Growing your business is essential and finding qualified prospects can be extremely difficult. Having a reliable marketing campaign enables you to grow at your own pace and plan for the future, no matter where the mortgage industry takes you. These three factors MUST be considered before setting out to accomplish this task:
You must be willing to pay for good customers. Do the math: Take the total dollars made from commissions or basis points, or whatever your pay plan and subtract your desired profit margin and costs associated with the file. What’s left is the reasonable amount you could spend to acquire a new customer. The average acquisition cost per customer in the mortgage industry is between $600-$1,200. That cost, multiplied by the amount of new customers you want per month, will determine your monthly budget. Don’t worry if it seems astronomically high. You’ll want to ramp up over time.
Take a look at your sales approach. Do you hard sell, or wait for the customer to ask how they buy from you? If you are a closer you will keep your acquisition costs low. If not, you will need to spend more to hire salespeople, or pay for better marketing. It’s always more cost-effective to do the work yourself, but anyone can have an effective marketing campaign, regardless of their sales ability. Knowing how you best sell allows you to find the right type of marketing campaign for your needs.
Dissect your close ratio and plan your return-on-investment (ROI). Take the number of loans you closed over the last 90 days and divide that by the total number of “leads” (or interested prospects). That will give you a reasonable close ratio. You should find yourself anywhere from five percent to 15 percent, on average.
Key factors that will contribute to the overall success of your campaign:
1. Planned growth: How many new customers you want to add every month.
2. Acquisition cost: How much you can afford to spend per customer.
3. Approach: The best type of marketing to work with your abilities and your budget.
4. ROI: The expected return on your investment.
Now that you know where you stand, ask around about what marketing programs fit within your acquisition cost and sales style. Direct mail, mortgage leads, live transfers, data lists, etc. … these campaigns are all tried and true, and will fit into most any marketing strategy. Don’t try to take this on yourself. You are a mortgage professional, not a marketing expert, so let the pros guide you through the process. Call a marketing firm, NOT A LEADS COMPANY—a marketing firm.
Talk with people who understand your business. There are some companies that will take the time to explain what works and what doesn’t and explain exactly why. You will be able to rule out certain types of marketing and advertising because they don’t match either your sales style or your budget. Better to know up front, before spending your hard earned money.
Once you find the right program, test it a few times on a small level. Don’t blow your whole budget on the first trial. Test, test and re-test. Once you prove it is profitable, THEN spend every dollar you can spare on it. And finally, you’ll be in control of how much money you make!
Medford, Ore.-based TagQuest is a full-service marketing firm created specifically for the ever-changing business world. TagQuest assists companies with their direct marketing, advertising and branding needs, and knows what it takes to generate quality customers and, most importantly, how to retain those customers for years to come. TagQuest brings forth a unique opportunity to utilize our experience and expertise in varying consumer sales and marketing environments. For more information, call (866) 376-5540 or visit Tagquest.com.