You do not need to be enlightened with the advantages of a diversified marketing plan if you have spent the past few years feasting on refinances and now are experiencing famine while you attempt to get a grip on the purchase market.To outsiders we must have appeared to be lemmings running from one market to the next.
Recognizing the need for a plan is easy. Developing a solid plan and implementing it consistently over the long run is the task for those who desire success in any sales profession. This work will outline the components of a professional marketing plan and give examples to get you started. If you choose to get a step ahead of the competition, then you can take it from there.
Marketing Plan Components
Goals. You cannot plan without goals to guide your actions. Success will not come to those who do not define success because there will be no recognition of what success means.
Actions. Each plan should have four to six separate and distinct actions which are designed to provide diversity. Each action should be responsible for at least 10 percent of your total production goal.
Tools. Your actions will always be using a particular tool(s) to reach the target group. Using more than one tool promotes diversification.
Targets. Each action has one or more specific targets. The identification of targets also provides the opportunity to diversify.
Frequency. Each action will be performed at regular intervals. This provides the marketing plan with consistency.
Synergism. The actions must be set up to work together in a way which will magnify the effects of your marketing efforts. In a marketing plan, two-plus-two must equal eight.
Evaluation. The existence of goals makes it possible to consistently evaluate your efforts. If your actions are not moving you closer to your objectives, then an adjustment of any one or more plan components will be warranted.
Identifying Your Goals
Here are a few possible goals for a meeting with a real estate agent.
Developing Actions to Reach Goals
The key to the actions is to choose several which are different from each other and the actions of others. Go where no one is likely to follow. Spend you time giving seminars instead of knocking on doors. Write articles. Become a member of a finance committee.
Each action must be specific and have a goal, i.e., “Visit four open houses each weekend with a goal of setting up one interview with a top producer for the following week.”
Since our goal is to interview with top producers, then we must first identify which agent is holding which house open before we set out each weekend. This implies an information gathering step before our action plan is delineated for the weekend.
Arming Yourself With Tools
Take a most common tool, the telephone. We hear that someone is great on the phone and always winds up with an appointment. Others hear the phone ring and hide under the desk. It is obvious which of the two sales professionals has correctly identified and mastered the tool. The latter may also be forced favor another common tool, the rate sheet — common but usually much less effective than the telephone.
In order to have an effective and efficient marketing plan we must recognize all tools at our disposal. This enables us to identify which tools are more effective and will help us achieve our goals.
Identification of Targets
What are possible targets outside of the real estate industry? Other loan officers, title companies, financial planners, home improvement companies, large corporations, FSBOs (for sale by owner), home counseling agencies, etc. The list is endless.
We saw last year how a concentration on direct refinances worked against long term diversification. Concentrating too much on one type of agent, geographic area, or other target is just as dangerous. True diversity makes us less susceptible to changing markets.
Frequency of Actions
In the end, most of us declare that we spend very little time marketing and too much time “in the office.” Our first step in breaking this log jam is identifying what must be done. The next step is to commit to the time in your calendar. We must remember that as sales professionals, our number one priority is marketing. Giving marketing priority in planning and scheduling will enable us to match our actions with the desired results.
Putting it Together With Synergism
The opportunities for synergy in mortgage banking sales is endless. What one needs is imagination and innovation to make the connections. Lets take a few examples:
In most of these examples, we connect more than one action to reach another target group more effectively. It is important to note that connecting the actions takes very little extra time. Yet the results may be exponential. We must chose our four to six marketing actions in such a way that they will relate to one another. This is the true definition of success in a marketing plan.
For one week, try an exercise. Write down every business activity and the time it took accomplish that activity.
How much time did you spend implementing the marketing plan? How much other time did you spend on activities which are either nonproductive or counter-productive with regard to the plan? What were the results of your actions?
You may be spending much time implementing the plan without the desired results. Does this mean that the activity is wrong or is the implementation flawed? Are you perhaps making phone calls to the wrong target, or not asking for the appointment from the right targets?
There are literally thousands of questions to ask regarding implementation of a professional marketing plan. Those who truly want success will question every step of the way because they do not desire to spend one extra minute performing an activity which is not productive.
And now we have gone full circle — from goal setting to implementation to evaluation. If you really are looking to differentiate yourself from your competition, try a professional plan of attack. Stick to the plan and you will become the objection of industry emulation.
So, you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage. Maybe you want some extra capital to do that home project you’ve always dreamed of, interest rates are nearing record lows, or you want to start consolidating debt. Regardless of the motivation behind the refinance,...