As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, January 2011.
Without marketing, your business won't thrive, yet many mortgage brokers and loan originators have a feast and famine relationship with their marketing and referral partners. When things are slow, they hit the ground with a variety of marketing ideas and scramble to get leads in the door. When things pick up, they slow down their marketing and focus on the loans in process. The problem with this is that your production and income will take the same path of feast and famine.
In order to build a strong, consistent loan-origination business, you must make marketing and relationship-building a priority. Decide today that your marketing will get done. Those daily, weekly and monthly tasks need to get accomplished regardless of how many loans you are currently working on.
Although marketing might not feel urgent when business is thriving, it is absolutely important and vital to the success of your future business. Here are six strategies to keep your marketing focused and on-target:
1. Set up a schedule and create marketing appointments in your calendar. This seems like such a simple thing, but it can have a great impact on how much you accomplish. As you get busy with loans, it's easy to push marketing tasks to the next day or the next -- then they end up not getting done.
2. Utilize the reminder system in your calendar to give you a warning when it's time to start working on a task. Time-blocking also is a great tool. Block out 15, 30 or 60 minutes of time to work on specific tasks. Eliminate other distractions such as phone calls and e-mail and focus all your energies on the task at hand. You can create momentum with this technique and often accomplish much more than you thought possible.
3. Track your marketing and its return on investment. Marketing results ebb and flow. What worked for you last year may not work today. Carefully track referrals and closed loans to use your time and resources as prudently as possible.
4. Look for ways to improve what you are doing. It may be as simple as tweaking the subject line of an e-mail blast, but if you aren't tracking your responses, then you won't know what works -- and what doesn't.
5. Try new ideas and take risks. Be creative with your marketing and have fun. Look for ways to set your business apart from the competition. Be memorable.
6. Maximize your networking. The more people who know who you are and what you do, the greater the opportunities for referrals. Go outside your comfort zone to increase your networking and visibility. Get involved with organizations and groups that will put you in front of more people. Work diligently to build and strengthen relationships.
These strategies work, but that doesn't mean success will be easy or quick. With commitment, however, the rewards will be worth the effort.
Take time each day to ensure your marketing tasks and strategies get done. The future of your business depends on it.
Bliss Sawyer is a nationally recognized coach, trainer and speaker. She specializes in relationship-based marketing strategies for mortgage professionals.
Reach her at (806) 577-3937 or Bliss@BlissSawyer.com. Visit her website at BlissSawyer.com.