Loan Officer Marketing Advice in 2018

Still using Outdated Images for Branding?
The media you use to symbolize your business tells your target audience a lot about your company. An opinion can be formed pretty quick about your company simply from using the right (or wrong) image or video.

This is important because it may influence a prospect’s decision to apply for a loan or not. Changing your website can be a lengthy process not to mention expensive. Changing the images can rapidly shift the way consumers interpret your brand.

If your mortgage website has images that have dreadful boring corporate stock images, dump that as soon as you can. Unfortunately, I cannot unsee all the bad stock photography the last few years on loan officer’s websites. The better approach is sleek, modern and professional website, and not be anonymous. Your target audience relates better to images of actual people, so select your website’s images carefully.

For real estate clients that ReachPronto helps, they use images that connect to the city they’re in, as opposed to bland corporate art that symbolizes typical business concepts. Try this out on your website and social media profiles so it will help you to be seen as today’s professional, not someone from a decade ago.

Social Media
Social media is currently deep-rooted in our personal lives and in business. As a successful mortgage originator, you need to utilize these platforms to grow your business.  While you may not be able to meet all clients in person, you can meet some prospects online via live chat or webinars.

Among the frequent mistakes that mortgage originators make is posting some boring and basic mortgage news. Think creatively, dare to be different, and post content on all of your social media platforms that is valuable and engaging. Comment on what they wrote. This is another great way to stay top of mind with your clients.

Joint Marketing
With the myriad of compliance regulations, you need to be doubly sure you are adhering to the rules set by RESPA.  Your compliance department can help you stay compliant when looking to partner with realtors, attorneys, CPA’s.   The obvious goal is to grow your business.  You can build your personal brand by using open house flyers, providing snacks, and valuable material for consumers to set you apart.

The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to joint marketing.  It is a proven effective and strategy to strongly consider. It simply makes your job easier and if another agent see this, you may be asked to partner with them.

Will The New Tax Plan Affect Loan Officers?

Small-business owners are now in position to apply useful tax benefits due to the numerous terms included in the House GOPs tax plan signed into law.

The section receiving the most interest to this point is the new tax rate for “pass-through business income” earned by a business structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or S-corporation.

Under federal IRS laws, these business types are known as “pass-through entities.” This arrangement would permit a pass-through business to define a percentage of its income as “profit” and have a potentially reduced rate of 25 percent on it, while the owner’s salary income could be taxed at the regular rate of as much as 39.6 percent.

That’s not all. The new tax plan’s objective is offering extra tax benefits for people who are self-employed. Below are the essential details.

For self-employed people, you are responsible to pay your portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The rate is 15.3 percent for income up to $127,200. On the other hand, if you’re defined as an employee, you pay  a rate of 7.65 percent on Social Security and Medicare taxes, and your employer takes care of the other portion for you.

The new tax plan proposes a rule change so that the 15.3 percent self-employment tax wouldn’t apply to income that is on the new 25 percent rate. This provision could decrease taxes for many self-employed people by close to 30 percent along with the new lower rate on pass-through business income.

An additional tax break currently utilized by self-employed business owners is expanded with this plan. The self-employed are able to fully write off the cost of eligible equipment bought or financed in 2017. In 2017 the maximum deduction allowed is $510,000, and this is for business-related items such as computer equipment, office furniture, tools and even vehicles used for business. Of course, various restrictions apply.

The ceiling allowed for expenses will continue in its current form up to 2023 and then progressively increase to $20 million. The eligible property would be broadened to phase in qualified energy-efficient equipment such as heating and air conditioning put in service as of Nov. 2, 2017.

If you’re self-employed, you can still enjoy tax deductions on the medical, dental and certain long-term care insurance premiums you pay for you and your household even if you are not deducting items separately.

Furthermore, the self-employed can arrange and put money into their own retirement plan. The deduction for contributions they make into the plan are able to still be claimed as an adjustment to income on page 1 of IRS form 1040.

The preferred type of retirement plan is the self-employed 401(k) profit-sharing plan, which permits a person to make contributions both as an employer and as an employee. The convenience of this type of plan is that any major brokerage firm can easily set you up. You are able to make an additional contribution that’s a percentage of net profit and a fixed-dollar amount up to the 401(k) contribution limits (which is $18,000, or $24,000 for people above 50 years old in 2017).

For an individual who reports approximately $80,000 net profit from self-employment, the total amount claimable as a contribution for this plan works out to be $32,870 in 2017. For individuals who are over 50 years, you can make a contribution of around $38,870. If your net profit is $190,000 or more and you’re 50 and above the maximum contribution is $59,000.

Make sure you establish the self-employed 401(k) plan before year-end to be allowed to make a deductible contribution into on your 2017 tax return. The best thing to do is start now, before things get really hectic at the close of 2017.

Marketing Strategies That Work

The following marketing tips will help you steer clear of the common mistakes that the majority of loan originators commit. By doing this your monthly sales numbers should increase.

  1. Effective Advertising
    Make your advertising and print media more effective by having a headline on everything: letters, greeting cards, ads, everything.

Effective headlines draw in the audience and make them want to read more.

A powerful headline will include a benefit.

Examples:

3 things you can do this week to increase your credit score

thought you might enjoy this articke…

2. Be the Host of Live Events
Investing your time with current (and potential) referral partners is a really productive way to increase your mortgage business.

One such way is to teach marketing classes to groups of agents at a time as opposed to arranging an appointment for a quick breakfast, lunch, or coffee. You can still enjoy that cup of joe for your existing business partners.

 

3. Upgrade Your Marketing
It doesn’t matter how good a loan officer you are – if you suck at marketing, you will starve.

Knowing how to get clients is infinitely more important than any other knowledge you may attain.

Get Started with Facebook Advertising
Facebook has more than 1.4 billion active monthly users. This number may be bigger.

Homeowners who are considering refinancing are likely on Facebook.

Facebook’s advertising platform enables you to target these people and place extremely relevant ads directly into their newsfeed.

As an example:

If  you want to target Orange County, California residents who live within a 50 mile radius and are likely to move could put your business on approximately 300,000 people’s newsfeed.

There is a high probability that a majority of them will need a new mortgage.

Pro Tip:

Create some unique and helpful content like a blog post about “12 Ways to Save Money on Your Move” and market it straight to that target audience.

Use Google’s Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Statistics show that 93% of people make a business choice by looking at sites from an online search.

Google AdWords makes it possible for your business to reach over 90-percent of its audience.

Bidding on keywords like “Orange County Mortgage Company” or “Orange County home loans” may be able to get your business into the top results.

Set Up Remarketing
For the majority of websites, only 2% of internet traffic convinces people to apply or call on the first visit.

Retargeting monitors people who visited your website and displays your ads to them as they search online.

Your business will be constantly seen by 98% of users who did not apply the first time.

This makes it possible for your brand to stay on their minds ad become possible customers while they are online.

4. Being Nice helps
Write thank you notes to people.

I think we can agree that everyone likes to feel appreciated and acknowledged. Simply being nice and showing manners are things that need to make a comeback.

Thank the underwriter for a swift decision

Thank your client for calling you back with the information you needed

Thank the realtor for the referral to grow your relationship with an important referral partner.

Why this works. You will differentiate yourself from the crowd as a caring mortgage professional.

 

Effective Ways to Increase Your Monthly Closings

Use Emails to Attract New Clients
Baylor University’s  Keller Center for Research carried out a study where 50 seasoned cold callers made a total of 6,264 cold calls over a period of two weeks. The results were not surprising.  Just 19 appointments could be made out of 6,000+ calls, or one out of every 330 calls. That means the success rate was a miserable 0.3%

Emailing Advantages
With the proper research and the right message, an email can get too anyone.  However, to get people to open and respond to your email it requires the proper training and a proven results driven strategy.

Another advantage is that when your loan officers send out unsolicited emails, they don’t need the people skills (and the fake upbeat attitude) that a phone call demands. With emailing, your people skills can be less than average. With the proper email software, your ability to increase your messages reach rises which may boost your closed loans volume.

Respond to Emails
 When a client or prospect emails you don’t respond hours or days later. Simply acknowledge the email in 30 seconds or less with an auto-reply message. This is very useful when in meetings or during busy periods. Just let them quickly know that you will respond within a certain time period.

Specific words can make your sales message more powerful
Here’s an example, which is more likely to make loan you finish the loan?

“This is a good loan since rates are going up.”
“This is a great loan because you are getting record low rates and you will save “x” amount of dollars per month”  The different tone words can convey can definitely change the way you come across. Obviously, the second message comes across as sincere to their needs.

Instead of asking to them to “try something”, say “What I’d do is…” Example. What I would do is refinance my home to a 30-year fixed rate because rates are low and your intention is to live there for more than 10 years.”

Instead of using the word “but” which is an objection, use the word “and”.  The word “and” indicates there are additional benefits. Example. As a homeowner, you’re more in control “and” you’re building financial wealth.

Dedicate a time slot to do prospecting
A lot of mortgage originators find themselves putting too much time into closely overseeing their loan and have no time left over for prospecting.  You have to schedule an effective time slot or it will not happen and you’ll wonder where the next sale will come from once your current sales are completed.

Many successful have a formula that works best for them such as ever Monday or Tuesday just prospecting for two hours or calling and contacting a specific number of people.

They constantly build relationships.
Successful mortgage consultants understand relationships are the pillar of sales. The best loan officers are continuously making new relationships and monitoring partnerships that may prove to be mutually beneficial. By targeting new people, it will certainly grow your network, generating more possible customer referrals as well as lowering your cost to acquire customers.

Take Advantage of Social Media
A lot more real estate agents and loan officers have social media profiles on LinkedIn and Twitter in order to build relationships and get their message out. With the right people in your network or groups, including Facebook marketing, this will surely help you close more deals.

Think from the customer’s point of view
The great sales agents realize that to sell your service, the ultimate goal is not only your paycheck. If you want to be truly successful, you will want to be known as someone who truly wants to help their client get their needs satisfied one hundred percent. Educate them when necessary so they understand the process.

You are essentially advocating for their needs whether it is a break on the rate or lower fees. The customer sees this as them winning which is your ultimate goal as it will lead to referrals.  The customer is now a salesman for your services and you’ll end up with a client and partner.

Instead of asking, “How can I sell this to John or Debbie?”  ask, “How can I help you?”

Wake Up Early
In a recent Salesforce survey, they discovered that the best salespeople are the ones who wake up early: 76% of them are wake and up before 7 a.m. and 35% are up before 6 a.m.

You’ve Chosen a Career. Now Do Your Best

Career advancement and happiness can be found with the proper training.

During most people’s lives they want to be living and working in peace or happiness. You may find yourself beginning your career in one direction only to discover that another path taken was the best choice.

In your current job, are you miserable or do you have a sense of accomplishing something big.  The answer is simple if you are honest about it.

People within the mortgage business are encouraged to grow and seek advancement opportunities no matter your goals and range of abilities. There are 1000s of success stories for those who make the most of their opportunities, especially the ones who adopt job-advancement and goal-setting best practices.

When considering your career options, remember to visualize and set your goals. Be committed to them and you are on your way to success.

Something that many mortgage- industry professionals who love their careers share is a motivation to raise their standard of living for themselves and their families. On the other hand, those companies that show persistent success in employee job satisfaction depend a great deal on excellent training.

How does this help you in your mortgage career? This suggests you need to find companies that show you the value they put on their people. Effective and targeted training, mentoring and responsibility each can provide a quantifiable effect on career success.

Statistically speaking, the average loan originator is 54 years old. With this in mind, it is important that the industry hire younger people, with a recruiting plan to train the next generation.

You want these new recruits to hit the ground running.  A next-generation training program may include a one or two month-long program that offers them a brief yet thorough overview of the career as a mortgage originator. Typically, it should include:

  • Software. Share what to expect with the loan origination / processing program your company uses such as Encompass, Calyx or a proprietary custom program.
  • Loan programs and guidelines. Present a summary of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan programs.
  • Qualifying and calculating rates. Show new originators how to qualify prospective borrowers and calculate rates, and talk about the purpose of the secondary market.
  • Loan terminology. Go over mortgage jargon.
  • Origination from start to finish. Explain the roles loan processors, underwriters, appraisers, title and escrow companies.
  • Disclosures and compliance. Describe the federal, state and company rules that have to be followed.
  • Marketing strategies and growing your business. Offering originators the tools to succeed will go a long way.

Learn Good Habits

By providing a regimen and framework for new originators to work within, companies can show their personnel how to use their time smartly. Having said that, thinking outside-the-box can in combination with a successful regimen may bring even better results and productivity.
Keep Advancing

Whether you are in charge of an entire company, a branch, or a small group, or even only yourself, it is important to keep achieving new heights, because complacency and mediocrity is not why you are in this industry.

You never want to quit learning, developing and achieving. Embrace challenges and problems by solving them, borrowers and referral partners will appreciate you more and see that you helped them beyond their expectations.

To summarize, envision who you want to be and become that person. Work and have people around you who encourage and support your vision, those who you can grow with.   Remember, goals that are unwritten are simply dreams, so recognize what you want and go get it. Choose your career path wisely so you find the joy in your life.

Differences of a Bank and Broker Loan Originator

A loan officer who works at a bank or a credit union is many times the smiling face of the institution, their primary job is to accept an completed loan application from the borrower, and then give it to the underwriter. If all goes well, and the loan is approved, the loan officer may schedule an appraisal.

An independent loan originator, on the other hand, who typically works for a mortgage company provides a lot more service to the borrower, such as advising the client about the best possible loan for their purposes, collecting necessary documents during the entire process, ordering the appraisal and speaking directly with the borrower and underwriter to confirm documents received and that the loan closes in a timely manner.

What happens if you don’t use an independent loan originator?
In many cases, a large bank or credit union will have the underwriting or loan processing department take care of all of the tasks an independent loan officer does. What does this mean for the consumer?

Mortgage rates obtained with an independent loan officer, whether it be a mortgage broker or a small shop, won’t be significantly higher than those offered through a big bank. In fact, oftentimes, the interest rates are sometimes less, in part because independent mortgage brokers usually have additional loan sources as opposed to the big banks, which commonly only have a smattering of loan products to give prospective homeowners.

Flexible Schedule
The number of hours you are in the office or doing work from another location varies according to the type of loan officer you are. Many loan originators can be connected to their main office and clients through a smart phone and laptop. As a whole, loan originators generally have more control over their schedule and extra flexibility when compared to friends and colleagues working in other occupations.

Potential for High Earnings
The pay rate for a loan officer changes constantly. The median salary for a loan officer is at this time is $62,620 – with some highly-skilled originator earning more than $128,390.

How your pay is decided varies according to the type of company you work for. With some companies, loan officers get paid on 100-percent commission; while with others, a loan agent’s income is a split of a nominal salary and commission. The mortgage originator who works on straight commission has the income potential to become almost unlimited or reach a levels to be a top national originator.

Leading CRM Mortgage Software

Having an effective mortgage CRM is a vital element for a loan officer and their support team. With this B2B/B2C software, all of your customers, prospects and business partners are arranged in one location. You need to have a system to grow your business and offer obtainable goals.  Nowadays, there are numerous CRMs being created exclusively for mortgage professionals.

Gone is the era of using an organizer or spreadsheet for you contacts. These CRM solutions are changing the rules by providing a variety of elements soley focused towards relationship marketing.

Here’s a quick overview of the most popular tools in 2017.

Jungo

​Jungo generates its application from Salesforce’s CRM to produce a mortgage-centric solution.

Key features include:

Automated marketing campaigns

Create custom workflows (tasks & reminders for yourself and staff)

Customize marketing campaigns based on loan scenario

Referral partner tracking, evaluation, and reporting

Integrations with email, social media, Mortgage Coach EDGE, and Google Apps

Hundreds of mortgage email templates

LoanEngage

The LoanEngage CRM,  developed by Velocify, has the following functions included:

Automated email and milestone marketing

Automated borrower and partner communications – updates and notifications

Centralized dashboard with reporting functionality

Co-branded marketing with referral partners

Customized, visual loan scenario presentations

Intelligent workflow provides prioritized tasks and reminders

Rate monitoring

Top of Mind

Top of Mind’s Surefire CRM made its debut over ten years ago and has established itself as a great solution in the mortgage industry. Surefire offers its product with standard features, and an optional plan to add more features as you grow.

Top of Mind’s Surefire basic features include:​

Automated email marketing

Co-branded marketing with referral partners

Contact monitoring and alerts

Group people into lists to send relevant material

Hundreds of email templates

Online 1003 loan application lead generator

Post-closing mail (add-on cost) and email campaigns

Videos sent automatically when loan milestones are reached,
(only if integrated into LOS)

Whiteboard

Whiteboard is said to have top producing loan officers offer their input into the development of the software. Whiteboard plans start at just $75 per user per month, which is significantly below Surefire.

Whiteboard’s features include:​

Automated marketing utilizing The Mortgage Playbook™

Call prompts with proven and effective scripts

Customized forms for lead generation

Daily critical tasks produced from playbooks are delivered to dashboard

Solid reporting and analytics through the centralized dashboard

*Does not have LOS integration

 

​There are countless CRMs out there that claim to be the best for the mortgage industry.  Some we have may have not mentioned. This articles is about some of the most popular CRM programs.

Marketing Visual Content Is a Great Choice

When most people think of content, the first thing that comes to mind is text-based reading. You can expand your marketing expertise by using more visual-centric content. Whenever you leave your residence, snap a few photos or record some video clips. Visual content grabs your attention and is shareable, so it not only keeps you on a person’s thoughts, but also helps you reach more people. Did you know that articles that include an image for every 75 to 100 words receive two-times the number of social shares?

Studies have shown that when a person hears information, they’re likely to retain just 10% of that information in the coming days. The rate of retention changes dramatically when a topically related image is coupled with that same information, people remember 65% of the information three days later.

visual content marketing

Furthermore, if you take into account that visual learners comprise 65% of the population, and that presentations with visual guides are 43% more persuasive, it seems logical to utilize content that can connect with people on a psychological level. The following are 2 types of visual content that can move your marketing campaigns to a whole other level.

Infographics:
Brand promotion is what some Infographics pursue. Thy are crafted to include information about the company such as their logo, website address, or contact information. This is certainly a very effective method to boost your business’ brand and if used the right way can easily bring in more traffic by a minimum of 12%.

Since the beginning of 2010 to the start of 2012, search volumes for infographics have surged by more than 800% in in only 2 years.

Because of infographics attractiveness they are liked and shared three times more frequently than other forms of social media content.  Think about it. More people will link to your site’s infographic, when done right. If it goes viral, Google will crawl your website more based on their algorithm, which thereby increases the importance of your site in Google’s rankings. So if you’ve got a few trend-setting real estate statistics to reveal with your audience, an infographic is the best option.

Video:
Just like your infographic, a video should be more informative or tell a story than be overtly sales pitchy. Reap the benefits of the emotional power of video by appealing to your audience’s needs.

Your video should within the first 10 seconds provide its value and answer “why should I watch this video?” The reason is because 20 percent of people click away in th first ten seconds.  You want to make them laugh, learn something, or be inspired. A strategic call to action can be placed that the end or in the right place.

Facebook users watch videos over 100 million hours each day. Nowadays, you can broadcast a video live thanks to Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, and Snapchat. Videos are extremely helpful for exhibiting typical everyday problems and then providing the solutions that your service or product can offer.

Make the most of Visual Content
Visual content stays within the mind of your viewers, motivating them to find out more about your business. If you can produce top of the line visual content which really connects with people and publicize it on a consistent schedule, the trust and interest of your brand is guaranteed to improve greatly.

Online Marketing Tip for Loan Officers

They have over a billion users so having a strategy working on Facebooks something to strongly consider doing as soon as possible.

Promote Your Facebook Posts
Social media isn’t the instant solution for shortfalls in other areas of marketing. Nonetheless it does offer you an important ingredient to having a more balanced marketing system. The simple truth is not everyone is going to open and read the email you sent, not every referral partner will have leads to send to you, not everyone is going to retweet your tweet, and not all of your friends or people will see that brilliant post you shared on Facebook. The goal is to see to it that all your past and potential customers hear from you more than once every twelve months, if at all.

Facebook Ads are a fairly simple way to boost the views of your content. Not only can you target ads according to the demograhics of your audience, but you are also able to create advertising campaigns consistent with the goals of your business. You can make a campaign for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your business website, increase the visibility of your Facebook business page or merely elevate a Facebook post.

All you have to do is browse to your Facebook Business Page sometime during the month for a post you want to boost. It can be a link to your most recent blog post or your video.

One of the best suggestions by experts is to boost posts to your current audience for $5-$10. The goal is to have high user engagement on your posts. When your audience clicks or like one of your boosted posts, it is a signal to Facebook that they’re interested in your brand and your businesses’ posts will be shown more frequently in their News Feed.

So to have an engaging audience, start filtering your audience list regularly to make sure it is up to date. By doing this, you’ll b more confident that your email campaigns will have engagement and be a part of your marketing success.

Nobody wants to send out emails to non-responsive people or inactive accounts.
With a good audience, you can separate your list for highly targeted social media campaigns and emails, and develop more individualized or geographical content to deliver a great message at the right time.

Get Reviews from your Clients
You know people read Yelp for reviews on local restaurants, and read customer feedback from local companies for advice on small and big purchases. Long story short, if it involve paying for a product or service people want to know the experience others had.

Many marketing experts suggest that you ask your clients for reviews (or even referrals) just before the closing date on a loan. Reach out to your client by email and/or in person right before closing or a week after to ask for a review and put it on a website of your choosing.

Make it easy for them by  having an email ready with a sentence thanking them for their business and put the link to site where you want them to put a review for you.

Getting a Realtor Partner

How to Create A Win-Win Partnership
As with most relationships, they don’t happen overnight and need some time to develop. For an outstanding business relationship or partnership to work, you must know your partner very well and grow to trust each other.  Prosperous partnerships realize the value of long-term business planning, make joint investments int th other’s business and schedule regular meetings intended to bolster growth in the future.

Identifying Realtors Who Know the Value of a Partner
There are specific attributes to look for with regards to partnering with a Realtor to make it mutually beneficial.  You might need to meet more than a few times with the prospect to become familiar with and trust them before an exclusive relationship can be formed. For a good potential partner, you want to know the following:

1.      Works as a full time realtor

2.    Invested in their business

3.     Creates trust with their clients for long-term relationship

4.    Good at networking

5.     Close a respectable amount of transactions

6.     Professional in appearance and the way they do business

7.    Open to new ideas to grow their business
8.     Our business philosophy matches

9.      Respect for my profession and my team

10.      Someone I can trust

Guess which of the three are considered most important?  principles, a full-time realtor, and respects me.

Characteristics of great working partnerships

·         Think-alike.  Each partner understands that the customer is an annuity. They work together to squeeze every drop out of every opportunity. They understand how to build high trust with their clients together and always communicate throughout each transaction.

·         Partner’s care about each other’s business.  They regard each other as an expert and  are a passive marketer for each other’s business.  The lender supports the buyer’s decision in choosing the Realtor® and the Realtor® also backs up the lender during the loan process.

·         Partner’s provide sincere and helpful feedback and not hesitant to discuss where improvements may be improved.

·         The annual commissions of both increase along side each other.  Neither the Realtor® nor the Loan Officer are asked for referral fees  or commission cuts to make the deal close.  The professions of each have solid mutual respect by each other. A sign that the partnership is working on all cylinders is when referrals from outside sources constantly come in.