People who invest in technology often ask themselves the question: is it a “nice to have” or a “necessary?” Few have the resources to invest in technologies they don’t need. Often, this analysis boils down to the worst-case scenario. “What’s the worst that can happen if we don’t invest in this technology? »
When mortgage lenders talk about compliance in originating loans or servicing mortgages, the worst case scenario can be pretty bad, which is why we often see companies investing heavily in the best tools. But when it comes to marketing a real estate or mortgage business, people who have made a sale in the past often consider marketing automation a “nice to have.”
Mike Jameson doesn’t think so, however. Not anymore.
Mike is an experienced mortgage loan officer. He was so good at his job that a few years ago his company offered him a seat on its annual all-expenses-paid trip to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, Mike never got the chance to enjoy the cruise. two days after setting sail, he slipped while strolling by the pool.
Instead of a relaxing vacation, he ended up in hospital with a brain hemorrhage and the bills for an expensive year-long recovery plan, which took him out of the mortgage game for a year.
He knew it would be really difficult to maintain relationships with his partners and clients from a hospital bed. He was afraid of losing everything. Without marketing automation, he probably would have been right.
How Marketing Automation Saved Mike’s Business
In 2000, Mike’s company used a CRM that could automate marketing for its loan officers. We’re not talking about a typical CRM, which is nothing more than a prospect database, but rather a marketing automation and customer engagement platform that offers an intelligent workflow for keep professional sellers on track. Thanks to this technology, most of his customers and business partners didn’t even know he was sick.
The company’s smart CRM became his voice while he recovered, keeping his relationships alive and evolving while he recovered, which was great because his brain injury had temporarily left him unable to speak.
This new technology gave him time to teach his injured brain to speak again. Customers automatically received regular business updates, personalized newsletters, congratulations on loan anniversaries, and all kinds of additional content.
Amazingly, Mike didn’t lose his business – his production actually increased by 33% in the year he recovered.
I’m not suggesting you run your business from a hospital bed, but growing a mortgage operation in a buying money market will require careful marketing attention. And when disaster strikes, effective marketing could also save your business.
This makes a smart CRM an indispensable tool.
How marketing saved my business
It’s a lesson I learned in the early 80s. I was selling houses like crazy in Denver. Like Houston and Southern California, Denver was experiencing an oil bubble that was making big money for everyone involved in real estate. Mercedes and Rolls Royce were everywhere. Everyone wore a Rolex.
And then, like all bubbles, it burst.
The accident happened at an incredible speed. Within months, these high-priced cars were sitting on the side of the road with “For Sale” signs on the windshields. Everything was for sale and people were going bankrupt left and right. It was overwhelming to experience, and I was caught right in the middle.
Nobody wanted to own a house. It seemed like the worst financial decision one could make. But I was only really good at one thing, selling houses. So, I went door to door in apartment complexes, trying to convince tenants to buy a house.
It wasn’t easy, but I made my living. I lived in limbo most of the time because potential buyers often changed their minds or didn’t qualify at the last minute, leaving me with weeks of work without pay. The numbers were scary. I had to sell five houses to close one in order to get paid. But I did this job for three years.
They were tough years, but that time was well spent in many ways. I have spent countless hours learning how to sell. I’ve learned that success most often comes down to building trust with my clients.
If I approached each interaction simply as a transaction, it was difficult to establish a connection. If I shared my knowledge, my expertise in the industry, people would listen and I could build trust. I learned in those early days that the relationship was the key to success.
And relationships, once formed, can be maintained in part through good content marketing.
Make a good thing grow with automation
Effective, even relentless selling saved my business when the Denver market crashed. But no one can keep up this pace for long. Effective sales are essential, but if I had to keep knocking on doors for a living, any crisis would have wiped me out. I needed a better way and marketing automation was key.
It was clear to me early in my career that technology for marketing automation was not just a “nice to have”. It was something I needed.
For many, investing in new technologies is not the final answer, it is the start of a long and painful selection and implementation process that experts say is very likely to fail. Every year, companies in our industry spend millions on new technologies, but have no guarantee that things will work the way they did for Mike Jameson.
Why? Readers of this publication know exactly why. Here are the big reasons:
Technology buyers don’t know what their LOs really need.
Your frontline initiators often confuse what they want with what they need and by the time those wants filter down to management and business priorities get mixed up, the right solution is no longer clear. .
Developers don’t understand sales in our industry.
A generic CRM is unlikely to meet the needs of professional salespeople selling a product as complicated as a mortgage. Their tools may work great for selling t-shirts online, but that won’t help here.
Implementation is difficult.
Unless the software was designed to be delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering with an extremely simple and intuitive interface, implementation will be a challenge. Every reader on this page has seen this happen.
The software is too complex.
Complexity can be a seductive trap. It’s human nature to be drawn to shiny new things, preferably things with lots of buttons and switches to fiddle with. But if we can move away from novelty-based buying, complexity-based building, and novelty-based desire, we can ask ourselves this: what do our sellers need?
The software is not achieving the right goal.
Modern technology is often written to help power users get the most out of tools. Just look at modern graphic arts software. What good CRM software should do is enable the bottom 80% of salespeople in a company to accomplish what the top 20% do. What would that do to your bottom line?
Luckily for all of us, Smart CRM technology with sales automation is available today. Its use can significantly extend our crucial relationships with our customers. And, in the event of a disaster, it can literally save our businesses.
Ask Mike Jamison. He is alive and well and continues to take out loans in Seattle.
Dan Harrington is the co-founder and CEO of Usherpa. His next book “Automate to Great” is expected to be published in 2023.