A few months ago I saw this video of a bank in Canada that changed their ATM into an "Automated Thanking Machine." (Have a tissue ready when you watch.) I was motivated! I talked to a couple of my Realtors about doing Random Acts of Thanks to clients that we have closed together. Well... we finally did it! Good intentions are like crying babies - they should be carried out.
Karla (awesome agent) and I went one evening to visit two families. This was especially fun for me since I rarely see the homes my clients purchase. The first visit was to the Caro family. They had just had their second child so we took a baby gift, pumpkin bread and a note. To the second family we took a nice wall clock, pumpkin bread and a note. Both families were amazed that we would take the time to visit and loved showing us their new homes.
I plan on carrying out Random Acts of Thanks one evening each month. Such a fun way to stay memorable to clients and strengthen referral relationships.
Karla and homeowner Rachel Hales
With the tragedy to Beverly Carter in Arkansas so fresh on everone's mind, Realtors are focusing on safety. Here's what I posted on my personal facebook page where I am friends with many, many Realtors:
Realtor friends - In light of the tragedy to Beverly Carter, let's work together for safety! Let me know if you need another body at an open house or even at a showing. I am happy to step in and be your second person!!
I also plan on putting the offer into my Friday emails to Realtors the next few weeks. I have great friends in our Real Estate community and I can't imagine the loss we would feel if something similar happened in our area. Safety in numbers!
Last week, I decided to do Lotoja - a 206 one day race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY. It's been on my bucket list for a few years to complete by the time I turn 50. It's grueling. It's full of steep hills and possible crazy weather. It's a freaking 206 miles in one day.
Luckily, I'm married to an exercise physiologist (Professor Honey-buns to you) and have a good friend that has raced Lotoja a few times. Unfortunately, those two great guys can't wave their magic wands and make it easy. They can coach and encourage, but time in the saddle is all me.
Here's my plan - in 2015 I will do the race with Professor HB as a relay (five stages). I will do stages 2 and 4 and he will do 1, 3 and 5. The goal is to stay with him on #5 so we finish together. Then in 2016 I will do the entire race, I will be 49 years old. That's a really long time to have a goal and stay focused. Luckily, I've got Coach 1 and Coach 2 to help. I will also track my progress through this cool app: Strava, and focus on continually improving.
What does that have to do with Mortgage Origination? Everything! I have a coaching client that has been doing loans less than a year and it has been discouraging at times. I asked if he would be willing to work REALLY hard for two years if it would guarantee him an income of $100,000. Of course he said yes. This industry CAN guarantee you a six figure income but you have to be willing to pay the price and do the time. Here were my suggestions:
Where do you want to be in one year, 11 months, one week and four days?
Here's a copy of the email I sent out today to my Realtor Database:
I read Michael Maher’s book the 7Levels of Communication a few years ago and loved it! This morning I listened to an interview by Pat Hiban with Michael Maher over at Hiban Digital. that I thought is perfect for your business.
My favorite quote: “You are closer than you think to referrals.”
Michael Maher also shared these great questions to getting deeper referral relationships.”(FROG)
Family – Where are you from?
Recreation – What do you do for fun?
Occupation – What do you do? How did you get started?
Goals – What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Second favorite quote: “One of the reasons we don’t get referrals is because we don’t give massive value first”
Speaking of massive value - If you have read the 7L book, you are familiar with the house warming party marketing strategy. I would love to do this with you on our next closing! Let me know if you want to chat more about this. Let’s work together to increase referrals!
First -listen to the interview.
Second - send out an email to your Realtors. Great way to add value!!!
I've always know the importance of testimonials and social media reviews, and have been looking for a better way to push my clients to share their experiences. I'm starting with Facebook and Google. Here is the email I send out:
Email Subject Line: Can you help me?
I am looking to improve my business presence online and would love your help. This should only take a couple minutes and hopefully it is easy for you! Please choose one or more of the following options to leave a testimonial of my services:
Facebook lovers: Go to https://www.facebook.com/MortgagesByBliss?sk=reviews and select “Write a Review”. You can also LIKE the page to be entered to win prizes.
Google users: Go to https://plus.google.com/u/0/113534144302112759554/about and click on “write a review”.
Old fashioned: Reply back to this email with your comments
Thanks so very much for your help and support of my business! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
I've got twenty reviews on Facebook (I've been working on this one for a few months) and two on Google. My goal is to steadily increase this each month with reviews from my closed clients.
I've slowed down a bit the last three weeks so I have been reaching out to schedule lunches with Realtors. I've got five scheduled over the next 9 days and so this article from Michael Maher came at the perfect time. Great questions to move from just a relationship to a relationship in the Referral Zone.
1. What are your goals? (I would add ... for your business)
2. What is your biggest challenge right now?
3. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't working?
Who's on your lunch schedule?
I've been chatting with a few of my coaching clients and my mastermind group about starting a "Did you know?" drip campaign by emailing out to Realtors once a week a short mortgage tidbit. This could be anything from loan limits to program guidelines.
One loan officers has decided to put a new "Did you know" at the bottom of her email and change it once every two weeks or so.
Another loan officer created this logo to go with her emails. I love it!
Building your reputation as an expert is the best way to increase the number of people that know who you are and what you do so they feel comfortable sending you referrals.
Sometimes I get an idea that is so simple and effective, I smack myself on the head and wonder why I didn't think of it before.
I am asking all of the Realtors that send me referrals (and those that I WANT to send me referrals) to give me a few of their business cards so I can include them in the hand written notes I send to their referrals. I also mention that I will include their card in the Thanks a Million package I mail to clients once they find a home and we start their loan. I am also using this as a reason to get together for lunch.
It only took me 23 years to come up with this beauty. Sometimes I surprise even myself.
James Roberts is a great loan officer. High volume with 88% of his year to date production coming from Realtors. Here is his latest drop by:
Here's the beginning of the letter:
"You're probably sitting here reading this letter, those scissors I gave you in your hand, wondering why in the heck is James Roberts giving you a pair of scissors" Simple - "I want to cut you away from your current loan officer."
This isn't the first time James has done this... over the years he has given out the following:
This recent round went out to 200 Realtors, he paid someone $12 an hour to deliver. Scissors were $1 at Harbor Freight. James will then follow up by phone to make sure they were received and see if he can be of any assistance and set up an appointment to meet them.
HUD is rolling out a new program: Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) that provides FHA insurance pricing incentives to first-time homebuyers which is defined as anyone that has not owned a home in the last 3 years. Six hours of pre-contract counselling (GREAT reason to do some serious marketing to your Realtors), one hour pre-closing and one hour post-closing.
You can see Frank and Brian's video about this program by clicking here.
Lenders have to jump through a few hoops to get approved but this will be well worth it!
I LOVE this concept that is going around the blogosphere.... Using your password as motivation. Here's an article that describes one man's use of passwords to change is life.
Here are some ideas to help your business:
The ideas are limitless.... create your own reminder for success!
I was recently out of town for nine days helping my daughter (who just gave birth to the worlds most beautiful baby - please meet Kiah Bliss)
For the six weeks prior to this, my business had slowed down. I wasn't too worried about it as we know things go in cycles. There was only one closing scheduled while I was gone and I thought there might be one or two new loans; meaning I would have a pretty stress-free time away from the office.
Wrong! In the first four days of my trip, I had four clients go under contract. By the time I headed home, I had six new loans. And I forgot mention, I no longer have an assistant, which is a tragedy of its own.
Of course, all these loans needed to get started right away. I am very blessed to work with amazing people that stepped in to help. Processors Jill and Katie were amazing and three fellow loan officers took time out of their very busy schedules to meet with my clients and go over paperwork to get signatures etc.
It's hard to express the gratitude I feel for everyone, so I decided to show it.
I picked up these adorable piggy banks for the processors.... THANKS FOR SAVING ME! (this cute idea came from my bff Rhonda Johnson with AlaskaUSA Mortgage)
For the guys that met with my clients, I gave them a box of cupcakes to take home to their families. Nothing like a little sugar overload to say THANKS!
My last professional photo was seven years ago. And I've aged. Seven years to be exact.
I brought Professor Honey-buns along for moral support so we took a few shots together... 28 years and he still makes me giggle.
All books over at DaveRamsey.com were recently on sale for $10 each so I bought 10 copies of The Total Money Makeover and 5 copies of EntreLeadership. I like having a variety of closing gifts on hand to make it as personal as possible to the client and their situation.
EntreLeadership is a business book and I gave one to Realtor who's husband owns a small restaurant and is expanding. I will also give this to clients that are small business owners.
A short inscription and my business card sticker.
Our local market is very tight and it is definitely a sellers market. This always results in more For Sale By Owner transactions. I've had a few lately and have realized that this is a great marketing opportunity to reach out to a potential buyer.
When I start a FSBO transaction, I call the seller to cover the following points:
Always look for opportunities to reach out and connect with a potential buyer!
I haven't been in the habit of taking a photo at closing and I will never be that person who posts EVERY SINGLE CLOSING on Facebook. But I do think that randomly and sporadically this is a great tool to share the "closing love".
You have an opportunity to tag your clients and Realtor and give a shout out to the title team, your staff and everyone involved.
I am on the board for the Realtor Community Involvement Committee and we recently implemented a "Give Back" program that I feel is fabulous.
Realtors (and affiliates) can purchase these reusable bags for $2 and give them to their clients that are getting ready to make a move. We have a one page flyer that can be branded with the agents phone, logo etc. that has all of the local resources for donating items. Food bank, Habitat for Humanity etc. The Realtor can offer to pick it up or simply give it to them with the instructions on how to donate.
This is just one more marketing tool for agents and a way for them to help their clients give back to the community.
Barbara Corcoran describes the difference between a sales person that makes $40,000 and one that makes $8 million. They have "something to prove" and "get back up" after failing. Sounds simple, but there are a lot more $40,000 people than there are $8 million.
Click this link to view the interview.