Most people are familiar with the term "risk factors," but mortgage loan officers doing business today face both risks and factors when reaching out to prospective customers, partners and existing clients with advertising and marketing materials.
Many macroeconomic factors that influence public sentiment and the size of the borrowing pool — such as the U.S. economy, local housing market and employment conditions, interest rates and consumer confidence — are beyond their control.
But loan officers face other risks in how and when they perform their marketing—specifically, their outbound marketing—and it has a very strong impact on their pipelines and their company’s bottom line.
Fortunately, there’s good news here. The biggest and most common outbound marketing risks are controllable.
Risk #1: Lack of consistency and continuity
Too many marketing and advertising plans made in December are memories by May. Combine that sad reality with the fact that it takes multiple impressions to capture a prospect's attention, and even the most organized, well-equipped producers and teams find themselves falling short on the number of touches they need to convert leads into clients.
Automation is the best way to execute campaigns with approved branding and compliance language. The ability to set your marketing in motion without having to micromanage it ensures that your best plans are put into action.
Risk #2: Loss of efficiency
It's hard to be a rainmaker when you're constantly trying to reinvent the wheel. The reality in mortgage lending—or any profession involving sales, relationship building and retention—is that marketing efforts frequently suffer as your business increases and market conditions change.
That’s why producers and their teams need a variety of up-to-date marketing materials aimed at different consumer groups that are appropriate for different market conditions. They also need marketing collateral that can be easily accessed and deployed with automation without the pressure of having to create them on their own.
Most mortgage loan officers pursue a combination of client types, such as first-time home buyers, move-ups and downsizers, and they need the availability and ease of outreach to mine their lead sources and databases so they can provide the service that earns referrals and repeat business.
Risk #3: Lack of exposure
Marketing materials shouldn't resemble the constant battle to plug leaks in a dam. Too many originators have one aspect of their marketing on track, but they're not executing on the multiple levels available and necessary for success in today's digital world. Where you reach prospects is becoming as important as how often.
Consistency is also an issue in this arena, because even if a loan officer is using email, regular mail, online advertising and social media, many lack the synchronization necessary to improve results. Having the materials and automation is important, but coordination is also critical. When it comes to multi-channel marketing, dabbling doesn't cut it. You have to play a full-court press all the time.
Risk #4: Failure to identify and motivate
Target audiences for mortgage loan officers fall into fairly standard groups. However, the messages that motivate those groups differ and require relevant, current marketing with specific calls-to-action.
For example, in a market where there is a shortage of housing inventory, marketing must be adjusted separately for potential buyers and sellers, so that the need for and value of a loan officer's expertise speaks to their distinct needs, excitement and other triggers.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a marketing piece can fit multiple types of prospects when it may not.
Risk #5: Compliance
In the past, the consequences for using marketing materials not created or approved by the company mostly involved poor representation of a brand or product and lack of results. In today's regulatory climate, the consequences are far more severe: fines are draconian and licenses and livelihoods are on the line.
Companies and mortgage loan officers simply cannot afford to flout compliance rules for marketing and communicating with consumers. A company-wide platform with controlled access and permissions can ensure that marketing materials contain required compliance language along with approved branding and messaging, as well as provide necessary archiving and reports in case of a government audit.