Modern mortgage marketing in the Covid era requires creativity and that’s one of the specialties of Shannon Dolce-Winch. In this interview, Kelly Yale from Intent Marketing and Shannon discuss ways that loan officers can stay top-of-mind with their customers as well as their referral partners for the holidays and beyond. Experiential mortgage marketing is the next frontier! We share the transcripts below.
0:00:06.6 Kelly: Hey everybody, it’s Kelly from Intent. And I’m so excited today because our special guest is Shannon Winch. And not only have we been friends for a number of years and share a number of clients, but she is a phenomenal human being, in general, but certainly knows her stuff when it comes to staying relevant with the people in your database, as well as your realtors. So Shannon, I’m gonna let you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do.
0:00:32.7 Shannon Dolce-Winch: Thanks, Kelly. So everybody, thanks for having me on here. I am actually with Jack Nadel International, which is a promotional products and branding agency. And so my days are spent really working with my clients and helping them to find ways to brand themselves to stay relevant in their industries and to make sure that they are taking the opportunities in the marketplace to stay in front of their clients, to utilize creative products and methodologies in order to stay relevant.
0:01:14.8 Kelly: I know that you do a lot with personal branding because you have the ability to take someone’s personal brand or corporate brand and really put their logos on things that are super cool that people actually wanna use, that people actually want to receive. I think one of the coolest parts about really having a strong brand across mortgage companies is when folks have a strong logo and a strong brand identity. And then the people really get behind that, and are always taking pictures, and the shirts and the hats. That makes a big difference in really representing your brand.
0:01:49.7 SD: You bet, you bet. Culture is everything. And creating a culture for a client is something that really has to happen internal to them. So every company, every person has kind of their own thing. And taking that, working with them, getting to know them and finding ways to bring that to market with them is really fun. I think one of the things that I love about what I do and what Jack Nadel offers, in particular, is that there’s a lot of companies in the ad specialty industry or ASI, so promotional products, if you will. And anybody can take a pen, and you would slap a logo on a pen, or you’ve got a ChapStick, and you slap a logo on a ChapStick. And then you’d go to an event and you’re handing out your pens and you’re handing out your ChapSticks. The question is: When somebody goes to use that ChapStick, does it smell like something? Does it have a whole sense to it? Are we creating an experience with something as simple as a ChapStick? Or are we just throwing stuff out there thinking, “Okay, I spent $0.27 on this ChapStick, and I’m gonna hand it out to everybody that I know because it has my NMLS number, my name, my phone number, my email. People are gonna reach out to me because I gave them a ChapStick.” The reality is people experience something like a ChapStick or a… I should say lip balm because ChapStick is copyrighted. So there I go, doing something that I’m not supposed to do. [chuckle]
0:03:26.5 Kelly: Okay.
0:03:28.5 SD: But creating, so going into a particular season, we have the ability to work with our vendors to really create an experience. I’d like to say that we curate experiences for folks. So going into the holidays, we’re in October right now, and a lot of people don’t realize what it takes from a time standpoint, to really create a marketing campaign. And so I think that’s really one of the things that professionals like myself bring to the table, is that we can work with a client and say, “Plan ahead.” There are some real keystone pieces to how I like to work with clients and help them to approach their marketing. I’m always begging people, “Share your calendar with me. If you’ve got a golf tournament next July, don’t wait until July to tell me about it. Tell me about it now, because what I do and what my team does is we get that on our calendars. And so then, we’re setting reminders to reach out to people.” Most folks don’t understand that a great marketing campaign can take anywhere between six and eight weeks.
0:04:43.0 Kelly: Okay.
0:04:44.3 SD: From thought process to launch, you’re a good six to eight weeks into that. And that’s probably the biggest challenge, is helping to educate our clients on what all goes into everything. So in that six… If people would say, “Six to eight weeks. Why would it take that long?” Well, when you consider, we look at a date and then we back everything up. So if you consider four days for shipping, if you wanna ship ground, unless you really wanna pay expedited shipping, you figure two weeks production time, you figure two weeks for samples and confirmations and making decisions, and you can really figure about a week to get ideas and decks from our team for that particular event. So when you break all of that out and explain it to somebody, they’re like, “Oh, wow! Now, I get it. Now, I get it.” So I always say, I always feel like it’s important whether it’s if somebody’s working with me or they’re working with one of my colleagues, find somebody that you really connect with in terms of, from a brand perspective, somebody that you enjoy working with, because you’re gonna spend a lot of time with them. [chuckle]
0:06:00.5 Kelly: Yeah.
0:06:03.9 SD: And really plan. Plan out your year, plan out the season. If you need to go quarterly, go quarterly. But getting ahead of the game is probably the biggest piece that I can’t emphasize enough.
0:06:16.2 Kelly: Well, and that’s why I definitely wanted to talk to you right now. Because this is a time of year where all loan officers are thinking about, “What am I gonna do to thank my referral partners or thank my database? Or all my closed borrowers through the years, what can I do for them?” And our hands are very tied because of the current environment that we’re in. And so it’s not as simple as just going out and doing something. So I love sort of creating that experience, and I’ve seen some of the things that you do, and that’s, for me, the big thing. I think if you’re a subscriber of a FabFitFun Box or if you do those little boxes, the subscription boxes that you get, that moment is you read, you open it, and even if you don’t love everything inside of that box, you’re so tickled by this idea that someone had. Put this thing together, to use your word, curated, things that are perfect for you, but it’s like our days are so long. We don’t know what’s around the corner with COVID, and to be able to present a beautiful gift to someone that comes to their house, that speaks to how you do business and how you care about them. I think that’s everything. So what are you seeing in terms of trends for what people are doing for the holidays?
0:07:42.0 SD: Oh, my gosh! One of the biggest trends that we’re seeing, and something that we have implemented, is virtual events. People are really… It’s all over the place. And regardless of where you are, politically, the bottomline is that people are nervous about getting together. And I think we’ve seen just a lot of the ups and the downs over the last eight months, with, “Do we get together? Do we have a small group? Do we have a large group? Do we not get together at all?” And so we, at Jack Nadel, have put together a whole series of virtual events that our clients are taking advantage of. And so from soup to nuts, we take care of it. Helping to set up what we refer to as a microsite, which allows us to collect the data needed to send out a perfectly curated gift for that particular event. So if somebody decides that they want to do a virtual cooking event, or a tequila-tasting, or a honey-tasting, or a yoga class, or… There’s so many different things that we can do.
0:08:50.2 SD: And all of those kinds of events really can change from location to location. I’m based in Denver, so what we do here is very different than what folks are doing in the South. It’s very different from what folks are doing in Los Angeles. And so we really try to look at, “Who are we reaching out to?” And when I say we, it’s me and my team, and our client and their team looking at: Who do you wanna reach? What kind of an impact do you wanna have? So these virtual events have become a real thing. And I think even as we start to go back into the office and getting together more and more, I think we’re gonna see more of these kinds of virtual events, because my feeling is that people are more inclined to engage in those kinds of things when they don’t have to take time away from family.
0:09:47.3 Kelly: Right.
0:09:47.4 SD: So if we create… I’m working with a client right now, and we’re putting together, basically, a pizza party. And so we’ll send out, literally, a kit that will have everything that they need for this pizza. They’ll also have a list of things that they’ll need to have on hand before the webinar, namely, whatever toppings you wanna put on the pizza. But we had a request for gluten-free, so when we set up the microsite, people can go on there and say, “You know, I want a regular pizza,” or, “I want a gluten-free pizza.” This is not something that just the person… So if it’s a mortgage broker, loan officer, branch manager working with their real estate agents, it doesn’t have to just be your real estate agents. Their kids can take part in this.
0:10:41.5 Kelly: Oh, wow!
0:10:44.5 SD: Whoever’s in the house, and it’s crazy because you get this whole screen of people, and it’s all these different people who really maybe don’t interact with each other. So it’s an opportunity to network, it’s an opportunity for one realtor to meet another realtor, for industry people to come together in a way that’s much more meaningful, I think, than just, “Hey, we’re gonna meet at such and such bar and restaurant, and we’ll have cocktails and appetizers, and happy holidays!” It’s more about connection. And I think that is probably the key piece that we have seen, really, in the last seven months, is that people are connecting differently. We’ve gotten back to basics in our homes, those of us… Kelly, you and I with teenagers. Teenagers don’t wanna spend time with their moms, right?
0:11:43.0 Kelly: No.
0:11:44.3 SD: But the last eight months, we’ve spent time with our kids. We’ve had conversations that never would have happened if we weren’t all stuck in the house. And so things like… And they’re all controversial, but watch TikTok, get on social media and see what’s happening out there. I especially encourage people to get on Instagram, and the ads that come up and the different things that pop up. You were talking about FabFit, fab fun. I don’t subscribe to that one…
0:12:20.5 Kelly: Working from home? I don’t know…
0:12:22.9 SD: Oh, yeah, there you go. I locked mine upstairs because they have that big going ballistic.
0:12:28.8 Kelly: There it is, yup. So yeah, sorry about the dog, that’s just…
0:12:35.8 SD: Oh, no worries. [chuckle]
0:12:36.8 Kelly: That’s our life right now. Lou, stop. There’s, you can’t do anything about a doorbell and a dog anymore, I just am telling you.
0:12:42.9 SD: Definitely.
0:12:43.5 Kelly: So I love the fact… So I am so tickled by this concept of really curating these experiences because I preach and preach and preach and preach the concept to people, that you need to have a tribe of real estate agents around you.
0:13:00.1 SD: Oh, without a doubt.
0:13:00.2 Kelly: You need to have those people know one another. Be a group. And so getting a bunch of agents together and saying, “Hey, we’re gonna do a tequila-tasting on this day, and we’re all gonna get to know each other, and we’re going to… I’m gonna send this thing to your house.” That’s just an incredible thing. I love it, I love it so much.
0:13:16.1 SD: Inevitably, somebody’s dog’s gonna start barking. And some of the craziest stuff on these Zooms has happened, and you get a kid in their pajamas streak across behind you and you’re like, “Man! Don’t worry about that.” [chuckle]
0:13:30.0 Kelly: I feel like people are also so… We’re all… It’s very rare that you can find sort of a common denominator across all people. Everybody has different takes on life, and everybody has different experiences in industries they work in, and yet, we are all exactly the same in we are all doing this from home. We don’t know what’s gonna happen, we don’t know, we don’t… But there’s such a togetherness just in that part. So doorbell rings, dog barks, normally, you’d be like, “Oh, we gotta start this whole thing again,” but people are gonna be like, “Yeah, Zoom and quarantine. You just get it. No problem.” [chuckle]
0:14:05.3 SD: Roll with it. Perfect. No problem. Keep on rolling it.
0:14:07.9 Kelly: Just keep on rolling it. [chuckle]
0:14:09.1 SD: You bet, you bet.
0:14:10.3 Kelly: If people are interested in learning more about what you do, how can they get a hold of you? What do they do?
0:14:16.6 SD: Oh, my gosh! Super easy! I’m an email away.
0:14:19.2 Kelly: Okay.
0:14:20.9 SD: My email is shannon.dolce, D-O-L-C-E, which is my maiden name, and it’s been my professional contact for years. So shannon.dolce@madel, M-A-D-E-L, dot com. Super easy!
0:14:35.2 Kelly: Fabulous! I’m gonna put that at the end of the video as well. Thank you so much for your time today. I just, I’m so grateful for your friendship and your partnership over these years, and I just love you to pieces. So I’m just really grateful for you taking a few minutes today to talk to our community at large about what they can do to make an impact with their real estate agents and their database in a time where they can’t get out and actually network in person.
0:15:00.0 SD: Yes, you bet. I do wanna leave everybody with one little piece.
0:15:04.9 Kelly: Yes.
0:15:05.5 SD: So one little nugget. Gifting is a very personal thing. And what I would encourage people to do is, from a standard perspective, look at two to three basic things that you can put into a gift, and then use the acronym NYC. Everybody thinks that’s New York City. I look at that and it’s Notice Your Client. So here we are on a Zoom, and you can see things behind me. You can see what my world is behind me. Notice those things about your client. So notice your client, and in those gifting experiences, you’re gonna have a couple, two to three items that are gonna be real generic, real basic things that you can stock up on. And then look for items that you think that particular person might like, because you’ve noticed them, you’ve taken an interest in who they are, and what their life is. And any time that we can do something that’s meaningful to another human being, we’re creating a relationship that’s gonna last, and a loyalty that will carry over. So happy hunting, happy marketing, and thanks so much for having me.
0:16:23.0 Kelly: Alright, thank you, Shannon. We’ll talk to you soon.
0:16:25.5 SD: Alright, bye.[music]
Watch the entire video on experiential mortgage marketing below!