Monday, August 23, 2010

 

How I'd market home mortgage refinance opportunities

Have you seen the 30-year fixed rates on home mortgages right now?  They’re crazy low.  Frankly, I’m a little surprised I’m not hearing from more mortgage professionals asking me if I want to refinance.

If I was a mortgage broker, here are a few things I’d likely be doing:

Drip Campaigns:  Past clients, people in my network, channel partners (Realtors, title company reps, etc.) would be getting not just rate updates from me, but related news from the mortgage markets, success stories of people refinancing and saving a ton of money, examples of how fast and easy it is (less paperwork, faster close times, etc.).  Regular reminders that it’s easy, it’s a short-term opportunity, and it can start right now.  Make it easy for people to remember you, refer you, use you.

Success Stories:  It’s one thing to talk about a 4.6% rate.  It’s another thing to demonstrate a happy client that just saved hundreds on their monthly payment.  That’s real, and helps convert a percentage into real dollars people can visualize in their lives and budgets.  If you don’t have these stories directly, ask around your office and share their stories.

ROI Calculator:  Help your prospective customers do the math.  Plug in a few numbers to give them an estimate of how much they could save.  Make it real.

Customer Pass-Along Incentives:  The people directly on your mailing list have direct relationships with exponentially more potential customers.  What are you doing to encourage the pass-along?  Does your mailing list need an incentive?  Do they need business cards to hand out on your behalf?  Do they need a link to an ROI Calculator that’s super-easy to email along?  How about a pre-written, Twitter-length post & shortened URL?  Make it easy and worthwhile to share.

Realtors:  Why would a real estate agent encourage their customers to refinance vs. buy a new home?  Because those who refinance aren’t ready to move!  A good real estate agent who helps their client save hundreds on their monthly mortgage payment looks good to that client, and knows that could turn into a ton more referrals of prospective buyers and sellers in the process.  Don’t be afraid to work your Realtor network particularly aggressively right now.

If you were a mortgage broker, what would you do?  If you are a mortgage broker, what are you doing right now that’s generating success?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

 

Calculating the opportunity

It's one thing to talk about increasing revenue and decreasing cost. It's another thing to show it. Oftentimes, a good ROI calculator will help the prospect discover answers they hadn't thought of, which reduce their aversion to risk & change, and increase their sense of urgency to do something.

Here's a great example of a simple but well-formatted ROI Calculator that helps identify and calculate current costs, savings, plus expected financial ROI (based on increased revenue and cost savings).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

 

Having that "Back from Vacation" perspective every day

Even if you keep your laptop closed and Blackberry turned off, you likely think about work when on vacation.  But outside of the daily hustle and fire-drills, you likely think about work a whole lot differently. 

You aren’t as tactical, and you’re not as reactive.  You’re not thinking about things 30 minutes ahead.  Rather, you’re taking time to think about the bigger picture, the bigger ideas, the broader initiatives and focus areas that could really move your business forward.

Of course, getting back to the office and the mountain of email, voicemails, requests, meetings, etc. and it’s easy to go right back to reactive, myopic mode.

But we need the discipline to do both.  There’s a fair amount of the day-to-day we can’t ignore.  Depending on your role, these things keep the proverbial trains running on time and revenue rolling in.

But the different perspective you have outside of the office – on vacation, even sometimes at a conference or business trip – is important to capture, reflect on, triage and implement when you’re back in the fire.

Better yet would be creating an environment where you can recreate the “out of office” brainstorming and idea generation sessions on a regular basis.  

It could be simply forcing yourself to spend a couple work hours a week in a room separate from your office, and perhaps with nothing more than a pen, paper and bullet list of starter ideas or objectives.  It could mean doing the same with a partner or team. 

No matter how you do it, balancing daily execution with the “back from vacation” perspective is critical to keeping an edge, constantly innovating, and also keeping yourself fresh and energized about the opportunities ahead.


Monday, August 02, 2010

 

Want research to be effective? Answer these questions first

The biggest problem with most market research isn't the research itself. It isn't the questions, or the audience, or the channel, or the analysis.

The biggest challenge with market research in almost any context is an organization's interest and ability to do it, accept it, and make changes based on it.

That third part comes naturally if you do the first two well.

The next time you or your organization wants market research, make sure you can answer "yes" to these two questions:

  1. Do you want to find out?
  2. Will you listen to what it says?
Make sure it's not just you answering, but your key stakeholders internally, the product team, your leadership team, anyone who will make decisions based on your findings. If they're not on board, or ready to accept the credibility of what you find, you may very well be wasting everyone's time.

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