Know your objective
Before you make any marketing move you have to decide what your objectives are. If you want to augment customer outreach or improve customer retention, an email marketing strategy could be one of your best options. If you’re looking to target a certain demographic, your media presence – including social media – can help you achieve that.
“Other goals might be creating more awareness and recognition of both the company and of the individual loan officer, closing more loans, converting prospects to applicants and maintaining contact with both prospects and applicants,” Howard said. “There are a variety of reasons to advertise and market yourself. We recommend weighing and considering all of them, then focusing on the most important ones.”
Get to know your clients
Howard advises all loan originators to spend the time to update and maintain their own databases. “There is so much more that you can do by maintaining your own database and having information other than the closing date, the borrower’s anniversary or their birthdate,” she says. Rather than simply sending the typical messages to customers such as “Happy Holidays” or “Buying season is starting,” there are other reasons loan officers can reach out to their contacts, according to Howard. She says that, “today, consumers aren’t looking for loan officers to just sell to them; they want you to build a relationship with them.”
Investing in modern technology is a vital cog in any successful marketing plan. Some of the most important technology investments are:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) When Assurance Financial was looking to implement a CRM tool, the company targeted a system that would meet their specific needs in the mortgage industry. “The CRM already had a huge library of different tools – like emails and direct mail campaigns – that spoke the right language,” Howard says. “Using a mortgage-specific CRM tool rather than using generic software and converting the messages to the mortgage business reduces time and costs, and increases efficiency.”
Mobile Apps No loan originator should be ignoring the rise of apps and how they could help boost their profile. “We have a mobile app that allows borrowers and Realtors to calculate mortgage financing scenarios,” Howard says. “Having something like that at their fingertips is really handy for our clients. They like the convenience.”
Social media –Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are fundamental marketing tools in 2016. And, they allow you to do so much more than just talk to your followers about mortgage products. “It goes beyond simply letting borrowers know what kind of loans we provide,” Howard says. “We want potential clients to interact with us. We want to show that we are just like them, that we are family people and live in the same community and care about the same things that they care about.”
Assurance posts photos of borrowers at their closings on social media, with the company’s branding in the photo, Howard says. “It is subtle, but it shows that we are excited for them during this big moment in their life. Their concerns are our concerns.”
Every savvy loan officer and branch manager knows the importance of an effective marketing strategy. It can make the difference between a great year or a mediocre one. We asked Kristi Howard, marketing manager for Assurance Financial in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to share her top marketing tips for the latter half of 2016.