It’s entirely understandable urge. But brokers should resist slashing marketing budgets in this slower market, cautions the head of a brokerage on track to realize a total funded volume of just under a billion dollars this year – in large part because of its own consistent advertising.
“The success of marketing and advertising is hard to determine,” Mortgage Brokers Ottawa President and CEO Mike Hapke told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But, generally, good advertising is really evident in slow times, not necessarily good times. What brokers need to be focused on now is maintaining advertising and marketing efforts in this environment.”
The advice comes as both large and small players prepare to grapple with slower fall and winter seasons. A national economy flirting with recession and a jobless rate that edged higher in August are dampening consumer appetite for housing, say economists. Most analysts are expecting new purchases to fall off relative to the last year, threatening to reduce broker revenue streams, especially for newer agents without existing portfolios to mine.
In this kind of market, the temptation is to cut back on advertising and marketing budgets, said Hapke, suggesting brokers do have an alternative.
“You have to be cautious with what you’re spending your marketing dollar on,” said the Ottawa broker, one of this year’s CMP Top 50. “It needs to be strategic as well as consistent. You can’t just put up a bus bench and think that the money is just going to roll in. For people who are prepared to be consistent and focused, that should help them maintain business, even now.”
Hapke’s Mortgage Brokers Ottawa is largely acknowledged as one of the industry’s most effective users of traditional print and radio advertising as a way of cementing brand awareness among area consumers. The brokerage’s formula has, in fact, inspired others working the Ottawa market to follow suit, leveraging community events, giveaways and contests, among other PR and promotional events, to stay top of mind with homeowners and buyers.
Increasingly, Internet marketing is a part of that formula, with Hapke focused on tracking the origins of all leads coming into the firm. It’s a key part of evaluating the effectiveness of any ad campaign, he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca