An aggressive online and social media strategy has helped Centum post a volume growth of 13.3 per cent in 2012 despite a challenging economic and lending environment.
“We achieved a 13 per cent growth over last year’s volume of more than $6 billion,” said Paul Therien, director of business development for Centum. “Our new Web platform as well as our CRM (customer relations management) system with links to blogsites and social networks helped our agents boost productivity.”
A slowing home market and tougher mortgage rules introduced by the government this summer has been blamed by many mortgage professionals for sluggish business. Many brokers have reported branching out to offering other products as a way to diversify income sources.
However, Therien said many Centum agents managed to buck the trend thanks in part to leads generated by a single-sign on site launch by the company in April to help brokers generate leads and manage their own websites. He said the portal makes use of search page indexing tools and social media links to boost site “searchability.”
“The portal generated some 3,930 leads since it launched some seven months ago,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “That’s about 562 leads per month but we’re now targeting 5,000 leads a month.”
Also part of the program is CustomerConnect, a CRM tool which Centum offers exclusively to agents at no cost. CustomerConnect integrates with an agent’s website and enables the agent to communicate to their clients via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook as well as personal blogsites.
“These days, the average consumers does a web search not a phone a call before making a purchase or contacting a service provider,” Therien said. “What CustomerConnect does is put our agents in front of that consumer when they’re online.”