By Doren Aldana
Special to MPA
Most mortgage professionals have it absolutely backwards!
They believe they need to be the most technically adept with the best underwriting skills, product knowledge and customer service in order to be successful. While all of those skills are nice to have, they certainly aren’t critical to your success.
In fact, most successful mortgage professionals are quite mediocre in their technical knowledge and abilities; however, they are extremely good marketers. And if you’re an excellent marketer, you have the power to attract clients at will, and therefore you have funds to hire a team to help you with the customer service. On the flip side, without clients, you are out of business!
It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do, if you don’t know how to attract clients you’ll be the best-kept secret around. And another point to remember is that good marketing covers many sins. If you are a great marketer and you have the ability to bring in clients, even if you’re a mediocre underwriter you can still have a very successful business.
Now I am not suggesting it’s OK to be mediocre; I’m simply pointing out that marketing your services is far more important than how good you are at the technical stuff. In fact, you’ll have a lot more clients to practise on in order to get good at the technical stuff, if you are a great marketer!
Positioning vs. Prospecting
What is a positioner? A positioner is a mortgage professional who builds a brand and reputation such that prospects come to them. Prospectors, on the other hand, chase clients.
You see, positioners command respect, while prospectors are seen as beggars. Positioners pick and choose their clients, while prospectors will take anyone with a pulse who can fog a mirror.
Positioners are seen as experts, while prospectors are seen as a replaceable commodity. As a result, positioners enjoy a lucrative income, with more clients than they can handle, while prospectors are always hustling just to put food on the table. When you position yourself as an expert, people start talking about you, and your name and reputation spread quickly.
Once you build your brand as the ‘go-to’ mortgage authority in your local market, you become the only logical choice for mortgage financing – at which point, your clients are willing to stand in line and even pay higher fees just to have the privilege of working with you.
That’s the power of expert positioning. In contrast, prospectors myopically focus on getting that ‘next deal’ to pay the bills. They lose sight of the distinction between income and equity, activity and productivity. Therefore, they stay stuck in the hustle, going from transaction to transaction like a guinea pig on a guinea pig wheel.
Instead of investing their time in developing marketing assets that build wealth for the future, they spend their days prospecting for their next sale. They do crazy things like cold calling internet leads and knocking on doors. And then they wonder why they feel burned out, overworked and underpaid.
That’s the prospector’s way! At the same time, they’re watching the positioners who seem to effortlessly attract all the clients they want, while enjoying lots of time off to play golf, hang out with family and go on vacation.
So what’s their secret?
Their secret is that they position themselves as ‘mortgage experts’ who are authorities on solving their target market’s unique problems as they relate to mortgage financing!
How is this accomplished? Admittedly, there are no easy buttons or quick fixes. If there were, everyone would be successful! However, there are several factors that contribute to manufacturing expert status, just a few of which are credibility, third-party endorsement, publicity and education-based marketing.
Doren Aldana is considered by many to be Canada’s leading mortgage marketing coach and has won the Best Industry Service Provider Award three years in a row at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Canadian Mortgage Awards.