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Reaching Your Market

you cards are all great to keep in touch with past clients. It also gives you another chance to ask for referrals, keep your database current, and just basically keep your name in the fore front of their mind.

Invitations Invite past and potential clients to spe-

E-mail marketing campaign cial events, a “Homebuyer Seminar,” an Although there are costs and work involved in setting up an e-mail marketing campaign, there are clear benefits. You can purchase a database if you do not have one, but the norm is to be invited to use someone’s e-mail. The point is that once you get started, you will find e-mailing to be cost-effective.

open house at your office or even a holiday party. Have a door prize (less than $50 in value). Your client will get one chance in the drawing for every person they bring. How about a welcome to the neighborhood party you throw for your new client and their neighbors?

Newsletters Flyers Do not make a flyer that will attract all possible prospects. Do not let the flyer become too busy or misleading. The flyers should have a message that will meet the marketing goal, generally to generate action by the targeted market. The flyer will need to hit on the estimated motivation of the target market. What specific services will the potential borrower want from you, the mortgage professional?

Gifts There are gift baskets, wine with customized company name labels, plants, seed packets, fruit baskets, new home welcome baskets, and many other ways to spend your marketing dollars. There are also regulations on gifts from people in the mortgage business, so keep gifts under $50. If you give a present to one client, you should give one to all. Excessive or expected gifts may be considered an illegal inducement or referral fee. Never use the gift as inducement to use your services. It should be an unexpected inexpensive thank you.

Mailing campaign


These can be expensive, but if your target market reads the paper or magazine, the cost may be offset by the amount of applications it generates. Ask for a media kit to determine circulation and demographics of their readers. Ads should not be too busy. Keep it simple as you are just trying to get the phone to ring. Sometimes, doing the ad in black with white writing can help it stand out from the other newspaper color print ads.

Promotional items Pens, calendars, pads, rulers, game schedule charts, magnets, keychains … go more for a useful rather than a unique item. Recipe cards are unique and often kept. T-shirts, polo shirts, hats and bags are nice, but can be expensive and are considered inducements which are illegal. Why are you giving them the promotional item? The answer may help you decide what to use, if anything.

Radio advertisement Radio advertising on your local station is not too expensive, especially sponsoring the weather or traffic reports. You’ll need to run the ad at for least six months. What radio station will your target market listen too? What time?

Free advertising There are many sources of free advertising. The following is just a small list of options: O Word of mouth referrals are the best.


An effective mailer as most people will read the postcard before they throw it away. Postcards also cost less to mail. You have a very brief area to get your target market to take action, so make sure the message is simple and action requesting is clear.

Newspaper/magazine print ads

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Greeting cards Holiday cards, birthday cards, and thank


There are costs involved in this approach, and the return is estimated at two to three percent being a good response. There are marketing services for a fee that will handle the mailing for you. These services make mailing campaigns easy, as long as your database is up-to-date and accurate. Databases can be purchased, but may not be current or may be over-used by other loan originators. Farm lists from title companies can also be used for your data base.

Newsletters can maintain communication between you and your clients. Marketing service companies can develop a newsletter for you or you can write them yourself. Keep in mind that most newsletters are informational and do not normally ask for the business like marketing material. O

action, a percentage of income for a marketing budget. Marketing does not In today’s mortgage market, efficient have to be expensive or time-consumand compliant marketing is vital to ing. Referrals are the cheapest as they developing a client base of reliable generally only take the effort to ask for referrals. Right now, people are looking the referral, and then follow up with the lead. It is also courtefor a professional to help ous to send a thank you them take advantage of for the lead received. Due our current buyer’s marto privacy rights, you canket. How are you letting not discuss any details of them know you’re here to the referral’s business. meet their needs? Follow the laws There are a number of required in your state and sources for mortgage busifederal advertising reguness, much of which lations, and focus your requires a loan originator presentation on your tarto focus their efforts on get market. A first-time improving their markethomebuyer and a reverse ing response. That’s not to mortgage shopper will be say you’re so focused that “Make your phone looking for a mortgage you miss an opportunity. ring! That is your Marketing efforts often focus. Don’t try to close professional who can meet their personal goals. cost money and having the loan in the first Do not attempt the “shotyour marketing focused phone call. Just try to gun” approach to marketwill improve your chances of attracting prospects. determine if they are a ing that tries to hit every viable prospect, and prospective borrower’s You should also focus on a get them to make an goals. Your message will business source you have appointment for an be lost in the maze of a passion for, such as seninformation. Also, your application.” ior citizens for reverse advertising should not mortgage products. When protected Equal Credit you have a true interest, it will show in deter Opportunity Act (ECOA) groups from your presentation. accessing your services. Your first approach to any market Business sideline sources A loan originator should have one main is to get them to call you. Make your marketing focus, or target market, with phone ring! That is your focus. Don’t two or three sideline sources. The target try to close the loan in the first phone market should serve as your primary call. Just try to determine if they are market for marketing materials and a viable prospect, and get them to advertising. This source will need to be make an appointment for an applicadeveloped into your main source of tion. Even if the application is over the phone, you should set a time with generating production. The sideline sources are generally the borrower to call back for the relationship-based and may be a good application. Then they will be presource for stable business. Bankruptcy pared to spend the time needed to attorneys, financial consultants, divorce answer all the questions, and have attorneys, loan modification specialists, the documentation available to read certified public accountants (CPAs), off the information, such as account bookkeepers and other professionals numbers and addresses. This sets the who work with clients that need the tone that you respect their time, and equity of their home or understand the gives you a professional approach value of homeownership are prime tar- rather than a sales approach. If they gets. These sources feed you referral flake on the appointment, then they business. The benefit for your business never were a prospect and you didn’t source is your professional handling of waste much time. their client or referral. No one wants to make a recommendation that will cause Brochures them to hear the person complain, or These can be nice for hand outs, and worse yet, lose that person’s business make the company look more professional with a brochure that outlines their servthemselves. ices. Professional services and templates on the Internet can help with developTarget market approach Your budget may determine your ment. When approaching professionals approach? Build into every client trans- and human resource departments, a By Linda Williams

brochure works well to let them know the benefits of using you, your service, and your company. The benefits outlined in the brochure will need to be for your target market, and again not the shot gun approach of everything you have ever done.