Why do mortgage lenders have a hard time bridging marketing and sales? The concept is simple enough. Create marketing messages that resonate with borrowers (or brokers, if you’re a wholesaler), blast your message to as many relevant leads as possible, in as many different ways as possible, then deploy your sales team to haul in the catch.
However, it’s not so simple in the mortgage lending world. The relationship nature of mortgage lending means loan officers essentially own their production, so they have the leverage to dictate how marketing is utilized. Many lenders simply prioritize production over marketing and wash their hands of the problem, leaving it up to branches to use whatever CRM or sales method they want, as long as it generates volume.
What lenders don’t realize is that by taking a laissez faire approach to sales and marketing, they are hurting themselves and their branches. Poor coordination of marketing efforts combined with a lack of visibility into sales and marketing performance inevitably leads to lost opportunities, lost revenue potential and a heightened risk of brand damage. When the banana split hits the fan (you know what I mean), branches and production superstars simply jump to a different shop, leaving you with banana split all over your face (again, you know what I mean).
We’ve worked with dozens of sales organizations, both inside and outside of mortgage lending, and this scenario is not unusual. We’ve found that the most successful organizations re-align the relationship between sales and marketing in a way that incentivizes them to actively work together. A CRM and marketing automation is core to enabling this symbiotic relationship.
Why are your top producers so good at what they do? Sure, there are certain intangibles that can’t be replicated, but when it comes down to it, top producers are “on top of their game.” They are accessible, organized, and responsive to borrower needs. In other words, they have good communication habits, with an emphasis on habits.
Automation of good communication habits is exactly what a CRM and marketing automation does. When an action occurs – say a borrower submits information on a website – the CRM captures lead information and automatically triggers another action, such as sending an email asking to schedule a meeting.
The loan officer has no idea this is going on because the engagement occurs automatically. The borrower is none the wiser either. They think they’re communicating with a live human being when the CRM is actually doing the talking.
Or rather, marketing is doing the talking for the loan officer because they generate the content of the communication. Marketing is responsible for creating various types of automated campaigns that speak in the voice of the loan officer that either generates spontaneous leads or retains lead engagement. Refi campaigns, FHA campaigns, birthday campaigns – CRM and automated marketing has the ability to reach out to leads for any type of scenario you can think of.
The outcome is that CRM and marketing automation fill in the communication gaps that exist when LOs aren’t on top of their game. The CRM acts like the most neurotic and OCD loan assistant you’ve ever seen, vigilant 24/7 for any opportunity to engage.
Consider the goldmine of leads every lender has stored in their LOS database. Any loan application, whether closed, rejected or withdrawn, is another opportunity for a loan. But how many loan officers, even top ones, remember to send a housewarming email 60 days after closing to their owner occupied purchase borrowers? Or a reminder to consider a refi 30 months into a 3/1 ARM? This is how you harness the power of CRM and marketing automation to generate real production without requiring a human being to take any action.
Rob Chrisman’s eponymous daily newsletter once asked why lenders take on the cost of hiring more loan officers when they could get more productivity out of the ones they already have. He hypothesized that through training, tools and marketing, a lender could increase each LOs production by 15%, yielding two LOs worth of volume without the hassle and cost of recruiters or signing bonuses. Lenders responded skeptically that only a portion of LOs would benefit from these types of investments and make the argument moot.
CRM and marketing automation is a feasible solution because it doesn’t require the LO to be proactively engaged in order to be successful. Whether a loan officer is an “A” player or a “C” player, the onus is on marketing to create the content and the automated campaigns. All the LO needs to do is reach out to the lead that marketing has generated. And with the CRM and marketing automation technology available from OptifiNow, it’s never been easier for lenders to build that bridge between marketing and sales.
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