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Do You Know the Business You Are “Really” In?

Brian Sacks
Jul 26, 2016

We all think we are in the "mortgage business," but the truth is that no one really wants a mortgage. No one I know will ever wake up in the morning and say "Wow … I want a mortgage today!"

People do want a home. People do want security for their family. People do want an asset that will hopefully grow in value. People do want to enjoy a pool, basement, fireplace, etc. And, people do want to feel like they have achieved the American Dream.

Always sell benefits not features!

Most of the advertising that is done in the mortgage industry revolves around the rates we offer, terms of loans, and other “technical” aspects of the mortgage itself. We then get frustrated and wonder why everyone we speak to only wants to know our rates and points.

When we use this type of advertising of product features and costs, we invite the question we all hate the most. You might even want to stop here and write that one down. Paste it to your computer and read it BEFORE you begin any advertising initiatives.

The truth is that we are not even in the mortgage business.

Mortgages are simply a feature of what we sell. We are selling money and the best ways people can use their money wisely when purchasing a home.

You are actually in the “Marketing of Mortgages Business.” When you approach this business as a consultant with the understanding that I have laid out above, your business will change. You will generate more business, it will become much easier and your clients will be more loyal and happier. But how?

Yes, I realize that what you have read so far seems logical but you may be wondering how to actually do this in your own business. The first step of course is understanding the differences between features and benefits.

For example, you may see ads like this: “FHA loans … 30-year, fixed-rate … call for details.”

Now you understand that no one is waking up to say “Gee, I really need an FHA loan today. I better respond to this ad immediately.”

Instead, what if you said: “Looking to buy home, but don’t have a large downpayment? We have a program that allows you to put as little as 3.5 percent down. This program may work for you even if you have less than perfect credit” call us for details.”

The person reading the first ad is only thinking about rates and may even have no idea what FHA is or means. The second ad highlights the benefits of the FHA program and solves the challenges some buyers have. 

Let’s sum this all up and see the reasons why you need to focus your advertising and your initial conversations on benefits and asking questions rather than features.

First, people will see that you truly understand them and that is a critical step in bonding with them. People will only buy from those they know, like and trust. Don’t think you are not a salesperson because that is exactly how the consumer sees you. Our product is money, but we are still selling it.

Second, the rate question will rarely come up since the borrower will see that you understand their needs.

Third, you will be seen as an expert by using this approach since you are offering solutions and have established their needs. Try it- don't discuss ARMs; LIBOR; or 30-, 15-, or 20-year APRs. All your borrower hears is, "Blah, blah, blah."

Instead, ask about them, ask about their goals, their comfort levels with payments, their fears and concerns.

Then, and only then, show them a solution and tell them the solution and the way they can understand it that is full of benefits, never ever features.

Brian Sacks is a nationally-renowned mortgage expert who has career closing of more than 5,900 transactions for more than $1 billion. He has trained tens of thousands of loan officers and company owners over the past 31 years on how to close more loans, make more money and still have a life. You can view the “Top Originator Secrets Show” on Mortgage News Network. He may be reached by phone at (443) 324-8424 or e-mail

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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