Back in the good old days, before the housing bubble burst, being a mortgage broker or loan officer was like having a license to print money. After all, interest rates were low, housing prices were climbing, and almost any homeowner could be persuaded to refinance their house.
On top of that, banks and lenders were particularly casual in their business practices and practically anyone could get a loan. Of course everyone knows how all of that worked out. Today home sales are sluggish at best, and even qualified buyers with good credit may have trouble getting a loan.
So how is a mortgage broker supposed to drum up business in this dismal market? Getting that business back means going back to the fundamentals of marketing and sales; networking, direct marketing, and a good website.
Word of mouth is the best way to generate new business and networking is the best way to get the word out about your business. It sounds old fashioned, but there’s no Internet substitute for getting your business card in the hands of as many people as possible.
Try to visit as many professional groups, networking parties, and seminars as you can. Don’t be shy, these events are designed specifically for making professional connections and doing business.
Another fundamental of mortgage marketing is direct mail and direct e-mail. While direct mail pieces don’t always net new clients, they do help keep your name in front of the clients you’ve already done business with and build your brand. Past customers are one of your best sources for word of mouth recommendations.
Direct e-mail marketing is still in its infancy, it is one of the most cost effective marketing tools around. While e-mail is cheap and effective, there are a few mistakes you should avoid. Be judicious with your e-mail marketing. Your clientele will quickly tune out your message if you’re e-mailing them too often.
And be sure to offer, keep up with, an “unsubscribe” option for clients who don’t want to hear from you by e-mail.
Establishing a visible presence on the web is a great way to compliment any marketing effort. A mortgage website that provides good general information about new loans and refinancing, as well as specific information about your business is an indispensable marketing tool.
There’s business to be had out there, but finding it is going to take a lot more effort than it used to.