“Free” and “Win.” They’re two of the most powerful words in the English language, and brokers are increasingly using them to bring prospective clients through the door and signed up the dotted line.
“We’ve already done our ‘Great Mortgage Giveaway’ twice,” Darick Battaglia, broker/owner of the Barrie-based “Dominion Lending Centres - YBM Group, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “And now we’re doing it again. The response has been good and it helps to drive new originations for our agents.”
The sweepstakes, which started on April 1 and closes at the end of the month, will see YBM give away one prize valued at up to $1,000 per month for a period of 12 months or one year. The contest is largely open to customers who apply for and get their residential mortgages approved during that five-month period.
The initiative is similar to an increasing number of broker giveaway campaigns meant to capture new originations in a slowing market. No fewer than 12 brokerages across Canada, are now using some form of consumer contest to better market themselves in their respective communities. At the same time, they give agents a tool to create dialogue with leads.
Quantifying the success of those campaigns can be hard, say marketing analysts, often sceptical of the benefits of giveaways tied to big-ticket purchases – homes and cars. Their ambivalence hasn’t necessarily quelled Battaglia’s interest, although a more extensive campaign -- capitalizing on DLC’s use of Don Cherry as spokesman and open to anyone – is also part of his strategy.
No purchase is necessary under the “Where’s Don Campaign,” he said, and a random winner is selected from entries submitted online. Participants, in fact, go on the Web to report the location of life-size cutouts of Cherry scattered across Barrie by YBM. Each is then eligible to win a pair of high-end hockey skates or reimbursement for the cost of registering a child in a sports/athletic program up to $650.
It’s a relatively small prize with a potentially big payoff for the YBM brand, said Battaglia. It also piggybacks on of the buzz created by DLC’s national campaign. It’s an approach other brokerages in the DLC family are likely to copy.
Still, some critics argue the use of contests by mortgage brokers could undermine efforts to grow the industry’s credibility. Battaglia disagrees.
“It helps to create goodwill for the brokerage in their community,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca