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Surefireside Chats: Wes Schueneman, SecurityNational Mortgage Company

Jan 25, 2021


Surefireside Chats is our monthly series where we sit down with mortgage marketing leaders to hear their top strategies and secrets for success as they raise the bar one campaign at a time.

This month’s guest is Wes Schueneman, director of marketing at SecurityNational Mortgage Company (SNMC).

Top of Mind Networks:

How did you get started in marketing?

Wes Schueneman:

Initially, I worked at design firms and ad agencies in the publication industry. Through my career, I worked with great marketing professionals and those connections eventually got me to where I am today.

Top of Mind Networks:

What does the marketing team owe the rest of the organization?

WS:

Our loan officers are our clients, so if we’re not generating business for them, then we’re not doing our jobs. We act as an in-house marketing firm for our company, providing excellent customer service to each and every loan officer. We’re ultimately here to generate business and help grow our talent.

Top of Mind Networks:

How do you draw on your company’s existing tech stack and data partnerships to enhance the marketing effort? 

WS:

Our Surefire CRM is married to our other tools, MobilityRE and SimpleNexus, providing us a great marketing toolset that works together in harmony to market to our clients and borrowers in ways that we wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to do. This technology has set us apart from a lot of other companies. It’s a win all across the board – It’s beneficial for us, our borrowers and our business partners.

Top of Mind Networks:

How do you keep the marketing outreach of a distributed origination team on-brand and on-message? 

WS:

Our corporate headquarters is in Utah, but our offices span from coast to coast. In order to ensure that everything is cohesive, we provide marketing materials through our marketing library that are current and compliant and on-brand. This allows our loan officers to grab marketing materials and run with them without worrying that our brand messaging might be off pace. We try to simplify marketing for our loan officers by doing it for them behind the scenes, and we’re able to do that by running Surefire accounts on behalf of our loan officers. We deliver a monthly marketing plan letting them know what content will be released and we handle deployment throughout the entire month. We’ve seen great success with this process.

Top of Mind Networks:

What kinds of industry trends do you keep your eye on as a marketer?

WS:

I’ve kept my eye on the digital environment, looking at things like programmatic advertising and how we can make digital marketing more personalized and more relatable, so it feels like we’re speaking directly to the client or the borrower. A huge piece of the digital marketing world is also creating impactful video. I keep tabs on these areas to see how it relates to our partnerships and our community engagement and how we might utilize those to make an impact at the local level.

Top of Mind Networks:

Have your tactics changed at all this year in response to the pandemic or interest-rate environment?

WS:

Early on, the pandemic affected our marketing plans and the interest rate flux has changed things as well. To adjust, we’ve scaled down our community events or made them entirely virtual. We’ve encouraged our teams to get involved with local food drives, providing masks and other initiatives to help those in need. Our team in Hawaii took their entire marketing budget and provided food for the community in partnership with a local restaurant. We were in awe of their efforts and shared it through our social channels to raise awareness. It’s important for us to be a resource for people in the mortgage industry.

When it comes to interest rates, we’ve been working diligently to educate borrowers on opportunities available for them and let them know we’re here to help in any way that we can.

Top of Mind Networks:

What are some ways you measure the success of marketing activities?

WS:

In terms of our social media and digital marketing, we look at the quantitative data, but listening to the feedback from our loan officers is also an important metric, since they’re out in the field and can see what’s working and what’s not.

We also measure whether our efforts in the community are making a positive impact — are our efforts making things better than they were before we started? Hearing what the community has to say is important, and we are always attentive to our clients’ feedback.

Top of Mind Networks:

Can you share a top marketing trick or success story?

WS:

We let the loan officers be loan officers. It’s important that we handle marketing for them so they can focus on closing loans. A company runs like a well-oiled machine when every person is doing what they do best. Success is company-wide here, and even during this pandemic, we’ve helped 8,000+ people get a mortgage and find a new home.

Top of Mind Networks:

What are five productivity-boosting tools you can’t live without/use every day?

WS:
  1. Our Project Manager, Evie – Without her, we’d be dead in the water.
  2. Microsoft tools – Planner, Teams, and To-Do have all been essential for keeping tabs on production and workflows.
  3. Adobe Creative Suite – Great tools for design projects
  4. Walking my dog –  An end-of-day walk helps me refocus and clear my mind.
Top of Mind Networks:

You’ve just won an Oscar. Give us your top-3 acceptance speech shoutouts. 

WS:

First and foremost, I’d like to thank the folks in the marketing department because, without them, none of this would be possible. They’re the ones that make this all work and the Oscar should go to each and every one of them.

I’d also like to thank our executive team for allowing us the freedom to choose the way we market. Without that, marketing just wouldn’t be the same. I’d also thank our vendors and our business partners for helping us grow. Surefire, SimpleNexus, and MobilityRE have all been so helpful as we’ve expanded our marketing reach.

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