People seem to take my thoughts or suggestions as if they could exist in a vacuum, which they most certainly cannot. As you read on it should become more apparent that these ‘Twitter-esque’ suggestions are about general philosophies and solid business practices, not an end all be all ‘if you don’t implement everything I write about you’re DOOMED’, as some people seem to try and digest and regurgitate it as. Very few things in life are all or nothing, so stop being so rigid and allow your personal context to open a bit. I do know one thing for sure though: Any and all of these steps work, because at one time or another I’ve exercised every one, practiced what I’m preaching…However I choose to spin these steps, they work in theory and practice.
You’re not a Twinke. It warrants stating the obvious, that the wide scope of these posts about ‘running a mortgage business’ in todays and tomorrows markets are about the Art of Reinvention. The shelf life of a business is about 2-3 years, then it starts dying…today a business must consistently reinvent itself or it will die. This is the Information Age where ‘Life Comes at you Fast’, you gotta be quick, nimble, and otherwise ready to change at a moments notice..case in point, the mortgage (and real estate) industry has changed more over the past 5 years than the previous 30+. I personally owned an operated a mortgage (as well as a real estate) brokerage for 8 years, and no less the 4 times it was ‘reinvented’… marketing, business structure, process flows, financial strategy all rehauled to change with the times.
Step Seven. Don’t ever say or advertise that a mortgage is ‘no cost’ or anything to this effect. Doing so should get one fired (and shot) on the spot.
If you’re a consumer and are thinking ‘I think I’m going to go with that mortgage company that’s offering a no closing costs loan’, that mortgage company is getting ready to bilk you for enough money to cause you buyers remorse on a clinical level. With all the (sensational) news that has permeated the universe over the past year about the racketeering-like mortgage industry, if you still think that a mortgage is in any way ‘cheap’ or ‘free’, you need to assign a durable power of attorney to someone with more sense than you.
Step Eight. Stop explaining the fee to do business with you in terms of a %. WTF does a % of a homes value have to do with how much you make? While it may make great sense to you, it’s really the most illogical way to ‘sell’ yourself and services. Consumers are getting brighter, people like me are telling them to avoid mortgage pros who try and justify that ‘a point (or whatever) is very fair in todays market’. Valuing mortgage services in terms of a percentage will be portrayed as assuming a consumer dumb and docile, for which they will not do business with you…so stop insulting them and talk in dollar$.
Step Nine. Right up front, tell every potential client that you’re not going to be the cheapest mortgage pro they’ve dealt with, nor will you be the most expensive. By telling the consumer your fee and justifying it with tangible service and knowledge parameters, you set the playing field to make any other mortgage monkey they talk to compete on this turf, and most can’t.
Step Ten. Learn how to and/or implement a digital database management/marketing strategy. No, your Loan Origination Software is typically not good enough.
Step Eleven. Repeat after me…”I cannot make $10,000(+) on a single loan anymore”…
Step Twelve. Start a blog. Abandon your current dinosaur of a website from Myers, Lion, etc etc and move your web presence to a blogging platform, preferably one that isn’t proprietary since the ‘open source’ options available out there are stable and fantastic, not to mention that proper support is deep and easy to find. A blog is no longer just a tool to write journalistic online articles for all to revel in your omniscient brain (in case you’ve been under a rock or high on some). Blogging platforms are evolved web-sites that allow you to create, even better: Recreate you and your business on the fly. Changing a traditional website platforms look/feel/functionality is either expensive or just short of an act of God to pull off. For these same reasons avoid said proprietary platforms that can only be configured by a select few individuals.
Mortgage blogs pale in comparison to their real estate cousins in number and quality, which is a great reason to start now. At Inman Connect NYC 2007, I dropped in on one mortgage panel that had the founder of LowerMyBills.com as a panelist. When the panel was asked by the moderator about blogings potential effect on the mortgage world, everyone pretty much shrugged with a ‘Duuuhr’ look on their face until LowerMyBills spoke up and stated he thought (im paraphrasing) ‘that consumers wouldn’t identify with a mortgage blog nor was their much value in them’.
Step Thirteen. Move, act, and market yourself in direct contrast to yesterdays ‘industry leaders’, not doing so will continue to lower your business.