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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2007

Becoming Clients’ Permanent Broker

Past borrowers can be your future business if you remind them why you’re the best

Past clients can be a great source for new business. If they’re satisfied with their loan at the time of closing, only one obstacle stands in the way of gaining their future business — their memory. The next time they need broker services, your former clients need to remember who you are and what made you stand out.

To become your clients’ permanent broker, you must remain an influential presence in their lives. Take the following steps to position yourself for repeat business:

  • “Wow” your clients after their loans close.
  • Keep up-to-date databases of all clients and referral sources.
  • Make your name known.
  • Get testimonials once transactions are complete.
  • Tell customers how much you value their business.

Wow your clients

After you deliver good service and pricing while completing a loan for clients, it’s important to continue to wow them as time goes on. These clients want to know that they can count on someone to be there, no matter their circumstances.

This means serving as their concierge — someone who will not only remember them by name when they call but who will also have fast access to their past documentation when they start looking to buy a rental property or second home.

You can continue to impress former clients by passing along insights and valuable information that might help better their financial situation. This way, by the time they’re ready for that next mortgage or refinance, you’ll already have gained their respect and trust.

Keep up-to-date databases

An updated list of all your past clients, referral partners and associates can help you stay in contact with potential repeat borrowers. This database can also include your current prospects.

Combining your past and present leads can increase your future pipeline, especially if you market to everyone in your database monthly.

Make your name known

It’s important to introduce yourself to every professional involved in a loan transaction you’re conducting. These can include attorneys, financial planners, accountants, builders, real estate agents, property sellers and many others.

To simplify this process, create letter templates for each of these professions. Ask your clients for each person’s name and insert it in the proper letter, which you will mail to them. You may also choose to send them your marketing pieces.

If you previously introduced yourself, don’t assume that others remember you. Besides, contacting them again will keep your name fresh in their minds. The more people who work with your clients and know your name, the more people who can remind them later on that they should continue using you.

Get testimonials

By asking your clients to write referrals for you after closing, you give them a chance to review the loan process and reflect on your services. You can reward the clients who write you references with a book that has changed your life or a free credit report on their first funding anniversary. This gift can be a reminder of your positive business relationship.

If you haven’t been collecting testimonials, it’s not too late to start. One way is to call previous clients in order to tell them you’re celebrating a business anniversary and looking to collect input from former customers. This will help gain a collection of references you can post to your Web site, put in marketing materials and display inside your office. It will also help re-establish contact with past borrowers and can be a useful way to reintroduce yourself without sales-pitch pressure.

There are many other ways to get testimonials. The key is to start brainstorming and acting. Thinking about strategies without moving on them won’t get you anywhere.

Tell customers their value

Putting a value on clients can make them appreciate your time and efforts even more. Try sending them a package of meaningful items after closing, including a color copy of their appraisal and a free subscription to your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter, this is also a good time to start one.

Your clients’ perceived value of these and other gifts will be higher than what they actually cost you. Moreover, they could pay huge dividends in repeat business.

The theory behind these gifts is simple — if you keep giving to people, eventually they’ll give back. Most clients will remember your generosity. For many, it can be the deciding factor in whether or not to come back for further business. In the end, the money you spend on expressing customer value will seem minor compared to the monetary rewards that follow.

•  •  •

The longer you wait to put these ideas in place, the more you could lose out on continued business from past clients. Although these borrowers may have been happy with your service at the time their loans closed, it’s up to you to keep reminding them about that great service. Now is the time to turn your former clients into your biggest fans — and gain their business for life.



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