We made it through 2020. Now what?
While the general sentiment toward the recently expired 2020 is “good riddance,” mortgage industry professionals have a special relationship with the (we’ll be like everyone else and say it) “unprecedented” year.
On the one hand, there was a worldwide pandemic that generally wreaked havoc.
On the other hand, mortgage rates fell to record lows 16 times over the course of the year, and mortgage companies closed a record number of refinances. Even if they could work from home in their pajamas and close deals remotely, loan officers didn’t get a break.
But with a new year comes new business-building strategies, even while the pandemic rages on. With so many homeowners having successfully locked into low rates last year, the refi boom isn’t likely to continue at the same frantic level. It’s time for loan officers to start focusing on a purchase market.
And when we think of reaching purchasers, we often think first of referral partners. Here, for your 2021 marketing strategy, are five steps for building relationships with Realtors.
Marketing to Realtors Step 1: Prepare them for the busy weekend.
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Like loan officers, Realtors get asked the same questions over and over. Anticipate those questions for your referral partners and arm them with the tools they need when they need them.
Differentiate yourself from your competitors by providing timely information your referral partners can discuss with their buyers while they’re showing homes (virtually or in-person) over the weekend. Include information on both rate and housing market trends.
You’ll also want to make sure they have the latest on your company’s special programs. Choose the ones that are likely to apply to their clients. Do you have a special low down payment option for first responders and essential workers and special financing available for jumbo loans? Know your referral partner’s specialty and send information on the program most likely to fit their buyer profile.
Marketing to Realtors Step 2: Add value to their current marketing.
Chances are, especially if you use a content-driven Mortgage CRM, you have lots of tools that Realtors can use to augment their marketing.
Before you rush in and offer to help with their efforts, take time to review what they’re doing now. See where their marketing can use a boost and target those areas (without criticizing their current marketing programs, of course).
Look for ways to help with marketing tools that might be out of the Realtor’s normal wheelhouse. Suggest calculators to embed on the agent’s website or offer co-branded landing pages or flyers that address mortgage-related topics.
The idea is to complement, not replace, the Realtor’s existing brand.
Marketing to Realtors Step 3: Help them stay on top of the deal.
Like loan officers, Realtors spend a lot of time prospecting. They can’t let up on gathering leads while their deals are in process.
You can help by offering deal-specific marketing.
For joint prospects, offer co-branded email campaigns targeted to the type of buyer (first-time or move-up, for example).
Provide a single property site for each home the Realtor is selling. Use it to capture online leads as a safe, no-contact way for visitors to sign in at the open house.
Offer updates to your joint clients as they move through the loan process. Co-brand these with the Realtor so they can share the credit for a smooth purchase process.
Marketing to Realtors Step 4: Keep them top of mind after the close.
It’s in the best interest of both you and your Realtor partner to build your business’s future by laying the groundwork for returning clients and customer referrals. One way you can do this for both of you is through a co-branded, post-close, client-for-life campaign.
A strong post-close campaign will:
- Last several years to cover the typical time before a client makes their next move.
- Include multiple channels, such as postal mail, text messages and emails. This improves your chances of getting your message across in the channel they prefer and also of staying in touch through changes in an email address or phone number.
- Cover different types of messages, ranging from those relevant to the client’s current home to simple holiday and birthday greetings.
The nice thing about a multi-year, co-branded post-close campaign?
It’s not just that you and your Realtor partner are staying top of mind with the client. You’re also staying top of mind with each other.
As responses come in from the client, you’ll naturally have conversations with your Realtor partner, too, and they’ll be reminded how great you are and how wonderful it is to work with you.
Marketing to Realtors Step 5: Offer solutions only you can provide (with the help of your Mortgage CRM, of course).
Realtors — especially the good ones — hear from loan officers who want to “help” them all the time. What will make you stand out from the crowd? In addition to studying their marketing and complementing their efforts (Step 2), you’re going to want to offer unique marketing content the Realtor can’t find just anywhere.
And how do you do that when you hardly have time to get everything done as it is?
You use a content-rich, mortgage-focused CRM, of course.
Surefire CRM has the timely materials, the value-adding tools, the deal-specific messaging and the cobrandable, multi-year, multi-channel Client for Life campaign that will help you complete all of these steps without building a real estate marketing program from scratch.
And Surefire’s content library is so rich that even your competitors who use the same system aren’t likely to employ the same marketing content you do. There’s plenty to go around.
Take a tour of Surefire today, so you can see exactly what we mean. We’ll be happy to show you around!
Start 2021 off on the right foot and build a better mortgage marketing strategy with Top of Mind’s free Mortgage Marketing University.
As content manager at Top of Mind Networks, Renita develops award-winning marketing materials and strategies for mortgage companies. Throughout her career, Renita has managed public relations and produced both printed and online content for clients in the home building, affordable housing, real estate, mortgage lending, financial planning, and environmental industries. As a ghostwriter, she has contributed to two books on social media marketing. Her work has also been published in numerous print and online trade publications for industries she supports.