As we head midway into 2021, Loan Officers are faced with the difficult task of navigating a purchase market paved with uncertainty. Listings are in short supply. Buying demand is high. Interest rates remain low. And megabrands are using their massive marketing budgets to draw the attention of their clients. Sound familiar?
On the Mortgage Marketing Institute podcast, we chat in depth about current market conditions and how to utilize tech – like Homebot – to build better relationships with your clients, prospects, and Realtor partners.
Here’s what National Sales Coach, Geoff Zimpfer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Area Manager, Austin Larr, and Homebot CEO and co-founder Ernie Graham had to say.
Geoff, Ernie, and Austin kicked off the conversation by sharing their insights on why driving conversations is so critical for Loan Officers that want repeat and referral business.
Consumers are bombarded with notifications. They’re constantly being marketed to — being told what they should buy, why they need a new product or service, and which option to go with.
So, how can Loan Officers stand out in all this noise and strike up meaningful conversations? By delivering something of value to their clients. By empowering them to understand their home finance with personalized, easy-to-understand insights.
Sure, loan officers can do this the old fashioned way, by working through their database and reaching out to each past client in hopes that they’re ready to have a conversation. Or, they level-up, utilizing tech to put their client engagement strategy on autopilot. That’s the beauty of Homebot. It engages your entire database.
According to Ernie, Homebot takes a “maniacal” approach to consumer empowerment.
“We want to create a beautiful user experience where the consumer feels empowered,” Ernie notes.
With big companies using their extensive resources to grab up market share, Ernie says Loan Officers need something like Homebot to help them serve their clients better and differentiate themselves from the competition.
“We're giving the industry something to fight back in a way that has intrinsic value for the consumer.”
And, according to Geoff, it works.
“In my own podcast group, and in other organizations that I work with, the response rate, the level of engagement, the open rate, the level that Homebot drives conversations [with past clients], it's just, like, off the charts, man. If there's a better platform out there that will drive past client engagement [like Homebot does], I haven't seen it."
-- Geoff Zimpfer, National Sales Coach, Mortgage Marketing Radio
So, Homebot is a must-have for Loan Officers wanting to drive past client engagement efficiently and effectively. But what about starting conversations with new, prospective clients?
Austin jumps in to describe how Homebot makes it easy for him to target “literally anybody.” After all, not many people will say “no” to a free monthly report that tracks their home equity and provides them with personalized insights on how to build wealth as a homeowner. That’s intrinsic value in a nutshell.
When asked how he adds clients into Homebot after closing a transaction with them, Austin’s answer was simple: he calls Homebot “a gift.”
“When you're calling the buyer and going over that CD (closing disclosure) and that final number, you're calling it a gift, ‘Hey, we're going to be providing value to you, we're going to be sending you a report every month, this report is going to track the equity in your house, it's going to tell you what the value is, it’s going to tell you your current mortgage balances, which you can go in and update, and it's going to take that number in and show you what you can do with that equity.”
Loan Officers get most of their business through referrals, with Real Estate Agents serving as their top referral source. In order to keep those referrals coming, connecting with Realtors and building relationships with them needs to be a top priority.
With that said, you need to get their attention first. And this can be tough to do when, as Ernie points out, there are “a million shiny objects in their universe of technology.”
So how do you make Realtors take notice? Listings.
With the current inventory crisis, listings are few and far between. So much so that Real Estate Agents are fighting for every deal. Fortunately, Homebot puts Loan Officers in a position where they can help Realtors identify and qualify potential seller leads in their database.
“Because Realtors are suffering, listings are the gold. You want to be mined for gold.”
Austin says it’s the Loan Officer’s approach from the get-go that makes all the difference, adding that if you want to get Real Estate Agents to actually use Homebot and upload their database, you need to help them “understand the context of why” they should do so.
Ernie offers a solution: Homebot Freemium for Realtors.
With Freemium, Loan Officers can give their Realtor partners a free version of Homebot for up to 25 clients. Now, instead of asking Realtors to upload their entire database, they can start with just 10 clients to see the value of Homebot in action before uploading the rest of their database.
“If you can just get them to load 10 past clients, that is a magic number. And here's why it's magic. Because with Homebot’s 50% engagement rate, 5 of those 10 are going to be engaging every month, and one of those 10 is actually going to reach out and say something or ask something of that agent.”
Before wrapping up the Homebot discussion, Geoff brings up a new Homebot feature that enables Loan Officers to create even stronger connections and build trust with their clients: Homebot Video Manager. With Video Manager, Loan Officers can record their own custom videos and add them into the Homebot experience — educating and engaging their clients in an authentic and relatable way.
Ernie shares another way Homebot helps Loan Officers and real agents work together and use their combined expertise to help their clients build wealth:
“When they're co-sponsoring Realtors, it syndicates down to the Realtors’ Homebot as well. So, in other words, that [Loan Officer’s] video now gets exposed to the Real Estate Agents’ clients, which is great.”
According to Ernie, Homebot Video Manager is not only about making video a seamless part of the Homebot user experience, but it’s also about reinforcing the Loan Officer’s personal brand and humanity.
“The LO’s brand is not just their face and some contact information. Your brand is your humanity, your brand is your human, is your biometrics. Do you look trustworthy? Do you sound trustworthy?”
We hope the podcast highlights from above have given you some ideas about how to leverage Homebot to nurture your past clients, strengthen your Realtor relationships, and grow your business. In summary, the most important thing you can do as a lender is prioritize relationship building — with clients and referral partners alike. With the help of strong, mutually beneficial partnerships and powerful technology that works for you, you can deliver more value to your clients and maximize your repeat and referral business.