The Best Marketing Vehicle is YOU!

There is certainly no shortage of ways you can market yourself or to get in front of opportunities. Technology and social media can put us in front of potentially unlimited impressions to people who may need our product or service. Clearly, I want each of you to have a presence on social media and to be fluent in communicating in all forms available. The issue I see is that far too many originators are trying to do all of their marketing and connecting through email and social media and not enough time connecting live and in person with their clients, prospects, and referral partners!

Right now the gap between personal and electronic communication widens every day. Many originators think that email campaigns and autoresponders are the best way to keep connected to their people. With the market opening up to a huge opportunity in refinance business, many originators and their companies, are blasting emails to databases in rapid succession. While these emails are certainly generating a response, I have found that those emails actually cost you more opportunities than they generate! Why do I believe this? Simply looking at some data from my own clients provide some major insight. Email blasts do generate activity, but not all of that activity gets directed back to the person, or entity, that it was sent by. In fact, when we call our clients on the phone directly to talk about refinancing, we see a better than 7 to 1 return over the number of opportunities secured by an email blast!

Clearly calling takes longer. Yes, we all know that many of those emails don’t get opened or reacted in the same way. But one of the more alarming things I have seen is that in some cases, people who opened an email about refinancing often went online to check rates, only to be contacted by other salespersons who would quickly promise the world to take the deal. How would you feel if you sent out an email that caused your client to apply for a loan with someone else? You see, when you take the person out of the process, the customer only has the rate as a commodity to look at for a sole point of value! They might never see that changing term or program is actually better for them. They may never have a conversation about the benefits of selling their home and moving! They might not actually see all the options to make an informed choice. They might just end up with a lower payment and not the best possible outcome over the long term!

A declining rate market is great for our business. It also can work wonders for the entire economy as a whole. However, the speed of an email may not inspire or connect with your target as well as you might think! I believe the investment of your time to make the personal phone calls to actually talk to your customers will not only improve the number of transactions you close, but it will help that client know that they explore all of their options and made an informed choice that worked best for them!

The best thing you can market is your expertise and experience. The most effective way to do that is to call and actually speak person to person with your client. Yes, it takes a little longer to do it that way. But in the long run, you will build better and stronger relationships and close more loans with higher referral rates as well!

Also, as I spoke of last week, I have a big announcement to make. For the better part of the past year we have been working on a redesign of our website. We have taken all the suggestions you have made and tried to put items that work together in sections with each other. The “public” part of the website allows everyone to see and get a simple “taste” of the content and the strategies available. To “ACCESS” all the lessons, strategies, and supporting materials, you will either have to be a coaching client, or subscribe to the “Access Program”. If you would like to try “ACCESS” for just $39 a month, use the following link https://www.imtcoaching.com/offers/2CNVRmPF/checkout with the coupon code AUGUST and you will save $20 per month! There is no long term commitment. You can cancel at any time you like just by sending us an email and we will cancel your membership.

So please stop by www.IMTcoaching.com and take a look. We are very proud of the new site and we would love your feedback!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

 

Refinance Realities!

With the single most informational report week in recent history behind us, the dust begins to settle in on the fact that mortgage interest rates will continue lower and bring with them the same volatility we have dealt with the past few months. Without getting too technical, we have been experiencing a series of “trading ranges” that helps fuel this volatility, as well as the move lower. Since nobody ever knows until after it happens when and where the “bottom” will be, it does seem like a very real possibility that we could push toward the lowest rates on mortgage loans in history!

With rates going lower there will be a huge push into refinances. As a mortgage professional it is your job to keep your closed clients informed as to market conditions when the market presents them with an opportunity. It is also your job as a mortgage professional to provide accurate information to your client so they can make an informed choice! It is also your job to know all of those choices and present that information so the client can understand it and make the choices that serve them best!

The realities of our industry make so that we tend to forget the personal connection to the very people we are supposed to serve! I have gone through my objections to the use of email blasts and campaigns to generate refinance opportunities. I have also seen other originators talking solely about lower payments. Some have worked on debt consolidation, while others have talked about shortening the loan term. All of these are proper conversations, but you need to have ALL of these discussions as well as a few others. What if the best choice for that client is to do nothing right now, or to sell their current home and go buy the house they would really like to own? You have to have allof those conversations, and it can’t be done easily or quickly by email!

The solution is very simple, pick up the phone and call your clients. Take ten minutes to discuss the options and their potential benefits from a lower rate market. You will find these calls very beneficial as well as productive. As I have said before, email is fine for documenting a conversation, but it can’treplace the quality of the contact you get from a simple phone call! That is the simple reality of refinances; presenting the opportunity and options personally!

Next week we will have a big announcement, so please stay connected! As always, if you have questions or comments, please contact us at Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Never Market Rates

I see it all the time and it makes me cringe! Originators and companies who think they are helping themselves by marketing and advertising mortgage rates! Here are five quick reasons why this is NOT a great idea:

  1. Rates change! Before you can complete all the legal disclosures on your marketing piece, that rate may be long gone! Even if that rate holds for the day, it has no staying power and holds you out as a salesman, not an expert concerned about the value of a quality experience for the customer!
  2. All borrowers are not the same! Loan sizes, products and programs, loan to value, and types of property all weigh into the actual effective “rate” the will be part of any deal.
  3. Credit quality is often the biggest factor of all! Since pricing can vary so much based on the credit quality of the borrower, do you advertise the “rate” for the best qualified people and tell all the others they are lacking? Why would you upset or insult a majority of your potential customers?
  4. If the strongest part of attracting your business is based on rate, you are the weakest player in your market! Price is just one part of the overall client experience. When you spend your time marketing rate, please don’t complain about being “shopped” the entire process!
  5. In a battle of rates, the best liar on the internet usually wins!

So PLEASE! Stop posting rates on social media unless that is your only value to the customer! If you are a true professional, understand value and providing a quality experience for the customer and your referral partners, then share your expertise, not your rates! NOBODY EVER GETS THE LOWEST RATES! Somebody will always work cheaper or lie better! Rely on offering great value and an exceptional experience. Market your speed, agility, and expertise. Offer information, education, and options. Build a relationship on value and quality of the customer experience, do not try and sell price!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Business Plan 2020

The mortgage industry is evolving at a rapid pace. New technology and new competition is changing the landscape in which originators compete. Banks, correspondent lenders, and brokers are facing challenges from all sides of the equation. On-line lenders, retailers, leads providers, and every conceivable outlet we know has made the choice that mortgage lending doesn’t need experienced mortgage professionals to make it work. In fact, many of us have actually proven the point for these companies by supporting them in this quest by financially supporting them.

With 2020 just around the corner, it is very important that you, your company, and the industry make some choices about who they are and how each of us chooses to move forward. Each of us will make a choice as to our own survival in this industry. Are you going to be part of the transactional/leads driven, call and convert group; or are you going to move into the camp of true mortgage professionals that understand the value of the relationship, quality of the client experience, and the generation and execution of a plan?

In 2018 I traveled the country sharing my “Crossroads” presentation that alarmed Realtors® and mortgage professionals as I shared the vision of how those people we were purchasing support tools from, were in the process of figuring out how to eliminate your job as you know it! Some cried, some got angry, many disagreed, but a few saw the vision and moved to insulate themselves from these predators.

In just two short years, leads companies and retailers have invested BILLIONS of dollars into platforms to reduce, or eliminate the need for, loan originators AND Realtors® as we know them! The quest for the “one stop shop” that lists, sells, and buys properties is now available. Some have already integrated the financing, title, mortgage insurance, and home insurance services as well! We are just months away from the transaction being controlled 100% by centrally operated enterprises through a handful of hired representatives. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around! Realtors® have given away the store and now pay for their own information back. Originators forgot how to originate on their own and now buy the same leads.

As this happens, who takes care of the customer? For some, it may be fine to point and click for a house or a loan, or all the support services involved. Maybe an algorithm can do a great job for some people? Maybe AI can pick your house, your loan, your insurance, your title company, your mortgage insurance plan, and the terms and conditions of your deal? But what about the people it can’t? What about the people who trust people? The people who really need people to help them put it all together? Who will serve them if we don’t take a path of education and service?

Business Planning 2020 will be a two-hour training event that will focus on the service aspect of the mortgage industry.

  • How will we work with our referral partners?
  • How will we generate opportunities?
  • Who are our new and future referral partners?
  • How will we work with technology?
  • Will social media kill or cure our business?
  • What can the plan look like?
  • What does your schedule look like?

If you are a mortgage company, train your loan officers or train your managers to train your originations team. If you are a title company or MI company, train your team to go out and train their clients. If your people aren’t aware, they can’t share this information with their Realtors®, client’s and other referral partners!

Training events will be scheduled on a first come, first scheduled basis. Business Plan 2020 trainings will run from September through October 2019. For those IMT Coaching clients, the live webinar will be the October Monthly Coaching Call.

For more information, pricing, details, and availability, please email: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Ready or not, 2020 is coming!

 

Summer Strategies Causing EPIC Results!

One of the greatest parts about coaching those in the mortgage industry is when a strategy or strategies you share with your people takes hold and generates big results. Most of the time it is something very simple and often overlooked that makes it happen, like simply making calls to your closed clients on their birthday or to do an annual review. The summer opens the door to some of my favorite strategies and some of my newer clients have embraced the activities and are seeing results. In some cases, EPIC results, their words, not mine.

Taking the time to create a specific summer action and activity plan makes it fun to keep connecting with clients and referral partners while providing value to all by using the most simple of strategies. Just making weekly status calls, not emails, to your preapprovals help reduce “leakage”. Providing information using the “Forever Home Strategy” keeps you connected with your Realtors and helps them generate listings and sales you help make possible.

In many parts of the country, people are closing right before school starts. The ability to be agile and quick to convert a preapproval into a closed client is winning deals over other lenders who can’t make it happen in time! The connection to listing agents, small banks, and credit unions helps establish and maintain lasting relationships!

We all have to look at our market and get tuned into what is the most value. Being able to use that local expertise to make transactions happen virtually eliminates those online lenders or those chasing “leads lists”. Real life strategies that actually support your referral partners and provide an exceptional experience beats a fake low rate that will never close!

So as we start planning for our August and September strategies, take the time to talk to your people about what they are seeing, where are the log-jams? How can you use your local experience to connect with those who see the value in that expertise? Simple, effective, and area specific strategies are one sure way to keep loan opportunities coming your way during those “dog days” of summer!

So to my originators who are working hard to make those around them enjoy the process and create a better transaction experience, I thank you for your efforts! For those setting personal bests in new applications, closings, and closed dollar volume, while continuing to build a pipeline of qualified borrowers, keep moving forward! The second half of 2019 will likely be even better for you than the first half!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com

Closing Funds From Retirement Plans

This is a brief reminder to those who already know this information and a short tutorial for those that don’t. PLEASE do not assume that your client has done their homework when it comes to using funds from retirement plans. So many people know just enough to get themselves in real trouble, then find themselves frantic right before closing trying to get the money, or worse yet, finding out they can’t take out the money from the plan for any number of reasons!

You should always advise a client to speak to a CPA long before they even get pre-approved for a loan. There are different potential issues and tax consequences from taking the money out, as well as HOW you take the money out!

After you understand the potential issues with removing the money, how much money you remove, how you remove it, if you have to repay it, the taxes and penalties that may come due at certain levels of removal, and what kind of account you are removing it from.

The next question is to talk to the benefits manager of the account or accounts you may be taking money from. All accounts are not the same, all may have different rules and timelines to receive the money, and all of this must be coordinated so you are not chasing a long paper trail of documentation!

Another area to consider is the possibility of removing money from more than one plan and the possibility that less is more; but also that more is more! What I mean is that you may benefit by removing as little money as possible just to make things work, or you may benefit by taking out MORE money to lower the loan to value or to reach up for a slightly more expensive home!

Last but not least is to understand the dynamics of the transaction with your deal so you can really look at all the options. In today’s market we have all kinds of people buying houses together and sometimes you have two first time homebuyers who are not married buying a house together. This is yet another area you MUST address early with the client, the accountant, and maybe even an attorney before moving forward.

As always it is important to get the plan worked out before the client gets out looking for a house. Once they hit the market, any delay or missed opportunity could really be costly. So be ready to coach your clients through the process. Have a CPA and possibly an attorney on hand to refer your clients if they should need a referral. Getting people out in front of this issue and being in a position to explore all the options is what makes you a trusted professional!

The last thing anyone wants in a real estate transaction are surprises. Prevent that with some proactive research and connecting with the math before issuing that pre-approval letter! Remember, it’s not just simply pulling the money out of an account; there are many things to understand before that happens!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.co

Rates, Jobs, Strategies, & Opportunities!

Happy Independence Day to all! I pushed this post off a day because off a series of events that might need attention. Waiting one day to get the jobs report this morning I felt was worth the short delay.

Mortgage rates continue to trend lower and consumers desire to buy homes remains strong. Despite many of the main stream media trying to push an agenda of a declining housing market, and virtually all the “experts” predicting mortgage rates well into the 5% range from the beginning of the year, the reality proves what we have been saying here, that people see that owning is better than renting in most markets and the economy is really helping all aspects of consumers.

I have addressed the opportunities of refinancing in the June 2019 Monthly Coaching Call which you can see on the website. The wealth of opportunities far exceeds just lowering someone’s payment. You have to know ALL THE OPTIONS! The peak of benefit for many in your database is in front of you, not behind you! Keep in mind, what if rates continue lower and chase all time low numbers? Get clear on the real value and the “WHY” behind the opportunity!

This weekend will offer huge opportunities in the purchase arena. You need to be out and visible to your Realtor® referral partners. Spend a few hours stopping by some offices this weekend and saying hello. Drop off some notes and make some calls, visit some Open Houses and connect! Those looking and selling right now need to be out and about to make something happen.

HUGE increase in new jobs; with a prediction of 150,000 new jobs, todays number came in at 224,000 new jobs! While the unemployment rate ticked up a tenth, the growth in the labor participation rate and the continued growth in earnings help prove that more people are participating in the growth in the economy.

So how the markets react today and where rates go will have to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s a Friday and it’s a holiday weekend so volatility is possible. Remain calm, look to Monday and Tuesday markets to provide some insight. I believe we are in another 50bps range that will bounce around until the FED meeting on July 31. Keep focused on all the opportunities at hand and the longer term trend of rates moving lower and people seizing the opportunities to own rather than rent, or to make a move to the home they really want, or to make the cost of where they want to live cheaper!

Questions or comments: Mike@IMTcoaching.com