Effective Mortgage Marketing And Realtor Marketing Must Include
The Understanding That, You Are NOT Your Customer!
If I were my own customer, life would be a lot easier. But I realized long ago that if my customer could do what I do, then they wouldn’t need me.
This has never been more obvious than when I try to explain the process of effective communication in the arena of mortgage and real estate marketing.
While the thought process is the same for both the loan officer and the Realtor, we’ll look at it from the borrower’s perspective. An example of this is the idea that the borrower is still a borrower after they’ve borrowed. I would say the borrower is now a debtor, but the game of semantics is mostly fruitless, because the real issue is HOW the borrower sees the home buying or refinancing process after they’ve closed.
Let’s suppose that John Stevens (a fictitious person) just closed with a 4.14% interest rate on a 30-year fixed loan. Because of his financial picture and debt-to-income ratio, it was a struggle, but the deal got done. John had to jump through many arduous hoops, but, low and behold, he got it, or rather, you got it done for him. The loan is now closed, John’s blood pressure has stabilized and his life goes on.
Based on John’s experience, his lifestyle, his current state of employment and a little crystal-ball perception of his probable future, John probably isn’t going to be in the market for a refinance for quite a while, since he’s a blue-collar, employed individual hoping for a pension, if there’s even one in his future.
So does it make sense to send him mortgage marketing materials in any medium that talks about rates and programs that John has no interest in pursuing? Or would it be a better idea to just stay in touch with him and simply maintain a relationship with him and his family?
Going back to the hoops he had to jump through in order to get his most recent loan, are you now perceived as the hero or just a loan officer looking for another deal? Is John just a number or have you made yourself part of John’s family, thus cementing yourself into John’s future. When John talks about his loan experience, were you part of the pros of that experience, or the cons?
Your everyday life consists of many Johns, Toms, Marys and so on; many applications, legal forms, signatures and rate locks. Your past client, whom you see as a “borrower,” doesn’t see the world through the same prism that you do every day.
At some point during the day you ARE, in fact, just like your customer, in that you settle down for the day, and also have a life to live. This is true for all. However, in my daily experience with LO’s and Realtors I find it necessary to explain that marketing to their sphere with rates, programs, curb appeal and market knowledge isn’t going to make your business grow. This is because your past clients doesn’t see this industry the way you do. The sooner you realize that you are NOT your customer, the sooner you’ll understand how best to communicate with that customer.
Several months after the close of John’s loan, you run into him at the mall. Small pleasantries may ensue, but there’s probably a good chance that you won’t blurt out the latest rates or go into how long you’ve been in the business or what a great loan officer you are. Yet, this is exactly what happens with marketing. Most LO’s and Realtors don’t consider how the past client views the loan or home buying process AFTER the fact. Should there be any opportunism in you, you’re likely to market to these people with your mindset rather than theirs, then wonder why it doesn’t generate more files.
The reason this doesn’t work is as I stated earlier: When it comes to lender marketing, the so-called “borrower” isn’t really a borrower anymore. Your customer doesn’t see the world of finance the way you do, and, to their relief, it’s no longer a point of contention in their lives, much less a point of genuine interest. They innocently forget about the process and the financial state of the market. Sure, everyone wants to save money, but they simply aren’t in the financial trenches every day like you are.
Your marketing should always be smarter than an interest rate and, most importantly, it should be personable.
We have a mantra here at Exodus: “Share Yourself, Share Your Knowledge, Become Family.” The reason this is our mantra is that it works. While technologies change and people try to exploit these technologies for financial gain, the human condition remains the same. People do business with those they trust and like. If you only try to sell someone yet another loan, they’ll know it, and your trust factor will decrease considerably because your self-interest will cast a shadow over everything that really matters. Constantly sending your sphere of influence only wonky, industry-related information may make you look like a real professional in YOUR view, but it’s really just a thinly veiled, desperate attempt at saying, “Look at me, I’m a pro, can I have another deal?”
True, most people possess their own strong opinions on these topics, and in talking to LO’s and Realtors every day, it becomes obvious that many or most believe many foolish notions, such as YOUR clients are somehow different than other people’s clients. These false notions actually distort the process of creating ambassadors for you and your business.
Spend a few minutes looking hard at what you’re trying to achieve in growing your business, and the best way to reach that goal. Marketing to your sphere of influence is easier than you might think. Schedule a free Marketing Needs Assessment and we’ll help you identify what you’re doing wrong and what you should be doing to make it right.