The game is pretty simple for Loan Officers today. You go out there, chum up referral partners, build a relationship, and hope they trust you enough to start sending customers your way. You guys know this game right? Your managers talk about it all the time and you tell it to yourself as well; “It’s a numbers game.” Make enough appointments, take enough apps and you get the business you want. Sure, there is some truth to this.
Monday Morning a new customers fills out an online application on your website. You look over the application, pull their credit, run DU and call the clients with the good news that they are Prequalified to buy a home. They get excited and inform you they are looking at a home this afternoon and have high hopes that it will be “The House”. 2 hours later you are under contract and your pipeline for July just got $300,000 stronger. Just another standard Monday … Right?
Well if it is, you have cracked the code and should be charging $1,000 an hour to coach Loan Officers or bottling up your system to sell a subscription. For most Loan Officers, converting their pipeline into closed deals takes time. There is a “Sales Cycle” because of how customers enter the process. Sure, some of us have experienced the right time, right place, right house close that happens as quickly as it begins. But for most of us it’s not the standard.
Today, studies show that the average Buyer in the US shops for about 12 weeks. It is very difficult to get buyers at the exact moment in time when they are going to find the right home and feel comfortable making an offer. A human’s need for education before making a decision mandates that buyers go through a process. I explain this concept in another blog post “Luck is a Plan”.
So let’s rewind and look at Monday again from a reality that most of us can relate to.
Monday morning a new customer fills out an online application on your website. You look over the application, pull their credit, run DU and call and talk to your clients for the first time with good news that they are Prequalified to buy a home. (Sounding familiar? This is an easy client, you didn’t need to coach them to better credit or chase down self employed income documentation.) After the call, your clients hit the internet and start shopping. Here are a few things they are doing without you:
- Post to friends on Facebook about buying a home. (Location suggestions, Real Estate Tips, Mortgage advice)
- Searching Zillow, Trulia and Craigslist for a home. (All of which are lead generation systems for your competition)
- Tour houses with their RE Agent
- Walk into Open Houses they see on weekends
- Hit Bankrate.com or Zillow for a mortgage calculator to run numbers
- Chat with friends at the BBQ about buying a home. (All of which have their own opinions of professionals they should use)
Here’s the question – how often are you talking to your clients while all of this is going on? This is where I would typically fail. Often times I would rely on the buyer’s agent to send the client back to me weeks or months after they first applied. I was too busy trying to generate new Loan Applications and it was just too hard to keep track of all those people who had applied once upon a time.
So for loan officers like myself, there are only two ways to stay Top-of-Mind more effectively than remembering to call or setting up a drip campaign (which no one cares about):
- Engagement Marketing – which you can learn more about by reading this BLOG post (includes Video)
- Retargeting – online advertising served specifically to people who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database (like a lead or customer).
Retargeting: Have you ever shopped around on Amazon or Nordstrom.com only to see an ad for the exact shoe you looked at on your Facebook news feed the very next day? Sometimes it happens right away and it freaks me out. Basically when you click on a page with this capability, it embeds a cookie in your browser that tells the ad to display itself in other places you visit often. Crazy huh?
So that is retargeting and it’s the newest and best way to build brand recognition. It will help you establish yourself as the go-to person for loans, leveraging the Repetition Principle we mentioned in LAST WEEK’S BLOG POST.
Here is a simple flowchart to explain retargeting and how it works.
Two types of retargeting: Pixel-Based and Email-Based
Advantage of Pixel-Based: The cookie goes into effect the second they are on your site, so if they leave your site and go directly to Facebook … there is a good chance they will see your ad in their news feed. Its amazingly effective and will leave an impact. “Wow, this Mortgage guy is everywhere!”
Disadvantages or Pixel-Based: “Time Limited” by the how frequently they come to your website and competition from other marketers using retargeting. It can also be a little hassle to set up your website with the Code needed. Advanced sites like literally have tracking and a different add for every product. WOW.
Cool example of Pixel-Based: What if a prospect hits your webpage and spends a lot of their time researching Low or No Down Payment Loan Programs. You could build the ads for that specific prospect so that they see ads for No Down loan programs or Loan Officers Tips for saving for a down payment. The options are endless.
Email-Based – If you have a “Sphere” or database with personal email address’, Email-based retargeting can be very effective. You simply upload your database to a retargeting campaign and the platform will identify users on that social network with matching emails (Facebook and Twitter are common) and then will feed just those people adds.
Email-based works better for current and past customer engagement (because you already have their info) vs Pixel which is better for turning leads into customers. (People who you do now know yet) If you really want maximum effectiveness, you will do both.
Getting Started is pretty simple, but like all marketing, it needs to be managed, compliant and well thought out in order to get the results you want. Here are a few of the most popular platforms for Retargeting. PerfectAudience, AdRoll, Retargeter and Bizo. Give them a look! (We currently use Adroll)
The goal of retargeting is to get the customer clicking on your ad so that they come back again. Once they are back, it’s your job to build the appropriate relationship so they decide to work with you. In future posts we will discuss the top of the sales funnel and what is important to drive new leads.
Retargeting is one of the greatest ways to keep prospects engaged and interacting with your brand. The concept, while simple, also requires planning. Be sure to give yourself enough time to make your lists, set your goals and tie the close together. Without planning you won’t get the results you are going for.
If you are looking for help with your retargeting, we are considering helping a few Loan Officers with a test to see what results we can get. To be considered for this test, shoot me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat.