) is probably one of the areas we’ve invested the most in and grown the most in over the last 12 to 18 months,” says Raymond Brousseau, Carrington’s executive vice president of mortgage services. “The marketing team does an exceptional job providing LOs with off-the-shelf and customized marketing materials that give them the ability to go out and have their own micro-marketing campaigns in their own areas.”
“We run a really robust CRM program at Carrington,” says Tom Shaw, vice president of marketing for Carrington. “The CRM is really a portal for all the marketing materials, where LOs can access their hundred-plus marketing assets. If they don’t want to use it, we’ll take care of it for them, so it’s like a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy – but they can go in and customize it if they wish.”
“We do lead generation, we do direct mail, we do a lot of internet advertising,” Brousseau adds. “We’ve had fairly robust press campaigns. Very simply, we’re making it known to the public that we want to make loans to people with FICO scores under 640. That sells itself to some extent.”
Carrington also focuses on education – for both employees and consumers. In addition to the traditional continuing education, Carrington offers employees a chance to broaden their expertise.
“We have employee-based initiatives around education, and we also have consumer-based initiatives around education. On the employee side, we’ve crafted our own underwriting university,” Brousseau says. “We’re looking to steer the business toward a different kind of client. Today, most underwriters are sitting in shops and making decisions with automated systems that steer them toward a client with a FICO score of more than 680. Where we’re going, where the FICO score on average will be 600 to 640, it requires a very different type of underwriting. So we’ve launched our own underwriting university to teach folks – even those who want to become underwriters or just want to know more about the business. All our LOs went through it, account executives went through it, processors went through it.
“We’ve also launched a consumer education initiative,” he adds. “Today, any borrower who comes through the door with a FICO score less than 640 – or who happens to be a first-time homebuyer – goes through an education program. It’s all web-based. As their loan progresses, they’ll get an email and go online. They’ll have to authenticate, then they’ll go through about a 25-minute program unique to their loan that tests their knowledge and their understanding of the terms and conditions of the loan.”
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One of the main advantages of joining a branch network is the marketing and CRM support a big company provides. And Carrington Mortgage Services takes marketing and CRM very seriously, especially now that it’s focusing on providing mortgages to borrowers with lower credit scores.