In my consulting experience working with hundreds of mortgage professionals, I have noticed a similar attribute that is common to most independent mortgage brokers. Most are “doers”, not “planners.”
In reality, being a doer is perhaps the ultimate mark of a successful person. It’s what makes entrepreneurs a rare breed. Rather than thinking or wishing, they get out there and make things happen.
But I have encountered many mortgage brokers who get into trouble “doing” the wrong marketing activities the right way or “doing” the right marketing activities the wrong way. If you want to “do” the right marketing activities the right way you must start with a marketing plan.
You don’t have to kill a tree to create an effective marketing plan. In fact, you can create a successful plan for your mortgage business in just one day. To begin, don’t worry about writing style or making your plan fancy. Just go get a pencil and paper and let’s get started.
Step 1 — Understand Your Market and Competition
A big mistake that many mortgage brokers make is that they start marketing their services without first understanding the market and what it wants (not what it needs). If you try to sell something that people don’t want, they won’t buy it.
It’s that simple.
A profitable market consists of people who have dire wants that are being unmet, so much so that they will jump to buy your solution (mortgage product or brokering service). A profitable market can be compared to a lake with thousands of starving fish. All you need to do is throw in the bait and it turns into a feeding frenzy.
To get an understanding of your market you should ask yourself questions like:
o Are there segments in my market that are being underserved?
o Are these segments of my market big enough to make money?
o How much of a share of that market do I need to capture, to just break even?
o Is there too much competition in the segment of my market to be competitive?
o What unique problems does my market segment face when getting financing?
o What are the weaknesses in my competition’s offering that I can capitalize on?
o Does my market want or value my unique competitive offering?
Step 2 — Understand Your Ideal Client
Knowing your ideal client intimately is the first step to easy sales. Until you know (1) who your ideal clients are, (2) what they want, and (3) what motivates them to use your services, you can’t prepare an effective marketing plan.
To really get to know your ideal clients you’ll need to ask yourself questions such as:
o How does my potential client normally research their mortgage options? (e.g. search online, ask a friend, Yellow Pages etc. )
o Who is the primary buyer and the primary buying influencer in the purchasing process? (e.g. husband or wife, real estate agent, financial planner, accountant)
o What kind of habits does my ideal client have? For instance, where do they get their information? (e.g. television, newspapers, magazines, internet, word of mouth)
o What are my target market’s primary motivations for getting financing? (e.g. pride of ownership, lower payments, building equity, eliminate financial stress, etc.)
Step 3 — Pick a Niche
If you say that your target prospect is “everybody” then nobody will be your client.
The marketplace is jam-packed with competition. You’ll have more success jumping up and down in a small puddle than a big ocean.
Carve out a specific niche and dominate that niche; then you might consider moving on to a second niche (but not before you’ve dominated the first one!).
You could be a “Home Ownership Consultant specializing in Turning Renters into Home Owners” or a “Small Business Financing Expert specializing No-Income Verification Mortgages”. ” You get the picture. Make sure to choose a niche that interests you, that you are passionate about and that is easy to contact. I can’t stress this point enough.
There’s nothing more destructive than to pick a niche that you can’t communicate with or that costs you a ton of money to contact.
Step 4 — Develop Your Marketing Message
Your marketing message not only tells your prospect what you do, but persuades them to begin a relationship with you. You should develop two types of marketing messages. Your first marketing message should be short and to the point. Some may call this your elevator speech or your audio logo. It’s your response to someone who asks you, “So, what do you do?”
The second type is your complete lead generation marketing message that will be included in all your lead generation marketing materials. To make your marketing message compelling and persuasive it should include the following elements:
o An explanation of your target prospect’s problem.
o Proof that the problem is so important that it should be solved now, without delay. (e.g. painful mistakes to avoid, high interest debt to consolidate, stop renting and own your own home etc.)
o A free offer that you invite your prospect to take as the first step (i.e. free report, free consultation, free seminar etc.).
o An explanation of the benefits people will receive from taking your free offer.
o Examples and testimonials from happy clients you have helped with similar problems.
o A clear call to action (e.g. To get your free copy, call 24-hour Recorded Hotline 1-800-123-1234 ext. 34
o Emphasize that your offer is FREE with NO OBLIGATION
Step 5 — Determine Your Marketing Medium(s)
Remember, when I said that it’s critical to choose a niche that you can easily contact?
When you go to choose your marketing medium(s) you’ll understand why that was sound advice.
Your marketing medium is the communication vehicle you use to deliver your marketing message. It’s important to choose a marketing medium that gives you the highest return on your marketing dollar (ROMD). This means that you want to choose the medium that delivers your marketing message to the most niche prospects at the lowest possible cost.
The following is a small sample of tools you might use to get your message out:
o Newspaper ads
o Television ads
o Radio ads
o Trade shows
o Yellow Pages
o Classified ads
o Take-one box
o Magazine ads
o Door hangers
o Fax broadcasts
o Business cards
o Public speaking
The trick is to match your message to your market using the right medium. It would do you no good to advertise your “Debt Consolidation Services, on a hip-hop radio station targeted at young adults who rent. This is a complete mismatch of the market, message, and medium. Success will come when there is a good match of these three elements.
Step 6 — Set Sales and Marketing Goals
Goals are critical to your success. A “wish” is a goal that hasn’t been written down. If you haven’t written your goals, you’re still just wishing for success. When creating your goals use the SMART formula. Ensure that your goals are, (1) Specific, (2) Measurable, (3) Achievable, (4) Realistic, and (5) Time-specific.
Your goals should include financial elements, such as mortgage amount funded, annual sales commission, gross profit, and so on. However, they should also include non-financial elements such as closed deals, applications taken, leads generated, new clients.
Once you’ve set your goals, implement processes to internalize them with all of your team members if applicable. This might involve reviewing them in sales meetings, displaying thermometer posters, and awarding achievement prizes.