7 steps for launching your own employee mortgage benefits program

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When it comes to generating mortgage leads, there are lots of ways to skin the cat. With that said, not all lead generation strategies are created equal. The real question you want to ask yourself is, “What’s the absolute best way to attract a steady stream of closed deals that requires the least amount of time, energy and money?” To answer this question, consider the following three factors:
1. Third-party endorsement:
The degree to which you are being recommended or endorsed by a trusted “third party,” thereby giving you instant credibility and attracting hot, motivated prospects Who are pre-sold on working with you before they even meet you?
2. Marketing reach (capacity):
The number of ‘ideal clients’ you’re able to cultivate a relationship with, so when the time comes that they need a mortgage, you’re the first and only logical choice.
3. Cost of acquisition:
In other words, the average cost of acquisition per client. The lower the cost, the higher your profit per deal.
So, with those three factors in mind, here’s one of the best ways to generate more business: Launch your own employee mortgage benefits program. This is where you offer companies the opportunity to help their employees save time, energy and money when buying, selling and refinancing. You supply all the employee communication materials, and your on-site education seminars bring their employees up to speed on the latest mortgage financing programs and products. It costs the company nothing to have you provide this voluntary benefit to their employees, and it gives you a steady stream of pre-sold mortgage prospects. What a great win-win!
Now, as cool as this strategy looks at first glance, the truth is, most mortgage pros get sweaty palms and high blood pressure when they realize they’re actually going to have to start calling on corporate executives to make this thing happen. The intimation factor is a major game-stopper. So why bother doing this in the first place? Good question.
Here are eight exciting advantages of corporate benefits marketing:
1. It positions you as a ‘wanted guest’ instead of an ‘annoying pest’
Once a company approves your program, you’re no longer an outsider – you’re an insider. No more cold calling. From now on it’s only warm calling. After all, you’re the official, authorized and endorsed mortgage provider for the company. You’re part of the family now.
2. It gives you the ‘Oprah effect’
If you’ve ever watched The Oprah Winfrey Show, chances are, you’ve seen her recommend her favorite books on Oprah’s Book Club. Well, knowing the powerful influence Oprah has over her enormous audience of 15 to 20 million viewers per day, I had a hunch this would be big for her featured authors, but I had no idea how big.
According to Richard Butler, professor of economics and lead author in a recent study conducted at Brigham Young University in the US, “Not only did her picks rocket from obscurity, in most cases, to the top of the best-seller lists, but our statistical tests proved they generally had longer staying power on the lists than other best-selling books.” This massive increase in book sales linked to Oprah’s endorsement has been coined the ‘Oprah Effect’.
According to publishing sales monitor bookscan, the average US book is now selling fewer than 250 copies per year and fewer than 3,000 copies over its lifetime. In contrast, Oprah’s recommended books consistently rise from the dark corners of obscurity to sell millions of copies overnight, thereby skyrocketing their titles to the top of the best-seller lists, and in most cases, staying at the top much longer than their non-endorsed counterparts.
So, what does Oprah’s Book Club have to do with your mortgage biz? Everything! You see, you don’t have to know Oprah in order to benefit from the ‘Oprah Effect’. All you have to do is find a person or organization with a strong influence over a large group of your ideal clients and then get them to endorse you. That’s exactly what corporate benefits marketing allows you to do.
3. It gives you a captive audience
Have you ever dined at a restaurant in an airport? If you have, chances are, it wasn’t exactly your idea of great value.
In my experience, the food is either nasty-as-nasty-gets, or the service sucks, or it costs a fortune – or all of these! However, in spite of all those obvious shortcomings, most of these restaurants are still thriving while most of their competitors (outside the four walls of that controlled environment) are dropping like flies. In other words, they’re succeeding in spite of themselves. Why? Because they have a captive audience. They have a hungry crowd who can’t or won’t go anywhere else. Now, just imagine how much more successful they’d be if they actually delivered great value.
Not only will having a captive audience bring you more closed deals more often, it will also position you as the only logical choice in the minds of your prospects and clients. It’s like becoming a big fish in a small pond instead of just being a small fish in a big ocean.
4. It allows you to gain referrals from the employees
You see, the potential for business is not limited just to the employee population itself – the benefits offered can also extend to the employees’ friends and family. Furthermore, studies show that the average person knows at least 250 people. That means if your company has 100 employees, by making their friends and family eligible for the same benefits, your marketplace just expanded to 25,000 people!
5. Companies promote you to their employees
Once your program is approved, you can leverage the ‘Oprah Effect’ gained from having the company endorse you (either implicitly or explicitly) to all their employees. This gives you instant credibility and the corollary is more qualified mortgage leads who are presold on working with you before they even meet you.
6. Employees are inclined to redeem benefits they’re entitled to
Think about it for a moment. Have you ever been entitled to a ‘group discount’ at a hotel and not taken advantage of it? If you’re a cheapo like me, chances are the answer is no. Why? Because we tend to redeem benefits we’re entitled to. The more exclusive the benefit, the more we’re inclined to take advantage of it. This proven, psychological trigger acts like a slippery slope with no razor wire, causing the employees to gravitate towards you instead of your competitors.
7. It’s very low cost to implement and maintain
Sure, an upfront investment will be required to develop your marketing collateral. However, once that’s in place, the ongoing maintenance cost is relatively low. In fact, aside from marketing to your own database of past clients, I can’t think of a higher-leverage, lower-cost marketing method than corporate benefits marketing.
8. It provides a reliable alternative to real estate referrals
One of the principles I teach my clients is to build stability through diversification. As marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, “The worst number in business is one.” One income source, one referral source, one lead source puts your business is a precarious position. It’s like sitting on a one-legged stool – you’re setting yourself up for a fall! The more you diversify your lead sources, the less you rely on one source, the more stable, consistent and reliable your income will be.
So there you have it. I’ve just given you eight compelling reasons why it pays to launch your own employee mortgage benefits program. So, is it worthwhile? I would have to say emphatically, yes.
This is a slightly amended version of an article written by Doren Aldana, considered by many to be Canada’s leading mortgage marketing coach. It has been shortened to make it suitable for web publishing.

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