Networking

Networking tips for mortgage brokers

Last month I attended The Adviser’s New Broker Academy in Melbourne and learnt a new thing.  Jason Back was presenting and he showed me a new feature in LinkedIn that I wasn’t aware of. 

It was the “Find Nearby” button.  And it was great as it allowed me to connect to others in the room with me.  You can read more about it here.

And here is the thing.  As a small business owner, mortgage brokers have to be fantastic multi-taskers who have to learn many new things, every day.  This is because they only have one employee – themselves, or only have access to a small team of people.

This includes tasks like creating marketing campaigns, posting on social media, touching base with clients and referrers, keeping updated with credit policy, dealing with credit assessors, balancing their own finances, and also taking care of the housework.

So as a mortgage broker, how do you learn how to do new things?  Or even to work out what types of skills or tools they will need to master?  And most importantly how do they meet the right people to help them find their customers?

One of my key continual improvement activities is to get out and network with like-minded people who may help generate new ideas.  Meeting like-minded people can help keep you motivated and inspired.  And some of them may teach you new things to run your business better.

Just like what happened at the New Broker Academy event, where I learnt something new from Jason.

The thing is even with social media there is no substitute for meeting people face-to-face.  Like it or not, the basis of all long term business referral networks rely on people physically meeting each other.

Plus I feel more connected to my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts if I have physically met them already.

Here are some ways to ensure your networking activities produce the right results for your mortgage broking business.

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Let’s do lunch

Networking over lunch to build relationships

 

Here’s my tip to help you with a lead generation idea:  Do you have any lunch appointments set for this week?

If not, get on the phone today and set up a lunch meeting with someone.  If you can score two lunches then great.  But as a minimum, you need to have at least once lunch set up for later this week.

Lunch with who?  Here are some ideas to help you:

  • A prior work colleague
  • An old friend you haven’t seen in a while
  • A relative
  • Someone you see often in your neighbourhood
  • A local business person such a Real Estate Agent

When I started out in mortgage broking, I made it a habit to lunch with at least one different person every week.  Most weeks I would lunch with two people, but as a minimum I would lunch with at least one person, and it was someone different every week.  I did this religiously for 6 months.  The results were amazing!

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Innovative ways to engage your clients

Innovative ways to engage your clients

 

Social Media, newsletters and emails can be great ways to reach and engage with your prospects and clients, but they’re not the only options.

There are plenty of innovative ways you can connect with and add value for your clients and contacts – and they don’t need to be big-budget marketing campaigns.

Here are some other ideas to help you reach and engage your contacts, prospects and clients.

 

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How to generate more leads?

How to be the grandmaster of mortgage professionals

 

If you have recently started in the industry, you would realise by now that a “lead” is not a lead.  And an unqualified lead is not real.  In fact, unqualified leads cost you – in time and money!

And unless you have a large marketing budget, how do you cut through the noise to get prospects to recognise what you do?   Come to think of it, an expensive advertising campaign may not cut through the noisy marketplace if it isn’t executed well.

Here are some key actions you need for your business to succeed:

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How to show case your finance expertise

 

How to show case your finance expertise

 

Running your own mortgage broking business is not easy.  Your to-do list never ends:  You have to continue marketing to get customers, juggle the cash-flow, keep updated with lender policies, and get all the important stuff done yesterday.

That said, you must not use this s an excuse to take shortcuts when it comes down to being visible online.

This starts with your “shop front” – your website.

In today’s age, it is vital that you position your business online with a professional website that gives your customers the impression that you mean business, and the motivation to engage your mortgage broking services.

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Do you have a team of experts in your business?

Build a team of experts in your business

I was talking to one of our brokers last month, and she asked me if I knew of a good building inspector.  The reason for her question was that she had a client who was looking to purchase a property but wanted to have the new property inspected before putting a bid in.

I passed on the details of the building inspector to her.  But one of the questions that she asked me made a good point: “How do you build a team of experts around you if you are a one broker business?”

In a way, that broker was right.  Over the years, I have gotten to know a lot of people, that that was why my clients and friends would call me.  In a way, my contacts were a team of experts that I had cultivated and collected.  And all these businesses and people are essentially a network – and we send each other business and referrals, and collectively grow our customer bases.

Building a team of experts like this is really networking with a clear purpose – developing more personal, vested relationships.

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How To Sound Really Interesting To Others

How to stand out from the crowd

 

Have you ever been at a networking event when someone asks “what do you do”, and you say “mortgage broker” with the hope they’ll then enquire about how you could help them?

But they don’t.

And the conversation doesn’t go anywhere?

Whether you call it the ‘elevator pitch’, or just a ‘pitch’, it’s important that you can clearly, and succinctly describe what you do in a way that’s interesting to your target market.

When you get it right, you’ll know.

It’ll pass the ‘eyebrow test’, where they raise one eyebrow with curiosity as if to say “tell me more.”

In some instances, they won’t be so covert.  They’ll just comes straight out and ask “that sounds interesting, tell me a bit more,” or “how do you do that.”

That’s when you know you have an elevator pitch that doesn’t blend in and sound the same as everyone else.

Blending in = boring.

STANDING OUT = being different = people pay attention.

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How to build the best referral networks

This article is a reprint from MFAA News (published 28 Sep 2016) on an interview with Andrew Tan.

 

How to build the best referral networks

 

Securing a good referral partner is little bit like dating – you wouldn’t propose to the first person you meet on your first night out. And you certainly wouldn’t marry them and then ignore them for the rest of your time together.

“In the beginning, you need to go out and meet lots of people,” says Masters Broker Group mentor Andrew Tan.

“And when you meet someone you like, get to know them a bit better. You wouldn’t propose marriage on the first date, would you? Nor should you ask for a referral within 10 minutes of meeting someone.”

 

Why are referrals so important?

Word-of-mouth marketing is the lynchpin of many finance brokers’ businesses. In fact, almost half of a broker’s business comes from personal referrals, according to recent NAB research.

“It’s also the most powerful source of marketing for successful brokers. It is less expensive and more effective than advertising,” he adds.

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Key items for a successful mortgage broking business

Key items for a successful mortgage broking business

Since 2003, I’ve met hundreds of mortgage brokers and worked closely with some.  From helping with their mortgage broking business from initial setup, optimising their operations, to selling their businesses for a premium.

And one of the observations that I have made is that there is no one “right” way to create a successful business – no magic potion or recipe.  Just hard work, perseverance and gumption.

For new brokers, this is pretty daunting to face.  And as a new broker to the mortgage industry, you may also get lots of advice.  I have noticed that this advice is mostly from people who know nothing about running a mortgage broking business successfully.

So beware of who you are getting your advice from, and don’t make the mistake of over thinking or over analysing the business.

However, those who have succeeded have some of these things in place.

 

Knowledge and Expertise

The most successful have an acute knowledge of the industry.  They become experts by spending time learning about the industry, solving problems one at a time, and talking to lots of people.

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Nurturing your networks

Nurturing Networks for Growth

According to a recent NAB/Genworth/RFi report*, almost half (49%) of broker applicants sourced their broker through a personal referral.

And the reality is that the finance business is not business.  Finance broking is personal, and people do business with people they like.

Word of mouth is the most powerful source of advertising for brokers — almost half (49%) of broker applicants sourced their broker through a personal referral.*

What this all points to is that it is essential for Finance Brokers to build effective relationships to nurture their networks.

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