The average age of Loan Officers today in the United States is 54, according to Barbara Hanson of the Mortgage Bankers Association, and many of these loan officers have more than 20 years experience. I have not been able to find a study which tracks the “Origin” story that tells where all these Loan Officers came from … but based on my conversations, MOST of us had other careers before we started quoting rates and we fell into the business.
The average age and history of Loan Officers matters, because like all history it CAN define how we do things in the future. It does not NEED to define us, but it often will. A great example of this is our diet – most of the time we go back to our roots. Creating a permanent change is uncomfortable, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary.
One to one
In today’s economy, one such ‘necessary change’ is how you market yourself or your business. Most Loan Officers “Shake Hands and Kiss Babies” so to speak. And it’s a great skill to have. Many hugely successful salespeople have used this as their primary source of business building for years. Would they change the way they build their relationships? Perhaps not, but there are a few issues with this type of One-to-One marketing. We are only going to cover some of the drawbacks and will not be covering any of the positive aspects of this type of marketing/relationship building.
1. Time consuming: A one on one appointment with a customer or Referral partner drains that time from you forever. You might have captured a new relationship or new client, but you have also given up that time.
2. Easy to get burnt out: If you don’t LOVE every aspect of meeting with and selling people, it’s easy to hit a wall. This type of marketing is high touch and often low-tech
3. First Impressions are not lasting: Many of us leave a good first impression with the people we meet but we are also relying on the first impression to leave a “Lasting Impression”. These are very different things. Have you ever met someone who make a good impression only to forget their name 15 minutes later? An Inman News article I read recently stated that only 17% of home buyers remember their Real Estate Agents name after they get the keys. If this is true then even LESS would remember their loan officer because they spend less time with us. READ MORE ABOUT THIS HERE
4. When you are personally responsible for building relationships (one to one) you will quickly reach capacity. Imagine if Steve Jobs was responsible for selling each computer and talking to each customer personally.
One to Many
When you think about marketing, make sure that at least part of your marketing strategy is ONE-TO-MANY. Simply put, that means it can be disseminated to more than just one recipient and in a fashion that is as automated as possible. Those of you with an imagination will already be beginning to recognize the value of One to Many based on the weakness of one to one. However, there are a few important things I want to point out which may not be so clear.
1. Much more scalable: Notice that I did not say “Easy” to scale” which would have been the opposite of one to one. Almost nothing in business is “Easy” and creating a good One to Many marketing strategy, building the content, finding the starving crowd (Customers) and delivering it to them with the right call to action is not EASY. However, it is how you generate automated and sustainable growth.
2. Less Burn out: If your content does the work for you, you don’t have to “grind” everyday at meetings while trying to convince people that they should work with you. Getting burnt out is VERY common in high pressure sales positions … I’m sure you all can relate. In my Mortgage Business I would create facebook ads for specialty programs and target a certain demographic online. Spending $10 or $20 per day, I would generate 3-5 new inquiries about these programs and about 15-20 people would click on the ads (Learn about how I captured the remaining 15 viewers of my ad in another blog post here). Below is an example of a facebook ad for a program called NHF… This ad would direct people to a landing page – which I can not believe is still LIVE!! (2.5 years later) Check out the LANDING PAGE HERE. This was just phase one of the plan … how to get in front of more people and generate leads.
3. Less time consuming: If you are diligent and learn the art of building a funnel, you can build just about any funnel in an hour or less. Don’t know what a funnel is? Go to www.clickfunnels.com and register to be notified about their next “Friday Funnels” live webcast. They will show you you how to build a complete sales funnel and they will do it in less than 30 minutes using a real product one of their members sends in. It’s a pretty cool thing to watch if you like leads flowing in while you sleep. There are additional things you can do like outsourcing, finding the right platform, licensing and more. We will get into these topics another time.
4. Lasting Impression: Meeting someone in person can build some authority … however if you want to leave a real lasting impression then building authority is NOT done one on one. The more automated your funnel, the more authority people assume you have. After all, anyone can shake someone’s hand and give them one on one advice. But it takes someone with real “knowledge” to write an E-book, have testimonials or advertise online. Have you ever met Dr Phil in person? Maybe you have not even seen his show … but you believe you can trust him because you have seen his name, other people trust him and you remember who he is. Well, Dr Phil is perhaps less qualified than the doctor living next door to you .. he just has a better delivery system for his advice. Creating that impression through authority will dramatically reduce the amount of times you get shopped. People with authority are assumed to be the best and who doesn’t want to work with the best?
In the Mortgage industry there are 2 players who do one-to-many marketing really well. Quicken and their new Rocket Mortgage and Movement Mortgage. Very different messages but both powerful and they both have mastered reach and automation. Check them out and then consider how you might learn from what they are doing.
The next time you are thinking about creating a flyer for a loan program to hand out to realtors as you mingle at a mixer … think again. Think one-to-many and how can you make a bigger impact with less work. I’m not saying STOP meeting with realtors … im saying why not create other forms of lead gen?
Until next time.