With reports from all fronts pointing towards a market slowdown, seasoned brokers are offering newbies some of their tried-and-true strategies for turning up leads during a slump.
“Just because everyone is saying that business is slow doesn’t mean you should just lie down and accept it,” said Jackie Simpson, a Regina-based Centum broker, with 12 years’ experience under her belt. “If you’re in this business full-time, you got to find a way to drum up some business.”
Client referrals may be the bread and butter of many brokers, but Simpson and a couple of other veterans have a few other tricks up their sleeves when it comes to finding new clients. Here’s the top five ways to track down and win new clients:
1) Grab multiple touch points – There’s much talk of about a market correction in Vancouver, but Adil Virani of DLC-Adil Virani Mortgage is not worried because he believes in “mining his database” of existing and former clients.
“Your database is your treasure chest because people in it have worked with you and know you already,” Virani told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “You can dip into it anytime you want, still you can’t always be selling to your clients.”
He sends out a monthly newsletter to his clients, uses an online tool that automatically emails customers interest rate reminders on a weekly or bi-monthly basis, and then he send them personal greeting cards to mark birthdays and anniversaries.
Virani’s strategy is about developing “multiple customer touch points” and making sure his name is in his client’s mind when they need a broker.
2) Pick proactive partners – Ian Mackay, broker for Verico - RedPath Financial in Toronto, profits from the referral partnership he has with a financial planning firm he shares an office building with.
“I refer clients to them and they do the same for me,” he said. “As much as 1/3 of my deals come from this arrangement, and that’s a lot of help especially when business is slow.”
Offer info sessions
3) Offer info sessions – Mackay also takes part in a sort of lunch-and-learn program that Verico provides for free to many businesses. Called the Employee Mortgage Education Program, the sessions see Verico brokers dispatched to business offices to provide employees a brief information session about mortgages.
“The sessions are focused on providing information and there is no pressure on the attendees to avail themselves of our services,” said Mackay. “But I do get a lot of calls from people that attend these sessions.”
4) Get involved in the community – Simpson of Centum is a member of a number of volunteer and charitable organizations in Regina. It fulfills her passion to help others and give back to the community, but she will not deny that her involvement also wins her greater visibility and not a few leads.
“When I do community or volunteer work my business is always the last thing on my mind,” said Simpson. “It’s always people and service first, but you will always meet someone who might ask for your help in mortgage matters later on.”
5) Don’t be afraid to ask – Keep your eyes and ears open for possible business. Simpson says one of her colleague’s finds even a trip to the hairdresser very profitable sometimes.
“She was sitting there and she overheard another customer talking about her need for a mortgage so my friend immediately offered her service,” said Simpson. “Lesson learned: keep your eyes and ears open and don’t be afraid to ask.”