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Surefireside Chats: John Owens | SeaTrust Mortgage

Apr 12, 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.

Joining us today is John Owens, president of SeaTrust Mortgage. John shares how his company has navigated the challenges presented by the pandemic as well as his advice for professionals in today’s booming mortgage market.

Top of Mind Networks:

How does marketing impact your role as president?

John Owens:

Even as an executive, I view myself as a marketing leader. The foundation of any good marketer requires believing in yourself, your product and bridging authentic connections with the people around you. Using a bunch of tools and buzzwords might seem important in marketing, but the real keys to success are confidence and authenticity.

Top of Mind Networks:

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

JO:

The marketing division conveys our message, culture and vision to our customers and every stakeholder in the supply chain. We focus on sending communications with the right content at the right time and following up on those communications as an important piece in that process, bringing real value for our stakeholders.

Top of Mind Networks:

How does your company draw on its existing tech stack and data partnerships to enhance the marketing effort?

JO:

We’ve leveraged technology to create a seamless borrower experience, making it easy for customers to apply for a loan from their phones and still have on-demand access to excellent customer service. Borrowers receive convenient alerts on loan milestones, like when their loan has cleared underwriting or when it’s clear to close, keeping them informed and engaged in the loan process without taking time out of their busy schedules.

Top of Mind Networks:

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

JO:

Daily video calls with our team keep us consistent, especially during a pandemic when you risk losing the typical levels of collaboration. Because text messages and emails can be interpreted differently from person to person, virtual meetings have kept us connected by mimicking face-to-face connections and allowing us to keep our message clear and concise.

Top of Mind Networks:

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

JO:

Building relationships is essential for success in this industry, so I keep watch for trends that will allow us to increase market share within the communities we serve. At SeaTrust Mortgage, we strive to provide value beyond loan origination and take advantage of every opportunity to be responsible community citizens.

Top of Mind Networks:

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

JO:

While we couldn’t have predicted the pandemic, we were better equipped to deal with it through increased automation and higher touch communications. Anyone can haphazardly pick up a few tech tools and slap them together, but that doesn’t guarantee they will mesh or fit the company’s culture. In the midst of a global health crisis, we’ve been able to work remotely thanks to our investment in digital mortgage technology that fits our company’s needs and work styles.

The process of getting a mortgage is changing, and so are our products and our marketing. With so many improvements to the borrower experience, it’s truly an exciting time for the industry.

Top of Mind Networks:

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

JO:
  1. Exercise — I start each morning by getting the endorphins flowing and taking time for my mind, body and spirit.
  2. Coffee — Coming in at a close second productivity must-have is my morning cup of coffee.
  3. Connecting with my team — When I arrive at the office, I engage with each one of my employees. Connecting with them boosts my motivation and energy as I prepare to tackle the day.
  4. Technology — My computer is a necessity, along with a few other tech tools working together to keep me at peak productivity.
Top of Mind Networks:

You’ve just won an Oscar. Give us an acceptance speech shout-out.

JO:

First, I’d have to thank God for carrying me through the ups and downs of the industry for the last 30 years. I’d also have to thank my family — my kids and my wife encourage me to be the best leader I can be. Finally, my number one asset, my teammates. A company is only as good as its team and the values it shares.

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