As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, August 2011.
In the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” the main character creates 32 rules to surviving in a world dominated by zombies. Rule No. 7 is: “Travel light.” Traveling light allows us to adapt more easily to events and to our environment.
That same rule can be applied to the mortgage industry. In the past several years, the industry has been bombarded with apocalypse-type federal regulations. Combine that with an already-struggling economy, and the mortgage industry may be well-suited for a new horror film. The ability to travel light or adapt is the key to survival for mortgage professionals.
Those that have survived the turmoil and have learned to adapt will survive — and thrive. If you choose to be a survivor, use rule No. 31, which is “check the back seat.” Learn what tools you have at your disposal. Those tools just might make your survival a legendary success story.
For starters, consider your office your back seat. What’s there? Your loan-origination system (LOS) or a host of unused software programs? If so, you’ve got a great start to your own survival movie.
Your typical LOS also may be designed to travel light. Technology vendors have been forced to adapt to accommodate federal regulations as often as they are created or changed. Additionally, the evolving needs of mortgage brokers have necessitated advanced functionality and value-added features to out-of-the-box platforms. Because these changing rules and requirements resulted in improved technology and updates for your LOS, you now can travel light when it comes to maintaining and growing your broker business.
Adapting for sustainability is simply a matter of using what you’ve already got. Here are a few rules for your own story.
Rule No. 1: Use low-cost marketing
If you think only graphic designers can produce credible marketing materials, you haven’t been introduced to the wonders of word-processing templates. There are hundreds of templates to choose from and they’re all customizable. Add your own images, your own logo and any personalization you want. You don’t need to understand programming or complex design codes.
Better yet, marketing customization extends to your LOS. You can design anything you want and import it into your LOS for further customization. Add your contact information from your contacts database and you’ve got materials ready to be mailed — printed directly from your LOS. Or start from within your LOS and add merge fields directly into whatever document you create. It’s easy either way.
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