Residential Magazine

Simple Steps to Grow Your Database

Develop a multifaceted marketing plan to help you weather tough times

By Nathan Rufty

These past couple of months have shown that you cannot just have a few marketing strategies. This limits your ability to increase your database of contacts. During the initial months of the COVID-19 outbreak and lock-down, mortgage originators with the largest databases to tap into generally had more closings than those with a small database.

The key to long-term success in any sales-based business is to build a networking database. For loan officers and mortgage brokers, this includes active homebuyers, current homeowners who are potentially looking to refinance, previous clients and affiliate partners. The larger this list is, the wider the reach of the contacts you can connect with. You can pass along market updates, ask for referrals and reviews, and offer free consultation to review their current financial situation. 

If you have been in the mortgage industry any length of time and you have not built your database, think of how much business you potentially could have tapped into. Not to worry — it is never too late to begin building your database. Let’s review what you can do today to build a list and present offers to past, current and future borrowers. 

Manage contacts

A first step is to create lists of contacts. This includes borrowers you have previously closed a transaction with, borrowers you are currently nurturing and clients whose loans are currently being processed.

Place these lists in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. If you do not have a CRM system, start with an Excel spreadsheet or try free CRM sites such as Mailchimp, Zoho and HubSpot, to name a few. Once your list exceeds 2,000 contacts, you may need to look at a paid software system that is able to handle a high volume of email and has text-blast capability (such as LionDesk).

In that first step, grab any information you have about these borrowers, such as their full name, phone number, email and mailing address, and job title. Also include any loan-closing dates, program types and interest rates. These are the tags or headings you will want to use for segmented lists that identify borrowers you can market to when rates drop, or if you have specialized loan programs for certain professionals, such as nurses, firefighters, doctors, teachers or police officers. 

Going forward, place the information of any person you come into contact with into your database. You do not want to spam them by sending out email or text blasts that constantly ask for their business. Instead, be the professional contact who presents information to remain top of mind, so that when someone thinks “mortgage,” they think of you.

Get social

After you pull all of this data, you might realize it is only a couple of hundred contacts or less. If you want to grow your database, there are several free avenues to expand your sphere of influence. This includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, ActiveRain, Nextdoor, Google My Business, Yelp and podcasts.

When you create a YouTube video, ask your viewer at the beginning and the end to subscribe to your channel. This way, they will be notified each time you upload new video content. Ask your database to follow you on Twitter because this is where you can post daily interest rates of the loan programs you specialize in.

LinkedIn offers business pages and up to 10 showcase pages where you can highlight information about specific loan programs or other topics. Ask your contacts to follow a page that discusses nothing but Veterans Affairs loans, for example. On Nextdoor, post about home values in your area and ask the reader or viewer to call for a free home valuation. This is a way to connect with your Realtor partners, who can help provide a comparative market analysis to forward to the contact.

On Instagram, you can build a following by discussing first-time homebuyer programs along with the differences between renting and owning a home. On Facebook, you can build a business page to gain followers and discuss current mortgage trends, rates and programs. Be sure to stay on message so that loans are all you talk about. Direct your followers to other platforms and content (such as videos or podcasts) to seek further information about things like the importance of credit or saving for a downpayment. ActiveRain is not used as much as other platforms, but it has a wealth of information about active local real estate affiliates that you may wish to partner with.

Creating a free podcast with a platform such as Podbean is a great way to build a following if you are hesitant about making videos. With a podcast, you can direct your followers to a link for a free downloadable e-book on a topic you have expertise with. 

Google My Business has the online presence for you to make an offer without having a list. If done correctly, your Google business page will be one of three businesses to appear in the local search box at the top of the page when someone searches, for instance, “loan officer in Dallas, Texas.” There you can direct the consumer to another page, gather their information and grow your database.

Many people either love or hate Yelp. Either way, it is a social platform that should not be ignored, since it is free and ranks high on search results. You can direct the consumer to a mortgage calculator on your website or you can put a doorway form on the Yelp landing page to obtain their information before they receive the information they seek.

Offer value

When you add content to any one of these free platforms, remember to ask your reader, viewer or listener to subscribe. You can then direct them to download a free e-book so you can start building your lists for presenting purchase or refinance offers.

Originators can offer a free checkup of the contact’s current mortgage to see if you can place them in a better position by shortening their term or reducing their rate. You may be able to show them how, by making additional payments, to pay off the loan early and save on interest.

Other offers may include a free review of an existing homeowners insurance policy. You can send the declarations page (the policy summary) to your insurance affiliate to look over. The insurance agent can review the policy with your contact to make sure they are adequately covered in case of an emergency, or look at ways to bundle home, auto, boat or motorcycle coverage.

The past few months may have limited your ability to pound the pavement for business. Having alternative outlets to maintain or grow your business is a key for building a database to market offers with. Always look at your marketing avenues, and scrutinize what works and what does not in this ever-changing economic environment. Have a combination of online and offline marketing strategies, so if one pipeline dries up, you have others that should continue to generate leads. ●


  • Nathan Rufty

    Nathan Rufty is a mortgage coach and trainer with Mortgage Marketing Pros, a company that works with loan officers to develop marketing plans that increase leads and closed loans. Mortgage Marketing Pros was created by a producing loan officer and a master marketer to teach mortgage professionals how to create their own businesses without relying so much on one or two streams that can dry up without warning.

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