If you caught our recent article about why you should market to your book of business, you know how important it is to create a system that allows you to stay in touch with your sphere. Once you develop that system, it isn’t difficult to nurture your mortgage database long-term.
Database marketing creates familiarity and keeps you top of mind with prospects, clients, and referral partners so they remember you when it’s time to do business. If you don’t nurture these contacts consistently, you’re likely leaving money on the table.
Nurturing those in your book of business is not about instant gratification—you need to do it consistently over a long period of time to reap the benefits. In fact, time and consistency are the two biggest factors for success as you nurture your mortgage database.
Here are some strategies to help you create a robust way to build relationships with clients.
1. Segment Your Audience
Take the time to fully understand your list of contacts and what they need from you—this way, you can fully optimize your marketing efforts. When you understand your audience, you know how to best create content that meets their wants and needs. It’s difficult to nurture long-term relationships if the person doesn’t want or need the content you’re sending them.
The solution to this problem is to segment your contacts. This allows you to send customized messages and information based on different needs and interests. You don’t want to send first-time home buyer content to someone who completed their home purchase with you two years ago…that’s actually a great way to have someone unsubscribe.
For example, you may keep it simple by separating out refinance from purchase clientele. Or, take it one step further and separate your database into “likely to purchase in two years” or “most likely to refer business.”
Many mortgage CRMs have sophisticated technology that will do this work for you. And if you’re not quite ready to segment your database, that’s OK! It’s better to get your long-term marketing strategy started, even if it’s not perfect, than to not do it at all. As you get more sophisticated and have more data, you can get more segmented and targeted.
The goal should always be to appeal to as many of the people in your database as possible. Use what you know about their wants and needs to set and meet expectations, and then exceed those expectations with high-quality content.
2. Nurture Your Mortgage Database with Different Platforms
There are a lot of different ways you can connect with those in your book of business, and you should utilize as many of them as you can.
That said, you don’t need to start out by doing all of these things at once, nor should you—that’s a quick way to get burned out on content marketing! And if some of these are not good ways to reach your people, don’t do them. Be where your people are.
- Email: Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to consistently reach people with valuable information they actually want to pay attention to. This can include newsletters and automated drip email campaigns.
- Text: It’s hard to ignore a text message, and this an outreach method that feels pretty personal and often has a good response rate.
- Phone call: A good old-fashioned phone call can still be a good way to reach some demographics and build a connection.
- Video: Video is a way to replicate face-to-face interaction (up close and personal) for a lot of people without having to meet with everyone in your database one-on-one.
- Social Media: People often appear more human and relatable on social media, so give followers a glimpse of your life so they like you as a human being. Brand awareness and retargeting ads are also a good strategy for reaching more people.
- Webinar: A webinar is an excellent way to provide an in-person-type experience to a large group of people at once.
- In-person: Of course, an in-person interaction is the very best thing when you can swing it. Seeing a person behind the business builds lasting relationships.
What’s most effective is a multi-channel nurturing approach that combines some or all of these things. When people keep seeing you pop up with useful information in different places where they are, you’re impossible to ignore (nor do people want to).
Decide what methods make the most sense for you and your audience, and then stick to doing them. Remember, patience and consistency are the keys to success.
3. Stay in Touch Often
Loan officers often get overwhelmed by how frequently they should stay connected to people in their databases, but once you have a good nurturing system in place, it really does work regularly in the background with you occasionally popping in. You can seem constantly present without being constantly present.
That said, stay connected frequently. Aim for contact several times a month, especially if you’re staying in touch across multiple channels. Look for ways to increase engagement and interaction that don’t feel intrusive. If people want your content because they find it valuable, you almost don’t have to worry about staying in touch too often.
If you’re getting a positive response to emails, text messages, videos, or social media posts, it’s a sign that you’re doing something right. If you’re getting completely ignored, it’s a sign that you may need to change up your content so it feels more useful. The goal is to have people look forward to hearing from you.
If certain people in your database are showing more interest in some of your content (like refinance content, for instance), you may want to follow up with them more frequently. Watching your data allows you to know who to be in touch with more often without creating brand fatigue.
4. Remember Important Occasions
Part of nurturing a relationship is having a pulse on what’s important to that person. The content you send should be all about the customer, not you. For example, remember a past client’s one-year anniversary of their first home purchase and send a video message via email or a card in the mail. Nothing will WOW your customers more than remembering the small things.
Other events that keep you top of mind are anniversaries, birthdays, and milestone events.
A good CRM will allow you set up template emails to be sent out on certain dates. You can also use your CRM to send a video or text or remind you to get a physical card in the mail.
5. Provide Tangible Value
We’ve already talked about providing value, and we really can’t hammer that point home enough. But you may wonder how to consistently provide value if people aren’t always interested in getting a mortgage. After all, people don’t get a mortgage or a refinance that often. Remember, your interactions should:
- Build familiarity
- State the purpose of getting in touch
- Provide value
- End with action steps (if applicable)
Your interactions don’t always have to be about mortgage. You can talk about financial planning and building wealth, a topic people are often overwhelmed by. And as a loan officer, you’re uniquely equipped to provide valuable information about this to your audience because you understand their finances.
A yearly mortgage or financial checkup is one good way to offer relevant and ongoing value, but you can also send content about this topic throughout the year, too.
You can also work with financial advisors or other strategic partners to provide even more financial help and guidance for your clients. A one-stop shop makes it much easier for people to engage with wealth planning.
6. Make Yourself the Go-To for All Things Finance and Real Estate
People love having a go-to person they can count on when they need advice or help, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like finance.
When you nurture your mortgage database, you’ll become the lifelong go-to person for all things related to finance and real estate.
That kind of loyalty takes time to build, but when you do, those customers are yours forever. When they see ads for an online lender, they won’t be swayed because their in-person relationship with you has given them so much value over the years. And, even if they don’t need a mortgage, with you as their go-to person, they’ll tell friends and family who may be in the market to buy or refinance a home. Never underestimate the value of a loyal client.
7. Keep a Clean Database
Last, a quick tip for building relationships is to make sure you keep a clean database. Ask for updated information and show that you care about staying in touch with people. A huge client list with outdated email addresses and phone numbers doesn’t do you much good.
Focus on what you can provide because giving is the only way to establish a connection and a real relationship with people. It’s a way to future proof yourself and your business against whatever may come your way. When you do this, your database becomes your greatest asset, worth your time and attention.