Broker Kit Bag pt. 1

You spoke and we listened. CMP Magazine assembled a list of tools that no mortgage broker should be without.

Broker Kit Bag pt. 1
Last year’s mortgage environment was marked by loads of competition, and 2014 is looking to be more of the same. But mortgage brokers across the country can breathe a collective sigh of relief: CMP is retrofitting your old kit bag with several new tools – and some oldies but goodies that you may have forgotten about.

Some of these seemingly high-tech products are surprisingly easy to use, and have been tried, tested and suggested by your peers. They may seem daunting, but once you start using these systems, platforms and softwares, you’ll find it easier to build – and maintain – your business.
 
1 – Social Media
If you haven’t yet jumped on the social media bandwagon, now is the time. Twitter is one of the forerunners in breaking news and Facebook connects more than a billion people – many of them mortgage brokers.

These social platforms are particularly unique because they enable you to create and develop a personalized profile, allowing others – including potential clients – to get a better sense of who you are as an individual.

“It’s creating brand awareness,” says Ravi Gosal, a broker with Dominion Lending Centres.

You can really let your personality shine through your social media profile since these types of platforms forge more of an informal relationship between you, your clients and your potential clients. Gosal says it helps when potential clients can see a real human behind the business, making it easier for them to feel comfortable approaching you for mortgage help.

Invis broker Mary Cancelli says she considers her social media presence a way to reconnect with her satisfied clients.
“It’s a re-acquainting,” she says.

That re-acquainting, however, has led not only to repeat business, but to new business, too.

“Through that I get referrals,” she says.

Indeed, a social media profile can tell potential clients a lot about how you approach your business. It can also provide you with the opportunity to share important information about the industry, prompting new and old clients to contact you for more information, if necessary, which can lead to new products.

“Every few weeks or when something is news worthy, I will write a little news tid-bit [on Facebook] just to keep my clients up-to-date on the industry,” Gosal says. “Some people have privately messaged me to say thanks and keep posting.”

Cancelli says she uses Twitter to inform her following.

“I’ll tweet things about interest rates going up or down,” she says.

Once your online relationship with your clients is both open and beneficial to them, social media can also create a portal through which clients and potential clients can contact you with ease.

“Everyone’s on Facebook,” Gosal says. “Some people have it open all day. They have their phones with Facebook, so people always have that avenue open where they can reach you 24/7.”

But before you start a Facebook account, be forewarned: you shouldn’t expect an influx of business after just one week. Social media profiles are like flowers; you need to spend the time nurturing them before you’ll see a return. Gosal says it took almost three years before Facebook brought him a deal.

“It took a while, but it’s possible if you keep your brand out there,” Gosal says. “It’s free, too, so you don’t have to pay anything to market on Facebook.
“Don’t limit yourself from any possible lead you can generate.”

Continued...

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2 – e-Newsletters and e-Cards
Maintaining some kind of relationship with your past clients is important for a sustainable business. But with heightened competition and a longer task list, making cold calls and sending personalized emails every month is just not feasible. Automatic newsletters and electronic greeting cards are a great way to stay connected and remind clients that you’re still available for their ever-evolving needs.

There are a slew of electronic greeting card providers – and many of them offer their services free of charge. Invis broker Mary Cancelli says she uses Punchbowl to maintain a warm relationship with her clients.

“I send out St. Patrick’s Day cards, Easter cards, Rosh Hashanah cards, those types of celebrations,” she says. “I also send electronic birthday cards; clients think it’s great that I’ve remembered to send a birthday card.”

Online email campaign services are also extremely user-friendly and cost-effective, and can help you keep in touch. iMambo, for example, helps users build, send and maintain email campaigns.

“Once a week and once a month, [the system] automatically sends an email to all the email addresses in the system,” explains Raymond Daniels, a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres.

“You’re constantly on people’s minds. They may not need you for three or four years, but when they do [need you] they remember you.”
Daniels says he’s gotten new and repeat business from the emails – a happy result of always being on his clients’ minds.

After all: if you’re out of sight, you’ll also be out of mind when a client needs additional products or when it’s time for renewal.