Magic moments: The little things that reel in referrals

It’s the little things that separate top brokers from the rest, says the National Finance Institute’s Peter Heinrich, and going the extra mile doesn’t have to cost you a cent.

Magic moments: The little things that reel in referrals
It’s the little things that separate top brokers from the rest, says the National Finance Institute’s Peter Heinrich, and going the extra mile doesn’t have to cost you a cent.

In Heinrich's recently book, The Mortgage Marketing Handbook, Heinrich tells of a technique to get you noticed in all the right ways by your clients, something he calls ‘Magic Moments’.

“Magic moments are small reactions or activities in a mortgage broking transaction that make it a memorable experience for your clients,” explains Heinrich.

“This idea has not been implemented to any great extent in the mortgage broking or banking industries in Australia, which creates a tremendous opportunity for the astute mortgage broker to get in before everybody else starts doing it.”

Magic moments can be little gifts or strategic communications worked into key moments of the loan process, says Heinrich, from bringing a packet of biscuits to a client’s home on first interview, or sending a bunch of flower’s to their work after settlement.

“That’s what the really good brokers do. Others just roll along like everybody else does, but the top 5 per cent, the reason they’re the top 5 per cent is because they do all those little tiny things. It’s no one thing that makes a broker better than another; it’s a whole heap of little things.”

One that works particularly well, he says, is phoning the client five or six weeks after settlement, to ask them how they’re settling into their new home.

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“That phone call is probably the best phone call a broker will ever make in their life. Clients don’t expect it, because most brokers don’t bother and they just think ‘Oh, next!’ That’s why I think it’s a really good thing to do because people really appreciate it.”

Something as simple as turning up prepared to the first client interview makes a huge difference, he says.

“The majority of brokers turn up at the house and say ‘Let’s see if we can make this work’, whereas the top brokers say ‘This is what I’ve prepared for you’. You’ve already got a half an hour head start on the other guy because you’re selling before you hit the front door."

When Heinrich worked as a broker he would arrive with all of the client’s documents organised in a folder labelled with their name and ‘My loan documents’, he says.

“You don’t even know if they’re going to get a loan or not, but it puts that positivity into it. I would stand at the door and say ‘I’ve got something really exciting to show you’. To be brutally honest I’ve never seen an exciting mortgage in my life, but the fact is that you can make the process exciting.”

Great brokers can implement a wide range of magic moments throughout the loan process, but the trick to making sure it doesn’t come across as a sales gimmick is to only use those that are comfortable and easy for you, says Heinrich.

“You shouldn’t do it if it’s not a natural thing. It has to be a natural for you, it shouldn’t cost a lot of money and it should be something that’s quite easy to arrange, but it has to be what suits you and what suits your personality. Some people can get away with things and some people can’t.”

Magic moments not only help you stand out from the crowd and get the referrals streaming in, they also make sure you keep your clients sticky, he says.

“The reality is a huge number of people use a different broker the second time around, and the really sad part is that they were disappointed with that first broker. If you’re an outstanding broker on the first occasion and the clients remember you, you’ve got a client for life – and that’s what we’re trying to do.”