Make the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence
We all know the mortgage industry is a completely different world than it was just a few years ago. Market and regulatory changes have transformed the way we do business, including: ►How we compensate sales staff, and to some degree, who we hire. ►Our marketing messages … what we can no longer say. ►How we select business partners, and how we are allowed to partner and promote with them. ►How we generate new business, including the way we capture and nurture new leads. Your seasoned staff may find the current atmosphere challenging as they work harder for the loans they close. They reminisce about the ease of doing business in the past—and, in fact, many loan officers are perennially in search of the good old days; always looking for greener grass on the other side of the fence. As for newer originators, they just want to make a living, and it takes time to build a database of prospects and clients. Many grow impatient, and, like their more seasoned counterparts, begin to look over the fence for greener grass. As a branch or sales manager, mortgage office owner or exec, what can you do to combat this “greener grass” syndrome? Bottom line, you need to give them solid tools and show them ways to generate business. Guaranteed has identified several tried-and-true strategies that work. Let’s begin with a few online tools for gathering new leads. Your Web site It boils down to this: The more pages you can get a prospect to view on your Web site, the more engaged they will be and the more sold on using YOU. That means every Web page you have or create must answer the question “WIIFM,” or, “What's In It For Me.” Here’s what you need to do to optimize your site: ►You need to be blogging or adding fresh content regularly that is valuable to homeowners and buyers. ►You need a strong, visible call-to-action on every page. ►You need to review your website analytics so you’ll know the search terms people use to find and visit your site, then you need to blog or add content using those specific keywords and phrases. Lastly, you need to tie your follow-up e-mails back to your Web site. In your e-mails, mention tools found on your Web site that potential clients will need. Which leads us to: Your e-mail nurturing campaigns Create a series of drip campaigns using the e-mail segment of your LMS (Lead Management System), or a third-party vendor such as MailChimp.com, which is free for a subscriber list of up to 2,000. For unqualified buyers/leads, send credit repair tips and down payment assistance ideas. For prequalified leads, send information such as pre-home purchase credit “do's and don'ts,” what to expect from an appraisal, steps to buying a home, and down payment options. Refer them to your website in every e-mail via a link to new information they will find useful. Coach your sales team to adopt a strategy of persistence: They may have to make contact with a single prospect 15 or 20 times before they’re convinced that loan officer is the one they should work with. Yet most sales people stop after two contacts, leaving 80 percent of the business on the table. Nowadays, it seems that no matter how prospects find you, they want to check you out online. The more pages your prospects view on your website, the more they're sold on YOU, so sales manager, it's your job to make sure your sales team has these basic online tools. Jean LeBlanc is director of marketing for Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company. For more marketing tips, download the eBook, 13 Ways to Juice Up Your Marketing in 2013, by going to joinghmc.com and clicking on the eBook offer midway down the page. She may be reached by phone at (914) 696-3400.