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O Newspaper articles written about you or a press release. O Speeches and programs for civic groups. O Teach a course on home financing at a local community college. O Business card on bulletin boards at stores and community centers. O Author newspaper or magazine articles or columns. O Speak at real estate meetings. O Speak at high school career day programs. O Three-foot rule, anyone within three feet gets your card and presentation.




Advertising compliance


Make sure all your marketing materials meet state and federal requirements. Federal laws require advertisements to be clear and not misleading. Per the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA), any rate quotes or implied payment amounts will require an annual percentage rate (APR) disclosure. When advertising, the posted APR cannot be any less conspicuous than the rate quoted. The most recent advertising changes are from the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). It requires an advertiser to give additional information about rates, monthly payment and other loan features. The final rule bans seven deceptive or misleading advertising practices and strengthens the clear and conspicuous standards for advertising disclosures. The following is brief review of the prohibited factors: O Advertisements that state “fixed” rates or payments for loans but rates can vary with only a limited fixed rate period. O Advertisements that compare an actual or hypothetical rate or payment obligation unless the advertisement states the rates or payments that apply over the full term of the loan. O Advertisements that characterize the products offered as ‘government loan programs’ even though the advertised products are not government-supported or sponsored loans. O Advertisements that display the name of the consumer’s current mortgage lender, unless prominently discloses that advertisement is from a mortgage lender not affiliated with the consumer’s current lender. O Advertisements that make claims of debt elimination if the product advertised would merely replace one debt obligation with another. O Advertisements that create a false impression that the mortgage bro-

ker or lender is a “counselor” for the consumer. O Foreign-language advertisements, such as a low introductory teaser rate, while the required disclosures are provided only in English.

Internet Savvy Marketing Do you have the skills and tools you need to utilize the Internet to build your business, create partnerships and network today? By Laura Lynn Burke

Types of discrimination identified by the courts and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) are: O Overt evidence of discrimination: When a lender blatantly discriminates on prohibitive basis. O Disparate treatment: When a lender treats an applicant differently based on one of the prohibited factors. This is the most concern in pricing. O Disparate impact: When a lender applies a practice uniformly to all applicants, but the practice has a discriminatory effect on a prohibited basis and is not justified by business necessity. This practice hurts all parties involved with the lending transaction. For example, a company has all their advertising in Spanish with Spanish magazines. This may be disparate impact to other protected groups such as other ethnicities who may not speak or read Spanish. O Fair lending laws: Require advertisements to the public disclose the equal opportunity housing symbol, Equal Housing Lender. Fair lending laws require you to not discriminate against any protected groups and comply with fair lending laws. Be mindful of the image your advertising is making. Most state laws require advertising disclose the complete name and address of the mortgage company and not just the loan originator. If the advertising is for “real estate professionals only,” this statement must be on the advertisement or flyer. Supervisors should review all advertising going out to the public. Stay in compliance with advertising and lending laws. Take a law class if you did not know about these basic advertising regulations or the laws that prohibit you from refusing or pre-screening a borrower who wants to make an application for a home loan. I have lost count of the number of Mortgage Fraud Task Forces on a city, state and federal level. Always ensure that your advertising meets the federal and state law requirements to avoid fines, unwanted attention, and an un-professional approach to the market. Linda Williams is CEO and trainer for Mortgage Trainers of North America. For more information, call (702) 990-3557 or e-mail

you’re not clipping off of someone else’s. Second, is your site a stand-alone site? Ask yourself, “What will bring others to my site? How will they know my Internet address and what will bring them to my site out of the millions and millions of sites posted in today’s market?” It’s simple: You must market your Web site. The following strategies will show you how you can become more productive and obtain higher efficiency through networking.

To become a savvy Internet marketer, you must first find ways to develop and expand your use of the Internet and build stronger bonds with the aide of technology. By mastering the use of technology, you will be able to discover new skills to advance your marketing techniques, effectively increase sales, strengthen and build new relationships, increase customer service, and amplify your free time. Promote your They say the sky is the Web address limit when you jump into It’s imperative that you Internet marketing. I say, “By hyperlinking print your Web site on your “Check to see if your chute together with other Web business cards. In fact, all is working.” Be sure to minimize all the risks associat- sites to assist in market- printed materials that you ing your products or hand out must have your ed with Internet marketing services, you can quan- Web address on it. with strategic planning and tify your marketing by being prepared. efforts. Partnering is Get opinions Futurist John Nesbitt Ask everyone you come coined the phrase, “High very critical to your into contact with, the tech, High touch,” over 15 Web site’s traffic and years ago. It is the paradox bringing in new sources question, “Have you seen my new Web site? If not, for this virtual age, the age of of clients.” please check it out. I’m the “Technology Revolution.” really proud of it and I value your opinion.” You may have already asked famiAre you working a network or being worked ly, friends, co-workers and neighbors to go to your site to not just peek at it, but by a network? Should you use “traditional” ways of net- to fully check it out because you value working in spheres of influence, groups, their opinion. Although you may or may organizations, etc., or should you choose not utilize their suggestions, you may to market on the Internet? Keep in mind receive valuable pointers and it’s a way that merely obtaining a Web site is not the to get them to check out your site withultimate solution to sitting back, picking out selling them and without pressure. Also, if they read it, they may find up your feet and waiting for the dough to roll in. It won’t happen! The theory of, “If themselves interested in your products you build it, they will come,” doesn’t hold or services. Offer them a discount for true with Web sites. The chance of some- assisting you in checking out your site. one surfing to your site is like finding a needle in a haystack, unless you have Hyperlinking and partproperly built your site, then you may nering with other sites By hyperlinking together with other Web reduce it to a brick in a haystack. You have to be network savvy and sites to assist in marketing your products follow some key steps to ensure the suc- or services, you can quantify your marketing efforts. Partnering is very critical to cess of your Internet marketing plans. First, do you own your own domain your Web site’s traffic and bringing in new name, or are you sharing one? It is extreme- sources of clients. Your customers/clients ly inexpensive to own your name and regis- are looking for ways to partner and build ter it. The cost of registering is about $15 strategic relationships, learn how to anaannually. Try to see if lyze these relationships, determine the your desired domain name is available for benefits and outweigh what could be potential pitfalls. purchase. It becomes extremely important to hone Then there is the name thing. or LLynn145@net- your personal networking skills because you Which name makes a better need to partner with high-profile Web sites first impression? I believe the first one that to bring your clients to other sites. This can sounds like you own the whole project and make or break your Internet sales. The