Originator Roundtable: Effective Marketing

Broker Banker asked several loan originators to share the marketing activities they believe will be especially effective in 2015.

Brooks Grasso, Fulton Mortgage Company, Lutherville, Md.

“The marketing strategy that will be most effective for me this year will be our bi-weekly product fliers that we send out to our Realtor database. The one-page fliers detail a specific product that we offer, such as the Fannie Mae Home Style Renovation Loan, Federal Home Loan Bank Grant for first-time homebuyers, Maryland Bond Program, construction loans and the rate cap program. We e-mail the flier to Realtors and builders. I have a few Realtor/builder offices that I have established relationships with and they welcome distribution of the fliers there and have me speak at their meetings. I always receive calls and e-mails from Realtors that have a client that may need the product or just to get general information for future use.”

Craig Brown, Rancho Financial, San Diego, Calif.

“I am pulling back from e-marketing a bit as I think it is being overdone by too many companies and individuals.  The most popular marketing in play right now involves establishing a Marketing Services Agreement (MSA) with real estate broker-owners. With the MSA, the mortgage company pays a flat monthly fee to reimburse the real estate company for promoting, sharing in advertising and directing customers to the mortgage company. Buying a position in the realty office is very in vogue and we are doing some of this; at least until the CFPB tells our industry not to.

“At the end of the day the most promising marketing may just be the old-fashion form of relationship building and follow-up.  We are using an in-house sales trainer/coach to help our LOs get back to basics with client development.  Scripting phone calls and one-on-one modeling is part of the program to make the loan officer feel the success that comes from being prepared when engaging customers and prospects.”

Karen Cimera, Loan Star Home Lending, San Jose, Calif.

“This year I’m focusing on regular/personal communications with both Realtors and borrowers. For Realtors, I’ll be sending a newsletter every other week. This e-mail news bulletin will highlight such topics as the current market conditions for home values, where rates are going, how to increase your business as a real estate agent, tips for homeowners, things to look for when applying for a loan, news on financing, and other topics. I have received a great response from this, with agents commenting that the news is helpful and pertinent to today. I try to include value-adds they can share with their client base, such as motivational info, database market tips, and other ideas. Most of them don’t database market (I’m not sure why they want to knock on doors and cold call when they have warm leads sitting in their data bank.) This has been a big help in staying “in front” of them, which obviously results in them thinking of me for referrals.

I will also be sending birthday cards to past customers. I probably average 75+ cards a month. The key is that they are handwritten (rather than e-mail cards) so that I can add the personal touch. It takes time but is well worth the effort because the personal comments keep you connected.”

Chris Hutchens, Guaranteed Rate, Wilmington, N.C.

“It was becoming difficult to expand our social media presence the way that I wanted while also focusing on my normal customer contact/origination activity. I recently hired a company called Social Leverage (www.sociallev.com) to do a social media campaign. They now manage my business Facebook page, my Twitter account, and Linked-In.  Most importantly, they post on FB, tweet and keep me ‘out there’ in social media outlets daily. This seemed like a good solution and I expect good results.”

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