It has been reported that over 80% of mortgage professionals fail within their first two years! That’s a staggering statistic. My hunch is, most of these mortgage professionals throw in the towel, not because they dislike the business, but because they can’t afford to eat. I know several cases where they exit the business with their families in total financial ruin. And believe it or not, it gets worse.
So, what is it about the top 10% highest income earners that allows them to enjoy financial prosperity, while the other 90% struggle to eke out a meagre existence? Is the difference found in their education, intelligence, skills, timing, work habits, contacts or luck? Perhaps. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is this: After coaching hundreds of mortgage professionals since 2005, I’ve observed that the single most important success factor separating the top dogs from all the rest is effective marketing.
Unfortunately, most mortgage professional are entering the business completely clueless about how to market themselves in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. Most are driving with their eyes closed – it’s no wonder so many crash and burn! But here’s the good news: If you avoid some deadly referral-marketing mistakes, you’re guaranteed to tip the scales of fortune in your favor.
Don’t neglect your database
One of the most costly mistakes I see mortgage professionals fall prey to is their tendency to myopically focus on acquiring new clients and in doing so, they neglect the only true asset they will ever have in their business: their database of clients and referral partners.
Think about it. What other market likes you, knows you, and trusts you more than your own happy clients and referral partners? Nobody! – they’re your raving fans. Yet how many of them get pushed to the side and neglected due to your “busy schedule”? When was the last time they received a meaningful communication from you by email, phone or direct mail?
Every month that you ignore your database it could be costing you thousands of dollars. Case in point: the National Association of Realtors in North America did a study and came up with some interesting statistics on the correlation between number of mailings and marketing results.
Here’s what they found:
• Sending fewer than eight mailings a year yields minimal results.
• Eight to 12 mailings a year generated a 200% increase in results.
• Now here’s the kicker. Going from 12 to 18 mailings per year increased results by an additional 200%!
What does this mean? Simply put, if you’re not consistently staying in touch with your database, month after month, you’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table! In fact, studies show that it costs five to 10 times more to acquire a new customer through advertising than it does to market to your existing clients. Why pay five to 10 times more when you don’t have to?
With that said…
Here are the three most important keys to a top-flight follow-up marketing system:
1. Monthly direct mail newsletter.
If you want it to be read, send it by direct mail. If you don’t care if it’s read or responded to, send it by email. It’s as simple as that! Your newsletter should be going out to three different segments of your database: prospects, clients, and referral partners. The key to follow-up success is consistency. Commit to regularly sending your monthly newsletter to these three groups every month until they die, buy, or tell you to stop.
Content is king when it comes to the success of your newsletter. If your newsletter is even remotely irrelevant, boring or dry it will quickly meet its fruitless fate in the recycle bins of the world.
8 tips to protect your newsletter from becoming a resident of “dullsville”:
2. Weekly mail tips.
- Use exciting and compelling headlines – i.e. “Nine Secrets to Make Your Home Renovation Pay For Itself!”
- Make it look like you did it yourself. It shouldn’t look mass produced.
- Write in a personal tone as if you were writing to a friend – not too formal or stuffy.
- When applicable, end the article with a specific call to action – eg “call today!”
- Make it entertaining – eg quizzes, trivia, recipes, sudoku, interesting news, etc.
- Include photos, cartoons and white space to please the eye of your reader.
- Use blue handwriting font on the envelope and mail with a live stamp (not indicia).
- A true direct-response newsletter is not, nor will it ever be, “professional”. There should be no articles about technical items, written in technical jargon. If you do talk about something technical, translate it into layman terms, and when relevant add stories, humour or sentiment.
If you’d like to supercharge your follow-up marketing results, send your contact list a weekly email tip in addition to the monthly mailing.
3. Phone calls.
Once per year, mail out a postcard inviting your clients to call you for an ‘Annual Mortgage Review’. For best results, follow-up with a phone call. Your objective is simple: find out if their mortgage is still up to date and whether or not it makes sense to refinance, do a debt consolidation, finance a renovation, etc. This is also a perfect time to ask for referrals!
If implemented correctly, your follow-up marketing system can become your most profitable marketing weapon – feeding you a steady stream of repeat and referral business! Consider it like the superglue that keeps your clients and referral partners bonded to you for life.
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.