Commercial Loans Blog

This Marketing Tip is For EVERYONE

Posted by George Blackburne on Wed, Jan 12, 2022

Newsletter TemplateEvery day you meet good potential business contacts.  Maybe you're a plastic surgeon, with your own private practice.  You meet a beautician at Supercuts, while getting your own ears lowered.  Could she refer you a new patient in need of some rhinoplasty?  You betcha.

You play golf with a new physician buddy, who is a general practitioner.  New contact for your email list?  Absolutely. 

 

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I have personally added six to eight new contacts - people whom I have met in the legitimate course of business - to my mailing list (email list modernly) every single day for 44 years.  Every day.  I hope you'll agree that we've had some fun together.

Okay, so what do you send them?  Well, how about the best jokes and memes that your own buddies send you?  Need more?  There are tons of sites on the internet with jokes and funny memes, like dailyhaha.com. I enjoy a free subscription to six different daily joke email newsletters.  Part of my job is to sit around and read jokes.  Haha!  

Maybe you might show your contacts some of the wonderful plastic surgery work being done by Doctors Without Borders, correcting, say, some unfortunate third world children born with a cleft palate.  Maybe there is a new surgical procedure to tighten up excess skin.  If you look, you'll find something interesting to share every couple of weeks.

 

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Okay, but where do you maintain this email list.  We here at Blackburne and Sons have worked well with iContact.com.  They not only provide the software to maintain your email list, but they will also provide email templates and blast out your newsletters for you.   They do all of this for you for just a few hundred dollars per month.

Templates, huh?  You have to be professional, right?  No-no-no!

Oh, my goodness.  Have you ever read a "professional" newsletter from a CPA?  I am asleep in ten seconds.  ZZZ.  Never-ever-ever try to be professional.  Professional is boring.  No one reads boring stuff.

Want to be rich?  Then write to your contacts as if they were your friends and sitting next to you in a bar.  Violate every rule your English teacher ever taught you.  Use contractions.  Use incomplete sentences.  Use lots of slang.  Start sentences with the word, "and" or "but."  Write the way people speak in real life.

 

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True Story:

I am sitting in a bar watching an Indianapolis Colts game.  A forty-year-old man sits down next to me, along with this lovely 32-year-old wife.  Somehow we get on the subject of children.  (I am constantly boasting about mine.)  He announces that he and his wife do not intend to have children.  Too many problems in the world.  Yada-yada.  

I look over at his beautiful wife, and I see the pain in her eyes.  Then I tell this guy that he is missing out on the greatest joy on earth, like the time that my wonderful first-born son came from behind 14-0 at the Junior National Fencing Championship... and won 15-14.   Or the time when my second son, a natural athlete, hit four straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter of his basketball game.  Or the time when my miracle daughter (eleven in vitro fertilization attempt$$$) smashed the winning goal in the Sectional Soccer Championship against her arch-rivals.

"You are missing out, sir, on the greatest joy on Earth."  We exchanged phone numbers.  Twelve months later, I got a text, "Well, George, we listened.  We went right home and created our beautiful baby boy.  Thank you!"  And he was indeed a beautiful little boy.  [Proud grin]

 

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So back to today's marketing tip:  I urge you to be conspicuously unprofessional and to write to you contacts like they were your buddies  And don't worry about having the most professional-looking newsletter.  You don't want to be professional.  You want to be fun!  People read fun newsletters.

Okay, let's start small.  Find a shoe box.  Every time you meet a new contact - maybe a CPA or a real estate broker - scribble his contact information on a pink message slip and throw it in the shoebox.  

Smart Tip:

Also write down the date and how you met him.  "Met Steve at the National Realtor's Convention in May of 2022."

 

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When you get 200 contacts in your shoebox, ask your ten-year-old kid to set you up on iContact.  After that, add all your new contacts directly into iContact.  Every day.  I am semi-retired, but I still add six to eight new contacts every single day.

Don't worry if your newsletter is butt-ugly.  I want it to be butt-ugly.  For twenty-five years, I just typed my company address at the top of a piece of copy machine paper and started adding my corny jokes and interesting stories.  

Someday I'll tell you about The Hot Zone and my newsletter about it.  Ebola became airborne and almost killed us all.  My best newsletter ever - just typed on copy machine paper.

 

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My buddy, Tom Harrier of Integrity Commercial Loans, just wrote me, "Soranus was a Greek physician.  I wonder if he was a proctologist?"  Hahahaha!

 

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Topics: marketing for commercial loans, Marketing

Content For Your Commercial Loan or Realty Newsletters

Posted by George Blackburne on Mon, Dec 1, 2014

Email_newsletter_copyToday's marketing lessons will also be helpful for commercial brokers (commercial real estate salesmen), not just for commercial loan brokers.  I built a $50 million commercial loan company using these simple marketing lessons.  They should work for you as well.

In my prior commercial loan blog articles, I stressed that list advertising - snail mail, fax, and email - is the most effective form of marketing for real estate sales and commercial loan brokerage.  One reason is because  you can crank out a commercial loan newsletter today, rather than waiting for weeks until the next magazine is published.

Your newsletters do NOT have to be fancy.  For 15 years I personally marketed by snail mail using a plain, legal-sized sheet of copy machine paper.  I didn't bother with a logo or with typesetting.  I just typed my company name, address, and phone number at the top.

So why would my commercial loan clients even bother to read such an obviously unprofessional newsletter?  Because it was unprofessional!  Huh?  What???

Have you ever gotten a "professional newsletter" from a CPA?  Have you ever read anything so boring?  Boooooring!  Nobody reads professional newsletters.  Do you know what real people do read?  They read jokes and funny pics sent to them by their buddies.  My first piece of advice, therefore, is to stop trying to be professional.  Instead, be fun.

What_the_Heck

 

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Now every commercial loan newsletter (or realty investment newsletter) needs these four ingredients:

  1. Lots of funny jokes.
  2. A training lesson about commercial loans (or commercial-investment real estate).
  3. Some brief words from our sponsor; i.e., you pitching your services.
  4. One or more funny pictures or cool videos.

I call my jokes, funny pics, cool videos, and training lessons Rat Goodies.  In fact, I invented my own theory of marketing that I call the Rat Goody Theory of Marketing.  It basically says that if I have to bug my buddies and clients with a sales pitch, then I at least owe them some Crackerjack Treats for opening up the box.

"Gee, George, that all sounds great and everything, but where do I get fresh material for my newsletter every ten days?  Your own newsletters contain six to eight jokes, two to three funny pictures, and at least one cool video.  That doesn't even include the training lesson.  Where do you find all of this stuff?"

Here is where you find the Rat Goodies and the content for your own newsletters:

  1. You can easily find over 400 cute, clean jokes here.  Feel free to plagerize my materials.
  2. Pinterest has a wonderful collection of funny pictures.
  3. As for interesting videos, your buddies will send you some.  Just be on the lookout.
  4. As for training lessons in your field (commercial loan brokerage, commercial real estate brokerage, etc.), we all learn things every week.  Just be sure to make a note of anything new you learn - like this brand new commercial loan underwriting ratio, the Debt Yield Ratio - and share it with your buddies and clients.

commercial financing

Here is one final thing that I do that has served me very well in marketing over the years.  Any time I meet a high-net-worth investor, be it from a commercial loan lead call, at a conference, or on the golf course, I am religious about adding this investor to my mailing lists.  This may surprise you but I found the wealthy investors that I needed to fund $50 million in hard money commercial loans when they first called my office in search of a commercial loan.  In other words, I turned commercial loan borrowers into commercial loan investors.  Huh.  Go figure.

My thanks go out to Dan Morris of Summit Finance, one of our lead buyers, for closing a $6 million commercial loan for C-Loans on Friday!  If he closes just four more deals, he gets listed permanently on C-Loans as a Proven Broker.  From then on, he no longer has to buy leads.  He will be set for life.

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Hey, did you enjoy listening to my audio and Powerpoint training lesson on the Rat Goody Theory of Marketing.  To move between PowerPoint pages, be sure to hit the Play button.  This lesson is just one of about 35 lessons in my wildly popular training course, How To Market For Commercial Loans.

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Ninety percent of bankers are downright slothful when it comes to working commercial loans.  Ten percent of them, however, are real go-getters.  That's the thing that C-Loans.com does best - it indentifies those bankers and those Proven Brokers who are ravenous to close commercial loans.  Don't poo-poo using our Proven Brokers because they close a hugely disproportionate share of the commercial loans closed on C-Loans.  Proven Brokers close commercial loans because they have personal relationships with their lenders.  True story:  I had a buddy 30 years ago who made a fortune one year because he brought two hookers and some cocaine to his lender's office, whenever he brought him a new commercial loan package.  (My buddy eventually ended up on Skid Row in San Francisco, a washed out drug addict.)

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The real money in commercial real estate finance is in loan servicing fees.  I charge our investors almost 2% per year for servicing their commercial loans.   On a modest-sized deal of $1 million, that's $20,000 per year, just for collecting 12 payments and sending them on to our investors.

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Topics: Marketing