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 rising, and almost any homeowner could be persuaded to refinance their home.
On top of that, banks and lenders were particularly lax in their business practices and practically anyone could get a loan. Surely everyone knows how this all works. Home sales today are sluggish at best, and even qualified buyers with good credit may have trouble getting loans.
So how should a mortgage broker drum up business in this gloomy 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 substitute for the Internet for getting your business card into the hands of as many people as possible.
Try to attend as many professional groups, networking parties, and seminars as you can. Don’t be shy, these programs are specifically designed for building professional relationships and doing business.
Another core element of mortgage marketing is direct mail and direct e-mail. While direct mail pieces don’t always generate new customers, they do help get your name in front of customers you’ve already done business with and build your brand. Past customers are one of your best sources for word-of-mouth recommendations.
While direct e-mail marketing is still in its infancy, it is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there. While e-mail is cheap and effective, there are some mistakes you should avoid. Be judicious with your e-mail marketing. Your subscribers will quickly tune out your message if you’re e-mailing them too often.
And be sure to provide an “unsubscribe” option for customers 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 refinances, as well as specific information about your business, is an essential marketing tool.
There’s trade to be made, but it’s going to take a lot more effort than ever before to find it.