Friday, April 26, 2013

Mortgage Rate Roller Coaster

As mortgage rates continue to drop it looks as though the long promised housing recovery is finally upon us! As a loan officer, this is the perfect time to get your online mortgage marketing plan into place. My Rate Mailer is the perfect online mortgage marketing tool, with the simple click of a button your rates can be sent to your entire client base!


Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell for a fourth week, with the 15-year average hitting a record low, helping to strengthen the housing recovery.The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.40 percent in the week ended today, down from 3.41 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac (FMCC) said in a statement. The average 15- year rate dropped to 2.61 percent from 2.64 percent.

Buyers competing for a tight supply of available homes are pushing up prices, while low mortgage rates fuel demand. U.S. house prices jumped 7.1 percent in the year through February, the biggest gain since 2006, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said this week. “The housing recovery does seem to be in place,” Celia Chen, a housing economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said yesterday in a telephone interview. Purchases of new homes rose 1.5 percent in March from the previous month to a 417,000 annual pace, more than economists estimated, data from the Commerce Department showed this week. The average 30-year mortgage rate dropped to a record 3.31 percent in November, according to Freddie Mac.

(originally posted on Bloomberg News)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Let's Get Personal...

Self-Promotion through online mortgage marketing has been one of the main keys for success for many Loan Officers in the industry for years. My Rate Mailer offers Loan Officers a way to send personalized rate sheets out to their client base, without the hassel of traditional newsletter templates. My Rate Mailer is easy to use and our staff is always available to help if any issues should arise. Save time and money with My Rate Mailer and start promoting yourself today!


Self-Promotion Success Tips

  • Daily Contacts: Promote yourself in social and business settings.
  • Personal Contacts: Identify personal contacts that represent sales or referral opportunities.
  • Local Businesses: Contact local businesses regarding referral opportunities.
  • Industry Conferences: Attend lending and credit conferences.
  • Community Events: Get involved in community events to network.
  • Community Associations: Become a member of one community association.
  • Trade Shows: Attend industry related trade shows.
  • Speaking Engagements and Articles: Write articles for your local paper or industry periodicals or speak at events.
  • Professional Network Group: Coordinate a ground of lending, credit and financial service professionals to meet monthly.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Knowing the Difference: In-Person Marketing vs Online Marketing

As a fairly new company to the mortgage marketing realm, we have been doing our research on existing rate mailers, Loan Officer marketing tools, and Lender websites that are currently available. What we have found is that the more "Tools" or "Tricks" that are offered with each service, the more cluttered and misdirected the message seems to be. We understand that, as a Loan Officer, it is imperative to get yourself out there, promote yourself as a trustworthy and reliable lender, and be consistent and available to your clients. However, including irrelevant and bulky material in your mailer takes away from your business and is misleading to clients. We recently came across a marketing tool specifically for Loan Officers that uses a third party site to not only automatically populate their newsletter with "Mortgage Related Content," but also includes articles used to bait clients, like kitchen tips or sports news. While techniques like this may have worked in the past, there is a line being drawn between marketing in-person and marketing online.


Relevance

As a salesman, I understand that being well versed in an array of topics is important in gaining clients. However, this tactic does not translate well online. When sending out your rates to interested buyers or realtors it is important to keep in mind that relevance is key. While you may have gained their trust through in-person sales, your mailer should be designed to fit the needs of your service. People are growing more accustomed to online marketing schemes, subject lines designed to get more opens, and bait tactics to get more clicks. My Rate Mailer cuts to the chase, sending your rates to your client base. The mailer is always relevant, and never cold or spammy. Your rates are distributed to your clients, the mailer is personalized to fit your profile, but never includes erroneous information.

Bulk

In researching online mortgage marketing tools for Loan Officers, we found certain mailers that were designed like mini websites! Think, a mailer with a drop down navigation?! We understand the need to provide information to clients but there is a definite distinction between providing necessary information and providing unnecessary information. Think like the client, whether it is a realtor or interested buyer, they are looking for the best rates, sometimes having to sift through countless websites or other mailers. They want a direct, straightforward mailer. Bulk takes away from you as a lender and distracts or even sometimes frustrates your clients.

Personality

While some of our competitors may argue that containing more information, especially on personal topics aids in the personality of your mailer, we strongly disagree. Save your personality for in-person sales or phone conversations. The online market is changing, minimalism and direction are key. In the past, we were learning our way around the web, flashing ads or a mailer with a catchy "FREE MONEY TODAY!" subject line may have caught our attention. However, the more people grow accustomed to online marketing tactics the more they appreciate a straightforward direction. My Rate Mailer incorporates colors of your choosing, your company logo, a picture of yourself, along with links to any social media outlets you would like to include (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Personal Website) without being a distraction to the client. Personality without the flair or bulk of the past. The body of your mailer includes your rates, nothing else, no kitchen tips, no sports news, just what your client is looking for.

Sign up for a free trial today and experience the difference!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sending Your Mailer at The Right Time

My Rate Mailer provides you with a personalized template to send out your rates to all of your clients on a as frequent a basis as you would like. However, when exactly is the best time to send out your emails? Below you will find information collect by GetResponse informing you of the best time to send out your rates during the day.


GetResponse analyzed more than 21 million emails sent by its clients during the first quarter of 2012. Among the findings:

  • 23.63 percent of all emails are opened within the first hour; that number drops off precipitously as the hours tick by
  • Most emails are sent from 6 a.m. to noon; the least amount occur from midnight to 6 a.m.;
  • The hours that see the most click-thrus are 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • The hours that see the most opens are 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • "The best time to send emails is when customers are reviewing their inboxes, for maximum open and click rates choose morning and early afternoon."

What does that mean for Loan Officers? My Rate Mailer helps Loan Officers process their online mortgage marketing needs effectively and efficiently. If the majority of emails need to be out between the hours of 8am-9am and/or 3pm-4pm, My Rate Mailer makes it easy for you to plug in your rates and send out to your clients. Whether it be first thing in the morning or right after your lunch break, My Rate Mailer is there to help you get the most out of your mortgage marketing efforts!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

3 Ways to Get Clients to Open Your Emails

My Rate Mailer is designed to get you more referrals and close more loans! Marketing experts agree that there are 3 main ways to get more clients to open your emails: Solve a Problem, Save Them Money, Make Them Smarter. My Rate Mailer sends your rates directly to your clients, or provides you with a file that can be easily posted to any social media outlet. This solves the problem of clients shopping around for the best rate, instead the best rates are delivered directly to them! Solve the problem, save them money, and make them smarter, all with My Rate Mailer!


1. Solve a problem.

If you knew that an email marketing newsletter would help solve a problem you were having, would you subscribe to it? If the sender set expectations up front and promised that every email would lead you closer to solving that problem, you'd open those messages, wouldn't you?

2. Save them money.

Groupon and other daily deal emails have proliferated by offering subscribers the opportunity to save money. Sure, you have to spend money to save, but it can be enticing to get 50 percent off a dinner at a restaurant you've always wanted to try or 40 percent off the oil change you've been putting off for months.

3. Make them smarter.

Some of us embrace the "always be learning" motto. To hone our skills, we read business or trade publications, or we take courses. Many marketers exploit this desire to become smarter by sending emails that promise just that.

Monday, April 8, 2013

3 Tips For Successful Online Mortgage Marketing

A successful online mortgage marketing campaign can make a great difference in your career as a Loan Officer. My Rate Mailer helps increase YOUR exposure as a loan officer, gains YOU more referrals, and displays great customer service. My Rate Mailer is a service created to help YOU succeed as a loan officer in today's market. Sign up today for a FREE trial!


Using Technology for Exposure

Online mortgage marketing such as ongoing e-mails, banner ads on local news station websites and Craigslist are inexpensive.  They can also be extremely effective and easy.  But, don’t forget about the methods that work for you right now such as networking, newspaper ads and targeted postcards (with your Email Address).  After all, when markets change, traditional ad budgets are one of the first things to get cut.  That makes sense to a degree as long as you’re redirecting your attention to online methods that are equally as effective.  Should you cut 10% of your print budget and direct all potential clients to fill out an online 1003 to save you time and resources? Maybe.  The point is, scaling back in efforts and expense can cost you far more money than you’re saving in the long run. 

  

Referrals, Referrals, Referrals!

Constantly ask for referrals.
 Refer customers back to real estate agents, builders, and others whenever possible. Create a memorable/positive impression with first-time customers so that they will be enthusiastic about referring you to others.

Customer Service

Never forget to practice good Customer Service. 
Send proactive follow-up emails to borrowers to inform them of their loan status. Personally attend loan closings to ensure the transaction ends smoothly and make it a practice to under-promise and over-deliver, especially for loan closing times.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Loan Officer Tips for Success: Gaining Your Clients Trust

Borrowers are looking for a lender they can trust. They want to feel they are being taken care of and offered the best advice at all times. My Rate Mailer offers lenders the opportunity to provide their clients with the best care. With up to date rate sheet delivered right to your clients inbox, your clients will feel that they are receiving the most up to date and best rates available. Give your clients the attention and care they deserve, sign up for a FREE trial with My Rate Mailer today!


There are several questions that are running through the minds of borrowers today. Questions like:

  • Is this person out to help me or just themselves?
  • How can I be sure this person is going to get me the best mortgage program?
  • Can I trust this person?
  • Is this person looking out for both my short and long-term best interests?

All of these questions can be resolved quickly if we are prepared with an opening presentation that addresses these concerns. The key is doing it right up-front. Remember, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” This happens in the first 30 seconds. We either establish or lose our credibility in that critical opening. Let’s look at an opening presentation, step by step, that is perfectly suited for today’s market environment:

Address Media Coverage

“Mrs. Jones, I am sure you have seen all the recent negative press about the mortgage industry. There has been lots of media coverage about climbing interest rates, the impact of adjustable rate mortgages, foreclosures and the integrity of the mortgage industry itself. This has led to distrust towards mortgage professionals and concern for many borrowers as to whether this is a good time to be borrowing. I am sure you have questions in your mind, also. Let me begin by addressing these concerns up-front and showing you why I am the right person to work with.”

Address Market Conditions

“The majority of the problems we see today originated in the “sub-prime” sector. And although these problems are real, this sector represents only 10 – 20% of the entire mortgage market. We do not provide the types of loans that caused these problems. As for rates, although they have increased, there are still excellent rates out there. As for the concerns about integrity, although there were many who were guilty of dishonest and improper lending practices, we have done, and continue to do, business with high integrity. That is why we are still around today.”

Credibility Statement

“My commitment to you (and your family) is to help you find a mortgage loan that not only has an excellent rate, but also provides benefits beyond my competition. This includes getting you the best payment for your loan, at the best term for your long-term goals with the ideal amount of cash, and the greatest tax benefits. I will do this by providing several different options from several different lenders to give you the power to choose the best program for your situation. I will also show you programs that help you in both the short and long-term. Lastly, I will demonstrate my integrity through my actions, not words, by my service on your behalf. “

Offer a Guarantee

“Here is my guarantee: if at the end, you do not feel I have earned your trust and confidence and have not proven to you that I am the best loan officer to work with, I will expect and encourage you to work with someone else. I am confident that this will not be the case. Now, all I need is 20 to 30 minutes of your time, at no cost or obligation, to prove this to you. With your permission, I’d like to get started.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Online Mortgage Marketing For Loan Officers

Being a Loan Officer in today's world, successfully marketing yourself online is one of the most crucial steps in your career. The internet has ushered in a new wave of online mortgage marketing, one that is gradually becoming less personalized and more focused on consistently spamming inboxes. My Rate Mailer helps loan officers market themselves in a personalized way, allowing clients to feel less attacked by spam and more welcomed by your services with each personalized email.

Have a content strategy

Many complaints Loan Officers have regarding social media is that they don’t feel like anyone is interested in what they have to say. This is true to the extent that many people don’t necessarily want to hear what your dog ate for dinner last night, but when it comes to providing helpful mortgage information, this complaint couldn’t be further from the truth. When deciding on content to create for your social media marketing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What mortgage topics do I know the most about?
  • What are other people talking about in my area?
  • If I were a home buyer or seller, what information would I be most interested in reading?
  • What fun events are coming up in my area?
  • Who are the main Real Estate Agent in my area? How can I reach them?
  • Keeping each of these questions in mind will provide you with great ideas for posting content on your social media accounts.

Consistency is key

As a Loan Officer, you can’t expect results from working only once a week. The same thing goes for social media. You will not see results if you only post once a week. “Consistency” means something slightly different depending on which social media platform you are using. A good place to start is by posting at least once a day on Facebook / LinkedIn, and 2 or 3 times per day on Twitter. If you post more than once per day, be sure to spread them out a bit.

This is where most Loan Officers find trouble. How can you remember to set aside time to post multiple times per day when you can barely find enough time to run your business? A great way to combat the time crunch is to set aside about an hour at the beginning of the week and schedule out your posts for that week. There are multiple tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck that allow you to easily schedule social media posts.

Understand how each platform is unique

People use different social media platforms for specific reasons. For example, Twitter posts can only include 140 characters (letters, spaces, punctuation). Facebook allows an unlimited amount of characters and also allows you to post photos / images. Pinterest revolves specifically around photos / images. Understanding how each is unique, and how you can leverage each platform’s functionality is a big factor in successful social media management.

Measure and track results

If something you’re doing in your business is having no impact on generating new business, you likely would not continue doing that thing, right? Perhaps a specific social media platform is just not working for you for one reason or another. Understanding where and when to cut your losses will allow you to focus on the platforms that ARE producing results.

Add Google Analytics to your website and track how much of your traffic is coming from which social media site. Remember that you aren’t likely to see results right away, so don’t be discouraged. If you aren’t seeing any results after an extended period of time, research how to better utilize that social media platform and see if a different strategy produces better results.

Have FUN!

Online mortgage marketing should be a fun experience. Not only does it connect you with potential clients, but you will likely learn a lot about the things you are interested as well! It’s easy to become too focused on using social media solely for a business purpose. But make sure you are coming across as a genuine human being, and interact with others who are talking about subjects that you yourself enjoy as well.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 Ways to be Social Media-Savvy in Mortgage Marketing

You have probably heard about all the benefits of using social media in your mortgage marketing strategy. However, you probably are concerned with the amount of time it takes to devote to managing the countless social media platforms available for businesses today. My Rate Mailer helps lessen the burden of having to continuously market yourself with fast, easy, and personalized rate sheets.

The good news is that it’s a lot easier than you think!

Here are 5 simple ways you can appear to be social media-savvy in your mortgage marketing:

Post at least twice a week.

There is a fine line in social media between posting too often and not posting often enough. Posting at least twice a week (preferably spread out during the week) will keep your pages fresh, and your followers engaged.

Make relevant, informative posts.

As a Loan Officer, you know your business like the back of your hand. Potential customers probably don’t. Creating posts that showcase your personal expertise will go a long way with people looking for more information. While it is good to show some personality in your social media profiles and differentiate yourself from every other Loan Officer out there, you also don’t want to alienate potential customers by filling up their social media news feeds with irrelevant information.

Automation can be your best friend.

Set aside 1 or 2 hours at the beginning of each week to schedule out updates across all of your social media profiles. There a lot of great tools out there to help you do this including TweetDeck, HootSuite, and more. My Rate Mailer allows you to send out your ever changing rates at the click of a button, so you never miss a day and you never waste time.

Make sure to be responsive.

Nothing will kill your social media credibility quicker than an unanswered question or comment from your followers. When someone asks you a question or comments on your posts, be sure to engage with them in a timely manner. This will go a long way in showing them that you really are a human being on the other end and will make them more likely to engage in the future. My Rate Mailer is a great way to help engage your audience, keeping them in the loop and informed about the market.

Think local.

If your business specializes in offering mortgage services in a specific geographic location, make sure to provide relevant local content for that target market. Consider posting information about mortgage related stories in your area, or upcoming events that locals can actually attend. Acting as a local news source in your area will help keep people coming back for more.