As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, September 2005.
Many of us have heard that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I have another interplanetary duo for you: brokers and mortgage lenders. I’m not sure what planets we’re on, but we’re certainly not speaking the same language. I do know I’m not the only lender-marketing guy scratching my head and wondering: What do brokers want?
Mortgage lenders’ job is to make sure brokers get the products and the services they want to help them sell lenders’ loan products. Traditionally, this has meant offering competitive loan programs and field representatives who supply brokers with information and help to get loans funded. With the boom in technology, loan products, mortgage companies and low rates, however, our industry’s landscape has changed dramatically.
These days, there’s more competition for brokers’ business and borrowers’ loans. And there’s even less margin than ever, for brokers and lenders. We’re all trying to maximize our time and dollars, and many brokers are calling lenders for help in selling our loans to your borrowers. I think I speak for all lenders when I say that we’re more than happy to help — but we need a little more information.
The problem is that every request we lenders receive is for something different. It leaves us confused. Some requests we just can’t fulfill: We can’t do all of your marketing for financial reasons, and we can’t split the cost of campaigns with you because that violates the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. We’d be happy to respond to some requests, such as those for company fliers, product-marketing materials, mailing-list vendors that sell lead lists and customer-modeling services, telemarketing advice, referral sources and selling assistance.
Some companies are trying to address the issue of broker marketing and sales support by offering online marketing tools and free expert workshops. But I still receive calls and e-mails asking for our help. One vendor who scrapped an online marketing tool concluded that brokers want vendors or lenders to do all the work for them.
To help brokers, though, lenders need some information, such as:
What is your company’s size and what does it need? Are you a small or large brokerage? Do you want frequent interaction with lenders? Or do you not want us to interfere with your loan officers?
What tools do you seek? Is it enough if we design a postcard or a flier to print? Do you want a full-scale online tool with multiple sets of marketing materials? Or do you just want us to recommend where to go and whom to talk to?
What help do you need with leads? Some lenders buy many leads but don’t convert all of them. If we can work out the privacy laws for sharing data, would you like a shot at converting some leads we gather?
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