Tips for Generating Business During Slow Times in the Mortgage Industry
Like most businesses, the mortgage industry follows a fairly predictable cycle. Spring and summer are peak times for home shopping, while fall and winter (with some exceptions) see a slow down in new home purchases. Of course, purchase loans are only part of a loan officer’s business. Refinancing existing mortgages for new and current clients is work you can pursue all year long. And, in the current low interest rate environment, refinancing should certainly be your prime focus during slow times.
Here are a few other methods for generating business during slow times in the mortgage industry.
Clients and referrals
Experienced LOs know the sales cycle for bringing new business to fruition can be a relatively long process. To ensure a steady stream of business it’s important to reach out to closed and denied clients as well as potential new borrowers.
- Closed clients. Ideally, you’ve placed clients who were happy with your work in an email drip campaign. Review your database of closed clients to see if interest rates have dropped enough to make refinancing worth their while. Use the rate drop as an opportunity to touch base. Even if the client won’t benefit now, they may in the future. This is also a great opportunity to ask for referrals.
- Denied clients. A little data mining can yield new business. Clients who were turned down for a refinance previously for any variety of reasons — questionable credit, lack of a down payment, etc — may have resolved these issues and are ready to apply again. Even if they’re not ready, you have a chance to reconnect and even assist in helping them repair their credit.
- New clients. Mortgage lending is a referral business. In order to find new clients, you need to work the connections and relationships you’ve built over time. Reaching out to satisfied clients for referrals should be an ongoing process and a key component in all of your marketing efforts. Start with friends and family. Use your social media presence to promote the opportunity and benefits of refinancing.
Your efforts to build and maintain a strong network of professional contacts in your community should be continuous. Downtime gives you the chance to get out and reconnect with potential referral resources and develop new ones. Other real estate professionals are experiencing a slow down as well and are more likely to be available.
- Real estate agents. Touch base with your agent partners. They may have clients who are considering buying or who are looking to refinance. This is also a chance to strengthen a key relationship and hopefully exchange some referrals.
- Builders and contractors. Builders and contractors can be both clients and referral partners. In addition to looking for possible refinance clients, find out what developments are in the works for next year. Ideally, you want to become a lender of record for new housing in your community. This is a great niche opportunity if you’re an LO looking to specialize.
- Hold a seminar. One way to connect with potential clients is by sharing your knowledge. Consider holding a seminar for first-time homebuyers. Help future prospects prepare for the spring buying season by walking them through the home buying process with a special emphasis on the mortgage loan approval. Go big by teaming up with your real estate agent partner and other real estate professionals.
- Community involvement. Of course, there are other things in the community you can do to reach new prospects. Community service, whether helping out at the local food pantry or leading a 5K walkathon for cancer awareness, increases your visibility and provides you with the chance to meet potential clients and expand your database. It’s also the right thing to do, whether or not any business opportunities come from your participation!
Behind the scenes
Downtime is the right time to take care of backend issues that can directly impact current and future business. Having the time to update your CRM database, evaluate marketing results, and review work processes is a luxury you don’t often get. In particular, strengthening and refining your marketing efforts in the short-term is bound to yield results in the long-run.
- CRM refresh. Take the time to comb through your contacts and make sure you have current information.
- Reviews and testimonials. Pull together customer feedback and update testimonials on all channels.
- Website and social media. Update or even redesign your website. Consider adding videos or making instant chat available to your contacts. Expand your social media presence by adding Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Refresh all content and optimize for search engines. Automate processes wherever possible.
- Marketing. Review and update all marketing pieces based on the results of your marketing review.
- Content creation. Add a blog or email newsletter and publish it through all channels. Develop or rewrite email campaigns for prospects and closed clients.
Don’t let downtime get you down. Utilize this valuable time to reach out to clients old and new, strengthen and make new professional referral relationships, and review and refine your marketing. If you do it right, you might not get this downtime again.