Long gone are the days of phone dialing for dollars, for hours on end, just to reach a live prospect. This approach is incredibly inefficient and does not yield the best results. Keeping in touch with past clients also is a challenge. r_2018-12_wu_spot
Sure, every mortgage originator would love to keep an ongoing dialog with previous clients, but how many actually do? Regardless of one’s intent, it never seems to happen. Before you know it, another year has gone by, and the originator still hasn’t reached back to check in with past clients to potentially uncover new opportunities — whether it be a refinance deal, a referral, etc.
Despite a turbulent housing market, the sales outlook for mortgage originators is bright. By 2023, 17 million first-time home-buyers will be joining the housing market. This presents an immense opportunity. Originators, however, need to be smart and innovative if they are going to capture any piece of this pie, as the mortgage business is over-flowing with competition.
Sure, e-mail marketing, banner ads, and networking will generate new mortgage and refinance opportunities, but one can’t forget about the telephone. It remains a driving force in lead generation. Those who work it into their marketing arsenal will prove more successful in the long-run.
Originators who have all but forgotten the art of cold calling are likely leaving opportunities on the table for other mortgage professionals to take. Sure, telephone sales can be very time-consuming, but they also are a necessary function of the lead-generation ballgame.
For many, a focus on previous clients is the winning formula, as referrals are paramount in this business. To drive repeat and referral business, originators must create a plan and follow through with it. Coupling this approach with “intelligent cold calling” has the potential to fill an originator’s sales pipeline today, tomorrow and into the future.
A new approach
So, what tools do you need, and how do they work? New cloud-based technology is available to help mortgage originators tap old clients as well as ferret out new ones. These software applications don’t break the bank, either. Even one-person shops can easily afford the modest monthly subscription rate for such a product.
First, let’s talk cloud. Everyone has heard of it, but does anyone really understand it? Cloud technology simply means that you have access to software via the internet instead of having to download anything to your computer. This provides access anywhere to data and eliminates the higher costs associated with premise-based solutions, which require installation, maintenance, upgrades, etc.
“ Originators who have all but forgotten the art of cold calling are likely leaving opportunities on the table for other mortgage professionals to take. ”
There are affordable cloud-communication platforms that can easily provide the necessary lead-generation and past-client contact capabilities mortgage originators require to generate and sustain a healthy flow of leads. The primary functions of these cloud tools are to uncover new sales opportunities, keep existing clients loyal and to provide superior service — which often leads to additional business.
These tools arm originators with automated out-bound dialing, allowing them to send automated re-minders. They also integrate customer-relationship management software (CRM) with lead-generation efforts, and more. All of these functions are included through a single cloud solution, which provides central control over everything, along with detailed reports to measure and track sales activity.
Leads and service
The robust functionality of cloud tools allows originators to double or triple their daily efforts in far less time. In turn, they can focus more on client servicing and client retention — both of which can lead to viable referrals. In short, by employing cloud-communications software, originators can accomplish the following:
Automate the cold-calling process: Simple-to-use automated-dialing and texting features enble originators to automate most of the cold-calling function, allowing them to contact exponentially more would-be customers than by manually dialing them.
Existing or purchased contact lists can be instantly loaded into the system, and a pre-recorded message (in the originator’s own voice) can be created for prospects. When a prospect’s voicemail is reached, the originator’s recorded message is left. When a live person is contacted, the call is routed right to the originator when he or she is available. Otherwise, the recorded message is played.
Automate the client-referral process: Imagine automatically sending periodic re-minders to past clients to solicit potential referrals or to schedule catch-up lunches to keep in touch (and potentially uncover referrals). This software manages this entire process, so the broker doesn’t have to worry about it.
Remind prospects of scheduled appointments: Automated reminders can be sent to clients. Imagine having a client who needs to send their financial information to complete the loan process. Through this cloud-communications software, an automated alert will be sent to remind the individual to send the information. This process is far less intrusive and time-consuming than if the originator has to call the person live.
Sound more informed when talking: Originators can answer incoming calls and im-mediately see (on their computer screen or mobile device) everything they know about the caller. Assuming it’s a current client, the originator would see their name, their address, their mortgage information and so on, without having to pull it up manually. If it’s a cold-call prospect calling them back, they would see the contact’s name, number, number of times the individual was called, etc.
The screen pops make the originator sound much more prepared and sophisticated than any other mortgage originator the client has dealt with, and this leads to satisfaction and conversion. This works through the built-in CRM capability, which these tools have. When a call comes in, the contact record in the CRM system (which is tied to the phone number) is automatically accessed and popped open on the originator’s screen — along with all information contained within that individual’s contact record.
Cloud tools provide originators with these and other capabilities without any technical setup. Everything is accessible via a mobile or desktop device, and no specific knowhow is required. It is simple and fast. Originators can load in their first list, record their voice-mail message and start their outbound calling campaign, all within the hour. The same goes for reaching out to previous clients to generate sales referrals.
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The age of technical innovation and automation is here, and it affords many advantages to those who embrace it. Like many industries, the mortgage field tends to be slow to adopt innovation. Those mortgage originators who choose to take that leap, however, will surely have a leg up on the competition.