What type of growth is the company experiencing?
Over the last three years, we have grown by over 300 percent. Year to date in 2013, we are currently tracking at a run rate of 200 percent over the same period in 2012. We are growing rapidly and to manage that growth, we just opened a satellite office in Seattle, Wash.
What exactly is driving your growth?
Our laser focus on execution and our "no customer left behind" philosophy. We are not a company that just rides the waves. We do our best to create new waves. Our newest product line includes “Live Transfer Leads” that seem to be creating quite a buzz and demand in the mortgage industry.
But as far as driving force, that credit would have to go to our talented sales team. We are relentless about following up and diligent in our outbound marketing efforts. Marketing sometimes gets put on the back burner, so we stay on top of our clients ensuring they don’t miss opportunities.
Can you give us a little more detail on “Live Transfer Leads?”
TagQuest provides exclusive live transfer leads 24/7 to match any lead generation model our clients use. One of the frustrations with the purchase market has been how long the loans take to fund. Some firms even suggest using aged Internet leads for the purchase market. We listened to our clients and are utilizing multiple channels from outbound to inbound telemarketing and blending data lists with real-time and aged leads. Then, we call the prospect, make sure they are qualified, interested and transfer them to our clients live to speak with them—real-time marketing.
For refinance live transfers, we use select criteria, such as loan amount, credit rating, loan type, interest rate and many others to pre-qualify the prospect before transferring a call. Our clients are realizing significant returns. One of our success stories was able to get seven sets of signed docs back to his office within three days of receiving his first call. In those three days, he received a total of 21 calls. That’s a 33 percent close ratio and that doesn’t take into account his pipeline and how many more loans he will fund from the program. The program is making the mortgage business fun again and delivering results.