All across North America, we are transitioning out of isolation at home. And as the continent opens up, so are all of our businesses.
It’s time to ask yourself, on what date is it time to pivot back to playing to win in your mortgage practice? Our moment of pause is almost over, and now that we have a better understanding of the demands of the new mortgage environment, you must prepare to engage your client base and natural market with a new robust business development strategy.
It’s not as simple as flipping a switch and go though. The world as we know it has changed drastically this years, and so have your clients needs. We hope you have engaged with your client base throughout this pandemic and we’ve spent most of your time listening. Your answer to your future business was in the listening you did. As painful as it was to have to shelter in place, if you were listening your business is going to be better off for it. The key to your success is to make sure your mortgage practice has evolved to match your clients new needs, this way you will be better prepared to deliver world class value for them, more than you ever have before.
Let’s talk about setting up your own breakthrough as we look to the back half of 2020.
Over the past few months, you have had the time to better predict what your mortgage practice will look like as we move out of self isolation. Now it’s to ensure we execute a plan to return to top performance before the year is out.
Your plan likely looks completely different now than it did January 1st and that’s OK. If you’ve had to adjust your business plan to account for a reducing trend in volumes and units, that’s OK too. The majority of organizations would tell you they have also had to do the same.
The key is to show acceptance for that fact and move forward with a positive attitude and outlook and look to new ways to perform. Be prepared for the new challenges ahead. If you taken the time to speak with your clients for the last few months you can create what realistic goals for your business to focus in on for the rest of 2020. This helps with overall business planning and sales. It also helps focus you to take on the task at hand. Now is the time to begin to take the steps to get you back on track and achieve your new goals.
No matter what condition the mortgage market is in where you live, the most effective client outreach has always been predicated on two factors: personalization and customization. But as we navigate the pandemic, both of these factors are even more essential in creating a connection to your client and ultimately delivering the value they need to set you apart from the competition in your market.
So how can you build customization and personalization in your mortgage business to be most effective? Considering your clients needs, ask yourself three questions:
The answers to these questions will help you better prepare to serve your clients, and provide them with the value they need, It will then help create the ambassadors you need to promote your practice which is even more important now.
In volatile times it can be hard to think through the answers to these questions. So if you have not done so already, create a Board of Clients. Pick five of your most valued clients, preferably repeat clients, and meet with them quarterly if you can. Their experience and expertise as client of yours will help you better craft your own goals — and help you to maintain an advantage over any other mortgage professional in your market.
One of the biggest challenges of this pandemic and the stay-at-home rules has been navigating a business environment without human contact. For many of us, that’s meant a lot of Zoom calls, even if these calls were not directly related to how we normally do business. And for many of us, that’s meant feeling some Zoom burnout. Have you had a few evenings wondering where the heck the workday went? Yep, us too.
Many of us have been living the digital version of less than productive networking meetings that are great for feeling good but not much else as it relates to our businesses. Critical now more than ever then is time management. Many of us continue for the time being to work from home. In fact, studies have shown that those of us in North America who are working from home right now are putting in upwards of 4 extra hours per week because we can jump on at any time.
Remember, not written, not done. Scheduling is key if you feel like your business is suffering from you not being able to focus with kids around and other distractions. Set aside time that is Zoom free and dedicated to planning you mortgage business and handling the work important to you.
Make sure you’re using each set of 24 hours you have wisely and you will notice that your business recovers much more rapidly.
Let’s talk about your social content and the building of your brand.
Over the last decade, the world has become increasingly comfortable in connecting socially through digital means, and that has only increased during the recent crisis. It’s time to hone your marketing expertise and doing so through technology and social media has never been easier. It’s also imperative right now in order to help you build epic-trust, in relationships that are high value for both you and your clients.
Opportunity is in content. But like we said in yesterday’s article, that content can’t be the same as every other mortgage professional is putting out. Clients can read the policy change in news releases from those organizations. What they need is completely customized, engaging content that draw them in to asking you, “tell me more”.
Getting referred or found online because of content is always exponentially more effective than going out to your local market completely cold.
While every twist and turn in life is a war with doubt and being a little uncertain, the level of doubt and troubling feeling during this crisis is very new. Every day, we learn something new be it about the pandemic or social justice or the world at large, and each day, we change our own decision-making to adjust to this new world.
And with our world, our market and economy constantly changing, being an effective communicator is a must. Creating engagement and buy-in with clients is a must right now. Two of the lead indicators of client engagement are confidence your knowledge and confidence in the feeling that you can help them navigate one of their biggest financial commitments in a time of crisis. If you’re not communicating effectively with client, then it is as though you are being completely silent (see posting policy change life everyone else, again). You’re costing your business money, engagement and sales.
So how can you be a more effective communicator right now? First, check-in more often with your clients personally. Increase the frequency of their one-on-one check-ins with clients.
Another part of communicating effectively is making sure that you communicate when you’re wrong. Even if you have to tell clients you have bad news, like a decline right now. Clients always know when something is up and not communicating or delaying the communication of not so positive news can really hurt your business. If you don’t have a solution due to current circumstances, communicate that fact swiftly and effewctively. You clients look to you as a mortgage professional to be confident, informed and decisive. If you want to create loyalty and commitment from your client base be open and honest with them. If you’re wrong or you cannot do something for them right now, tell them why. If you don’t have all the answers just yet, tell them that too. You can bet that even some answers are more than they have on their own right now.
You can grow your business now, in the same way we did in 2008 and other times of crisis. Ryan Estis says, “you can absolutely sell your way out of any recession”. Be sure to set specific and achievable goals that promote your ability to pivot as the market and economy change and your business will be just fine!
Commit to change and the constant action needed to drive your mortgage business forward.