Referral Marketing Mistakes; How to overcome and work smarter (part 1 of 6)

by 12 Mar 2012

How many of these mistakes are causing you to work harder than you really have to?

It has been reported that over 80 percent of Mortgage Professionals fail within their first two years! That’s a staggering statistic. My hunch is, most of these mortgage professionals throw in the towel, not because they dislike the business, but because they cannot afford to eat. I know several cases where they exit the business with their families in total financial ruin. Of the remaining 20 percent who manage to survive in the business past the first two years, the average mortgage originator only makes $45,000 per year and only the top half (10percent) make over $85,000 per year. As you can see, the odds are clearly stacked against them.

So, what is it about the top 10 percent highest income earners that allows them to enjoy financial prosperity, while the other 90 percent struggle to eke out a meager existence? Is the difference found in their education, intelligence, skills, timing, work habits, contacts or luck? Perhaps. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is this: After coaching hundreds of mortgage professionals since 2005, I’ve observed that the single most important success factor separating the top dogs from all the rest is… EFFECTIVE MARKETING!

Unfortunately, most mortgage originators are entering the business completely clueless about how to market themselves in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. Most are driving with their eyes closed – it’s no wonder so many crash and burn! But here is the good news: If you avoid the following six deadly referral-marketing mistakes, you are guaranteed to tip the scales of fortune in your favor.

Mistake #1: Neglecting Your Database

One of the most costly mistakes I see mortgage professionals fall prey to is their tendency to myopically focus on acquiring new clients and in doing so, they neglect the only true asset they will ever have in their business: their database of clients and referral partners!

Think about it. What other market likes you, knows you, and trusts you more than your own happy clients and referral partners? Nobody! – they’re your raving fans. Yet how many of them get pushed to the side and neglected due to your “busy schedule?” When was the last time they received a meaningful communication from you by email, phone or direct mail?

Every month that goes by that you ignore your database it could be costing you thousands of dollars! Case in point: the National Association of Realtors performed a study that resulted with some interesting statistics on the correlation between number of mailings and marketing results.

Here’s what they found:

• Sending fewer than eight mailings a year yields minimal results.

• Eight to twelve mailings a year generated a 200 percent increase in results.

• Increasing from twelve to eighteen mailings per year increased results by an additional 200 percent!

What does this mean? Simply put, if you are not consistently staying in touch with your database, month after month, you are leaving thousands of dollars on the table! In fact, studies show that it costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer through advertising than it does to market to your existing clients. Why pay 5-10 times more when you don’t have to?

The truth is people hate being ignored and if you are not continuously staying in touch they are likely to get poached by your competition. If you want to build a predictable, profitable and salable mortgage business, you can’t afford not to develop a consistent follow-up marketing system.

So, if all this is true, why are not you investing more time, energy and money to mine the gold from your client database? Perhaps no one has taught you the importance of it and shown you how to do it - until now!

If you will make a study of it, as I have for the past five years, you will find that Top Producers are more likely to be using a mix of both email and direct mail in their follow-up marketing campaigns. Why would they bother spending their money on direct mail when email is “cheaper?” Simply put, it pays better.

With that said…

Here are the three most important keys to a Top-Flight Follow-up Marketing System:

1. Monthly Direct Mail Newsletter. If you want it to be read send it by direct mail. If you do not care if it’s read or responded to, send it by email. It’s as simple as that! Your newsletter should be going out to three different segments of your database: prospects, clients, and referral partners. The key to follow-up success is consistency. Commit to sending your Monthly Newsletter out to these three groups every month like clockwork until they die, buy, or tell you to stop.

Content is king when it comes to the success of your newsletter. If your newsletter is even remotely irrelevant, boring or dry it will quickly meet its fruitless fate in the recycle bins of the world.

Here are 8 tips to protect your newsletter from becoming a resident of “Dullsville”:

Tip #1: Use exciting and compelling headlines – i.e. “9 Secrets to Make Your Home Renovation Pay For Itself!”

Tip #2: Make it look like you did it yourself. It shouldn’t look mass produced.

Tip #3: Write in a personal tone as if you were writing to a friend – not too formal or stuffy.

Tip #4: When applicable, end the article with a specific call to action – i.e. “call today!”

Tip #6: Make it entertaining - i.e. quizzes, trivia, recipes, Sudoku, interesting news, etc.

Tip #7: Include photos, cartoons and white space to please the eye of your reader.

Tip #8: Use blue handwriting font on the envelope and mail with a live stamp (not indicia).

A true direct response newsletter is not, nor will it ever be, "professional." There should be no articles about technical items, written in technical jargon. If you do talk about something technical, translate it into layman terms, and when relevant add stories, humor or sentiment.

2. Weekly Email Tips. If you would like to supercharge your follow-up marketing results, send your contact list a weekly email tip in addition to the monthly mailing.

3. Phone Calls.  Once per year, mail out a postcard inviting your clients to call you for an “Annual Mortgage Review.” For best results, follow-up with a phone call. Your objective is simple: find out if their mortgage is still up t0 date and whether or not it makes sense to refinance, do a debt consol, finance a renovation, etc. This is also a perfect time to ask for referrals!

If implemented correctly, your follow-up marketing system can become your most profitable marketing weapon – feeding you a steady stream of repeat and referral business! Consider it like the superglue that keeps your clients and referral partners bonded to you for life. ¨


About the Author: Doren Aldana is considered by many to be Canada’s leading Mortgage Marketing Coach. Since 2005, he has been dedicated to helping mortgage professionals attract more clients with less effort, regardless of market conditions. Aldana is also the author of a new 3-disc DVD/CD set titled, “7 Secrets to Attract More Referrals on Autopilot.” To pick up your free copy, visit:

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