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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2007

Marketing Doesn’t Stop at the Office Door

When you expand your marketing reach and focus, new clients — and profit — may follow

The greatest part about being a mortgage broker is that everyone around you is a potential customer. Any passing stranger sooner or later is going to be looking for someone who can help them own a home — which is just what we do. The hard part, however, is grabbing those people at the right time to profit from their passing by.

Throwing your business cards at everyone you see is not the most efficient marketing method. You would do far better to position your marketing in areas where you are comfortable working.

Just as any good fisherman will tell you, the area at the mouth of the river is crowded and congested with all the other nets. So cast your marketing net in an area that has not been exhausted and is best for you and your business.

Look for people like you

People in your target market should become counterparts who share your interests. Narrow your new prospects to people with whom you have something in common.

For example, if you enjoy riding motorcycles, find local online biker groups, join a club, organize weekend rides, join in local riding events, sponsor club gear or shirts, and engage shop-owners and customers while customizing your bike.

To put it simply: Become a fixture in the motorcycle-riding community.

These types of social circles will increase your comfort level and give you many chances to introduce yourself and your expertise as a mortgage professional.

Building relationships in this fashion also will create opportunities for much-warmer referral moments because it will be easier to ask these new friends for business.

It is critical, however, that you remain professional and discreet in these situations, especially in small groups. The worst thing that could happen in your new social circle is for your new peer group to lose faith in your ability to hold their personal affairs in strict confidence. Marketing is about building trust.

Try new things

It doesn’t hurt to diversify your target market. Just as inbreeding is an unhealthy choice, so is homogenous socialization. Try taking a class, joining a team or volunteering for a worthy cause. Involving yourself in short two- to three-month commitments will allow you time to network within different small groups while sharpening your socialization skills among a variety of people. Look for the group leaders, and latch on to help them help you spread the word about your business.

Make sure to establish your role among members of your new social circles and translate what that means for them. People will not react favorably to your message if they do not know what a mortgage is, how to get one, if they can obtain one and why they may want one from a broker like you.

You also need to make it clear why they should consult you, as opposed to your competition. Always be prepared with a grounded explanation of the current market. Understand and articulate where you think the market is headed, what your listener should do and why.

Once the group members understand what you do, encourage them to share your information with family and friends — ensure that they do not keep your services a secret.

These people can effectively build your network for you, allowing you to still enjoy the activity in which you’re participating.

Show your authority

If you feel you have an expertise in a subject, then teach it to others.

Your local community center, library or adult-education department has a plethora of classes taught on all sorts of subjects. Often, the process is as easy as organizing a meeting and teaching on a subject matter. The center hosing the classes will take care of the advertising in many cases.

Teaching a class will allow you to talk often about something you enjoy, and the room will be filled with people who want to hear what you have to say. Eventually, many of these people also will look to secure your services.

Social-marketing benefits

Compare the costs and benefits of your social marketing and more-traditional marketing methods, such as print and television advertising. You should find that a combination of these marketing efforts will better serve your evolving business needs.

You also will find that your new efforts form a stress-free marketing environment because they will place you in more-comfortable settings with more-receptive potential clients, all while you are doing something you enjoy.

The other great thing about these situations is that people usually share fun moments and anecdotes about the people they encounter with co-workers, family and friends.

So go have some fun — and remember that the money will follow.


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