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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   November 2011

It’s Business – and It’s Personal

Meeting with clients face to face is the best way to earn their trust and their business

The benefits of engaging clients through one-on-one interaction cannot be underestimated. The ability to meet at any time or place is crucial for world-class service and for creating the trust needed in these challenging times. Although communicating with clients via phone, e-mail and text is valuable, nothing beats meeting with them in person. Too often mortgage professionals rely on the convenience of electronic interaction instead of taking the time and effort to see clients face to face.

Meeting personally with clients is the most important part of developing and maintaining strong relationships. The mortgage business often is about trust, and the best way to earn that is with in-person meetings.

To have such meetings, mortgage professionals should focus their energies on working in their own neighborhood. Many prospective clients want to do business with a professional who knows their community, is available to meet and can have a personal relationship. The ideal place is at clients’ homes, but meeting at their place of business or at a private conference room at your local library or most anywhere else works fine. One advantage of making house calls is many, if not most, relevant documents are stored there. Many people are concerned about distributing their personal confidential information over the Internet, even with sophisticated encryption systems.

"When you market yourself as a mortgage professional with a personal — and local — touch, make sure your products fit your clientele and enhance the community you’re working in."

It’s not an either/or scenario when it comes to technology and face-to-face meetings but a both/and scenario. In fact, the tools of technology, including smartphones, tablets and notebook computers, have made mobile communication easier and can enable you to meet your clients where they are. The integration of personal interaction with technology will be key as technological advancement progresses. 

There are many ways for mortgage professionals to seek business in their own neighborhoods, including joining a networking group, hosting a seminar on buying your first home, conducting a direct-mail campaign to apartment dwellers, engaging in an opt-in e-mail campaign, launching a pay-per-click campaign or purchasing online leads in your area. Using social media such as Facebook or Twitter can initiate and develop a more personal connection. A customer-relationship-manager system can help you manage various campaigns and pinpoint leads in specific neighborhoods. Of course, developing a referral network through former clients, real estate professionals and other local affinity partners also is important.

When you market yourself as a mortgage professional with a personal — and local — touch, make sure your products fit your clientele and enhance the community you’re working in. Offer niche products, like the Federal Housing Administration 203(k) loan, a mortgage designed for prospective homeowners who want to rehabilitate or repair a home. Often 203(k) loans are used for foreclosures and thus can boost property values in the neighborhood. With foreclosures spiking to unprecedented levels throughout the U.S., mortgage professionals can create business for themselves while helping their communities.

Mortgage professionals know and want to support their own neighborhoods. By strengthening local connections and relationships through personal mortgage services, you can create positive effects throughout the community. There’s no better feeling than contributing to your neighborhood and being there for your clients.

In today’s troubling housing market, clients need mortgage experts they can trust — earn that trust through face-to-face interactions and work in the community. 


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