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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   September 2013

5 Building Blocks of Marketing

Have the right strategy to generate leads and develop your client base

Top-performing commercial mortgage brokers know that, to advance their careers, they should generate new business and grow their volume. This can’t be achieved unless they embrace changes and shifts in the marketplace, all the while doing so with a solid marketing strategy.

Brokerages can get the best return on investment for their marketing dollars by being proactive in learning the latest trends that produce results. In addition, brokers have to know their target audiences clearly if they want to develop the right tools for reaching and interacting with prospective clients.

"Brokers who are proactive in reaching out to potential customers, peers and business partners are the ones who most often advance and grow their volume."

To determine their target audiences, commercial mortgage brokers can research the terms that people search for in relation to their business. Some of these keywords can be used in brokers’ online marketing campaigns to connect with more new customers.

Generally, there are five key elements that can help brokers develop a successful marketing strategy: connecting; lead generation; education; action; and referrals — an acronym of these elements would read “CLEAR.” When brokers use these five elements as a checklist for every deal and every client, they can make sure that all of their bases are covered and that they’re not leaving any potential business on the table.

Connecting

In today’s marketplace, the demand to connect is on the rise. Brokers who are proactive in reaching out to potential customers, peers and business partners are the ones who most often advance and grow their volume.

Building these connections can be done via e-mails and electronic newsletters that offer informational value for readers. You also can combine more than one tool in your marketing efforts. For example, you can send out a direct-mail piece, follow up by e-mail, use a service to call and leave a message about a special event, and then direct people to your website and a survey page to sign up for free prizes. By doing so, you can be sure to generate a significant amount of new business in a relatively short period of time.

Lead generation

Radio and television can be a great way to get your message out and generate new leads and inquiries. By some estimates, radio-show interviews and webinars can generate 20 percent to 30 percent year-over-year increases in lead generation. In short, get as much visibility and publicity as possible. People perceive those interviewed by the media as experts, which in turn can boost your image and eventually increase your closing ratios.

To create more leads, you also can offer special savings or tax advice, which helps you position yourself as an expert in your field. In addition, consider offering incentives to your website’s visitors to increase your online traffic and garner some potential leads.

Education

The purpose of reaching out to customers should be to provide education and position your company as a source of expertise in the mortgage field. This can be done through various methods of delivery, like phone presentations, webinars or in-person meetings to explain your services and what sets you apart. You also can create videos that explain the scope of your services and why you can be the best choice for your clients.

Because videos can be produced on a tight budget, they are a good way to reach more people for less money. Always add testimonials to your presentations and videos. By doing so, you are not only telling prospective clients that you are the best, but you’re also providing other voices that vouch for you. If you position yourself as an adviser, the returns will come back many times over.

Action

Create a few ways for a call to action to occur when you receive new inquires. Offering an incentive such as free consultation, free booklets or a time-sensitive offer can help you create the desired response.

In addition, be ready to capitalize on this response with a proper follow-up. Having the right tools to follow up will ensure that the enthusiasm about your services doesn’t fade. Remember, the work you do after you get clients’ expression of interest is critical to receiving similar responses to future marketing efforts.

Referrals

In today’s marketplace, there are many ways to generate referrals. For example, develop partnerships with local companies or nonprofit organizations to leverage your marketing efforts. You also may consider online marketing or asking for referrals from former and current customers. In addition, creating a reward program or an incentive program for referrals can deliver decent returns.

• • •

In addition to the previous points, commercial mortgage brokers should focus on social media. Although businesses have different perceptions and expectations of social media, it can be a powerful tool if used appropriately. You should be able to answer a few questions first, however: Where are my customers? How do they communicate? How can I reach more of them?

One word of caution: Don’t use social media without tracking your time and the results of your efforts. Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can provide good venues to reach and communicate with many people if you manage your time correctly.

Commercial mortgage brokers who are able to keep tabs on these marketing techniques will be able to build strong marketing strategies that enable them stand out from the crowd. They also can make sure that their marketing efforts and budget are channeled in the right direction.


 


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