We want to provide you with practical information that you can put into practice to increase your production. Each moth we’ll post various tips but if you have recommendations or suggestions we should cover we encourage you to email them to editorial [at] BrokerBanker.com
February 1, 2016
Do something special for Valentine’s Day. In addition to sendingcustomers/strategic partners an e-card (www.AmericanGreetings.com is one source.), you could prepare WeLove You/Be My Valentine packages for a local children’s or veteran’s hospital.
January 25, 2016
One of the most effective customer gifts is a refrigerator magnet withcalendar, sports team schedule, local emergency contact info or other messagethat will be displayed on a long-term basis. You can find more ideas at www.vistaprint.com, www.promotionalmagnets.us or another marketing promotions company.
January 18, 2016
Send customers a 2016 update that reminds them of potential 2015 tax deductions/other considerations,along with an invitation to their annual mortgage review.
January 11, 2016
Your New Year resolutions should include an analysis of your 2015 marketing campaign(s). Try to measure the effectiveness of specific strategies by noting how they contributed to your annual production, overall visibility and any other goals. Modify or discardquestionable tactics and add a few new ones to your plan.
January 4, 2016
As part of your 2016 marketing plan, schedule meetings with strategic partners to discuss how you can help them grow their business and ask for their feedback regarding mutually beneficial referral strategies.
November 23rd, 2015
Coordinating a holiday charitable activity withRealtors, builders and other strategic partners can help strengthen your relationshipswhile “giving back” to the community. Consider a toy drive—with the donatedgifts distributed at a local children’s hospital.
November 16th, 2015
If you’re looking for a business leads networkinggroup, LeTip is an alternative to BNI. Visit www.letip.comfor information.
November 9th 2015
Now is a good time to begin scheduling year-end meetings with Realtors and other strategic partners; to discuss mutually beneficial referral/other opportunities for 2016.
November 2nd 2015
Don’t cut back on your marketing activity during thelast two months of the year. While the focus is on closing as many loans as possible, also continue to stay in contact with past customers as well as your VIP list of real estate agents, builders, financial planners, CPAs, attorneys and others.
October 26th 2015
Send all of your military customers a special Veterans Day (November 11) e-mail or card.
October 19th 2015
This year create a You Tube video holiday greeting for customers and strategic partners.
October 12th 2015
Don’t forget to include a “Change Your Clocks”message in your next customer/strategic partner e-bulletin. (Clocks turn back anhour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time.)
October 5th 2015
Look for ways to brand yourself as the “mortgageexpert.” For example, your website and marketing materials can mention college degrees, professional designations, experience writing articles for local publications and making presentations to industry groups, and membership in special business groups.
September 28th 2015
Send your customers an e-mail about National Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10. Include the link to http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week, where they’ll find home safety tips and other information.
September 21st 2015
It’s not too early to begin planning your holiday event schedule. Talk with Realtors and other strategic partners about how you could co-host a party or other activity, which might benefit a local charity.
September 14th 2015
Send Realtors a TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Update bulletin reminding them that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules are effective as of October 1, 2015.
September 7th 2015
September has been designated National Mortgage Professionals Month (by the National Day Calendar as originally suggested by United Guaranty). Look for ways to highlight (not overly commercial) the role of loan originators, processors, underwriters and other professionals on your website, Facebook postings and tweets. You could also set aside one day each week for a late afternoon customer/prospect/Realtor open house; providing refreshments, music, and children’s activities. A great opportunity to generate visibility and even a few new customers.
August 31st 2015
It’s back to school time. Consider holding a webinar or other program forteachers to share information about FHA’s Teacher Next Door (TND) Initiative,which offers significant benefits to public school teachers purchasingHUD-acquired, single family homes.
August 24th 2015
If you’re looking for another source of Labor Day (and other holiday) e-cards, visit www.americangreetings.com Also, Jib Jab (www.jibjab.com/ecards) provides humorous and action e-cards.
August 17th 2015
Send customers a “Get Ready for Fall” tip list. Include energy saving ideas, winter maintenance suggestions and special resources.
August 10th 2015
Plan ahead to get the most from your next industry conference. For example, before leaving the office, schedule de-brief time on your calendar to be sure that you come back and immediately review and re-write your notes. Also, during a workshop/other meeting put a gold star next to ideas that you feel will be most effective. Then you can identify the five things you want to do right away.
August 3rd 2015
Recognize your “elder” customers with a card/e-mail for Senior Citizens Day (August 21).
July 27th 2015
Prepare a First-time Homebuyer Tip Sheet that includes information on specific loan programs, amounts allowed, down payment options, income limits, how to apply, a TRID summary and other details. Have copies laminated and provide to borrowers and your Realtor partners.
July 20th 2015
Join the new member committee of your Chamber of Commerce or other local business group. It’s a great way to meet prospective customers, as well as HR directors/other key contacts of companies relocating to your city.
July 13th 2015
If you find yourself getting too far behind with social media activity, consider hiring an outside service to assist on a one-time or ongoing basis. There are a number of options, including Social Leverage (www.sociallev.com)
July 6th 2015
When meeting with Realtors, make a special point to explain that you will “incubate” their leads that aren’t quite ready (credit/other issues) to purchase and keep in contact with them so that you can bring them back to the agents when the time is right.
June 29th 2015
As a thank you gift for borrowers closing this summer,you could give a family/multi-day pass to a water park or other near by attraction.
June 22nd 2015
Establish a niche with members of your local PTA or other school group. In addition to assisting parents with their next purchase or refi transaction, you can provide teachers with an update on the Teacher Next Door Initiative.
June 15th, 2015
Prepare a flier and website announcement and send e-mail bulletins to inform customers and prospects about the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements, which will be effective August 1, 2015.Explain the benefits to consumers and the potential challenges involved. This is also a good opportunity to have “lunch and learn” sessions with Realtors.
June 8th 2015
Do a mid-year evaluation of your marketing program. Try to determine the strategies that have generated the most business and make appropriate adjustments for the second half of 2015.
June 1st 2015
Develop a special promotion for the first day of summer (June 21). For example, provide your customers and prospects with a comprehensive calendar of family activities—including park events, recreational facility activities and other programs—that may be of interest.
May 25th 2015
Ask customers to provide their favorite homeownership tips, including ideas for basic repairs, spring cleaning,summer entertaining and other topics. Then organize by categories and add a special section to your website and/or offer as a new homeowner welcome gift.
May 18th 2015
Send an e-bulletin to customers/prospects explaining how the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID)—including the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms— could affect them. (The rule will take affect August 1, 2015.) Find more informationat: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation/tila-respa/
May 11th 2015
Do something special to recognize Memorial Day. For example, make a donation to a local veteran’s group for every loan closed during that week, have an open house for your military/veteran customers and their families, and/or send a “We Appreciate Your Service” letter/e-mail to vets and current service members.
May 4th 2015
As you expand your referral database, be sure to include the competition. You want “friendly” competitors to be aware of your expertise/capabilities so when they are unable to fulfill a borrower’s requests, they can refer to you.
April 27th 2015
In addition to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, here are a few of the May holidays you can mention in your customer e-mails: Ride to Work Bike Day-May 15, Armed Forces Day-May 16, and Visit Your Relatives Day-May 18.
April 20 th 2015
As part of your branding strategy, use face-to-face and telephone conversations to highlight your point of distinction. For example: “You know Mr. Smith, I’ve worked hard to become the loan originator with the highest level of personalized service for first-time borrowers.”
April 13th 2015
Add a section on your website that is aimed at educating young people about homeownership. Include details on Maintaining Good Credit and Saving for the Future. By sharing this information with customers, you will expand your next generation of borrowers database.
April 6th 2015
Do a random survey of past customers to see how you can serve them better. They’ll appreciate your concern and you’re likely to get some valuable feedback.
March 30th 2015
When you send customers a reminder about the tax filing deadline (April 15), include information about requesting an extension or refer them to www.irs.gov/filing
March 23rd 2015
If you’re looking for a springtime closing gift, consider providing customers with a set of gardening tools, subscription to Sunset Magazine or even a lesson from a local master gardener.
March 16th, 2014
Take advantage of Linked-in’s networking opportunities. It has a special section that provides strategic partnership news. “The goal of this group is to help CMO’s, CEO’s, Marketing Managers, E-Marketers, Advertising and Marketing Industry Professionals interact to build Strategic Marketing Partnerships.”
March 9th 2014
Be sure to inform your law enforcement, teacher (kindergarten through 12th grade), firefighter and emergency medical technician niches of a special benefit that HUD offers: the Good Neighbor Next Door Program. It includes a substantial incentive in the form of a discount of 50 percent from the list price of the home. In return, homeowners must commit to live in the property for 36 months as their sole residence.
March 2nd 2014
Be sure you’re promoting Streamline Refinances to your FHA customers. (They don’t require a new home appraisal or employment verification.) Learn more at www.fha.com/fha_streamline_refinance
February 23 2015
Market your availability to customers. Let them know how they can reach you—via office phone, cell phone, website, e-mail or other—and that you will respond in a specified time. It’s another way to establish your “customer first” reputation.
February 16 2015
If you’re still sending postcards, make sure they’re different. For example, one loan originator sends oversized cards with a special design element—the customer’s name is included within the cover art. In a street scene, the client’s name might be on a street sign or store front. Check with your printer to see if it can produce something similar.
February 9, 2015
Medical professionals can be a very effective niche. You can start by meeting with the administrators at your local hospitals and suggest that you can offer purchase/refinance workshops and other support for their physicians, physician assistants and others. Provide a flier that includes testimonials from physicians/other customers along with details on special state and related loan programs that benefit medical professionals.
February 2 2015
Start creating simple videos for your website. Animoto is one potential tool to help you add animation, logos, music and other features. Take a look at: www.animoto.com
January 26 2015
To help expand your prospect database you can include a “call to action” on your website. In exchange for sharing their contact information, you can provide a free report, how-to video or copy of a recent article.
January 19 2015
One way to expand a future buyer database is to develop a genuine interest in your current customers’ children. Send a card on their birthdays, high school and college graduation, and other milestones. They are more likely to remember you when they become first-time buyers and their parents will appreciate the gesture.
January 12 2015
Here are a few closing gift suggestions for your 2015 customers: a subscription to Sunset Magazine or local city publication, a set of personalized “we’ve moved cards,” donation to local charity made in their name, a gift basket that includes a coupon for a cleaning service, and a surprise package with small gifts for every member of the family.
January 5 2015
Send customers a Happy New Year card and enclose a letter to remind them of potential 2014 tax deductions, along with an invitation to their annual mortgage review.
December 29, 2014
Develop an apartment renter niche. Let Realtors know that you want to help this group of first-time buyers. You can provide them with Rent vs. Own scenarios and also e-mail timely updates regarding the expected increase in apartment rents and other news. In addition, write short articles about the benefits of owning that you could send to local publications.
December 22, 2014
As you write your New Year Resolutions/Plans, be sure to include the analysis of your 2014 marketing campaign(s). Try to measure the effectiveness of specific strategies by noting how they contributed to your annual production, overall visibility and any other goals.
December 15, 2014
Work with a Realtor to prepare holiday gift packages for a nearby VA Hospital or rehab center.
December 8, 2014
Conduct an informal survey of a group of customers to see how they view you. For example, ask how they would describe you to someone else, such as “The FHA expert” or “First-time Buyer Specialist.” This can provide valuable feedback to help enhance your brand image.
December 1, 2014
Develop a six month schedule of homeownership-related Tweets so that you will be sure to send them on a regular weekly/other schedule. Your 140-character messages can highlight first-time buyer tips, reverse mortgage updates, and other helpful information. Your Tweet calendar can be flexible to allow for timely news such as refinance opportunities.
November 24, 2014
Prepare a “Free Report” on 10 Tips to Smart Refinancing, Becoming a First- Time Home Buyer or something similar. You can send it to prospects who respond to a website or Facebook page notice.
November 17, 2014
School teachers can be a good niche group. You could promote FHA’s Teacher Next Door (TND) Initiative, which offers significant benefits to public school teachers purchasing HUD-acquired, single family homes.
November 10, 2014
Plan a family-friendly New Year’s Eve or Day party at a community center or other location. You could co-host with a Realtor or other strategic partners. Have a committee of young people plan special activities for their group.
November 3, 2014
Contact your local TV assignment editor/business reporter and offer to be their home finance expert. Let them know you can provide timely updates on housing-related issues.
October 27, 2014
Attend a college/professional football game or other sporting event and wear a button that reads: Ask Me About Our Home Purchase Experience (or similar eye-catching phrase).
Plan a holiday event at your favorite garden nursery. Invite customers to join you for cider, a wreath making demonstration from a local crafts person and a discount on a Christmas tree.
Hold a Thanksgiving fundraiser for a local homeless shelter or other deserving charity. Donate a certain amount from every closed loan and suggest Realtors/others contribute canned goods and other items.
Invite customers and strategic partners to visit your office with their children on Halloween (or the day before). Provide guests with refreshments, candy treats, a “spooky story hour” and a prize for the best costume.
Develop a niche market associated with one of your special interests. For example, perhaps you belong to a large bowling league, cycling club, or conservation group.
Begin preparing your 2015 marketing plan now and involve your strategic partners in the process. For example, meet to discuss how you can help them grow their business and ask for their feedback regarding mutually beneficial referral strategies.
September 15th 2014
Plan on sending a certain number of handwritten cards every day – to stay in touch with past customers, strategic partners and others. Your personalized mailers will definitely stand out from the crowd.
September 8th 2014
While evaluating your technology capabilities/plans, be sure to check out the competition. For example, visit other originators’ websites, Facebook profiles and LinkedIn pages. You may find a few ideas to adapt.
September 1st 2014
Make sure your customer database includes appropriate personal details— such as birthdays, anniversaries, children’s names and ages, and other information. This enables you to personalize your phone conversations (“John, your daughter Jennifer is graduating this year, isn’t she?”)
August 25th 2014
If you’re thinking of designing your own marketing pieces, adding custom mail list merge fields and then mailing, you’ll find Click2Mail to be a good resource for postcards, newsletters, brochures and more. Find it at Click2Mail.com
August 18th 2014
Some of your customers might appreciate a New Home Scrapbook as a closing gift. You can get the book started by including a copy of their application, a page of homeownership quotes (“Home is a shelter from storms, all sorts of storms.”—William J. Bennett. Do an Internet search for others.), and a photo of their home.
August 11th 2014
Ask customers and strategic partners to provide testimonials about your great service, which you can include on your website and in promotional materials. They should be as specific as possible, such as “Our loan closed a week early.”
August 4th 2014
A drawing (for football game tickets or other suitable prize) is a good way to generate visibility and update your customer database. E-mail customers a notice about the drawing, which might ask them to answer a simple question and also provide their current contact information.
July 28th 2014
Join BNI International to expand your business contacts and share leads. (www.bni.com)
Firefighters/EMT personnel can be extremely loyal customers. Contact your local fire department and offer to hold a refi/purchase workshop at their station. Then wait for your first satisfied customer to refer you to other firefighters.
One way to ensure an effective customer contact program is to ask them. For example, survey a group of your customers to see the types of communications (e-mail, postcard, website notices etc.) they will most likely respond to.
If you haven’t joined LinkedIn yet, do so soon. Then make sure you add items of potential interest – such as a first-time borrower’s checklist or homeownership trend survey—which could help generate inquiries and new customers.
Mystery shopping can help you learn how prospects, Realtors, and others view you. For example, call (as a consumer) a few Realtors to ask who they consider the top originators in the market. Or ask their opinion of you/your company. This may provide some ideas on how to promote yourself better.
June 23, 2014
Make sure you have a formal, written marketing plan. Even if you have a small budget or believe that all of your business is referral-based, you still need a plan with a goal, objectives and of course, specific strategies.
June 16, 2014
Don’t forget to add the “personal touch” to your customer communications. This can include a handwritten birthday/thank-you card or periodic check-up phone call.
June 9, 2014
Develop a home service referral list for your customers. Include painters, home repair specialists, plumbers, electricians and house cleaners. Customers will see this as another example of your personalized and “value added” service.
June 2, 2014
If you aren’t already doing so, start tracking your leads. Ask prospects where they heard about you (ad, referral, website, etc.), which will help determine your most effective marketing strategies.
May 26th 2014
Small to medium-sized companies (rather than your city’s major employers) are often more receptive to having outside vendors make presentations to their employees. Contact HR directors and offer to provide a “first-time borrower” or other “lunch and learn” workshop.
May 19th 2014
A plant “giveaway” is a popular spring/summer customer appreciation gift. Ask a local nursery to provide your customers (who present a special flier you have sent them) with a discount for a container of flowers.
May 12th 2014
Make sure your 30-second elevator speech emphasizes how you can help people (“I help borrowers/homeowners save money…..” “My goal is to make the home loan transaction an enjoyable experience…”).
May 5th 2014
Invite customers to a “family photo day” at a nearby park or other appropriate location. Hire a photographer for a few hours; who will later send the family a digital image or print.
April 28th 2014
Contact your local newspaper editor to see if you can write a weekly home financing column.
April 21st 2014
Learn your strategic partners’ interests (hobbies, etc.) so that you can send them relevant articles.
April 14th 2014
For a closing gift, consider providing your new customers with a gift certificate for a pre-move-in house cleaning.
April 7th 2012
For a Closing Gift—Have a photo of your customer’s new home imprinted on coffee cups or other items. (Available at many grocery/drug stores.)
March 31st 2012
Advertise in your church bulletin, college newsletter or child’s high school athletic program.
March 24th 2012
Wear a “Ask Me How I Can Save You Money” button to PTA and other community meetings.
March 17th 2012
Prepare a “10 Reasons to Purchase a Home Today” list and post it on your LinkedIn or Facebook/business page.
February 12th 2014
Send cards and e-mails on more unusual holidays, rather than only the traditional ones. For a calendar of such unique celebrations, visit www.daysoftheyear.com or www.holidayscalendar.com
February 7th 2014
Add a referral request to the back of your business card, website, Facebook page or e-mail tagline. One suggestion: “I welcome your referrals. I look forward to providing excellent service to those who are important to you.”
February 5th 2014
When developing your referral network, be sure to include the competition. If a competitor is unable to offer a specific loan program, you want them to think of you. Be certain that other lenders/originators are aware of your services/specialties.
February 2nd 2014
Teachers and law enforcement personnel are two ideal niches. Part of your marketing strategy can be to highlight HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door loans, which are designed for those groups.