Your Database is a GOLDMINE, but mining means that you are always looking for gold, have a consistent plan to find it and share the wealth. The model of buying leads to give to real estate agents needs to change, and the best way to capitalize on that is finding leads in your own data.
Here’s how to make sure your database marketing will yield results:
- Sign into your CRM daily. After eight years in the mortgage CRM space, I know that this is not a habit for the majority of loan officers, but signing in means you understand the importance of each contact, and your goal should be nurturing those relationships.
- Segment your audiences. Your list should be broken down into real estate agents, referral partners (financial advisors, CPAs, other LOs), closed borrowers, interested borrowers, first-time borrowers (renters) and so forth.
- Understand personalized marketing. Mortgage marketing is often tone deaf to its audience. If you are sending out a marketing piece for refinances to people who don’t own a home or your marketing is geared toward agents but it’s going to your buyers, you aren’t segmenting correctly or marketing effectively. Think about your audience before creating your marketing strategy each month.
- Fill out contact records. Most CRMs have places for notes and many may offer social media linking so you can quickly review what your contact has been up to before making a call. Leaving friendly notes about their favorite things or members of their family also helps make cold calls warmer.
- Know your tech. A good martech CRM will have many campaigns to choose from as well as avenues of communication. Know when emails and texts go out so you won’t double up on work or messaging.
- Attend a training. There are not many hours in the mortgage workday but attending trainings will make you more proficient and allow you to spend time with the trainers to ask questions.
- Understand the marketing plan. A CRM is just a glorified Excel spreadsheet if there isn’t fantastic marketing to send out. If you don’t have a marketing point person, hire one. Your brand is too important to leave to chance.
- Automate & celebrate. You should have an automatic birthday greeting, loan anniversary email and monthly newsletter that are sent to each person in your database.
- Keep it clean. Have one day each week where you add, subtract, update and review your data. Remember, this is your life’s work, and the bigger your database and the better you treat it, the more you will receive in return.
- Use it. Be creative. Send messages that will produce a good open rate. Sign in every single day and be dedicated to growing your database.
Because time is the most precious resource, new technology can undoubtedly feel like it is creating more work than it is saving, but the benefits of understanding the ecosystem that your company is using and personalizing your marketing efforts will not only save time but provide the best experience for your homebuyers and referral partners. Dedicate 30 minutes each day to mastering the tools in your arsenal, and you will be well ahead of the competition as the industry moves into an increasingly digital world.
To learn more about creating a database that yields results, click here.
2020 has presented as many opportunities as challenges for the world of mortgage origination, but the need for the industry to take an even greater shift into the digital landscape comes as news to no one. Digital applications, POS systems, CRMs, CDPs, lead generation tools and digital marketing adoption require full immersion into training, however. With some loan officers struggling to handle the influx of refinance applications all while providing excellent customer care to homebuyers, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day — even if there weren’t multiple new technologies to master.
Technology in the mortgage space creates automation for mundane tasks and offers the homebuyer a more streamlined experience, but it also requires the originator to truly understand the meeting place between human connection and the need for good tech. The truth is that on virtually every originator’s desk right now sits a legal pad full of handwritten notes about each buyer, and the buyer’s cell phone number remains their most important tool. But there is a world of business building that can be achieved by using advanced marketing, simpler applications and mobile technology if time can be made to learn their basic functionality.
How can a loan officer keep up? It’s easy to suggest time blocking 30 minutes for tech each day, but it’s harder to figure out where that half hour can be budgeted. If adapting to the digital landscape is a priority, consider using the following tools:
- Don’t panic. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Tech is hard. It’s often confusing, even for those in your company with a clear understanding of the benefits. Take it slow and ask a lot of questions.
- Give yourself 30 minutes per day to look through your tech stack. For most mortgage originators, that will include Encompass, a CRM, online lead gen and a mobile application tool. Scheduling or time blocking just a half hour to stay on top of tech will put you ahead of the game.
- Don’t be tempted to put out fires. There are always going to be distractions but try to keep focused. Turn your email and phone off and just concentrate on the task at hand.
- Use the resources. Most tech companies will have plenty of training on their website for basic functionality. Master the intro videos first. If you don’t have a product owner in your own company who can answer questions, reach out to the tech company to schedule a training with the support team.
- Team up with your branch or colleagues. Working together makes a difference. Even though many people are working from home right now, create a Zoom meeting to tackle one piece of the platform at a time. If it’s your CRM, first learn what the system does and then learn what it offers before beginning to customize things to work best for you.
- Keep going. It will be overwhelming but you are soon going to have a much better understanding of each platform. Dedicate yourself to learning one platform at a time but be consistent with your 30 minutes by learning more.
- Show your success. If you can lead by example and see the rewards of using a platform, empower others to do the same with your words and actions.
For more information about mastering tech in 30 minutes each day, click here.
The marketing industry is rife with various kinds of jargon and buzzwords, some of which are overused and carelessly tossed around. Oftentimes, this creates more confusion than solutions when trying to reach customers effectively and generate business. Some of these fluffy terms do have a legitimate place in marketing lingo, however, so it’s important to consider how much value they can provide to you and your business.
Although it may sound cliché, the “buyer’s journey” is an essential framework for your marketing strategy. It can be summarized as the customer’s path leading up to a purchase. This path is broken down into stages through which a customer progresses: awareness, consideration and decision. From a marketer’s standpoint, the process consists of education, solution and selection. Put simply, your business strategy should recognize and answer the “why,” “how” and “who” questions that prospects often pose prior to making a purchase.
The “education” phase should focus on loosening up the status quo and helping buyers identify a challenge or opportunity in front of them. During this stage, buyers will typically search the internet and explore websites. However, highly engaged human interactions are just as important as non-human, low-reciprocity resources such as pay-per-click ads, blog posts and landing pages. In fact, a Sirius Decisions 2017 study showed that live, vendor-hosted webinars focused on the problem are an effective tool for reaching potential buyers.
The next stage, known as “consideration,” comes about when buyers have diagnosed the problem or opportunity and are exploring available options. Buyers begin to compare vendors and differentiate solutions. Because you stayed top of mind with your buyers during the education period, you want to make sure your business gets short-listed. Free trials, email marketing and sales presentation are useful tactics for setting your business apart.
Ultimately, what may differentiate you from your competitors is how you keep potential buyers engaged along the journey. A lesser known tactic is to open a multiuser environment after a webinar or a sales pitch for content distribution. Consider, for example, a members-only LinkedIn group or private channel in Slack where white papers and case studies are shared.
The final stage is when a decision is made. Here, you want to minimize buyers’ hesitations and nudge them to action. Whether it be a reassuring dialogue with a customer rep or distributor, a noncommittal demo period or limited-time discounts, this is the time to reinforce buyers’ decisions and fully convince them to take the proverbial plunge.
Understanding the steps your customers take to get from Point A to Point B is key to a successful marketing strategy. These journeys are unique to every buyer and can be somewhat hard to nail down because each buyer has different life experiences and a different background. However, in most instances, you can find certain patterns in how a group of customers interacts with a brand. These patterns can be gleaned from readily available internal data and research. By mapping out a “buyer’s journey” — as cliché as that expression might be — you can create different personas and deliver content that will resonate with each buyer at their particular stage in the decision-making process.
All mortgage companies are looking for an end-to-end digital mortgage solution that will create a simplified customer experience, but most companies find themselves trying to navigate a sea of choices when it comes to LOS, POS, CRM and technology solutions requiring integrations that cost considerable time and money.
What would an ideal mortech solution look like? Likely, it would tackle many of the most important questions that mortgage executives are asking right now.
How are customers saving for their home and understanding their credit score?
This is where banks have an advantage. By having the data about savings accounts or creating a goal-centered savings plan specifically for the homebuyer, accessible account management is key. If the buyer has an incentive — like owning a home — with a personalized or gamified guide to planning their finances to achieve the goal, that could be a big win.
So too it is with credit scoring websites. While there are many advantages to knowing your score, information about raising the credit is incredibly valuable for a mortgage company to provide.
If a mortgage company knows the goal, how can it manage the expectations of the buyer before pre-approval?
When properly built, a consumer-facing portal should provide everything a potential homebuyer would need to make educated decisions about their finances. That would include any information about their current mortgage, such as payment, amortization schedule and current payoff amount. Additionally, a real-time refinance calculation would be incredibly valuable.
If their savings and checking accounts (along with their overall financial portfolio, if possible) are displayed along with the goals listed above, and calculations of possible mortgage scenarios are offered, that could be a game-changer. Real-time rates and loan scenarios with calculations of payment would be a win as well.
For first-time homebuyers, this is the perfect place for education about how to buy a home. Home-readiness quizzes, videos, a chat-with-an-expert button and a chatbot built to intelligently offer up typical FAQs would allow for opting in to learn more at their own pace.
The ability to ask questions if they so desire is going to be important. Consumers want to move at their own pace and explore their options on their own time but having calls to action for immediate pre-approvals or scheduling an online video chat with an LO is key. Instant access to most banking data should make this an easy review.
How do you streamline and simplify the mortgage application?
Many POS solutions are offering easier than ever application processes for the buyer. Using guided application windows with one task at a time, these solutions could be personalized to specific buyers based on the data already collected.
Co-borrowers or other interested parties should have access to the portal, but the customer should be able to choose the content that is visible.
How do you streamline the loan process?
Automated and gamified “homework” lists are invaluable. With credit score, financial accounts and background of the customer already available, tasks such as tax returns should be easy to upload via mobile phone. Of critical importance are ease of uploading needed documents and storage of those documents for future purchases and refinances.
The customer should then have an easy tracking solution for the loan as it passes through the mortgage stages, and the customer should be pinged at their specified communication choice if more is needed.
Disclosures should be easily downloaded and e-signed, and e-closing should be available.
Pieces and parts of the solution are available now but tying them together into a cohesive mortech solution is just one of the ways that Intent is helping mortgage companies envision the future of lending.
“I don’t have time.”
That’s a refrain heard from the mouths of most successful loan officers at some point.
The reason for this is simple: There are a million things to do each day. The seemingly never-ending list includes calls to make, emails to return, loans to structure, teams to coordinate, agents to meet, and so much more.
What inevitably ends up falling by the wayside is training, technology, marketing and the basic building blocks you need each day to keep your success high and your pipeline strong.
This is where we come in. At Intent, we have specialized teams that mine databases for opportunities, run your CRM or CDP platform for you, build and coordinate events, create and update websites, run social media advertising and SEO, and so much more.
Imagine that each day your social media efforts are creating relationships and leads, or that someone has a clear view of the ROI on your lead buying.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a customized campaign sent to a segment of your buyers that requires nothing more than a simple click on a phone or keyboard?
That reality is here. It’s Intent.
Restaurants live or die by their reviews. Whether that’s a splashy spread in the newspaper, inviting influencers and bloggers to join them for a meal or simply through digital channels like Yelp and on Google. A bad review can stop a potential diner their quest for a great meal at a restaurant while a positive review can reassure their decision and often even provide advice about where to sit and what to order.
So too it is with the mortgage experience. While it is critically important to be found through reviews, the experience is the first piece to get right. Let’s use the restaurant set up as an analogy.
- People need to find you. Whether through recommendations from friends or family or through their agent, having good word-of-mouth advertising is going to be important.
- Reservations need to be easy. Applying for their loan should be simple and done right from their phone.
- Have the best host to greet them. They should never feel alone. Your marketing should greet them promptly and show them the exact steps needed.
- The server should be on point.The mortgage professional needs to be the guide to the whole experience. A server makes or breaks the entire thing. Walk them through the menu slowly and thoroughly. Make sure they know that you are going to focus on their needs and answer any questions that they have, even when there are other people waiting for your attention.
- Back of the house needs to know what the front of the house is doing.The kitchen needs to be ready for whatever comes their way. From special orders to dietary restrictions, making the perfect meal is critical. Your LOA and your ops team should work in harmony. Expectations of timelines should be met and introductions to the Chef should be made to ensure the best meal.
- The manager should stop by the table.Never, never take your eye off the ball. Even when your team is doing an exceptional job, be there to check in.
- Check in, check in, check in.Ask how everything is. Anticipate their needs before they ask. Give them space while making sure they are happy.
- Explain the check.Always review with them the numbers so they fully comprehend what the total is and have the opportunity to ask questions.
- THANK THEM.Over and over again. Make them feel that they are truly appreciated and that you were honored to be part of their lives.
- Get 5 Stars.Know when and where to ask them to leave reviews so that the next time someone is looking, they find you.
Some of the best loan officers in the industry started out as very savvy servers in their youth. The ability to manage multiple tables, many orders and chaos makes for an outstanding mortgage professional. Intent can help make your daily routine much easier with simplified strategies to grow your business.
The person or company that you charge with relating your vision of the ideal mortgage should be able to juggle all of the facets of modern marketing. That includes understanding technology, sales, marketing, the mortgage market, brand, websites and a vast array of digital channels.
A successful mortgage broker shop or banker will need someone to develop and implement marketing communication strategies, social media campaigns, email and text campaigns, investigate emerging tech and so much more.
What we do at Intent to allow you to outsource your marketing-
- Provide a superior customer experience
- Market your company with brand consistency
- Create websites, landing pages and integrated web solutions
- Personalize your CRM campaigns
- Create & maintain social media pages
- Develop content strategies for SEO and brand awareness
- Train teams to work effectively with systems
- Assist with importing and organizing databases
- Design strategies to Market to Realtors, Builders, Financial Planners, Accountants, etc.
- Traditional marketing such as logo, tagline, brand development, print, direct mail and more
You don’t need a marketing department; you need a smarter way to streamline your processes from people who have been in the mortgage marketing arena. Using Intent will make you feel like you hired a marketing visionary of your very own.
What happens from the moment a person decides they want to buy a home? What are the buyer’s thoughts, fears and worries? Where do they turn for advice — friends, family members or online search? How can you be the trusted source of lending information and be in front of them at the right time with the right message?
All paid search and lead generation gurus want you to believe that they have the secret recipe for finding you leads, but anyone who has purchased leads knows the game only too well. The reality is that leads are expensive, not exclusive and require true relationship development.
Put yourself in the potential buyer’s shoes. The buyer simply fills out an application, provides their contact information and presses enter. Within minutes, their phone is ringing, their email is blowing up and texts are coming to their phone. How do they know which lender to choose among the many pitching their services? What makes your strategy different?
- Start with data. Know to whom you are marketing.
- Understand the buyer’s goals and speak to them about the possibilities of the home in their future.
- Create a vision that is realistic and create a true partnership with them as their lender.
- Warn the buyer that many others will try to contact them. Possible suitors include everyone from those who will still be looking at them as a lead, to those who will buy their data once their credit is pulled. Give your prospective buyer the chance to opt out of that contact cycle.
- Be true to the plan and start educating a buyer on everything they will experience in searching for a home, buying a home and becoming homeowners.
- Let them have the easiest path possible when applying for the loan and giving you documents.
- Work in tandem with your buyer’s real estate agent to prepare your buyer for everything they will need to do for the move.
- Let the buyer feel as though they are guided but in control.
- Solicit their feedback after closing, with the goal of building your reviews.
- Continue to pour into that relationship with good information after the move.
We have pioneered successful mortgage companies along this customer journey for years, and we know what it takes to make homebuyers feel respected, heard and understood. Intent will make your customers feel like you are the best communicator in the mortgage industry.
All marketing departments have the best of intentions for allowing their loan originators to use personalized marketing. However, the steady demand for fliers and other requests can keep loan officers from focusing on some of the bigger strategies and goals required by their company to build business.
Luckily, marketing can be easily outsourced because companies such as Intent truly understand mortgage marketing and will analyze current strategies and technology stacks as well as examine brand awareness to create a true plan for growth.
Intent — at the enterprise level — studies common practices and processes, consults with marketing and IT groups for input and expertise, automates best intentions, and creates a fantastic solution that is as effective as it is streamlined. This solution is also simple to use and adaptable for growth and emerging technologies.
- Assess technologies being utilized within the organization
- Poll and interview leaders to see what current technologies are valuable and used
- Construct framework for a branded end-to-end solution
- Suggest architecture for a best-in-class solution
- Build custom automations, workflows, reporting and oversight
- Create marketing content and graphics to merge messaging across platforms
- Generate lead funnels and scoring, according to needs
- Produce websites, landing pages, Facebook ads, Google ads, retargeting platforms and SEO
- Integrate all digital marketing components
- Review compliance and security
- Test and deploy a system
- Train all employees
Whether you are a broker shop that needs a brand, a voice, a website and a strategy for growth, or you are a mortgage company looking to cut costs by outsourcing your mortgage marketing, Intent can create a custom plan that will make you successful.
Marketing to your database requires segmenting your audiences appropriately and creating individual messaging plans for each segment. So often, mortgage marketing strategies try to cast too wide of a net. The message doesn’t resonate with the target recipient because you cannot speak to a past customer, potential customer and referral partner the same way.
Segmenting audiences and creating individualized emails or texting help you show that you are listening to and engaging the contact.
First-time homebuyers, for example, should receive messaging created for their timeline in the rental cycle. Using database intelligence will also allow you to see if your lead has their credit pulled by another mortgage professional and will ping you when this happens.
Those with credit issues to resolve should be on a game plan that teaches them how to create positive credit habits. Once that credit score is healthy, your technology platform should ping you and the customer to let you both know it’s time to buy a home.
Closed loans should have monitoring to uncover opportunities to eliminate PMI or let the mortgage team know it’s time for a refinance.
Regardless of the recipient, messages should be personalized with the contact’s name, their goals and your combined strategy. The messages should also be automated so you can close loans instead of having to worry about follow-up.
Target marketing that is personal and solves problems is what we do best. Communicate better and close more loans.