Building relationships will be key for industry’s continued success in 2018

by Heather Turner07 Feb 2018

We sat down with Ray Bartreau, SVP of mortgage partnerships at Best Rate Referrals to talk about the mortgage marketing company and the current state of the mortgage industry:

MPA: Tell us about Best Rate Referrals:
Ray Bartreau: We are a full-service mortgage marketing company with a focus on internet lead generations for FHA, VA and reverse loans. We have two call centers, one in LA and one in Clearwater, FL, and we specialize in live transfers for the forward and reverse mortgage market for both purchase and refinance.

MPA: Do you think it is a good time to be in the mortgage industry?
RB: This is a cyclical business and from everything that I can see, I think we are on an incline. I think that there are a lot of opportunities for everyone in the market, from retail all the way to wholesale channels. The purchase market is growing, and as a whole, I look at the industry as a real strong space to be in right now.

MPA: What marketing strategies should companies focus on for 2018?
RB: I think moving your portfolio or the direction of your business into the purchase market will be smart move for mortgage businesses. By moving a percentage of your business to target the purchase market while also building relationships with Realtors and financial advisors, will once again be a strong move. In today’s market, not many people are focused on building those relationships but as the market changes mortgage professionals will need to start to focus on those relationships.

MPA: Are direct mailers a thing of the past or are they still effective today?
RB: In general, response ratios have dropped because everyone in the country is going digital and everyone has their mobile devices so there are a lot more ways to communicate with key audiences digitally now. The con with direct mail is that the response ratio has decreased in recent years. But the pro is that the audience you can reach with direct mail allows you to target the exact consumer base that you want to hit. With radio or digital marketing, you will display your ads to a much broader audience with the hope that the borrowers who fit the criteria you are looking for are a part of that audience. With direct mail, you can really narrow down your audience. Even with a response rate of 0.5%, it will be from the people that fit the exact criteria you are trying to write a loan for. You will get a lower call volume but with higher conversion on those calls.

MPA: What else should we know about Best Rate Referrals?
RB: We have been in business for 12 years, and we have increased our client-based revenue and production for our partners year-over-year. We were recently acquired in July by a much larger media company, Digital Media Solutions, and due to that acquisition, our reach and our efficiencies have increased. We’ve increased our total lead production by 22% since July and our conversions have gone up about 10% as well. We now have the fire power to focus more on what our clients are actually looking for that will increase efficiencies across the board. It is a really good time to partner with us right now. If you are not using Best Rate Referrals you need to get on board.

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