Two heads are better than one, and three heads, well, they get the job done.
When it comes to creating customers for life, one tactic that seems to be working is taking a three-pronged approach: collecting and utilizing borrower intelligence to create an opportunity at the right time for the right person in the right place; having the right message that resonates with an individual borrower; and having the right presentation to ensure borrowers understand and accept the information.
It’s a strategy that can increase profits, increase referrals and repeat business, and was expanded upon in a recent webinar hosted by Sales Boomerang, Total Expert, and Mortgage Coach. Their combined strategy can also solve for the loyalty problem that’s plaguing the industry.
Research by the National Association of Realtors shows that the typical realtor received 13% of their business from repeat customers and clients, and 18 percent of their business from referrals of past customers and clients. Although those figures rise to 36% and 25% respectively for agents who have at least 16 years of experience, that means they lose the vast majority of their clients.
Originators have in their hands the power to close that gap for their partners. Realtors don’t have permissible purpose, which means that they can’t see when someone’s ready for a loan or shopping for a mortgage. Sharing that intelligence gives referral partners a reason to reach out and recapture borrowers—which in turns inspires loyalty to their originator partners.
“The idea is to multiply. Every relationship should turn into many. A great experience, great delivery method, [and] great presentation is how you’re going to multiply every relationship. Nobody refers business to anyone if you have a bad experience,” said Alex Kutsishin, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Sales Boomerang.
“With great intelligence, with the understanding and no need to guess, no need to spam . . . with understanding everything that’s happening in your borrower’s lives, you’re sharing this with your partners as well, you can now focus specifically on getting the message delivered at the right time to the right place.”
Borrowers apply to multiple lenders, which means they end up in multiple databases, but many of the typical drip campaigns to those borrowers are ineffective. Lenders who fail to personalize, fail to engage, and fail to have a plan for contact at the right time, in the right place, with the right message and a personalized interaction are letting money slip away, said Sue Woodard, chief customer officer at Total Expert.
Instead, she said, think of marketing as a revenue center for creating lifelong customers and teeing up those opportunities so that originators know exactly when to capitalize on them. From there, it’s a matter of constant engagement.
“It’s not a funnel where [borrowers] just come through, magically do business with you and then drop out the bottom somewhere. It’s a flywheel, is what we call it,” Woodard said. “It’s really taking all of the data that you know about that person and using that data to interact with them in a very personal and very engaged way. And that marketing, that communication, it has to revolve around the customers at all times.”
The last prong of the approach is all about delivery. Profitability matters, and originators need to become modern mortgage advisers, with sharp intelligence and personally branded advice. If originators are not saying the right things at the right time and delivering the best process, they end up losing more loans than they’re closing—and the loans they do close are less profitable because they’re going to have lots of price exceptions, said Dave Savage, founder of Mortgage Coach.
Even though all production isn’t profitable, the goal is to obviously be as profitable as possible. Rather than delivering the same commodity experience as everyone else boasting about their rates and service, Savage said, the most profitable loan officers start the conversation differently by saying something like, ‘My advice is going to help you build wealth with real estate by making smarter mortgage decisions.’
Changing the strategy changes the game.
“We need to make sure we’re delivering this personally branded advice experience. . . . Yes, we need to play the speed game, we need to have an incredible, fast, experience. We do need to have a competitive price. But where the game’s going to be won or lost is on advice, and the loan officer’s ability to build their own personal brands.”
Savage also said that originators and lenders need to become obsessed with conversion, and that goes full circle back to referral partners.
“If you deliver this amazing experience at the point of sale with the borrowers, it’s also a great competitive advantage to realtors: ‘hey, my advice matters. I’m going to show my client how to build wealth through real estate by working with you, and I can actually give your buyers more clarity, so you have better conversion rates.’”
The ability and technology to connect borrower intelligence with intelligent automation and a personally branded delivery already exists, and lenders who engage in that approach to increase profitability, production, and better understand the borrower.
“It’s really going past automated marketing,” Woodard said. “It’s using that intelligent automation to improve that personalized engagement across the entire customer journey, not to replace the loan officer, but to elevate that relationship connection and drive to that repeat and referral business.”