The state of the mortgage industry requires new originators to be creative, diligent and most of all consistent in their approach to marketing and acquiring business.
First, choose 4 – 5 activities that will bring in business. To just visit realtors or send out mailers today is not enough, especially when starting out.
Take each day and schedule prospecting activities. This is so often overlooked. Most LO’s that I know, even some of my own, simply take their day as it comes without a plan for the day. This approach is a setup for failure.
When starting out, I recommend prospecting for 5 hours per day, 2 hours for education (meet with reps, review guidelines, read MortgageNewsDaily!) and 1 – 2 hours for lunch. NEVER eat alone – invite a professional – CPA, attorney, agent or builder, every single day)
To create business relationships, NEVER walk into an office cold. Write some letters about yourself and your company and send them to professionals in your area asking for a meeting and ALWAYS follow up with a phone call. I’ve had LO’s actually send out invitation cards for breakfast or lunch dates – get professionals out of their office whenever possible. For your meetings, after a little small talk, keep the discussion focused on how you can MUTUALLY help each other.
Remember to keep most of your prospecting to individuals that can provide a steady stream of referrals. Many loan officers that entered the business over the past 5 years want to sit at their desk all day and call or send letters to potential borrowers. You can do some of that but limit that to 25% of your prospecting time.
If you take one thing away from this, it should be to spend 75% of your prospecting efforts on professionals.
Now… to develop a direct-to-consumer mail campaign, you make some appointments with title insurance people. Again, you are looking to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Title agencies that are part of 1st American have access to a website called leads2loans.com.
This site provides a lot of data such as homeowners with ARM’s or Jumbos or you can choose homeowners in a particular area. Get the data – choose a number that you can afford to mail on a consistent basis. Ask your broker or manager if they will chip in and begin a mail series. Never think that a one-time mailing will make you money.
Once you choose your target market, mail them letters, postcards, news items, things of value and do it consistently. You are trying to develop your name into a brand with that particular group of people – you want them to instantly think of your name when they hear the word “mortgage”.
Use the Internet to gain some credibility. Get your own website. This is easier than you may think and it will not cost a lot of money. Email me and I will gladly send you some resources. Begin an autoresponder series of informational items for potential clients and/or professionals. You can find many resources at 21stCenturyLO.com. An autoresponder will send out your articles and letters automatically once someone registers for your newsletter.
Consider the FSBO market. These people seek to sell their homes without a realtors assistance. If you offer to help them with signs, flyers and information, not only will they refer you their potential buyers but they will use you when they find their new home.
Well I could go on but remember this – Do more than 1 or 2 prospecting activities. Do them every single day. Concentrate on professionals. Do some direct to consumer marketing also.
One last item. Use every single loan you do as a prospecting springboard. Contact every single professional involved with the transaction and also every professional involved with your client – their insurance agent, their accountant, their lawyer.
Finally, at the end of the day, consider how much time you spent truly prospecting. Most people get caught up in small time discussions with people they are comfortable with – and that won’t bring in business. Stick to speaking to people that can bring you loans. If, at the end of the day, you can honestly say that you spent at least 3-4 hours speaking with individuals like that, I guarantee you will succeed.