I'm pretty thrilled right now because I am about to teach you a commercial mortgage marketing tip taught to me by my own son. George IV, my oldest son, recently said something very wise:
"It's better to repeatedly touch ten referral sources than to speak with one-hundred referral sources just once."
A touch could be a short visit, a lunch, a hearty handshake at a mixer or convention, an email, a phone call, or a letter. By "repeatedly touch" I mean at least six, separate, independent touches.
What the younger George is saying is that many loan officers run around trying to make as many contacts as possible. Many of these might be quality contacts - maybe even perfect referral sources - but they don't stick. If you speak with someone just once or twice, after a short period of time they will usually forget you.
It's much better to speak with fewer referral sources, but to speak with them or to touch them again and again. I recommend that you touch a new referral source at least once every ten days for sixty days. That's a quick six touches. Six touches is the magic number. After that you can go on the Jenny Craig maintenance program of just one touch every three weeks.
By the way, by "referral sources", I mean bankers, commercial real estate brokers (known as "commercial brokers"), property managers, other mortgage brokers (on a name and number referral basis only), other lenders, residential real estate agents, lawyers, CPA's, accountants, and insurance agents. Never advertise to the public! It doesn't work. For fifty more tips, see my wonderful, new course, Commercial Mortgage Marketing.
The reason this came up is because my loan officers enjoy (but don't appreciate!) a wonderful marketing software program that we use, Hubspot.com. Hubspot software allows us to set up six to eight automatic follow-up emails for new contacts.
For example, suppose Alicia Gandy, our star loan officer, speaks with a new mortgage broker about Blackburne & Sons' private money commercial lending program. Now remember, this is the first time that this mortgage broker has ever heard of Blackburne & Sons. All Alicia has to do is to type his name and email address into Hubspot. Then she can move on to her next lead. While Alicia is busy quoting other deals, this new mortgage broker will automatically receive six follow-up emails from her, reminding him about our commercial lending programs and teaching him exactly when it makes sense to bring us deals.
You would be amazed how wonderfully this automatic follow-up system works. We even started using it last year with new private mortgage investors who want to invest in our hard money loans, and we have been raising money like crazy recently. It's the repeat nature of these follow-up emails that really cements the relationship.
But let's face it. If you're a small loan brokerage shop, you probably can't afford Hubspot's wonderful software; but you can afford a stamp, right?
This is what you want to do. Start by finding an empty envelope box that your company's envelopes came in. Now, suppose you meet a banker who handles the commercial loans for Nearby Corner Bank. Every day this banker gets inquiries from potential commercial mortgage borrowers, and he probably turns down at least 70% of them. You desperately want this bank's turndowns!
Now you met the guy today. That's Touch #1. The first thing you do when you get back to the office is to hand-address a company envelope to the banker. Inside he'll find a short letter from you reminding him that you guys met today, thanking him for his time, and reminding him that you broker commercial loans. He'll also find enclosed two of your business cards. You send this thank you note out immediately. This is Touch #2.
Then you address six to eight more envelopes to him. In each of the envelopes you include a Rat Goodie. A Rat Goodie is a reward you give him for opening your mail, sort of like the prize inside of Crackerjacks. The Rat Goodie could be a photocopy of a clever cartoon that you've seen recently. The Rat Goodie could be a cute, clean joke. You'll find hundreds of clean jokes to choose from on the Past Newsletters link on C-Loans.com. The Rat Goodie could be a movie review or a heart-warming boast about your 9-year-old son's hit in Little League.
Never send a letter or an email newsletter without a Rat Goodie. We are conditioning this guy to open our envelopes and to read our emails, and the rats don't like it when they don't get their Rat Goodie. Grrrrrr! (Just kidding.) And of course, be sure to enclose another one of your business cards. "But George, he already has ten of them." Answer: He's probably thrown them way, given them out, and or lost them.
Now back to the envelope box. You've just met the banker. You've sent him a thank you note immediately. You've printed out six to eight new envelopes. You have stuffed each one with a different Rat Goodie. You put a business card in each one. Now, in the upper right-hand corner where the stamp will eventually go, write in pencil a date ten days out. On envelope #2, write a date that is ten days later, and so on.
Now you will file these pre-addressed envelopes in your empty envelope box in chronological order. Each day, from now on, when you come in the office in the morning, the first thing you will do, after turning on the coffee pot, is to pull out the day's pulls - envelopes marked with today's date. After awhile, you'll have at least a half-dozen pulls every day. You affix a stamp over the date, and you drop today's envelopes in the mail. Voila! You now have an immensely efficient commercial mortgage marketing system.
But now let's get back to today's lesson. A marketing system where you follow up a small number of good contacts repeatedly is far-far more efficient than one where you meet hundreds of contacts just once. It takes at least six touches to cement a relationship, and after that you still have to touch your contacts at least once every three weeks (what I call the Jenny Craig maintenance program).
Folks, this works beautifully, and you don't need a huge marketing budget. You just need to be religious about repeatedly touching your referral sources.