Commercial Magazine

Create a Quantitative Marketing Advantage

Brokers who tap into the power of data can turbocharge their business-development efforts

By Richard Sarkis

Marketing success is often contingent on an ability to tailor hyper-targeted messages to prospects across a variety of mediums. That is particularly true if you are a commercial mortgage broker.

To successfully deploy this hyper-targeting strategy, brokers need to understand who their prospects are. They also need to have a handle on what the needs of those prospects are on an individual basis.

Luckily, through new technologies and machine-learning algorithms, commercial mortgage brokers can gain a serious marketing edge. In-depth borrower and property data are being aggregated and made available for them to find the right prospects, craft individually tailored messages and reach out to those prospects directly.

A noisy environment

The biggest hurdle to connecting with prospects for any marketer — whether or not they work in commercial real estate — has become the amount of “noise” surrounding communication mediums. Market-research reports suggest that the average working professional receives roughly 90 e-mails every day.

Furthermore, telecom technology provider First Orion recently made a claim that nearly half of all cellphone calls in 2019 will be scams. In other words, there is a ton of clutter that marketers need to cut through to even gain a few seconds of attention from prospects. Mortgage professionals need to transmit clear value to property owners and sellers in a very short time span.

The best way for debt brokers and other commercial real estate professionals to cut through the noise of inboxes is to send more specific, relevant and personalized marketing messages. Personalized e-mails, for example, deliver higher open rates, higher click-through rates and higher transaction rates.

For mortgage brokers, the most personalized and effective marketing messages are ones heavily informed by in-depth commercial real estate data — although the problem can simply be knowing what data is actually available. Many brokers are surprised at the sheer amount of data they can access on any prospect.

Today, a bevy of data can be accessed for most properties — including property location, asset type, building size, age of the building and number of units. Transaction-history data also can be found in most cases — from sales history and sales prices, to past and current mortgages, loan origination and maturity dates, lender portfolios, loan types and terms. Lastly, real estate data can reveal the owner of a commercial property, whether an individual or a limited liability company, along with their ownership portfolio.

Property data can help brokers quickly find properties likely to be good prospects for refinancing. Ownership and contact information can help brokers get directly in touch with the owners of these properties. Commercial mortgage data also can help them understand the debt and lending parties associated with a property. All of this data can help a commercial mortgage broker build poignant and detailed marketing messages tailored to individual property owners.

Finding prospects

Mortgage brokers first need to plan who to target with their marketing efforts by identifying property owners within their target market who may need a mortgage or refinancing. The first step in cutting through the noise is to ensure that they’re reaching out to the right audience with the right message.

Traditionally, this took a great deal of time and research. Local property data was available, but cumbersome to locate and aggregate, often requiring the piecing together of public records from various sources. That’s no longer the case, however.

Now, mortgage brokers can quickly find properties whose owners may be in need of a mortgage or refinancing based on the geography, asset type or debt history. Mortgage maturity and origination data on a per-property basis is readily available, as well as lender portfolios, loan types and so on.

Not only can mortgage amounts, terms and dates be found, they can now be searched and identified based on the location and asset type of a property, without the use of multiple sources. This is the first step in eliminating the “shotgun” approach to marketing.

Utilizing specific debt-history data on properties in a specific location, and of a specific asset type, allows mortgage brokers to prioritize certain prospects. They can draw a larger focus on those more likely to become clients, thus making their prospecting efforts more pointed.

Getting in touch

Once a prospective property is identified as a worthwhile pursuit, brokers need to identify the right person to reach out to. In most cases, that is the property owner.

Today, in-depth data that includes the property owner’s name, or names, and contact information is often readily available online. Brokers can access the ownership portfolio of the individual or limited liability company behind an individual property, along with their mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of key individuals.

This allows for direct contact with owners when building marketing campaigns that involve sending e-mails, direct mailers, marketing postcards or any other marketing collateral. Knowing who to target also helps in the process of tailoring a marketing message. When there is no question as to who will be on the receiving end of an e-mail or mailer, it’s much easier to be specific and focus on presenting granular, personalized messages.

Prompting action

The personalization of a marketing message relies heavily on the data used to craft those messages. When building a direct-mail or e-mail campaign, mortgage brokers can take their existing expertise about the market and add layers of knowledge through granular property, owner and debt/lender data points.

That knowledge can then be leveraged to create the hyper-targeted and relevant, value-based messages that move property owners to take action. Let’s say you’re talking to Bob, an apartment-complex owner. Instead of marketing generally to Bob about apartment buildings or market trends, you can build a message around Bob’s apartment complex, his county, his portfolio, and his debt and lender history.

Following are examples of granular data points that can be used to craft powerful marketing messages.

Property data: First and foremost, property location, asset type and physical-attribute data can always be leveraged in marketing. To be specific, a marketing message could include direct references to a single property — or a single trait of a property — in an owner’s portfolio.

With property data, language like, “your apartment building” can become “your 60-unit complex on Green Avenue.”

Owner data: Learning about a property owner is helpful in building a hyper-specific message as well. And now, brokers can access the ownership portfolios of their prospects. Available data shows all of the properties in an owner’s portfolio, whether

or not those properties have current or previous mortgages, and if those mortgages are shared across other properties.

Specific details about an owner’s portfolio can be leveraged to point out very granular value that helps to cut through the clutter, grabbing the prospect’s attention.

Financing data: Mortgage professionals also can view the current and past mortgages on any commercial property. They can view the lender for each loan, as well as the terms of that loan, the amount, origination date, maturity date and more.

Origination and maturity dates can be used to send marketing messages at the precise time a property owner might be considering refinancing. Furthermore, analyzing the type and terms of a mortgage allows for a much deeper understanding of what the property owner could be looking for from a lender.

• • •

Access to commercial real estate data enables mortgage brokers to build very strong, pointed marketing strategies. Brokers can reach out at the appropriate time with a targeted message that undercuts their competitor’s pitch — and provides obvious value to a potential prospect.

In the end, marketers are only as good as the data that informs the decisions they make. Commercial real estate data is improving by the day and can no longer be ignored by mortgage brokers, especially in their pursuit of marketing success. In order to build truly effective marketing messages for mortgage-financing prospects, data is nothing short of essential.


  • Richard Sarkis

    Richard Sarkis is CEO and co-founder of Reonomy, a commercial real estate data and analytics platform. Since the company’s founding in 2013, Sarkis has been instrumental in raising $68 million in venture capital and led Reonomy through a successful web-platform launch in New York City, as well as the launch of a second nationwide platform in 2017. An avid entrepreneur, Sarkis has launched numerous companies, including an international arbitrage textbook company, a college marketing network and an offshore tech company.

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